The Dangers of the Most Addictive Benzo

Xanax addiction is a growing concern in the U.S. today, with over 5.3 million people misusing the drug. 

While benzos like Xanax can be extremely helpful in short-term, prescribed situations, addiction can quickly become an issue even when used as directed. It’s important to understand the signs, symptoms, and treatment for Xanax addiction in order to get the right help for yourself or a loved one struggling. 

This guide outlines the risks of using Xanax, and provides information on how to get treatment at Renaissance Recovery if someone is experiencing addiction.

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What is Xanax?

Xanax is a branded benzodiazepine available in generic form as alprazolam. These type of prescription drugs belong to the same class of drugs as Klonopin (clonazepam) and Valium (diazepam). 

Alprazolam is a widely used psychotherapeutic drug in the U.S. It is mainly prescribed for treating panic disorder or anxiety disorder and can come in a variety of styles and brands, including blue Xanax.

In the same way as all benzodiazepines, Xanax inhibits activity in the brain and central nervous system. Xanax enhances the effects of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is a naturally occurring brain chemical. This mechanism of action triggers a sense of calm and relaxation. 

Many people find that adverse side effects present from the onset of Xanax therapy. These include headaches, nausea, slurred speech, vomiting, and episodes of depression. 

Xanax gained FDA approval in 1981

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Is Xanax Addictive?

Xanax can be effective in reducing symptoms of panic attacks or anxiety. However, misusing or abusing it can lead to addiction. 

Any nonclinical use of Xanax may prompt adverse outcomes like impulsivity, aggression, and depression. Beyond this, the sustained use of alprazolam by drug abusers will cause tolerance and dependence to develop. Addiction to Xanax often follows. 

Taking a benzo like Xanax daily can reduce the effects of the medication. This may cause people to increase the dosage or frequency of dosage to make up for it, leading to a substance abuse problem. 

How Long Does it Take to Get Addicted to Xanax?

Addiction to Xanax can develop at different speeds. This depends on a few factors, such as the person’s age, genetics, medical history, dosage, and how often they take it.

In general, Xanax addiction can develop quickly, sometimes within a few weeks of regular use. That said, addiction can also occur over a more extended period, sometimes taking several months to a year. 

What Exactly is Xanax Used For?

Xanax is chiefly prescribed to treat anxiety disorder and panic disorder. Alprazolam may also be indicated for the treatment of seizures and alcohol withdrawal. 

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Common Signs of Xanax Addiction

The onset and manifestation of Xanax addiction signs are influenced by multiple factors. Xanax has the potential to cause physical dependence even when taken in small doses. This can happen in as little as one month. In order to diagnose alprazolam addiction, both tolerance and physical dependence are taken into account.

To determine if you may be developing an addiction to Xanax, consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • Have you tried and failed to control or stop your use of Xanax?
  • Do you need increasingly higher or more frequent doses of Xanax?
  • Have you encountered withdrawal symptoms as the effects of Xanax subside?
  • Do you spend significant amounts of time thinking about and using Xanax?
  • Are you concerned with obtaining a steady supply of Xanax?
  • Despite negative consequences, do you still use Xanax?
  • Do you feel the effects of withdrawal from Xanax?
  • Are you no longer engaging in activities you once enjoyed?

 If you are answering yes to a number of these questions surrounding you or your loved one’s use of Xanax, it may be a signal that you are dealing with a Xanax addiction problem.

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Fight Back Against Xanax

Get evidence-based treatment to overcome Xanax abuse and addiction at Renaissance Recovery. Call our team now to learn more about the process.

Xanax Addiction Symptoms

Xanax addiction is form of substance use disorder.

This is identified and diagnosed according to criteria in the DSM-5-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

These criteria include:

  1. Using more Xanax than intended or for a longer period than planned.
  2. Unsuccessful attempts to control or stop using Xanax.
  3. Spending a significant amount of time using and recovering from Xanax’s effects.
  4. Strong cravings for Xanax.
  5. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms in the absence of Xanax.
  6. Failing to meet personal and professional obligations due to Xanax abuse.
  7. Continuing to use Xanax despite relationship problems caused by benzo abuse.
  8. Giving up social activities in favor of using Xanax.
  9. Using Xanax in potentially hazardous situations.
  10. Continuing to use Xanax even when it is causing or inflaming physical or mental health problems.
  11. Developing tolerance, requiring higher doses of Xanax to achieve the same effects.

Xanax addiction is categorized as mild, moderate, or severe based on the number of criteria met. Regardless of the severity of the problem, the presence of one should be a wake-up call. If you believe that you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, don’t hesitate any longer — reach out for help immediately.

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Dangers of Xanax Addiction

Xanax addiction poses significant dangers due to its ability to cause tolerance and physical dependence, which can ultimately lead to addiction.

Long-term abuse and addiction to Xanax can cause changes in the brain. These changes can affect how the brain functions. Eventually, it may become difficult to function without the medication. The drug becomes necessary to feel normal and to prevent withdrawal symptoms, while its therapeutic benefits decrease.

Abusing Xanax can disrupt several functions and processes, including emotional response, memory, thought processes, muscular coordination, and consciousness. Moreover, Xanax addiction is linked to several adverse health outcomes, such as a heightened risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Withdrawal symptoms can be perilous with benzodiazepines like Xanax. This type of withdrawal can occasionally lead to seizures that can result in a potentially fatal coma. Additionally, Xanax has a high potential for overdose, particularly when used in high doses. Combining Xanax with alcohol or other CNS depressants can also increase the risk of overdose.

Get Help for Xanax Addiction

If you have developed an addiction to Xanax, you should first consult your prescribing physician. It is inadvisable and potentially dangerous to detox from alprazolam without medical oversight.

Call Renaissance Recovery’s treatment centers in Orange County today. We will connect you with licensed medical detox centers in Southern California. This will allow you to reduce your dosage gradually.

Following detox, you can engage with one of the following benzo addiction treatment programs at our luxury beachside treatment facility:

  • IOPs (intensive outpatient programs)
  • PHPs (partial hospitalization programs)
  • Dual diagnosis treatment programs (for co-occurring disorders)

All treatment programs at Renaissance offer individualized addiction treatment that combines science-backed and holistic therapies that may include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Experiential adventure therapy
  • Aftercare

When you are ready to fight back against addiction to Xanax or any other benzodiazepine, call 866.330.9449 for immediate assistance.

Our Xanax Addiction Treatment Programs

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

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