Determining if you are struggling with Xanax addiction requires an in-depth examination of priorities and habits. Do you require Xanax to get through the day? Is your Xanax use supervised by the prescribing physician?
In order to determine if you are addicted to Xanax, you will need to be able to identify the common signs of this addiction, as well as understand the dangers of Xanax abuse if left untreated.
Signs of Xanax Abuse
Xanax has a profound impact on an individual’s life and health. These signs are unique to Xanax abuse. The following side effects are indicators that Xanax use has become an addiction.
- Mood Disturbances
Due to the chemical effects, Xanax has on the brain, extreme mood swings and mood imbalance are common indicators that Xanax is being abused. By minimizing the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA, Xanax promotes a sense of calm. However, prolonged or excessive use can cause bouts of violence, agitation, extreme risk-taking, or thoughts of suicide.
One of the most dangerous side effects of Xanax addiction is the risk of seizure. If an individual has been taking this prescription drug for over four weeks and then abruptly stops using, they may experience life-threatening seizures. This occurs when the absence of Xanax causes brain synapses to fire off since the chemical presence the brain had become dependent on is no longer present.
- Increased Anxiety
As a prescription medication often used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, it is surprising to learn that Xanax abuse can actually worsen these disorders. Because Xanax affects GABA neurotransmitters, the brain eventually becomes unable to naturally manage GABA without the presence of Xanax. If Xanax use is stopped or minimized, anxiety will reemerge, and possibly be more intense.
Dangers of Xanax Abuse
As a prescription drug, Xanax poses little risk when prescription guidelines are followed; however, abuse of this benzodiazepine often leads to serious health concerns. Having a high potential for abuse, Xanax stimulates the brain’s GABA receptors which are responsible for producing a sense of calm. After prolonged or excessive use, the brain becomes dependent on the substance to continue GABA functioning. Because of this dependence, seizures and other serious withdrawal symptoms may occur with abrupt Xanax discontinuance.
Xanax abuse can cause many adverse reactions when abused on its own, but combining this benzodiazepine with other substances is extremely dangerous and one of the most common causes of overdose. When combined with alcohol, heart and breathing rates plummet, resulting in cardiac or respiratory suppression or arrest. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association, the estimated number of Xanax-related emergency department visits doubled from 57,419 visits in 2005 to 124,902 visits in 2010 with 19 percent involving Xanax only and 39 percent involving a combination with another drug, most commonly alcohol.
Treatment for Xanax Addiction
Addiction is a devastating disease and you do not have to fight it alone. The founders of Asheville Recovery Center, as well as many of our addiction therapists, have struggled with addiction and now enjoy life in recovery. They understand the struggles of addiction and how difficult it is to overcome on your own.
At Asheville Recovery Center, specialists have combined various therapies, treatments and 12-step approaches to develop an effective, hybrid model of treatment designed to fit every individual’s unique circumstances.
If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call (828) 518-6996 and speak with an addiction expert today so you can take the first step towards a rewarding life of sobriety.