Drug abuse can be concealed for a while, making addiction both a dangerous and insidious disease. Indicators of abuse are mainly evident during advanced stages of addiction, however, they are noticeable earl;y on if you know what signs to look for. According to a study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 4 percent of Americans met the criteria for a substance use disorder within the past year, with approximately 10 percent reporting a substance use disorder at some time in their lives.
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While many indicators of addiction are universal, some substances generate substance- specific side effects within the user. Such is true with Xanax abuse. Xanax is an addictive prescription drug classified as a benzodiazepine. Because of the potential harm that Xanax addiction causes, it is important to understand the common indicators of substance addiction in general, as well as the unique signs of Xanax abuse. By understanding these symptoms, you will be equipped to discern if you or a loved one is battling a Xanax addiction.
Common Indicators of Addiction
Many signs of addiction are universal. These common indicators may be applied to any substance addiction, from Xanax, to opioids and alcohol. They include:
- Change in Appearance
If an individual has lost or gained significant weight, it is often a sign that a substance addiction has developed. Being indifferent towards personal hygiene or grooming is also common among those battling addiction.
- Financial and Legal Troubles
Those struggling with a substance addiction are frequently involved in legal issues, such as arrests or receiving citations. Due to the cost of maintaining a supply of their drug of choice, financial stress is another common indicator of abuse.
- Loss of Interest
Once an addiction has fully formed, individuals often lose interest in hobbies and relationships they once enjoyed. The addiction eventually becomes the sole interest of the individual.
- Neglecting Responsibilities
Neglecting family, employment, or other fundamental responsibilities is a strong indicator of substance abuse. Once addiction has developed, the only remaining responsibility in the mind of the user is obtaining more of their drug of choice.
Signs of Xanax Abuse
Xanax has a profound impact on an individual’s life and health. These signs are unique to Xanax abuse. Along with the previously listed common indicators, 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.
Asheville Recovery Center Can Help
Xanax is a highly addictive prescription substance that has the potential to cause irreversible damage when abused. It is important to seek help immediately if you or a loved one is struggling with this addiction. At Asheville Recovery Center, treatment specialists have developed a unique, hybrid model of treatment which combines a traditional 12-step program with holistic rehabilitation. A multitude of services, programs, and therapies are offered, including the Partial Hospitalization Program, Residential-style treatment, outpatient rehabilitation, and more.
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 alone. 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.