Many prescription drugs can be addictive when they are misused or taken for much longer than intended. The same is true for Xanax. If your doctor writes you a prescription for Xanax, you should always take it as prescribed, or if you feel uncomfortable, seek out a second medical opinion for other medication options. Otherwise, any misuse of Xanax may result in very serious consequences.
Xanax: A Highly Addictive Anti-Anxiety Drug
Xanax is a prescription drug that is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, some phobias, and depression. According to the Mayo Clinic, this drug is a depressant, which slows down the activity of the nervous system and brain, providing a calming effect for the user.1
Xanax is extremely addictive when used long-term, therefore it’s typically only prescribed on a short-term basis. You are much more likely to develop a dependence if you take larger doses than necessary or continue to use it longer than prescribed. You may also eventually develop a tolerance which will require you to take more of the drug to achieve the same effect. Additionally, Xanax should never be used in conjunction with other depressants such as alcohol, as this can affect heart rhythm and breathing or even be deadly.2
Unfortunately, Xanax abuse is common because many people can obtain a prescription legally from their doctor, buy it illegally from a dealer, or even forge a prescription.3
Physical Effects of Xanax Abuse
The effects of Xanax abuse are very harmful and can lead to serious medical complications. Common physical health effects of Xanax abuse may include4:
- Impaired memory
- Lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Slowed breathing
- Lowered blood pressure
Other Consequences and Effects of Xanax Abuse
Xanax abuse and addiction affect all aspects of life, including finances, psychological health, and relationships with spouses, friends, and co-workers.
- Problems at work – People who abuse Xanax regularly often feel very lethargic and tired, which results in a lack of interest in hobbies and activities they used to enjoy. This may also translate as apathy in many situations at work, which could quickly cause problems with a boss or co-workers. In addition, Xanax abuse can cause memory problems, which may interfere with the ability to complete tasks correctly and efficiently, and uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal can cause a person to call in sick frequently.
- Strained relationships – Xanax misuse and addiction also places increased stress on relationships with spouses, siblings, and friends because it frequently involves lying about whereabouts, habits or daily activities. In some cases, it may also cause irrational or violent behaviors.
- Financial insecurity – Oftentimes drug abuse is also coupled with financial issues because the user will drain bank accounts or misuse funds in order to maintain a supply of the drug. This could lead to eviction, repossession of personal items, If you are suffering from Xanax addiction, you may be putting your own (or your family’s) financial health at risk as a result.
- Severe depression – Xanax abuse can also result in severe psychological problems, such as feelings of emptiness, sadness, and depression.1 These emotions may even lead to self-harming thoughts and behaviors which are always significant cause for concern.
The effects of Xanax abuse are far-reaching and should be taken very seriously. Just because a drug is prescribed by a doctor does not make it safe for abuse.
Treatment Options for Xanax Addiction
If you or a loved one is addicted to Xanax, you should never attempt to stop using it on your own. Depending on the severity of the dependence, withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be very dangerous if it’s done in an unmonitored environment.2
- Medically Assisted Detox – Treatment for Xanax misuse and addiction should always begin with a medically supervised detox program. At Hill Country Detox, our clinical detox programs provide you with the support of a team of addiction specialists who can taper down your withdrawal symptoms and comfortably help you transition into a sober state.
- Inpatient and Outpatient Drug Rehabilitation – Following the completion of a detox program, a long-term inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment program will also provide extensive individual and group counseling to identify root issues and causes of your addiction, as well as help you work through the 12 steps of recovery alongside your peers. Cognitive behavioral therapy has also been shown to successfully aid in the cessation of benzodiazepine use, such as with Xanax.2
The effects of Xanax abuse can cause a number of serious physical health problems and other problems in life. If you think you or a loved one may be addicted, the most beneficial thing you can do is seek treatment immediately. Please contact Hill Country Detox today to learn more about our individualized Xanax detox program and how it can help you begin your life of sobriety.