The Effects of Xanax Abuse

Xanax addict

Everyone goes through ups and downs, and sometimes life can feel overwhelming, but seeking a different way to escape reality is not the answer. These ups and downs can seem like stress or anxiety, and often medication might seem like the answer. After all, a pill seems like an easy fix compared to life’s turbulence.

Our modern world has made it incredibly easy to walk into a Doctor’s office and request a pill to seemingly fix whatever ails us. If not the Doctor’s office, most prescription drugs are easy to find on the street. Xanax is the brand name for a commonly prescribed benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines, in particular, have been heavily prescribed for issues such as anxiety, stress and other conditions. Conditions that have little, if any, basis in a physical ailment. As these prescriptions are only meant for short-term use, those who become addicted quickly transition to finding the drug on the street. When users first try Xanax, many quickly notice feeling calmer and more relaxed. It can increase your confidence and make you feel happy. You might feel on top of the world and that you are able to face all of your fears. While this effect is short-lived, it is real. The problem is they do not provide a long-term solution, and continued use will lead to addiction. Once addicted, users are forced to either find the drug on the street or illegally “doctor shop.”

This is the trap.

People sometimes think it is safe to take Xanax because the doctor prescribed it, but the reality is that it may be far more dangerous than other drugs. One clue about just how dangerous Xanax can be would be to take a look at the pill bottle it comes in. Plastered with warnings that the drug may be addictive and to not drive while using them, all of them are real and would very likely happen to you. The medication is fast-acting, and by the time you realize you are dependent, it’s already too late.

Many people begin using Xanax or other benzodiazepines, believing they can easily stop. However, users quickly develop a physical dependence on these drugs. In fact, the withdrawal symptoms are so overwhelming that many users will stay on the medication so they don’t feel the withdrawal effects when stopping it. This physical dependence and the fear of withdrawal is another step toward addiction. To make matters worse, pills found on the street can contain fentanyl, a deadly opioid.

Withdrawal from Xanax can last from 5 to 28 days after stopping, and in some cases, a person may not be back to normal for up to one year. Let’s talk about the withdrawal symptoms that can and most likely happen when stopping the medication.

Depressed mother at home, xanax effect

Users will suffer from extreme anxiety, major stress, and overwhelming feelings from what’s going on around them. They might isolate from family and friends because they don’t feel normal. They will feel weak and very unhappy, they will experience shaking hands, and will not be able to focus or even concentrate on anything. Hot and cold body flashes will definitely occur, as well as not being able to sleep, having vivid dreams, not eating, hallucinations and delusions. Xanax will cause seizures when suddenly quitting the medication, which is why a person should never just stop the medication without professional supervision.

Individuals who are withdrawing from Xanax addiction often first spend a few days in a medical center where they are weaned off the drug little by little. This process is necessary because withdrawal from benzodiazepines can result in death if not managed. This is another clue to just how dangerous these drugs are.

Medications can help with many physical ailments, but taking a drug to mask feelings is never a good idea. Learning to deal with life on its own terms and not masking the effects is a critical skill for anyone to learn. Unfortunately, many who have not often end up caught in the trap of addiction. Before taking any medication, it is important to understand the effects and potential risks.



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AUTHOR

Heni Azzam

Heni earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Video Production from the Art Institute of Houston and went on to work in the media for 16 years, eventually becoming an Operations Manager for a television station. Having witnessed the harm that drugs and alcohol wreak on people’s lives, he is now utilizing his skills to spread awareness about drug and alcohol addiction and to bring hope to families and individuals who are battling addiction.

NARCONON ARROWHEAD

DRUG EDUCATION AND REHABILITATION