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What is Xanax?
Xanax is prescribed to manage severe anxiety and is only recommended for people over 18. Benzodiazepines are only ever recommended for short-term use because of the risk of becoming physically dependant if used repeatedly. Xanax should not be used unless prescribed by a doctor.
What are the uses of Xanax?
Xanax is used recreationally for the feeling of relaxation or euphoric high it causes. It’s also used for coping with the comedown following the use of other drugs. Using it, for this reason, increases the risk of harm or adverse effects, as the other drugs might still be in your system.
Xanax acts very quickly but often the euphoric or high feeling passes quickly which can lead people to take more. Repeatedly using Xanax increases the likelihood of developing a tolerance, which can cause people to take higher volumes to get the same effect. This increases the risk of physical dependence and overdose.
What are the side effects of Xanax?
Xanax Mild Side Effects:
Most medications have at least some risk for unwanted side effects. In some cases, side effects are relatively mild, and might only result in slight discomfort or inconvenience; others might even resolve at some point, once the body acclimates somewhat to the presence of the drug.
Some relatively mild side effects from Xanax use may include:
- Concentration difficulties.
- Feeling of heaviness.
- Dry mouth or increased salivation.
In some instances, side effects may develop when Xanax therapy is initiated, then fade over time as tolerance to some of the more subjective effects grows with continued use.
Xanax Severe Side Effects:
Often elicited in a dose-dependent manner, some of the potentially more severe side effects of Xanax include:
- Profound decline in memory.
- Marked confusion/disorientation.
- Ataxia/loss of coordination/unsteadiness.
- Increased injury risk (e.g., from falls, accidents).
- Paradoxical anxiety, excitement, and/or hyperactivity.
- Respiratory depression/stopped breathing
- Significant physiological dependence and corresponding increased risk of severe withdrawal reactions.
In addition to some of the more short-term effects, studies have indicated that the long-term use of benzodiazepines like alprazolam is strongly associated with a cumulatively increased risk of dementia.
Xanax addiction is becoming more prevalent in today’s world, with increasing instances of panic and anxiety disorder. Xanax has a high potential for abuse and addiction, which are different problems. Xanax (generic name alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine (benzo), also known as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Xanax is prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders and sometimes used as a sleep aid.
Even when Xanax is taken as prescribed, anyone can become addicted to Xanax as dependence happens rapidly with benzos. Since Xanax addiction can occur quickly, it is crucial to recognize the effects of Xanax and the symptoms of Xanax addiction. It’s also important to know the difference between Xanax abuse and Xanax addiction.
Xanax Abuse and Xanax Addiction: What’s the Difference?
Although the signs and symptoms of Xanax abuse and Xanax addiction are the same, there is a difference in being addicted to Xanax or abusing Xanax. When someone is abusing Xanax, they are often taking it at certain times, perhaps during a stressful situation or for a specific occasion. When someone is abusing Xanax, they can likely stop at any time. When someone is addicted to Xanax, they are unable to control their intake of Xanax, and they have a compulsion to take it regardless of the consequences. An addict needs Xanax to function normally and cannot manage daily life without it. Needing Xanax to function is when the line from abuse crosses into addiction to Xanax.
When someone who is addicted to Xanax stops taking it without medical supervision, they can go into life-threatening drug withdrawal. There are treatment options available for Xanax addiction.
Behavioral Signs of Xanax Abuse and Xanax Addiction
When Xanax is abused, it can cause strange behaviors. Some of the most common behavioral signs of Xanax abuse are stealing, slurred speech, disorientation and memory problems.
- Stealing – Many people impulsively steal when they are high on Xanax. If you notice your loved one going through random spurts of acquiring things they usually wouldn’t have, they may be abusing Xanax.
- Slurred Speech– When someone is abusing Xanax, it has a strong effect on them. Since Xanax is a depressant, it can cause slurring of speech like alcohol. When someone is addicted, the side effects of Xanax won’t be as noticeable because that is how their body is now used to functioning.
- Disorientation and Memory Problems – Disorientation and memory loss are common signs of Xanax abuse. Xanax is used to treat anxiety by slowing down nerve cell activity in the brain; this can cause disorientation in the user. It can cause short-term amnesia or Xanax blackouts in those who are abusing Xanax. If someone is addicted to Xanax, they can end up missing large chunks of time and have no memory of what they’ve done for up to weeks at a time.
If you think that your loved one is exhibiting any of these behavioral signs, they may be abusing Xanax or addicted to Xanax. If someone is abusing or addicted to Xanax, they cannot abruptly stop taking the medication. Xanax withdrawal is one of the only drug withdrawals that can be deadly.
Signs and Symptoms of Xanax Addiction or Abuse
The physical symptoms of Xanax addiction or abuse mimic extreme drunkenness and can also be similar to some of the physical signs of opiate abuse. Some of the most common physical symptoms of Xanax addiction or abuse are:
- Drowsiness/lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Dry mouth
- Swelling in hands and feet
- Fluctuations in weight
While these are common physical signs of abuse, Xanax symptoms in an abuser may be similar to those common to alcohol abuse and opiate abuse. Although Xanax can be abused by itself, many addicts will combine multiple drugs to create a more intense high. Benzos such as Xanax have been a significant factor in overdose deaths in the past few years. Mixing other drugs or alcohol with Xanax is extremely dangerous and potentially fatal.