Xanax Abuse, Withdrawal Symptoms, and the Need for Medical Supervision
Xanax is one of the most frequently prescribed benzodiazepines on the market – and unfortunately, it’s also one of the deadliest. This small pill is one of the most powerful psychoactive drugs in existence – a fast-acting, incredibly potent ‘cure’ for anxiety and panic disorders.
Each year, thousands of people are prescribed this medication – and thousands more are realizing the ill effects of having been prescribed this medication for what’s, in some cases, years or even decades. It seems like a miracle drug until the withdrawal symptoms kick in after an extended period of Xanax abuse.
This is the case for some unfortunate clients at Icarus Behavioral Health Nevada. There are also plenty of cases of those who abuse Xanax with the specific goal of getting high.
Regardless of your situation, if you believe you need help with Xanax addiction, it’s vital that you don’t take it on alone. Read this article until the end, and we’ll explain how to best navigate making it through your challenges and addiction to Xanax.
So, What Is Xanax?
Xanax is a drug known as alprazolam and is used for treating anxiety and panic disorders. It works by attaching to the receptors of the brain’s gamma-aminobutyric acid-A, which helps reduce feelings of panic, anxiety, and nervousness. Multiple forms of anxiety and panic disorders are treated using Xanax, among other benzodiazepines – the category of drug that Xanax falls under.
It’s important that you’re aware of the risk factors and deadly repercussions involved with Xanax addiction. You don’t necessarily have to engage in Xanax abuse to suffer from the pitfalls of addiction to Xanax. One day you’re seeking treatment for an anxiety disorder – the next, you’re going through life-threatening Xanax withdrawal and dealing with a Xanax addiction you really had no knowledge about.
Xanax Addiction and Severe Withdrawal Symptoms
After extended use of Xanax, it can cause withdrawal symptoms to develop. These effects can last for a long time and can be severe. It’s important to monitor the various signs of withdrawal to prepare for their rapid and severe onset.
The following section provides a list of the various symptoms of withdrawal caused by Xanax. Those who are worried about developing these symptoms should be aware of these signs:
- Rapid Heart Rate
- High Blood Pressure
- Unstable Body Temperature
Rebound Anxiety and Stopping Xanax
One of the most common side effects of withdrawal from Xanax is rebound anxiety. This condition, which is a rapid and intense return of anxiety, occurs after an individual has had a period of remission. When people stop taking Xanax, they tend to rush back into experiencing these symptoms.
The heart rate spikes, blood pressure rises, and the pressure and intensity of the sudden return of panic and anxiety can be extremely dangerous.
If not treated professionally, Xanax addiction and the withdrawal symptoms that accompany it can easily be fatal. It’s important that you know how to manage anxiety disorders without having to abuse Xanax or engage in other forms of drug addiction.
This is easier said than done – but remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way – and there’s always an alternative.
What are the Most Common Signs of Xanax Addiction?
If you know someone that you believe is suffering from Xanax addiction, it’s vital that you understand how to gauge this possibility to help them avoid the pitfalls of substance abuse. Understanding what to look for during the presence of panic and anxiety disorders is important. However, the signals for taking and abusing Xanax are even more important.
Xanax addiction and abuse are potentially two separate issues. For recreational users of Xanax, it is usually used for a specific event – engaging in substance abuse to get high. Those who abuse the drug for a party may combine it with other substances, such as alcohol, to intensify the effects. Those who haven’t yet crossed the line into full-blown Xanax addiction can generally stop without experiencing painful withdrawals.
The Progression of Dependence into Addiction
Although recreational users of Xanax have some control over their drug abuse, chronic use can lead to an addiction. This condition can have a psychological and physical dependence, and it can affect a person’s ability to perform normally. Eventually, the drug abuse turns into dependence, and soon it overtakes nearly every facet of your life.
So what are the signs of someone who is taking Xanax regularly?
- Strong cravings and constantly seeking a source for Xanax
- Constantly talking about the drug
- Doctor shopping or seeking multiple prescriptions
- Needing more Xanax to feel anything
- Needing Xanax just to feel normal
- Difficulty concentrating
- Slurred speech and loss of motor function
- Loss of memory
- Ignoring important tasks
- Neglecting family and work
- Financial problems because of a constant need to purchase Xanax
Can Physical Addiction to Xanax Kill You?
Taking Xanax usually doesn’t cause a significant risk of death, despite the fact that Xanax is stronger than other benzodiazepines. However, out of most other central nervous system depressants, the withdrawal from Xanax is likely the most dangerous, leading to multiple life-threatening events.
The return of generalized anxiety disorder in what’s known as rebound anxiety is one of the first dangers. In addition, suffering from the mental disorders that initially plagued you may be dangerous – especially if you have suicidal tendencies or depression issues. But let’s take a look at some of the most common ways Xanax can kill you, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The Possibility of Deadly Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal from Xanax can lead to fatal complications. In most cases, it can be caused by various side effects. One of these is the likelihood of seizures, which can occur back to back if medical treatment is not available. These can cause brain damage and even death.
Those who suffer from rebound anxiety may also encounter fatal scenarios. It’s crucial to keep in mind the various challenges that come with withdrawal from Xanax, as well as its timeline and half-life. Understanding the drug’s half-life is very important to ensure you can anticipate withdrawal symptoms.
What Is the Xanax Half-Life?
A substance’s half-life is calculated by taking into account the amount of time that it takes to get half of its concentration out of the body. Once this amount has been reached, it is measured by half until it reaches zero. This indicates that the user is ready for withdrawal symptoms to start once the substance has reached zero concentration.
Why Is This Relevant to Long-Term Xanax Use?
Although Xanax’s half-life is around 11 hours, a substance that has several half-lives can take up to 50 hours to fully remove its remaining half from the body. Using these numbers, it usually takes about two days until Xanax is completely eliminated from your body – leaving you in full-blown physical withdrawal and dealing with the most severe symptoms of the detox process.
Once you’re familiar with the timelines of the detox process, you can begin preparing for the effects of attempting to eliminate your drug dependence. So how do you combat long-term Xanax abuse and emerge on the other side of a treatment center?
Options for Overcoming Benzodiazepine Dependence
Medically-supervised detoxes are crucial for people struggling with withdrawal from Xanax. They can provide 24-hour supervision to help keep the client’s mind and body stable. Staff members can also help with the recovery process by giving them medication for the treatment of rebound anxiety.
Various prescription and non-prescription drugs can also be used during a medically-supervised detox to help people overcome their Xanax addiction. For those who are looking to reduce their Xanax intake, a tapering program can be used before or during medical detox. This method involves gradually reducing the amount of the drug over a period of time.
An effective tapering program can help people avoid experiencing the most severe withdrawal episodes. It can also help them find other treatment options.
Tapering or Detox?
It’s not a bad idea to start tapering before you seek treatment and enter a medical detox. The lower your tolerance, the less difficult the detox process.
However, it’s not recommended that you take on the tapering process entirely on your own at home. A physician can help you taper throughout the course of treatment or through an at-home recovery program for Xanax addiction.
Choose Comfort and Safety for the Best Outcomes
When you choose a medical detox, your chances of successfully navigating the first portion of your recovery are much higher. Unfortunately, most people fail when the withdrawal symptoms become too much to bear, leading to relapse to avoid the most uncomfortable side effects.
In addition, a medical setting will also help to keep you stable and avoid the additional dangers that might take place during the withdrawal period. You’ll need to remain stable and receive plenty of liquids to stay hydrated – a vital part of physical recovery.
Dehydration itself is a potentially fatal side effect, so having additional medical help on hand is a lifesaver.
Begin Long Term Recovery from Xanax Addiction at Icarus
If you’re suffering from Xanax addiction, long-term recovery is possible with our experienced Icarus Behavioral Health Nevada treatment team. With our years of knowledge and experience and your drive and motivation, there’s nothing stopping you from achieving your recovery goals.
If you’ve attempted to overcome Xanax in the past – or even if it’s your first time, we have a personalized care plan that fits your needs, mentally and physically. For more information on how we can get you matched up with the right personalized treatment plan, contact our admissions team today!