The Effects of Xanax Addiction
In 1976, what is now one of the most prescribed benzodiazepines was introduced to the world. Its generic name, alprazolam, may not sound familiar, but its brand name Xanax has became a household name. This medication has profuse anti anxiety effects; helping millions of people to relax and de-stress. However, because of its potency and ease of availability, it is one of the most abused prescription medications with about 50 million prescriptions being written in the U.S. on an annual basis.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is a benzodiazepine which comes in a tablet or extended release capsule. It alleviates anxiety, relaxes muscles and is a mild sedative. When taken as prescribed, it can help people with the following disorders:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
Xanax blocks the gamma receptors in the brain while “hyperpolarizing” the brain cells. When this happens, the brains neurons that are responsible for inducing anxiety, stress and fear, do not fire as frequently. As a result, the person will feel less anxious or fearful and calmer. Unlike other medications for depression or anxiety, Xanax and other benzos’ work immediately after ingested and can last for 8-24 hours depending on the dosage.
The immediate effects of Xanax include euphoria, relaxation and sensations of being “carefree”. It is these feelings which are the primary causes of abuse. In addition to these feelings, Xanax is abused because it is relatively easy to get in most countries. If a prescription is not available, purchasing the drug on the streets or via the web is an option. Unfortunately, people who are dependent on Xanax do not understand that while it is safe for short term medical use, it has some worrying effects when it is abused.
Short and Long Term Effects of Xanax
Xanax has a number of short and long term side effects which can lead to serious health issues. Even when taken as prescribed, a person can experience these; but, in most instances these effects occur when Xanax is abused. The following are the most common side effects:
- Decreased urine output
- Swelling in hands and feet
- Blurred or double vision
- Memory problems
- Rapid weight loss
- Jaundice or yellowing of the skin
- Stomach problems, constipation, or diarrhea
- Heart palpitations
- Increase in blood pressure
- Cognitive impairment
- Suicidal thoughts
- Violent behaviors
The above symptoms can become stronger when Xanax is mixed with alcohol, cocaine, marijuana or other prescription medications. Moreover, when Xanax is consumed with any of the aforementioned, the risk of overdosing or death significantly increases.
In addition to the aforementioned, Xanax can cause mental or emotional symptoms including nightmares, disorientation, confusion, hallucinations, cognitive impairment, scattered thoughts and distress. These become more intense when there are serious underlying mental health issues such as bipolar, schizophrenia, multiple personality disorder or extreme OCD .
Withdrawing from Xanax can be Dangerous
One of the primary drawbacks with long term use or abuse of Xanax is the withdrawal. This happens because the brain has adjusted to the drugs’ effects. When Xanax is suddenly stopped rather than slowly tapered off, the activity in the brain excels rapidly causing the withdrawal symptoms to set in. These include anxiety, shaking, tremors, agitation, nervousness, rapid heart rate and high blood pressure. When the addiction is severe, death can occur.
In addition to the onset of withdrawal from immediate stopping, mild symptoms of withdrawal can occur in between dosages. This is due to the short half life of Xanax; in other words, it enters and leaves the body quickly. As mild as these symptoms can be, they can increase the desire or need to take more Xanax. A tolerance ends up building and an addiction to the medication begins. Because of this unique attribute to Xanax, a majority of doctors will not prescribe this medication for long term use.
Ultimately, a gradual reduction of Xanax should be implemented to decrease or avoid a potentially life threatening withdrawal. This is when the help and support of a Xanax rehab can be useful.
Getting Help at a Xanax Addiction Rehab
Realistically, if you have an addiction to Xanax, you may want to consider an inpatient rehab center. You will begin with a monitored detox followed by an intensive treatment program. While you may experience some discomfort, mild agitation and difficulty concentrating, you will have constant 24-7 support. In Thailand, Xanax rehab programs will address the core problems of using. Coinciding with this will be a number of traditional and holistic therapies, group counselling and outside excursions to clear the mind.
Serenity Rehab Thailand is one of the leading private holistic based facilities for Xanax addictions. Allowing only a maximum of 20 people at any one time, you can guarantee you or a loved one will have the care and attention which is vital for a healthy, whole recovery.
If you would like to know more about our Xanax rehab programs in Thailand, please contact us today.