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Xanax Addiction: The Truth About The Risks Of Xanax Use

The long-term use of benzodiazepines like Xanax can potentially create problems with dependence and withdrawal. Before taking alprazolam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other benzodiazepines (such as diazepam, lorazepam); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.

  • You might be easily annoyed or short-tempered with family or friends.
  • Some people take the medication recreationally to feel carefree or overly relaxed.
  • These are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • If you have a loved one who’s struggling with addiction, staging an intervention is often the first necessary step towards sobriety, but it’s important to be strategic and loving in your approach.
  • Tapering off Xanax without medical supervision can be dangerous.
  • Most people find that their physical symptoms are worse on the second day and improve by the fourth or fifth day.

Reckless prescribing practices have contributed to thousands of cases of dependence and misuse. Research shows that in 2018, an estimated 5.4 million people over the age of 12 misused prescription benzodiazepines like Xanax. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Why Does Xanax Lead to Dependence and Addiction?

In the US – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at FDA-1088 or at /medwatch. Drowsiness, dizziness, increased saliva production, or change in sex drive/ability may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

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  • Rarely, users may develop antisocial behaviors, causing them to experience fits of rage or lash out at others.
  • Xanax can cause physical and psychological dependence or addiction even in people who take it as prescribed.
  • The first time I popped a Xanax was the first time I felt relief from my anxiety disorder… There was something oddly comforting about Xanax — the way it came in many shapes and colors, like peach and blue.

If you have a history of kidney problems, your body may have trouble eliminating Xanax. This means the drug could build up in your blood, which could increase your risk of side effects. If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.

Physical Symptoms of Xanax Abuse

A course of Xanax should not last longer than one or two weeks, but sometimes it is prescribed on an “as-needed” basis for panic attacks. You may benefit from one or more of these types of behavioral therapy. Upon leaving the treatment center, many people will pursue a 12-step recovery program to maintain abstinence or stabilization and maintenance. And, as you develop tolerance to the drug (this can happen with any dose), the duration of its therapeutic xanax addiction effects becomes shorter, while the feeling of “comedown” leading to the withdrawal comes quicker. Signs of overdose usually develop within four hours of a dose, which is the time when the drug concentration is highest in the body. Xanax, one of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines, is generally considered safe for short-term use, but it can cause side effects like sleepiness, headaches, lethargy, dry mouth, and memory problems.

  • It’s important to note that a doctor can help you taper your Xanax dosage even if your Xanax wasn’t prescribed to you.
  • If you take this medication as it’s intended — it’s commonly prescribed to treat anxiety or panic disorders — you may feel “normal” after your first dose.
  • Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.

Tapering means taking progressively smaller doses over the course of several weeks. It is not recommended to taper without the assistance and recommendations from your prescribing doctor. Xanax is a high-potency drug, which makes its withdrawal symptoms more intense than symptoms of withdrawal from other types of benzodiazepines such as Valium (diazepam). The first symptoms of Xanax withdrawal appear within 8 to 12 hours of your last dose. Most people find that their physical symptoms are worse on the second day and improve by the fourth or fifth day.

Signs and Symptoms of Xanax Addiction

This cycle often spirals into a long-term dependency, accompanied by a series of withdrawal symptoms like nausea, increased anxiety, and in severe cases, seizures. Physicians typically prescribe Xanax for patients grappling with various forms of anxiety, panic disorders, and occasionally insomnia. By depressing neural activity, Xanax helps to alleviate symptoms, letting the individual experience a greater sense of calm and relaxation. Therefore, treating Xanax addiction usually involves a gradual reduction in the amount of the substance ingested.

  • Although some people can take benzodiazepines without complications, some individuals may develop dependence, and others may misuse the medication.
  • This means that you will likely experience Xanax withdrawal, or the uncomfortable physical and mental symptoms of discontinuing the drug.
  • They may also turn to alcohol or other depressants when Xanax isn’t available.

Everyone who takes the drug regularly will develop tolerance, meaning they’ll require higher doses to feel the same therapeutic effect. Patients with a high tolerance to Xanax may require doses greater than 4 milligrams per day, increasing their risk for dependence. If you are taking Xanax as prescribed, check with your doctor before taking another drug or drinking alcohol. Checking with a medical expert can reveal any potentially dangerous effects from mixing substances, and this could protect you against severe injury and dependence on Xanax. During this stage, attempting to stop taking the drug seems like an unbearable challenge.


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