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Xanax Abuse – Hauppauge (631)-729-7104

Xanax is a trade brand of the drug alprazolam, which is commonly prescribed by physicians to treat anxiety and panic disorders. This prescription drug is a central nervous system depressant that belongs to the family of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines work by increasing the effects of the tranquilizing neurotransmitter GABA to create a calming effect.

While Xanax has improved the lives of countless people suffering from anxiety and panic disorders, it’s one of the most highly abused prescription drugs. Xanax abuse can lead to a number of mental and physical health problems, including increasing the risk of developing an addiction.

Xanax abuse occurs when someone uses this medication for non-medicinal purposes or regularly exceeds the prescribed dose. Abuse of this drug is often facilitated by physicians who over-prescribe it and by illegal pharmacies that can be accessed through the Internet.

Treating Xanax abuse before it results in physical dependence is essential for preventing long-term problems associated with drug abuse and addiction.

About Benzodiazepines

The benzodiazepine family of central nervous system depressants includes Xanax and other similar drugs like Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan. Although the abuse of Xanax and other “benzos” is a major problem in the United States, these prescription medications are listed as Schedule IV drugs by the Federal government. This means that they are considered to have a lower potential for abuse than drugs in the previous three schedules.

Xanax is known on the streets as “Zannies,” “Bars,” “Sticks,” and “Zanbars,” among other names.

Why is Xanax So Addictive?

Unlike other benzodiazepines, Xanax is very fast acting. Its calming effects can take hold in 20 minutes or less. Because this drug has a short half-life, it gets metabolized in the blood faster than other similar drugs. Users often begin craving more of the drug within just a few hours. This can quickly lead to the patient developing a physical dependence.

Signs and Symptoms of Xanax Abuse

Signs are objective indicators of prescription drug abuse that other people can see, such as a loss of motor coordination. Symptoms are subjective indicators of prescription drug abuse that are felt by someone who is abusing the drug.

Signs and symptoms that you or someone you love may be abusing Xanax include:

    • Mood symptoms like anxiety, mood swings, and agitation.
    • Physical symptoms such as: swelling in the hands and feet, decreased urination, loss of coordination, digestive problems, dizziness, blurred or double vision, tachycardia, tremors, and seizure.
    • Forging or stealing prescriptions, losing prescriptions so that more must be written, and getting prescriptions from more than one doctor.
    • Taking pills in frequencies or amounts other than prescribed.
    • Chewing or crushing pills to increase the effects.
    • Neglecting responsibilities and performing poorly at work or school.
    • Continuing to abuse the drug even though it’s causing relationship, financial, and/or legal problems.

The most important indicator of an addition to this or any other drug is the onset of withdrawal symptoms when the use of the drug is discontinued.

Health Effects of Abusing Xanax

Abusing xanax dramatically increases the risk of becoming addicted to it. Other physical and mental health risks associated with a long-term abuse include:

  • Chronic depression.
  • Psychotic episodes.
  • Aggressive and/or impulsive behaviors.
  • States of delirium.
  • Impaired cognitive functioning.

Treatment of Xanax Addiction and Abuse

The first step of drug treatment for an addiction to this prescription drug is detoxification. Because there are no medications to treat withdrawal symptoms associated with Xanax and other benzodiazepines, the detox process is a matter of weaning the patient from the drug by gradually reducing the doses to prevent the onset of withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms of withdrawal associated with this substance include:

  • Insomnia.
  • Anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
  • Intense sweating.
  • Tingling in the hands and feet.
  • Seizures.
  • Dangerous increases in body temperature and blood pressure.

A variety of addiction treatment therapies are used to treat the complex psychological issues surrounding an addiction to Xanax.

    • Family therapy can improve the home environment for the patient and their loved ones.
    • Group therapy that draws on the benefits of shared experiences and peer support can encourage patients to create relationships with non-using people.
    • Behavioral therapies help patients replace harmful behaviors and thought processes with healthy ones and teach coping skills to deal with cravings, stress, and triggers.
    • After treatment is successfully completed, an aftercare program is developed based on individual needs to help promote long-term recovery and provide ongoing support.
    • Support is offered through recovery groups, individual and family counseling, vocational rehab, and continued monitoring of any underlying mental or physical health issues and new and emerging needs.

Call Drug Treatment Centers Hauppauge at (631)-729-7104 for additional information on prescription drug abuse treatment.

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