In the US, the most widely-prescribed benzodiazepine drug, Xanax, also happens to be the most abused. Xanax, generic name alprazolam, can be very effective for mental illness symptoms, sleep issues, muscle tension, and debilitating stress, but ultimately, taking the drug is always risky, even when directed by a doctor.
Some people—a lot of people—are prone to misusing Xanax. Most addicts will eventually begin snorting, dissolving, or smoking the tablets instead of swallowing them, and many mix in other drugs as well. In the mid to late 2000s, the number of people who visited emergency rooms due to Xanax overdose more than doubled. According to The Drug Awareness Warning Network, 96,000 of these 125,000 people had mixed their Xanax with alcohol, opiates, marijuana, cocaine, or a combination.
Building a Tolerance to Xanax
Tolerance to Xanax builds quickly, catching many patients and doctors off-guard. Abusing benzodiazepine medications like Xanax can result in an excess of both short-term and long-term effects.
As a medication, benzodiazepines are not meant to be taken for long periods of time due how dramatically the drug alters brain function. If taken for too long, it causes issues with memory, sensory perceptions, and learning abilities.
Addicts can take the drug consistently for months or even years, and this has a lasting effects on the brain and body. Research has shown that these individuals are a greater risk for developing dementia. For those who abuse Xanax for more than six months, the increase is huge: 84 percent.
Dangers of Xanax Abuse
Xanax poses even greater risk to the elderly population, which accounts for 30 percent of all benzodiazepine prescriptions—not only because of Alzheimer’s, but also because the medication appears to impair motor coordination, putting elderly drivers in danger of crashing their cars or tripping while walking.
Also important to know are the more immediate effects of Xanax abuse. These include:
– Nausea and vomiting
– Vision problems (blurring, double-vision)
– Memory issues (short-term or long)
– Attention problems, confusion
– Muscle control problems (spasms, lack of coordination)
– Low libido
– Slurred speech
– Dry mouth
– Loss of appetite
– Mood swings
Recovering from Xanax Abuse
Recovering from the effects of Xanax abuse is difficult and even dangerous to do alone. Recovering from the effects of Xanax abuse is not something you should attempt to do alone. Escaping the drug’s grip will require a weaning process, which is best handled by a physician—in a medical detox center, if deemed necessary.
Once clean and sober, addicts still need to recover from the long-term effects on their mind, body, spirit. Treatment programs teach addicts to come to terms with their past and look toward the future. Attending therapy or group meetings, and maintaining a strong support system is essential for staying on a physically and mentally healthy path void of relapse triggers and resentment or strong, persistent craving. Any long-term physical or cognitive of effects that cannot be fully cured can be treated, with lifestyle changes, behavioral exercises, and mental coping strategies.
Call Hired Power today at 800-910-9299 to begin your journey of recovery and receive the help you need.