Xanax® Dependency

Xanax® is one of the most commonly seen drugs in prescription drug abuse treatment. Xanax® is classified as a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are sedatives or tranquilizers that depress the central nervous system. They are usually prescribed to treat anxiety disorders. Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin are other benzodiazepines. Xanax®, the brand name for alprazolam, is prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and insomnia. Because it is a central nervous system depressant it slows normal brain function. Unfortunately, its abuse leads easily to dependency. For cases of dependency one should seek a dependency treatment or drug treatment program.

Anxiety disorders are characterized by unrealistic worry and apprehension. Symptoms of anxiety disorders include restlessness, aches, trembling, shortness of breath, smothering sensation, palpitations, sweating, cold clammy hands, lightheadedness, flushing, exaggerated startle responses, problems concentrating, and insomnia. Panic attacks happen unexpectedly or are triggered in certain situations (such as while driving).

Information on Xanax® Dependency

Long Term Use Affects

  • Impaired Cognitive Function
  • Confusion
  • Slurred Speech
  • Weakness
  • Tolerance to Medication
  • Physical Dependence

Xanax® dependency occurs when taken in high doses over long periods of time. A person’s body will develop a tolerance for Xanax® and more is required to achieve the same affect. A person with an dependency to this drug can go through withdrawal if its use is reduced or stopped. Its use creates both a physical and emotional dependency.

Young, healthy people often abuse Xanax. Similar to OxyContin® and Ritalin®, Xanax® has found its way from pharmacies to drug dealers. Often a physical and emotional dependence to Xanax® occurs with the abuse of others drugs such as alcohol or cocaine. It is commonly abused to create a high similar to one created by alcohol. The abuse of Xanax® gives a person a feelings of euphoria and increased sociability. For a person with a dependence on Xanax®, it may be taken orally, chewed, crushed (then snorted like cocaine), or crushed (then dissolved in water and injected like heroin). A person addicted to Xanax® may be taking 20-30 pills per day.

Xanax® is one of the most commonly found cases in prescription drug abuse treatment. For some, it is so easy to obtain. Three out of every four drugs used illegally in the U.S. are prescription drugs. According to the government, abuse of prescription drugs has doubled in the past 10 years. The latest research concluded that four million people were estimated to be abusing prescription drugs in 1999. According to a 2000 survey conducted by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, almost five million people have taken Xanax® or another anti-anxiety drug for non-medical reasons

Detox and Withdrawal from Xanax®

During detoxification from a Xanax® dependency, the dose must be gradually tapered off. A person in withdrawal from a dependency to Xanax® may experience insomnia, headaches, nausea, vomiting, light-headedness, sweating, anxiety, or fatigue. In severe cases of withdrawal from Xanax®, seizures can occur. Klonopin is sometimes prescribed to help while a patient is being weaned off Xanax®. Klonopin is also a benzodiazepine, but is less addictive.

Treatment for Xanax® Dependency

For individuals in need of a Xanax® dependency treatment, care and support is available at Wells House. Prescription drug abuse treatment involves cognitive-behavioral therapy as well as experiential therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps an individual to modify his thinking and behaviors and to increase his coping skills. Experiential therapy at Wells House involves outdoor activities such as hiking in the mountains, mountain biking, equine therapy, and indoor activities on the world’s largest indoor ropes and challenge course.