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Xanax Addiction

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Xanax Addiction In the Media

It seems like Xanax addiction has a deadly glamor to it. For the last decade, popular rap and hip-hop artists have referenced Xanax in their music. Although he recently became sober, rapper Lil Xan derived his name from Xanax. The BBC reported that kids in the UK buy Xanax via Instagram. But this misperception of glamor around Xanax causes a great deal of harm.

NY Addiction Resources intends to answer the following questions about Xanax addiction:

  • What is Xanax?
  • Why do people become addicted to Xanax?
  • What are some examples of Xanax withdrawal symptoms?
  • What is benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome?
  • How can someone get help for Xanax addiction?

What Is Xanax?

We classify Xanax as a benzodiazepine. You may hear these referred to as “benzos” or ”BZDs.” Benzos work by manipulating a particular part of the brain. Our brains make an amino acid called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Researchers refer to GABA as an inhibitory neurotransmitter.

This means that GABA slows our brains down. It slows down our thinking, our digestion, and even our breathing. GABA helps us relax. Benzodiazepines, like Xanax, prompt our brain to make more GABA. With more GABA in our brains, we experience a pleasurable feeling of sedation.

Why Do People Become Addicted To Xanax?

The chemical name for Xanax is alprazolam. Prescribers use it to treat anxiety, seizures, and even alcohol withdrawal. After taking a dose, one might notice effects within a few minutes. Researchers consider Xanax a short-acting benzodiazepine. It may remain in the body for 6-27 hours.

After the onset of Xanax, a person may appear drowsy and sluggish. They may report feeling numb. This feeling provides one of the reasons people struggle with addiction to Xanax. It relieves feelings unpleasant feelings almost instantly. But, no two people have the same life. So no two addiction struggles will look the same.

Other factors that can lead to Xanax addiction include:

  • Genetics
  • Early family life
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Presence (or lack) of meaningful relationships
  • Past abuse or trauma

What Are Some Examples Of Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms?

When a person needs Xanax to function, we say they have become dependent. If a person reaches this stage of addiction, they may experience withdrawal. Withdrawal occurs when a person goes too long without a dose. Xanax withdrawal can occur within only 3-4 weeks of using it.

Some symptoms of Xanax withdrawal include:

  • Headaches
  • Rebound insomnia or rebound anxiety
  • Pain in the muscles and joints
  • Dizziness
  • Paranoia

What Is Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome?

Withdrawing from drugs like Xanax has become common. The symptoms tend to cluster in similar ways. So much so that this phenomenon even has a name – benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome (BWS). BWS can prove exceptionally taxing – especially in older clients.

Earlier, we mentioned rebound anxiety and rebound insomnia. Benzodiazepines can (and do) help with anxiety and insomnia. But even with a prescription, stopping benzos cold turkey can lead to a rebound of symptoms. The symptoms that led you to take the benzo in the first place can come back. And sometimes they come back stronger than they were before.

Those experiencing BWS might also suffer from:

  • Stomach cramps or pains
  • Hallucinations: seeing or hearing things that do not actually exist
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Depression
  • Restless limbs

Can We Prevent Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome?

Those taking benzos can exhibit dependence in as little as 3-4 weeks. Never stop taking any medication before consulting your prescriber. When ending a benzo prescription, research indicates tapering as the best method.

Tapering means slowly and deliberately decreasing the dose. Your prescriber may do this over a period. Instead of quitting cold turkey, tapering eases one-off benzo. As a result, tapering can help prevent (or at least decrease) the chance of relapse.

Furthermore, medication-assisted treatment(MAT) can also assist in recovering from benzo addiction. MAT involves substituting a controlled dose of less addictive medication. Clinicians have successfully used MAT for decades to treat opioid use disorder.

In short, yes. Yes, we can treat (and in some cases prevent) benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. NY Addiction Resources utilizes effective, research-backed methods to help those suffering from BWS.

How Can Someone Get Help For Xanax Addiction?

If you’ve read this far about addiction to Xanax, we thank you. Take some time to honor the minutes you spent on this page. Take stock of this moment and mark it in your mind. You’ve taken a significant step. You’ve rounded a corner. Consider this a new beginning in your journey (or in someone else’s).

Hope exists for recovering from Xanax addiction. If you, or someone that you love, struggle with Xanax addiction, don’t delay any longer. Raise a hand and allow yourself to be seen. Contact NY Addiction Resources today for more information.

Not ready to talk on the phone? No problem. Our staff members answer email inquiries as well.