Xanax is a drug that many psychiatrists and physicians refuse to prescribe. It is highly effective when used appropriately, but users of Xanax are prone to abuse and Xanax addiction. Upon initial ingestion of Xanax, users report decreased anxiety. In addition, they report the following:
- Trouble with concentration
- Decreased motor skills/clumsiness
- Slurred speech
- Sensations of carelessness
It does not take long for a person to become addicted to Xanax. Once the initial euphoric, carefree sensation is inhibited, the user is often prone to seeking out the drug again and again to experience the same feeling. Over time, he or she shows symptoms of addiction and is no longer taking the drug to feel the effects — rather, the individual is taking Xanax to sustain feelings of normalcy and attain an “even-keeled” state of mind.
Addiction is a disease that can affect anyone regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or age. Its onset is difficult to pinpoint. Once a person becomes addicted to Xanax, he or she loses the ability to control when and if the next pill is to be taken. People addicted to Xanax sometimes abuse the drug by injecting it, or crushing and snorting it. Such methods result in rapid release of Xanax chemicals into the brain. Users feel its effects more intensely and within a shorter period of time. Once an individual has crossed the line into addiction, he or she may feel compulsive urges to use Xanax despite debilitating consequences. For example, a man who is addicted to Xanax sells his prized Jaguar in order to obtain money for his Xanax addiction. In severe cases he may refinance his home, embezzle from his employer, or obtain credit card debt to feed his habit.
Addicts often need an outside intervention in order to be helped. They are too entrenched in the disease to help themselves. Other options include 24/7 rehabilitation centers for drug treatment, outpatient drug treatment programs, and/or weekly substance abuse counseling.
Sudden cessation of Xanax is not advisable. Physicians generally set clients up on a schedule to wean them off over a specified period of time. Withdrawal symptoms of Xanax are severe and require medical assistance. Severe cases of Xanax use require the individual to be medically detoxed from Xanax in a safe setting. Thus, rehabilitation for Xanax addiction is frequently recommended. Side effects from cessation of Xanax use include:
- Anxiety and irritability
- Difficulty sleeping
- Hot and cold chills
- Spurts of sad emotions
- Realistic and vivid dreams
Without medical assistance, patients who stop Xanax use on their own are susceptible to seizures, dramatic psychological effects, and emotional hardship. The detox process from Xanax in residential treatment centers generally lasts from 10-14 days. Once free of Xanax, addicts meet with counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists to discuss alternative approaches to anxiety management. They also can talk about underlying issues that have contributed to the addiction. For instance, a Xanax addict may have underlying bipolar disorder that has gone undiagnosed for years. Through treatment, he or she can address the disorder’s ramifications on their behaviors and choices. Medication for this type of dual diagnosis will be administered as needed.
Be patient if your loved one is recovering from a Xanax addiction. Xanax is just as psychologically addictive as it is physically addictive. Patients must mourn the loss of their coping mechanism and friend, i.e. Xanax, on their own terms. This may involve a substantial grieving period for which the patient recognizes that Xanax is no longer a part of their life. Alternative ways to deal with stress may entail exercise, meditation, prayer, spiritual enlightenment, deep breathing methods, and keeping a journal.