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Xanax Abuse

Xanax, a depressant, is usually prescribed for anxiety disorders (panic attacks).  Because Xanax is highly addictive, the FDA approved Xanax for only up to 8 weeks of use in the United States; in Great Britain, it is approved for 4 weeks of use. The more dosage of Xanax one takes is the quicker the individual becomes dependent on it, hence Xanax abuse. Long-term, the body develops a tolerance for Xanax, with larger doses being needed to attain the same initial effects. Furthermore, prolonged use can cause physical dependence.

Xanax is a part of the benzodiazepines family, and the withdrawal symptoms from Xanax are quite similar to other drugs of its kind. Xanax is also sometimes referred to as minor tranquilizers; the effect on the mind is very close to that of alcohol. Xanax can be dangerous when taken alone, but is even more perilous when consumed with other drugs. Many of the emergency room visits are as a result of xanax abuse, and other minor tranquilizers. These minor tranquilizers all distort mental alertness and physical coordination, and can create difficulty with mechanical performance, (for example, automobile driving).

There are several withdrawal symptoms from drugs like Xanax and other benzodiazepines. It is important to note that these withdrawal symptoms can last for up to one year. Symptoms include: Anxiety, depression, insomnia, feelings of unreality or detachment from self, abnormal sensitivity sensory stimuli (for example, sensitivity to loud noise or bright light), obsessive negative thoughts, rapid mood changes, phobias, loss of capacity to enjoy life; cognitive functioning impairment, suicidal thoughts, nightmares, hallucinations, psychosis, pill cravings. muscle tension or pain, joint pain, tinnitus, headaches, tremors, blurred vision, itchy skin, gastrointestinal issues, electric shock sensations, fatigue, sweating, fluctuations in body temperature, difficulty in swallowing, loss of appetite, “flu like” symptoms, muscle twitching, metallic taste in mouth, nausea, extreme thirst, sexual dysfunction, heart palpitations, dizziness, vertigo, and breathlessness.

It is clinically apparent that for an individual suffering from Xanax abuse, it is much more difficult to wean herself off the drug than the other benzodiazepines (the ability to detox on her own is significantly more difficult). Therefore, once Xanax dependence has occurred, the individual can rarely successfully discontinue use on her own; oftentimes, medical assistance is a necessity. Drug treatment facilities are versed in recommending which treatment program and medication (if necessary) is appropriate for the abuser.

The abuse of xanax often stems from the individual’s physician prescribing him the medication to treat an anxiety disorder. The patient subsequently becomes dependent on it, and begins using Xanax for non-medical reasons. As outlined, the effects of Xanax abuse are life threatening, hence, if you are someone you know is suffering from the abuse of this potent drug, contact a treatment facility immediately. To find a facility near you, visit the publicly funded SAMHSA’s website, and click on their facility locator. This is imperative, as Xanax abusers often need medically assistance to overcome their abuse.