The Slippery Slope of Xanax Addiction

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The Slippery Slope of Xanax Addiction

Anxiety and panic disorders can be a challenge to treat without professional help. Some individuals choose to follow self-help strategies to treat these conditions. In severe cases, self-care alone is not as effective. Reaching out to mental health professionals for an individualized treatment plan can be a wise decision. 

Therapy and prescription medications such as Xanax can help some individuals find relief. However, with continued use, an individual can easily become dependent on this drug. Over time, the individual may need to increase the dosage to achieve desired effects. This can lead one down the slippery slope of Xanax addiction. Surrendering to a treatment facility such as Avalon Malibu may be a wise choice to overcome the effects of addiction. 

What Is Xanax?

According to MedlinePlus, Alprazolam is sold under the brand name called Xanax. This is a class of medications that are known as benzodiazepines. Xanax is a prescription medication used to treat the symptoms associated with various anxiety and panic disorders. This medication is one of the most widely prescribed benzodiazepines to treat these conditions. An individual may experience sudden attacks of intense moments of fear and nervousness. Xanax works to decrease adrenaline and excitement in the cerebrum. 

According to the Journal of Addiction Medicine, Xanax is a lot more toxic than other drugs in the same class of benzodiazepines. The drug is a high-potency triazolobenzodiazepine. Individuals who have suicidal thoughts or who are taking opioids or sedatives to treat other health conditions are strongly discouraged from taking this prescription drug. Benzodiazepines used with opioids double the risk of respiratory depression resulting in death.

Xanax typically takes about a month to achieve therapeutic results. To prevent misuse of the medication that can lead to Xanax addiction, the drug is often prescribed in an extended-release formulation for only a short duration to individuals with no history of substance use disorder (SUD). Most addiction specialists consider Xanax to be highly addictive due to its psychodynamic properties. This prescription medication has rapid absorption, a short half-life, and low lipophilicity due to its unique pharmacokinetic properties. Therefore, it should only be prescribed to those that need it most.

Long-Term Use and Xanax Addiction

As stated in the aforementioned study, using Xanax use for long periods is not recommended yet commonly practiced. Some individuals’ tolerance may develop without any physical signs of dependence. Based on clinical research, some individuals develop a relatively quick tolerance to serve a sedative, hypnotic, and anticonvulsant achievement. 

As most benzodiazepines lead to dopamine release in the striatum, Xanax is highly addictive. After discontinuing Xanax, individuals may face several withdrawal symptoms. Taking Xanax for too long and then abruptly coming off of the drug without properly weaning may cause withdrawal symptoms to start. An individual may experience the following: 

  • Malaise
  • Insomnia and nightmares
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness 
  • Dizziness
  • Tachycardia
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Hyperventilation

When an individual chooses to stop using the drug, they may experience intense feelings of anxiety and worsened panic attacks. Participants with Xanax addiction were also found to be particularly anxious after stopping the use of the drug. They also experienced behavioral, physical, and psychological symptoms. According to a recent study it was found that approximately 15 individuals experienced increased panic attacks along with new somatic symptoms. 

Self-Help Strategies to Manage Xanax Addiction

Just like managing any addiction, self-help strategies can bring great success. Since Xanax is one of the strongest types of benzodiazepines, self-help strategies can be useful in addition to professional help to overcome the effects of Xanax addiction. Taking the new skills learned in therapy and using them outside of treatment with Avalon Malibu can encourage a positive outcome. A few self-help strategies to treat addiction to Xanax may consist of: 

  • Waiting to respond to feelings rather than acting out of impulse
  • Practicing mindfulness and meditation
  • Following a nutritional clean diet
  • Journaling symptoms and reporting them to a mental health care provider
  • Staying busy and connecting with others with similar goals
  • Exercising 

Choosing to practice these self-care techniques can help one gain better self-esteem and increase confidence to stay dedicated to their treatment plan. This can be done to safely and ultimately fight intense feelings of dependence on Xanax and ultimately defeat anxiety.

Moving Forward With Avalon Malibu

It is okay to not be okay. Reaching out for professional help may be the best choice an individual can make. Addiction affects not only the individual but everyone involved as well; their family, friends, and relationships overall. Developing an addiction can slowly affect a person’s ability to function in their workplace, school and completing tasks at home.

Mental health treatment facilities such as Avalon Malibu can provide services to make for a smoother and safer transition from addiction to a healthier lifestyle for everyone. Avalon Malibu’s mental health care team has different programs such as detox, residential, holistic, and therapeutic services to assist individuals struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental illnesses. Our facility can be an effective resource for healing from Xanax addiction. 

You can still become addicted to Xanax even if you have a legitimate prescription. With continued use, you can easily become dependent on the drug and increase your dosage to achieve desired effects. At Avalon Malibu, the Cottage House is a luxury residential retreat where individuals can be supported and monitored by licensed physicians and nurses who understand the challenges individuals will face during recovery from a Xanax addiction. Avalon Malibu’s holistic approach to treatments will introduce the client to new alternative living practices that are safe and life-affirming. If you or a loved one are facing challenges with addiction to Xanax, our team at Avalon Malibu can help. Call Avalon Malibu at (844) 857-5992

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