Xanax, also known as alprazolam, is the most prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States. Used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, nearly 44 million prescriptions of Xanax are written each year; this drug is used to suppress neurotransmitters in the body that release fear – and by eliminating some of the physiological symptoms that people tend to experience (such as sweaty palms, racing thoughts, hyperventilation and more), a person is likely to be more relaxed. Despite the benefits of using Xanax, it’s still incredibly addictive. By understanding more of the underlying mechanisms of this drug, we can hopefully begin taking additional precautionary measures so that we don’t become addicted – or, at the very least, so that we can seek help immediately if warning signs arise.
Dr. Elizabeth Hartney, a psychologist, professor and Director of the Centre for Health Leadership and Research at Royal Roads University in Canada, explained to Very Well Mind earlier this year that Xanax is a benzodiazepine, which means that when taken as prescribed, this medication can assist with anxiety and sleep – and many people do find relief from it. Over time, however, it can become easy to abuse the medication and take it in higher doses or for a longer period of time – and this potential for abuse is what can lead to severe addiction.
Last year, The Guardian published the story of a young man in the UK who fell into selling drugs, but unintentionally became addicted to Xanax. He explained, “I gradually withdrew from the drugs and felt ill for a few weeks. I felt depressed and physically sick. I managed to get through it and most people I know have managed to. But it is very easy to relapse and that’s happened a few times.”
The chemicals in Xanax boost a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA), which is what brings about those euphoric sensations. If not taken carefully, however, the risks for addiction are high.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 844-857-5992 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.