Xanax Addiction, Abuse, Withdrawal & Treatment
Xanax (brand name) is an oral medication that is used to treat panic and anxiety disorders. This medication, also known as Alprazolam, belongs to the benzodiazepine class and it acts upon the nerves and brain receptors of the individual. Xanax enhances the effect of a natural chemical present in one’s body and, as a result, gives a calming effect to the individual.
Usage Of Xanax
Xanax is taken through the mouth and should be administered as per the instructions of the doctor. There is no standard dosage and the doctor will write the prescription and give out dosage instructions based on the underlying problem and the overall health condition of the individual. There are several side effects with Xanax, like any other drug, but it could be minimized to a great extent if one follows the doctor’s instructions religiously.
If an individual has been using this drug for a long period of time, then it is imperative that he or she does not discontinue the drug abruptly and follows the doctor’s instructions relating to withdrawal. Sudden discontinuation of the drug could lead to withdrawal symptoms, as the body has likely gotten used to the drug and sudden absence of the drug from within the system could affect the overall functions of the body. Xanax should be discontinued over a certain time frame with reduction in dosages.
The dosage reduction plan should be as per the physician’s recommendation and if there are still any withdrawal symptoms, then it should be reported to the doctor immediately. The side effects relating to this medication can get aggravated if the individual drinks alcohol or if he is into the usage of other drugs. The body has a tendency to get used to any medication after a period of time and if Xanax is used for an extended period of time, then the drug’s beneficial properties would no longer be as beneficial.
Side Effects Of Xanax
As mentioned earlier, Xanax has side effects. The major side effects are dizziness, drowsiness and increase in saliva production. Changes in sexual functioning or libido may also show up. The doctor should be told immediately if any of these side effects show up. Though there are certain other medical procedures that can help deal with the side effects of this drug, certain very simple and easy methods can also help with tackling the side effects. To help bring down the lightheadedness and dizziness related to Xanax, one should not get up abruptly from their lying or seated positions.
An individual should not be paranoid about using Xanax. He or she must understand that the drug was prescribed by the doctor because he felt that the benefits derived by the user would be more compared to the possible side effects of the drug. Some of the other possible side effects associated with Xanax are itching, rash, dizziness and difficulty breathing. The face, tongue, and throat may also experience rashes and itching sensations from the use of this medication. Serious allergic reactions have been very rarely reported with Xanax usage.
Precautions When Taking Xanax
Though Xanax has its own list of benefits, if an individual has an allergy problem, then he should be a bit more cautious with using this drug. He must inform the doctor about any allergies that he has so that the doctor would have a clear picture as to how the dosages and levels of the medication should be administered to the individual.
It is important that the doctor is aware of the overall medical history of the individual before he prescribes Xanax to the patient. If the individual has had medical problems, such as breathing and lung problems, liver problems, kidney disease, alcohol or drug abuse, glaucoma, etc., then it is recommended that he does not take Xanax, especially without the doctor’s prescription.
Addiction To Xanax
Regular usage of Xanax can lead to addiction problems. If the doctor detects Xanax addiction in an individual, he would invariably not ask the patient to discontinue the drug, but would instruct him to reduce the dosage over a period of time. With gradual dosage reductions, it would not be that difficult to deal with Xanax addiction and the withdrawals associated with it. Help with Xanax addiction should be sought only from a medical or addiction professional. In some individuals, the levels of Xanax addiction could be so advanced that even gradual reduction in dosage could bring up several withdrawal symptoms. Such advanced cases should be dealt with in a professional facility through a detox procedure.
Some of the symptoms of withdrawal associated with Xanax are headaches, anxiety, chills, vomiting, insomnia and anxiety. These symptoms might look unmanageable in the beginning; however, they can be dealt with if the addict remains calm and expresses his willingness to cooperate during treatment. Withdrawal symptoms relating to Xanax should be dealt with only in a rehab center under the strict supervision of a medical doctor. The addict would usually have to stay in the rehab center for the detox treatment and it can last for a few days and up to a number of weeks in some cases.
Though going through detox is probably the most difficult stage of addiction treatment, everything is not done after the detox treatment and the chances of relapse still exist if the patient is not put through several other therapies and counseling sessions post detox. Counseling is a very important stage of any drug rehab treatment and during this period, the addict would be taught on dealing with drug temptations and cravings. He would be informed about the ill-effects of the drug and the negative impacts that it would have on his body. Though a counseling session might sound very simple and straightforward, it is a very time-consuming process and sometimes it becomes very difficult for the counselor to convince the patient and make him take his suggestions.
It would also be a good idea to look into a support group where the individual would be accompanied by several other people with Xanax addiction problems. This would give the addict the relief knowing that he is not the only individual who is battling against Xanax addiction. There are several different types of support groups and finding the details about the support groups is also not very difficult, thanks to the Internet and all the helpful addiction professionals that are around to help.