Xanax, also known by its generic name alprazolam, belongs to a class of prescription drugs called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are psychoactive drugs that help slow down the activity of the central nervous system as well as the messages traveling between the brain and body. This means it helps the user feel more relaxed, quiet and tired.
Depressants like Xanax are commonly prescribed to help those who are struggling with anxiety and panic disorders, which are sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear or worry.
Even if taken exactly as prescribed, Xanax users can easily develop an addiction to its fast-acting and calming effects. If you or a loved one is using Xanax, it’s important to be mindful of early Xanax addiction signs, so you can discuss your concerns with them or their doctor. Here are five common signs of Xanax abuse:
- Mood swings
- Inability to concentrate
- Withdrawal symptoms when not on the drug
- Taking more Xanax than prescribed
- Obtaining Xanax without a prescription
Why is Xanax addictive?
Xanax and other benzodiazepines are extremely effective at enhancing the effect of (gamma-aminobutyric acid) GABA receptors in the brain. A GABA is an amino acid that acts as a messenger to help nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord communicate. They can also block or slow certain nerve signals in the brain within milliseconds, which plays an important role in reducing feelings of anxiety, fear and stress.
When a person uses or misuses Xanax for any length of time, it interferes with the natural function of these GABA receptors. As a result, the brain starts to forget how to operate effectively without the support of the drug. This chemical reaction is why it’s easy for people to abuse Xanax.
Xanax withdrawal symptoms and detox
Due to the potential severity of Xanax withdrawal symptoms, you should never stop taking it cold turkey. The skilled specialists at Miramar Recovery Center highly recommend a medically supervised detox program, which includes a gradual tapering to avoid severe side effects, including:
- Increased anxiety
- Heart palpitations
- Nightmares and other sleep disturbances
- Blurred vision
- Suicidal ideations
A medically supervised detox program helps manage the safety concerns associated with Xanax withdrawal as well as any pre-existing health conditions.
If you or a loved one needs skilled, compassionate treatment for Xanax abuse, call Miramar Recovery Center at 949-691-5036 to find out how we can help. We offer comprehensive addiction treatment programs and will tailor them to meet your unique needs. We want to help you overcome your addiction in a safe environment, learn how to manage triggers, and make healthy lifestyle and behavioral changes so you can live the sober life you deserve.