Xanax—also known as alprazolam—is a medication commonly prescribed for the management of anxiety. As part of the benzodiazepine family (colloquially known as “benzos”), Xanax is in the same medication category as Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan. It is possible for people to develop an addiction, particularly when high doses are taken for long periods. This class of medication works by elevating the levels of GABA in your nervous system, which creates a calming effect. Low levels of GABA can lead to heightened feelings of anxiety and unease.
The drug is highly addictive as well. What’s worse, benzos like Xanax can be especially dangerous to try and quit once someone becomes hooked on them. A Xanax addiction treatment program like the one at our New Jersey rehab center can help manage withdrawal symptoms and promote sobriety. Call 888.292.9652 to learn more about our substance abuse treatment programs.
What Conditions Can Xanax Treat?
Xanax is prescribed for a number of conditions, most commonly anxiety. However, your doctor may prescribe Xanax for a large number of conditions besides anxiety, such as:
- Trouble sleeping
- Alcohol withdrawal
- Muscle spasms
Overview of Xanax Addiction
Most people appropriately taking Xanax for anxiety do not develop an addiction to the medication. However, all people taking Xanax regularly will build up a tolerance and need to take higher dosages to get the same tranquilizing effect. Rather than discussing dosage and effectiveness issues with their doctors, some people begin to misuse the medication, taking it more regularly than prescribed, taking multiple pills at the same time for a stronger sedative effect, or mixing it with alcohol. This kind of misuse can lead to physical addiction, even in the most unexpected and straitlaced individuals.
Addiction to Xanax can also occur when it’s taken as a party drug or used without a prescription for relaxation, both of which are unfortunately common among college students. If a person is taking a significant amount at parties or uses it regularly to “chill out,” an addiction can form relatively quickly.
Signs and Symptoms of a Xanax Addiction
In some cases, addiction changes a person’s behaviors and appearance so significantly that the problem is relatively obvious. Unfortunately, addiction can also be so well hidden that it goes completely unrecognized for years.
Behavioral Signs of Xanax Addiction
If you’re uncertain whether your or a loved one’s use of Xanax constitutes an addiction, consider the following common behavioral signs and symptoms:
- Issues at work or school (lateness, absence, serious mistakes) – People struggling with Xanax addiction can easily slip into unhealthy patterns. When the addiction takes over their lives, they often have trouble concentrating on important tasks and may even skip to find and use the drug. These issues can add up over time, causing disciplinary issues and may even lead to getting fired or expelled.
- Deteriorating relationships – People with a Xanax addiction often become isolated, avoiding loved ones and social events. Additionally, they may display behavior that is out of character or even violent while under the influence of Xanax.
Lethargic behavior – Constant use of Xanax can lead to changes in physical activity and energy levels. People with an addiction may display signs of fatigue, sleep for prolonged periods, or be unable to perform basic tasks without difficulty.
- Appearance changes – People with a Xanax addiction may stop taking care of themselves, resulting in changes to their personal hygiene and physical appearance.
Although some of these symptoms are relatively vague and can be present for a variety of reasons, multiple symptoms should be a red flag (especially if you know the individual has access to Xanax).
Physical Signs of Addiction
Signs of Xanax addiction may also show through other means as well, not just behavioral changes. Other symptoms of Xanax addiction include:
- Needing a higher dosage for the same desired effect – When someone’s body has built up a tolerance to the drug, it often requires larger doses for the same effect. At this stage, physical dependence is likely, and a potential addiction should be evaluated more closely.
- Attempting to get Xanax without a prescription – Individuals who attempt to purchase Xanax illegally are more likely to be dependent on the drug.
- Xanax withdrawal symptoms – If someone has been using Xanax for an extended period and suddenly stops, they may experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms like increased anxiety, muscle aches, and nausea.
- Taking Xanax beyond the prescription limits – If the individual is taking larger amounts of Xanax than prescribed or for longer periods, there is a good chance they are addicted.
If you or your loved one is exhibiting symptoms and behaviors like these, it’s time to contact the professional Xanax addiction treatment program at BlueCrest Recovery Center in New Jersey for help.
Break Free from Addiction with Our New Jersey Xanax Rehab Program
At BlueCrest Recovery Center, we help individuals struggling in New Jersey with Xanax addiction regain control of their lives. If you aren’t sure whether an inpatient stay is necessary, we have a solution. Our flexible non-intensive and intensive treatment programs allow clients to receive thorough treatment without taking time away from responsibilities like work or school.