What Is Xanax?
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 patients to develop an addiction, particularly when high doses are taken for long periods.¹ This class of medication works by effecting the GABA neurotransmitters of the brain, helping to elevate the levels of GABA through your nervous system, creating a calming effect. Low levels of GABA can lead to heightened feelings of anxiety and unease.
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 patients taking Xanax treatments appropriately for anxiety do not develop an addiction to the medication. However, all patients 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 patients begin to misuse the medication, taking it more regularly than prescribed, taking multiple pills at the same time for a stronger sedative effect, mixing it with alcohol, etc. This kind of misuse can lead to a physical addiction, even in the most unexpected and straitlaced individuals.
An 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.² 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. If you’re uncertain whether your or a loved one’s use of Xanax constitutes an addiction, consider the following common behavioral signs and symptoms³:
- Issues at work or school (lateness, absence, serious mistakes)
- Deteriorating relationships
- Lethargic behavior
- Appearance changes
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). 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
- Attempting to get Xanax without a prescription
- Xanax withdrawal symptoms, such as dizziness, blurred vision, mood swings, etc
- Taking Xanax beyond the prescription limits
If you or your loved one is exhibiting symptoms and behaviors like these, it’s time to contact the professional Xanax recovery center at BlueCrest Recovery Center in New Jersey for help.
Break Free from Addiction With Our New Jersey Xanax Outpatient 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 outpatient treatment programs allow clients to receive thorough treatment without taking time away from responsibilities like work or school.
Ready to overcome your Xanax addiction with one of our outpatient drug programs in New Jersey? Call us today at (973) 453-5384 to get started.