Xanax is one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the United States. It’s designed to help people with symptoms of and issues related to panic disorder and anxiety. It has also become a drug people take for situational anxiety, such as fear of flying. Due to the effects and how easy it is to get, there are a lot of dangers of Xanax. It’s a drug commonly misused. Fortunately, is a xanax addiction treatment program for those who need help.
How Does Xanax Work?
Understanding the dangers of Xanax means understanding how it works and what it does. It is also the first step in understanding how crucial prescription drug addiction rehab is to someone’s safety. The drug is in a class called benzodiazepines. Doctors prescribe these drugs for panic disorder and anxiety but also for seizures, convulsions, and sleep disorders.
Part of the dangers of Xanax is its short half-life. This means the amount of time it takes for the concentration of the drug to peak in the blood after a dose. If a drug has a shorter half-life, then it takes effect quicker. A person feels the effects more rapidly, and this can mean there is a higher potential for abuse.
When someone has a dose of Xanax, it’s metabolized and then moves to the brain. It will then increase GABA activity in the brain. GABA stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid. This is the primary neurotransmitter in the cerebral cortex. The drug creates a calming effect quickly. As someone takes more Xanax, it will decrease his or her natural production of GABA, and he or she feels the need to take higher doses to have the same effects. One of the first indicators of dependence and abuse is when someone increases the dosage and builds up a tolerance.
Dangers of Xanax in the Long Run
Xanax is not only dangerous because of the high risk of dependence but also because it can also have long-term health effects. Abusing Xanax can lead to emotional changes and long-term memory damage. Long-term use of Xanax can also lead to withdrawal symptoms if someone suddenly stops taking it. Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Psychotic Episodes
- Blurred Vision
- Rapid Heart Rate
Users shouldn’t detox from Xanax alone due to the risk that some of the symptoms present. With the right care during the withdrawal process and continuing treatment, users can get back on their feet.
There are also long-term effects on the brain for those that abuse Xanax. Users can have trouble keeping balance and have difficulty with speech. Individuals run the risk of actually damaging their brain cells with prolonged use of the drug. Persistent use or abuse changes the way the brain works. The drug can lower inhibitions and make users more open to taking more risks than they normally would. They can also be more likely to pick fights with loved ones, engage in unsafe sex, or drive recklessly.
Irritability is also common for Xanax abusers. Since confusion is a typical symptom of the drug, it can lead users into a hostile place to make them more likely to provoke others and be harmful toward themselves and other people.
Dangers of Mixing Xanax with Other Drugs
One of the major dangers of Xanax can come when mixing it with other drugs, including alcohol. Many choose to mix Xanax with alcohol to amplify the sedative and relaxation effects of the drug. However, this can be deadly. Like Xanax, alcohol depresses the central nervous system and also inhibits the GABA activity in the brain. When someone takes alcohol and Xanax together, over-sedation can happen. With over-sedation, the results are not only the risk of dangerous accidents, but extreme respiratory depression, and the person could lose consciousness or experience heart problems. Someone who has combined Xanax and alcohol may have symptoms of drowsiness, delirium, slurred speech, trouble concentrating, or a slow pulse.
The dangers of Xanax also include the risk of overdose. This risk is even higher when someone takes Xanax with other drugs or alcohol. However, overdose can also happen if someone is taking a large dose at once.
Finding Help at New Bridge Foundation
At New Bridge Foundation, we have the tools necessary to help those abusing Xanax and other prescriptions. Our programs include the following:
- Short Term Residential Rehab (Helios)
- Short Term Outpatient Rehab (Helios)
- Long Term Residential Rehab (START)
- Free Aftercare for Life
Overcome the dangers of Xanax and addiction by going to a quality drug rehab. Contact New Bridge Foundation today at 866.772.8491 so we can help.