What is Xanax?
Xanax is a prescription benzodiazepine and the most prescribed in its drug class. Unlike opioids which provide pain relief, benzodiazepines are used as sedatives to combat disorders such as anxiety, panic disorder, and insomnia.
Although nonbenzodiazepines may be prescribed as an alternative, benzodiazepine abuse remains prevalent. Between 1996 and 2013, the number of benzodiazepine prescriptions increased by 67%, going from 1.8 million to 13.5 million active prescriptions, with Xanax being the most common. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there were over 20 million active Xanax prescriptions in the United States in 2018 alone.
The Xanax High
Xanax is typically taken orally but can also be snorted. As a prescription drug, Xanax does not generate a high if taken as directed; However, if abused or unprescribed, Xanax produces a high in which the user experiences:
- Depressed breathing
- Loss of balance
- Depressed heart rate
- Impaired coordination
- Difficulty speaking
- Muscle weakness
Side Effects of Xanax Abuse
Long-term Xanax abuse can cause lasting effects and irreversible damage. Such side effects include:
- Severe depression
- Uncontrolled muscle movements
- Risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease
- Withdrawal seizures
- Suicidal thoughts
Xanax Abuse and Addiction
Xanax continues to be one of the most prescribed medications in the United States. When appropriately prescribed, it treats anxiety, panic disorder, insomnia, and other disorders in patients. Despite its many benefits, abuse and dependence are common with Xanax users, both prescribed and unprescribed.
Fatal overdoses from benzodiazepines aren’t as common but there is a strong link between benzodiazepines and opioid-related deaths. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 23% of people who died from an opioid overdose in 2015 also tested positive for the presence of benzodiazepines. A recent study in North Carolina found that overdose death rates were 10 times higher among individuals who consumed both opioid and benzodiazepine medications compared to individuals who only consumed opioids.
Treatment for Xanax Addiction
It is entirely possible to overcome Xanax addiction. Many have done so, with appropriate treatment, support, and commitment to recovery. If you are considering seeking addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, rest assured that help is widely available and recovery is possible. If you have questions or concerns, call us today. We at Rehab Carolinas are experienced in substance abuse and addiction and are here to help you find the treatment you deserve.