Is Xanax Addictive?

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Is Xanax Addictive?

For people experiencing panic and anxiety disorders, Xanax can be a godsend. An extremely popular anti-anxiety drug, Xanax can be a valuable tool in a comprehensive anxiety treatment plan. While Xanax is effective in helping people deal with anxiety and panic, it is also highly addictive. If people become addicted to this powerful medication, the road to recovery can be extremely difficult and even life-threatening. This blog will take a deeper look into the drug itself, the signs of Xanax abuse, and where you can get help with Xanax addiction.

What is Xanax?

Known by its generic name of alprazolam, Xanax is a powerful medication that is part of the benzodiazepine family of drugs. Xanax is an extremely potent depressant that acts on the brain and central nervous system to produce profound feelings of calm and sedation. The drug achieves this effect by producing the neurotransmitter GABA. Xanax is most commonly administered in pill form and can also be found in extended-release formulas and liquid.

What is Xanax Used to Treat?

As stated in the introduction, Xanax is utilized to help those dealing with anxiety and panic disorders. Some specific conditions that Xanax is used to treat include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among others. Xanax is also used in some cases to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Also, the drug is commonly used to help treat the anxious conditions that are brought on by depression.

Is Xanax Addictive?

Xanax is a popular medication that doctors prescribe, with nearly 35 million prescriptions in the United States in 2019. With its popularity, some people ask is Xanax addictive? The short answer to that question is yes. Xanax produces a large amount of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that blocks chemical messages in the brain and decreases the stimulation of nerve cells. Along with the production of GABA, Xanax also increased dopamine production in the brain.

Dopamine is known as the brain’s natural “feel good” chemical. Dopamine is responsible for reinforcing the feelings of reward in the brain. The chemical makeup of Xanax perfectly fits into the receptors that control dopamine production. As those pleasurable feelings are reinforced, people will take more of the drug to recreate those feelings. Over time, Xanax will take over the production of dopamine, and the brain’s ability to produce dopamine will diminish and will eventually cease. Once people become dependent on Xanax, they will take the drug to function normally on a daily basis and not for the desired effects. This is how Xanax is so addictive and dangerous.

Often, people will combine Xanax with another substance to amplify its effects. One common and extremely dangerous combination is Xanax and alcohol. Both substances are powerful nervous system depressants. When taken in tandem, it will slow the central nervous system, and people’s breathing and respiration can stop as a result. Another dangerous combination is Xanax with another benzodiazepine such as Klonopin or Valium. 

What are the Signs of Xanax Abuse?

The signs of Xanax abuse can be seen both short-term and long-term. Common short-term signs of Xanax abuse include the following:

  • Sleepiness or drowsiness
  • Sluggishness
  • Impaired coordination and disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Poor concentration
  • Slowing brain functioning
  • Slowed pulse and respiration

If abused long-term, signs of Xanax abuse include:

  • Memory impairments
  • Depression
  • Increased aggressive behavior
  • Increase in high-risk and impulsive behaviors
  • Paranoia
  • Breathing difficulties

If people try to quit Xanax, they will experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms that are often uncomfortable to endure and can become life-threatening. Signs of Xanax withdrawal include audio, visual, and tactile hallucinations, loss of interest and pleasure, insomnia, restlessness, and thoughts of self-harm and suicide. When the signs of Xanax abuse appear, it is essential to find professional help as soon as possible.

How to Find Xanax Addiction Treatment Centers in Southern California

Xanax is an extremely powerful and addictive drug. Even when taken under strict medical supervision, people can become dependent and even addicted to Xanax. If you or a loved one are struggling with Xanax prescription addiction in Southern California, Northbound Treatment Center is your first choice. Northbound Treatment Center is a top-tier Southern California rehab treatment facility with evidence-based, dynamic, and personalized treatment programs to meet your specific needs.

For over three decades, the staff at Northbound has a proven track record of success in helping people break free of Xanax addiction as well as other substance abuse and mental health issues. From detox, inpatient and outpatient programs, and aftercare to teletherapy, interventions, and sober living in California, Northbound Treatment Center provides quality care with compassion and respect towards all clients.
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