When to Seek Rehab for Xanax
Any misuse of Xanax can be problematic, so it is important to seek help or rehab when use of the drug has gotten out of control. The sooner professional treatment is sought the better the outcomes will be. This sedative drug is susceptible to abuse and can cause a substance use disorder; misuse can lead to serious consequences, including a fatal overdose. Seek rehab for any troubling misuse of Xanax.
Xanax is the generic drug alprazolam and belongs to the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. These are anti-anxiety medications and central nervous system depressants that induce relaxation and minimize anxiety, worry, and nervousness.
Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines, used for treating anxiety disorders and seizures and as muscle relaxants. Misuse of alprazolam can have very serious consequences, so knowing when to seek rehab for Xanax is important.
Misuse of Xanax
Alprazolam and other benzodiazepines are listed by the Drug Enforcement Administration as schedule IV controlled substances because there is a potential for abuse and dependence. Any use of Xanax that is not according to a prescriber’s instructions is considered misuse: taking a larger dose, taking it more frequently, taking it for a longer duration than recommended, or using Xanax without a prescription.
People misuse drugs like Xanax because they reduce anxiety and worry and lead to a pleasant feeling of relaxation. They can also trigger a euphoric mood, or a high. Xanax is particularly appealing as a drug of abuse among other benzodiazepines because it is short-acting. It produces a high more quickly than some other types.
Signs of a Substance Use Disorder
If you are concerned that someone else is struggling with a substance use disorder because of abuse of Xanax, there are some signs to watch out for, including those that indicate the person is high often. Signs of being high on Xanax may include:
- Drowsiness or excessive sleeping
- Poor coordination and slurred speech
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating, and remembering things
- Decreased inhibitions
- Slowed breathing and heart rate
- Dizziness and falls
Anyone misusing Xanax is at risk of developing a substance use disorder. It’s important to recognize signs that use of this drug has gotten out of control. These signs can indicate that you have developed a substance use disorder. Just two of the following diagnostic criteria can indicate that you have a mild addiction to Xanax:
- Using more Xanax than you intended
- Trying to use less or stop using it and failing
- Spending increasing amounts of time using, recovering from, or getting the drug
- Giving up or spending less time on other activities
- Using Xanax in spite of it causing relationship problems
- Using it in spite of health problems
- Craving Xanax when not using it
- Neglecting responsibilities because of drug use
- Using the drug even in dangerous situations
- Developing a tolerance and needing to use more Xanax to get high
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop using
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The Dangers and Risks of Xanax Abuse
Any misuse of this drug can be harmful, which is why it is important to seek rehab or another type of support as soon as use of it has gotten out of control. Misuse of Xanax can compound side effects, which may include nausea, headaches, sexual dysfunction, constipation, weight changes, irritability, depression, confusion, mood swings, hallucinations, and seizures.
One of the biggest risks of misusing Xanax is an overdose, which can be fatal. The risk is even greater if you combine the drug with another depressant, like an opioid or alcohol. Overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines have been increasing since 2002, and many of these also involve an opioid. Signs of an overdose include loss of consciousness, inability to move, slowed or shallow breathing, and extreme drowsiness. These should be treated as a medical emergency.
Getting Help for Xanax Abuse and Addiction
It only takes two of the diagnostic criteria to be considered to have a mild substance use disorder. Any troubling sign that use of Xanax has led to an addiction, even a mild one, indicates that you need some help. Even people with mild substance use disorders can benefit from professional support, making changes that will prevent or minimize the risk of developing a more serious problem.
Rehab with a variety of treatments and services can help someone with any degree of addiction to Xanax learn to stop using and regain control. If you or someone you know is misusing this or any other benzodiazepine, get help before the consequences become too severe.