Xanax is the biggest trade name for alprazolam, a benzodiazepine drug commonly used to treat a range of anxiety and panic disorders. Despite its many medical uses, this medication is also a highly abused drug that adversely affects thousands of people every day in the United States.
Xanax abuse is a controversial subject, with some experts saying the risk of Xanax abuse is low and others saying a high level of risk exist for both abuse and dependence. This drug is currently classified as a schedule IV controlled substance by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Xanax abuse does create the risk of dependence and a withdrawal syndrome, both for patients prescribed the drug and those who purchase it on the black market. Withdrawal symptoms are similar to other benzodiazepine drugs such as Valium and Serepax.
Common symptoms include: general feelings of sickness, dizziness, weakness, insomnia, tachycardia and lightheadedness. Xanax abuse should not be taken lightly, with drug and alcohol treatment centers able to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and manage the rehabilitation period.
This medication is taken by prescription for many reasons, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD). Taken either by compressed tablet or extended-release capsule, it is a short-acting anxiolytic that binds to specific sites on the GABA receptor.
It is the most widely prescribed benzodiazepine drug on the market, with sedative, hypnotic, amnestic and anticonvulsant properties. Along with its use in treating a range of panic and anxiety disorders, it can also be used in combination with other drugs to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy.
When purchased on the street, Xanax may also be called Xanbars, Zannies, planks or blues, with some of these names making reference to the shape of the prescribed oval-shaped pill.
People who abuse Xanax on a regular basis may be susceptible to the adverse effects of the drug, including a lack of inhibition, slurred speech, respiratory depression, constipation, drowsiness, dizziness, and skin rashes. More severe adverse reactions may also arise on rare occasions, including jaundice, hallucinations, urinary retention and suicidal ideation.
While they are unusual, some people who take this drug may also experience paradoxical reactions to it, including aggression, rage, mania, agitation and hostility. Overdose is possible, with a range of symptoms from mild to severe. Most symptoms relate directly to central nervous system depression, including drowsiness, dizziness, fainting, muscular weakness, low blood pressure and shallow breathing.
The risk of overdose with Xanax increases dramatically when other drugs and alcohol are in the system; coma and death are a real possibility. Alcohol is the most important interaction to be aware of with regards to this medication. People who take both are at real risk of severe intoxication and central nervous system depression. The herb kava has a similar effect when taken with the drug, possibly resulting in the development of a semi-comatose state.
Treatment for Xanax abuse may include a residential or out-patient detoxification program at a rehab center, together with ongoing therapy and relapse prevention treatment. Intense and long term abuse of the drug can be very dangerous, and people who abuse it should consult a drug rehab center. Patients who take more than 4mg of Xanax per day are at greater risk of developing physical or psychological dependence.
The length of time someone has taken the drug can also have an effect on tolerance levels and withdrawal symptoms. Delirium and seizures have been noted from abrupt Xanax discontinuation. A gradual reduction in dosage is recommended in order to minimize withdrawal effects.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to this or any other prescription medication, it is important to seek professional help. Call Drug Treatment Centers Melbourne today at (321) 203-5028 and begin living the life you deserve.
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