The Side Effects Of Xanax And The Risk Of Addiction
Xanax is widely known throughout the medical and pharmaceutical communities as a powerful and potent benzodiazepine drug. First introduced in 1976, it is used to reduce the effects of anxiety on the body, including:
- incidents of generalized anxiety disorder
- panic disorders and attacks
- irrational fears and phobias
When used as prescribed, Xanax effects can reduce the symptoms of panic and anxiety, allowing one to return to the activities of daily life with an ability to cope with its ups and downs. It is also effective in reducing physical tension, restlessness and feelings of unease that occur with anxiety disorders.
However, it does not take long for a person to develop the potential for substance abuse when using Xanax. There are some side effects that are quite undesirable that can occur in some users, including:
- impaired concentration
- slurred speech
- memory problems
- irritability and mood swings
When considering adding Xanax to a prescription protocol, it is recommended to take a look at the pros and cons of adding it to your intake process and assessing whether the benefits outweigh the potential problems that may occur.
Lasting Health Effects With Long Term Xanax Use
Long term use of sedatives is associated with cognitive impairment, psychomotor depression, dependence, and even substance abuse. In an analysis of patients who had been on Xanax for an extended period of time, it was found that some of the aforementioned negative side effects could remain long after users stopped taking the drug.
Risk of Xanax Dependency
Any drug that is taken over long periods of time has the potential to become a substance that one can become dependent on. People who develop a dependency on a drug such as Xanax need larger and larger quantities of the drug in order to achieve the same desired effect. Over time, your body learns to depend on this substance in order to achieve a state of “normalcy”, and dependence has set in.
Once a person is chemically and physically dependent on Xanax, it becomes difficult to cease using the drug without the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms. Users may even continue taking the drug in order to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms or even an impending medical crisis as a result of the body’s reaction to not receiving the drug it has become accustomed to. There is a risk to the user of physical harm if the medication is suddenly stopped; as a result, medical intervention and treatment are necessary in order to safely withdraw from Xanax.
Ironically, many of the symptoms of withdrawal are counterproductive to the desired effects of the drug. They include:
- blurred vision
- muscle cramps
- tingling extremities
- digestive issues
- tremors and/or seizures
Despite the unpleasant effects of withdrawal symptoms on the body, the reality is that the body must be purged of the substance and properly detoxified in order for the physical healing process to begin. It will be necessary to experience some of these withdrawal symptoms in order to know that healing and restoration of balance to the body can begin. Physical, mental, and emotional care must be given to a client experiencing withdrawal; if any of these pieces of support are missing, there is a possibility that relapse will occur and treatment for substance abuse will not be fully effective.
Receiving Treatment for Xanax Abuse
The decision to enter treatment is a big one; make sure you have the support of friends and family around you as you take the necessary steps for health and healing. No matter what brought you to this moment, it is necessary to follow the proper steps for Xanax withdrawal and treatment to ensure that you do not incur further physical or mental injury or harm.
When you first arrive at a detox facility, you will begin the physical detoxification process. Qualified medical professionals will carefully supervise you and your state of mental and physical health as you are properly weaned off Xanax. Failure to complete this step can result in seizures, tremors, or even coma and risk of death. In some cases, a doctor will prescribe a weaker drug that acts similarly to Xanax and provides some ease as you let the Xanax work its way out of your body. Other medication can also be prescribed to help with other unpleasant side effects of withdrawal.
Physical detoxification is only part of the withdrawal and treatment process. Clients in treatment will need to do a thorough examination of the reasons behind the initial use of Xanax and what led up to this point. Therapies, both emotional and mental, are recommended, and the support of friends and family are necessary at this time in order for a client to make a full recovery. Other techniques such as cognitive behavior training and lifestyle changes will be implemented to give clients a chance to experience life in a different and more meaningful way.
Ongoing Support After Treatment
Most treatment programs will begin with intensive inpatient therapies and detoxification, and over time clients will return to life with support outside inpatient care. This can look like support groups, sober living facilities, and volunteer structures where clients learn to give back and fulfill their roles as mentors and teachers who know substance abuse inside and out. In giving back, clients rediscover reconnecting to others and a renewed sense of passion and purpose in helping others overcome their substance abuse issues.
Life After Substance Abuse
Life after Xanax dependency looks very different from before. Knowing the pitfalls of chemical dependency and how it can negatively impact lives forces the user to gain the proper perspective of what is truly important in life once more. If you or a loved one has a problem with Xanax abuse, please don’t hesitate to call St John’s Recovery Place for help today. With help from qualified professionals, family, and other loved ones, it is possible to regain a fantastic quality of life once more. Here’s to your continued health and healing!