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Is Xanax Addictive?

Is Xanax Addictive?

If you or someone close to you was recently given a prescription for Xanax, you might be wondering is Xanax addictive? Xanax is a powerful drug, so powerful that it requires a prescription, and like most powerful drugs, it can quickly become addictive.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are used for a wide variety of treatments ranging from insomnia to panic disorders and generalized anxiety disorders. Like most prescription medications, if Xanax is used for too long it can lead to an addiction disorder.

Between 2005 and 2010, the number of emergency room visits because of recreational Xanax abuse more than doubled.

In 2018 there were 21 million prescriptions for Xanax. Xanax addiction is becoming a problem not just for people who have a prescription but for their family members. Teenagers can easily access a prescription in the medicine cabinet and find themselves addicted. In answer to the question, “is Xanax addictive,” recent studies have confirmed that it is one of the biggest drug abuse problems today.

Why is Xanax Addictive?

If you are wondering is Xanax addictive, you are not alone. Many people who are given Xanax prescriptions don’t realize the addiction risks associated with their medication until it is too late. A tolerance to Xanax happens very quickly. This means that your body gets accustomed to the drug, so each time you use it, you end up having to use more than the last time. When you stop using Xanax, you might experience insomnia, restlessness, and anxiety so severe that you go back to Xanax to prevent the symptoms.

What Causes Xanax Addiction?

Xanax is a prescription sedative. Benzodiazepines change the GABA released in your brain. GABA is a naturally occurring chemical that helps you sleep and relax. Over the counter, GABA is often used right before going to sleep for the same reasons. But in more severe cases of anxiety, panic attacks, or insomnia, your body might not produce enough to calm you down and help you sleep. This is where a prescription for Xanax can help slow down the activity in your brain and provide relaxation.

Unfortunately, when you take any type of medication like this, it alters the amount of GABA naturally produced by your body which means that your body needs more and more each day. 

How to Detox from Xanax

Now you know the answer to the question, is Xanax addictive? And like any substance to which you are addicted, it requires a detox.

Because Xanax is a benzodiazepine, the detox process is very similar to other benzodiazepines. Within the first day of detox, you will feel withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain

After about four days, you will still have these physical symptoms, but you might also have:

  • Anxiety
  • Shaking
  • Restlessness
  • Dry heaving
  • Severe palpitations

One of the most severe withdrawal symptoms is called rebound insomnia. It’s called rebound insomnia because your difficulty sleeping will happen periodically throughout the full extent of your detox. Xanax can cause withdrawal symptoms for up to two weeks, and you might find yourself unable to concentrate or dealing with drastic weight loss.

Because of these withdrawal symptoms, there are health risks to quitting Xanax, especially if you have been addicted for a long time. Medically supervised rehab in an appropriate facility can make sure that you are given other medications like phenobarbital or a different benzodiazepine to help wean you off your Xanax dependency while your body rid itself of any remaining drugs. 

Overcoming Xanax addiction isn’t easy, but working with a specialized medical detox center can help you do it every day. Xanax is very dangerous when taken in large doses or when mixed with other drugs but having a medically supervised detox program can help you flush your system once and for all.

With Dallas Detox, our staff will work with you to create an individualized detox program. After an initial medical assessment, we will determine how long you have been addicted to Xanax, how much you use it, and what your health is otherwise so that you get an appropriate and supervised detox program. 

If you are ready to overcome your Xanax addiction, let us help. At Dallas Detox, our professionals are available 24 hours a day to help you manage the severity of your withdrawal symptoms in a comfortable and safe environment.

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