It’s popular…It’s cool… Everybody’s taking it. These are just some of the most commonly heard reasons why people try out Xanax. Originally designed as an anti-anxiety medication, Xanax also known as Xans, Xannies, and Z-bars, is a brand name for Alprazolam.
Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine often prescribed for anxiety disorders and sleep disorders. It is one of the most prescribed benzodiazepines in the United States with millions of prescriptions written every year. This also makes Xanax one of the most abused prescription medications in the country.
While Xanax is considered as an effective anxiety medication, it was designed to be a short-term treatment because taking Xanax is highly addictive. People who are truly experiencing anxiety issues are still at risk of becoming addicted if they start becoming dependent on the drug. This could lead to doctor shopping and faking symptoms, even when they don’t experience anxiety attacks any longer.
Xanax is popularly used as a recreational drug because it is a powerful depressant. It works by boosting the levels of Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid or GABA, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for producing a calming effect in the central nervous system and the brain by slowing down or stopping activity in some neurons.
Because it is a commonly prescribed medication, there is a misconception that taking Xanax is safe. Yes, alprazolam can give you that calming effect you are looking for, however, not many people realize that Xanax can also have alarming side effects. Prolonged use of the drug can affect the body in many different ways.
How Xanax affects you physically
Taking Xanax, especially for an extended period, can produce various effects on your body. You are at risk of experiencing a wide range of conditions and illnesses that could potentially impact your daily activities. Experiencing these side effects is not only painful or inconvenient, but these effects can also be life-threatening.
Drowsiness and lethargy
Headache (including migraine)
Heart palpitations and/or chest pain
Loss of appetite
Loss of coordination and balance
Nausea and vomiting
Swollen feet and hands
Twitchy muscles, muscle pain
How Xanax affects your emotions and mental state
Aside from experiencing physical symptoms, being addicted to Xanax can also alter your mental and emotional processes. Because it is an anxiety medication, many people think that it will only cure anxiety – not cause it. However, prolonged use of Xanax has been shown to cause the following conditions.
Disorientation and confusion
Problems with memory and concentration
How Xanax affects your behavior
Xanax addiction does not only affect your body, brain, and emotions. Xanax use has also been shown to affect a person’s behavior. When you become addicted to alprazolam, the tendency is to adopt behaviors often identified with people having substance abuse issues. Here are some of the following behavioral changes people with Xanax addiction experience.
Doctor shopping for prescriptions
Borrowing or “losing” prescriptions
Loss of inhibitions
Preoccupation with using, finding and getting off Xanax
Problems at work or school
How dangerous is Xanax?
There are still millions of people who are unaware that Xanax use can be highly addictive and dangerous. Many people think that because it is “just a calming pill”, then how can it be fatal? However, there have been many instances that proved that taking Xanax can kill you. When Xanax is mixed with other substances like alcohol and other drugs, the combination can be very dangerous. It could lead to overdose, seizures, and even death.
Another risk is that when you buy Xanax from social media or from the streets, there is a high likelihood that the drug is a counterfeit pill and already cut with other drugs. Many Xanax-related deaths have been said to be caused by people unknowingly taking alprazolam laced with other substances such as the synthetic opioid fentanyl. American rapper Lil Peep is a famous victim of an accidental overdose after taking alprazolam laced with fentanyl.
How Xanax withdrawal affects you
When you decide to stop taking Xanax after a long period of continuous use, it is possible to experience withdrawal symptoms which usually manifest within 48 hours. For many people, experiencing these symptoms often drive them to use the drug again. If you start experiencing these symptoms, seek professional help to safely get off the drug.
Anger, irritability and aggressive behavior
Thoughts of suicide
Tingling feet and hands
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact MORNINGSIDE RECOVERY BY LIGHTHOUSE today.