When science stepped in to help ease the increasing incidence of anxiety, depression and temporary feelings of panic with drugs like Xanax, they also produced the opportunity for substance abuse and addiction. Since there is plenty to be stressed about in our modern society, it is not surprising that the use of medications like Xanax that alleviate these symptoms have reached epidemic proportions. Statistically, more than 37.5 million prescriptions for Xanax are written for Americans annually and many recipients of this drug meet the criteria for Xanax drug treatment.
The popularity of Xanax attest to the drug's ability to not only relieve the suffering caused by anxiety, but also its potential for creating dependence and addiction in users. Scientists caution that Xanax acts quickly in the brain and has a short half-life. That means the effects of Xanax can peak in one to two hours after consuming the drug, but the relief provided by the drug may only last for six to twelve hours. The rapid absorption of alprazolam which is the chemical contained in Xanax is one of the main reasons for abuse. As a result, Xanax users are often tempted to consume more of this potent drug in order to prolong the desired effects. When this occurs, tolerance levels can build quickly which leads to dependence and addiction. According to experts, a dependence on Xanax can occur in as little as two weeks in some individuals.
According to the Federal Drug Administration, patients most at risk of dependence on Xanax are those who receive more than 4 mg per day for 12 weeks or longer. However, it is not uncommon for patients to be prescribed this drug to be used over a long period of time such as months or even years, in some cases. The FDA caution that these individuals are more likely to experience serious Xanax withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using the drug.
Inherent in any form of chemical dependence is the possibility of poly drug use. When Xanax is used in combination with other drugs or a depressant like alcohol the side effects can be so intense as to require immediate medical attention. Also because alcohol amplifies the effects of Xanax, the risk of overdose increases significantly. The sedating effects of alcohol when combined with Xanax have been known to lead to alcohol poisoning, shallow breathing, slowed heart rate, severe respiratory depression, loss of consciousness and death.
Treatment for Xanax Dependence and addiction includes:
The duration and specific programs selected for rehabilitation is designed based on the particular needs of the patient. In instances where patients are also diagnosed with a co-occurring mental disorder, dual diagnosis treatment may be incorporated into the treatment regimen.
Because it is easy to develop an addiction to Xanax, patients that have been taking this drug for some time should be aware that they may already be dependent or addicted. However, the first step in overcoming Xanax addiction is seeking help to halt chronic use. It is also important to recognize that Xanax withdrawal symptoms can also be severe enough to perpetuate the use of this drug. Xanax addiction can lead to birth defects, mood disorders, overdose and death. As such, seeking Xanax drug treatment to stop the abuse can minimize these adverse effects.
To learn more about drug treatment programs in your area, contact prescription drug treatment centers in Little Rock. Dial (501) 708-275 for more information.