Xanax, the brand name for alprazolam, is a powerful benzodiazepine drug and central nervous system depressant. It is also an extremely potent schedule IV controlled substance. This type of classification makes Xanax the kind of drug that has a high risk of abuse and addiction.
Aside from it’s prescribed usage, many people abuse Xanax for its euphoric effects. They can also mix this benzodiazepine with other drugs and alcohol to achieve a more intense high. Unfortunately, misusing Xanax in this way can be extremely dangerous. If you suspect someone you love is abusing Xanax, it is essential to spot the signs and seek treatment immediately. The Bluffs, located in Sherrodsville, Ohio, has several treatment options available for individuals looking to reclaim their lives from Xanax abuse and addiction.
Six signs your loved one is abusing Xanax may include:
- using Xanax outside of prescription guidelines
- multiple Xanax prescriptions or no prescription at all
- changes in behavior because of Xanax use
- physical signs of Xanax abuse
- psychological symptoms of Xanax abuse
- Xanax withdrawal symptoms
Let’s explore these six signs in depth.
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Using Xanax Outside of Prescription Guidelines
Xanax is prescribed to relieve anxiety and panic disorders. However, it is often misused and abused due to the high it provides. The most common reason people misuse Xanax outside of the prescription window is to relax, relieve tension, and to help with sleep.
Xanax has a high potency. As a result, when someone becomes tolerant of the drug, he or she may be more inclined to take an extra dose. Unfortunately, the highly addictive substances within this drug create a painful cycle to break.
There is a reason doctors only prescribe this drug for the short term, and if you suspect your loved one is using and abusing this drug beyond the recommended guideline, you should suggest they seek help immediately.
Multiple Or No Xanax Prescriptions
Due to the drug’s habit-forming qualities, doctors only prescribe Xanax as a short-term option. If the prescription runs out and a person is addicted to Xanax, they may begin a pattern of seeking excess pills. They may “doctor shop,” ask friends, search online, or even hunt for it on the streets.
If your loved one turns to the streets to obtain Xanax, there can be additional complications. Street drugs are often laced with more dangerous compounds. Sometimes, pills purchased on the street may not even be Xanax at all. Street drugs are not tested or censored, and there is no telling what you are ingesting. This may increase the risk of overdose and even death.
Conversely, if your loved one does not have a prescription for Xanax and you find pills within their possession, this may also be a sign of an abuse problem.
Changes In Behavior
People who abuse Xanax often experience changes in behavior. They may attempt to hide their drug use, behave secretively, disappear for long periods, or lie about where they’ve been.
Be on the lookout for the following drug-abuse related behaviors:
- constant annoyance or showing signs of depression and anxiety
- secretive or aggressive
- rapid weight gain or loss
- may appear sluggish or groggy
- not interested in regular social activities
- has sudden difficulties with maintaining relationships
Physical Signs Of Xanax Abuse
A person actively abusing Xanax may show signs of intense relaxation and calm. This drug is a potent central nervous system depressant, and when taken in excess, it will have a strong overall sedating effect.
Too much Xanax can result in an overdose, which begins with respiratory distress, loss of consciousness, or a coma. It can also lead to brain damage or death.
Additional physical signs of Xanax abuse that may be noticeable include:
- lack of motor coordination
- difficulty breathing
- slurred speech
- blurred vision
Psychological Symptoms Of Xanax Abuse
When abuse turns into addiction, people begin to believe that they need the drug to function normally. They are convinced they need it to live and will do whatever they can to get their hands on the drug.
People who abuse Xanax begin to experience psychological changes as well. They have trouble with simple tasks and memories that were once easy to grasp.
Psychological symptoms of Xanax abuse you should look out for are:
- lack of focus
- memory problems
- lack of inhibition
- paranoia or anxiety
Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms
After time your loved one may experience tolerance to Xanax. Only a doctor should increase or decrease the dosage to help anxiety symptoms. However, individuals who abuse Xanax will likely take more than what has been prescribed or recommended.
If a person does become addicted and dependent on Xanax and abruptly stops taking the drug, he or she can experience symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms begin after the drug leaves the body. However, if you notice any of these symptoms reoccurring in your loved one, he or she could be experiencing a cycle of Xanax abuse and withdrawal.
Xanax withdrawal symptoms to look out for are:
- tense muscles
- blurred vision
- aches and pains
- nausea or vomiting
- difficulty breathing
- hypersensitivity to light and sound
- irritability and mood swings
Professional Treatment For Xanax Abuse And Addiction
If you see any of these six signs of Xanax abuse and want to help someone you love overcome an addiction to this drug, contact The Bluffs today. Our trained specialists are available to help support and guide your loved one into the best treatment tailored to his or her needs.
For someone who struggles with Xanax abuse, the detoxification process can be complicated.
At The Bluffs, medically supervised detoxification is the first treatment step. Our staff ensures that clients are as comfortable as possible during their detoxification and help prepare them for residential treatment.
The Bluffs provides an array of treatment methods in a safe and secure environment that is a pivotal part of the recovery process. Treatment options offered include:
- inpatient treatment programs
- medically assisted treatment (MAT)
- motivational interviewing
- dialectical behavior therapy
- cognitive behavioral therapy
- mindfulness and stress management
- outdoor and recreational therapy
After following the proper treatment program for Xanax detoxification and recovery, a person is encouraged to become involved in our relapse prevention and aftercare programs. These continued aftercare programs include checkups, therapy, support groups, and other forms of treatment and education as needed.
If you think you or someone you love is struggling with Xanax abuse and use, and you want to talk to someone, we can help. Our addiction specialists can speak with you about your loved one and help you find the best treatment options for them.
- Kaiser Permanente — Benzodiazepine and Z-Drug Safety Guideline
- WebMD — Doctors, Patients Struggle with Benzodiazepine Use
- WebMD — Benzodiazepine Abuse
- Psychiatric Services in Advance — Benzodiazepine Use and Misuse Among Adults in the United States