Xanax Addiction & Abuse
Although Xanax is a commonly prescribed medication that is used to treat a variety of conditions, the potential for Xanax addiction and abuse is very real. The following information is about how addiction occurs, how to prevent it and how to get help once it has become a problem.
There are two main types of addiction that are associated with Xanax: physical dependence and mental addiction. When a patient takes any controlled substance for a long period of time, their bodies become used to the chemicals and must have them in order to function properly. When that chemical is no longer present in the body, patients will experience a myriad of symptoms that often drive them to take more of the medication. Mental addictions, on the other hand, are also difficult to break. Patients who are mentally addicted to Xanax are unable to fend off anxiety and panic attacks on their own, leading them to continue with the medication for longer periods of time.
While doctors and pharmacists are given the task of ensuring that patients understand how to properly take their medications, it is up to each patient to make a conscious decision to take their drugs correctly. The number one way to prevent Xanax addiction is to take the medication exactly as it has been prescribed—never at a higher dosage or more frequently. Patients who feel as if they are beginning to become dependent on Xanax should speak with their physicians and possibly find another course of treatment with less potential for side effects.
Finally, patients who have questions about the medication should do plenty of research before taking the medication.
Understanding and Preventing Abuse
Similar to addiction, Xanax abuse is a problem for many individuals worldwide. The medication is designed to help individuals who suffer from anxiety, though people often choose to purchase the drug off the street in order to get high. This is a serious problem in some communities and has led to the formation of groups and organizations who strive to put an end to the abuse of Xanax and other prescription medications. Patients can do their part by keeping the drugs out of the reach of others and properly disposing of any unused Xanax; simply throwing the bottle in the trash does not keep it out of the hands of those who may abuse it.
When someone is faced with Xanax addiction or abuse, there are several avenues available that may be able to provide help. Patients who are physically or mentally addicted to the drug can speak with their physicians in order to taper down the dosage or switch medications gradually. Those who abuse Xanax or other prescription medications may require an intervention and treatment in an inpatient facility in order to break the habit. Many of these treatment options are completely confidential and covered by most health insurance plans; they can be found by contacting substance abuse hotlines or looking in the local Yellow Pages.
Like so many other drugs on the market today, Xanax carries with it a risk for addiction and abuse of which patients must always be aware. Patients, friends and caregivers should never be afraid to speak out or get help when it comes to Xanax addiction and abuse.