What is Xanax?
Xanax, also known as Alprazolam, is a powerful prescription medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax is part of a group of medications known as benzodiazepines, and are currently the some of the most commonly used medications in psychiatry. Other well-known benzodiazepines include Valium, Diazepam, Klonopin, Ativan, as well as a few others. In addition to their anti-anxiety effect, benzodiazepines can also be used as powerful sedatives, as well as anti-convulsant, and muscle relaxant medications.
However, because they work by binding to inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain, extended use of these medications can fundamentally alter the brain’s chemistry, making the individual physically dependent on the drug. Once physical dependence kicks in the individual will be completely consumed with taking the drug, and will experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms soon after taking their last dose.
While Xanax is predominantly recommended for short term use, it is not uncommon for some patients to use Xanax on a daily basis. Like many other addictive substances, a person will naturally build up a tolerance to Xanax over time and will require more and more of the drug in order to feel at ease. After a while, the patient will no longer take Xanax to ease their anxiety caused by external factors, but to ease their anxiety caused by not taking Xanax. With continued use it is likely that the individual will have a full blown addiction and will suffer from physical and mental withdrawal symptoms.
Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms
Since Xanax works fast and has a relatively short half-life withdrawal symptoms can set in quickly. Most individuals addicted to Xanax will start to feel withdrawal symptoms within 10-12 hours after their last dose. These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks and will usually peak within about 3-4 days. However, residual and lingering withdrawal symptoms can last for weeks or even months.
Xanax withdrawal symptoms include:
- Convulsions – some can be life threatening
- Psychological side effects
Seeking Help for a Xanax Addiction
What is probably one of the scariest things about a Xanax addiction is the potential for serious, even life threatening withdrawal symptoms. If you, or someone you love, are suffering from a Xanax addiction, do not hesitate to consult a drug rehab facility right away. Here they can get the expert 24 hour care and medical supervision they need to recover from this devastating disease.
It is important to remember that if you are currently addicted to Xanax and wish to quit, do not abruptly stop taking the drug. That will trigger withdrawal symptoms that could be severe. Instead, the best thing you can do is to visit a drug rehab facility that specializes in Xanax detox, so they can slowly wean you off the drug, while helping you manage the pain from your withdrawal symptoms.