Xanax addiction is a growing problem among people of all ages. Xanax is a brand name for the prescription drug alprazolam. Xanax has muscle relaxant properties. It is commonly prescribed for a variety of anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It appears effective for some patients experiencing anxiety disorder and depression simultaneously. It is also sometimes prescribed to chemotherapy patients to help with nausea. Xanax is prescribed more often than other drugs of the same nature (benzodiazepines). It is highly addictive and the most abused benzodiazepine in the U.S. It is detectable in body fluids and drug tests.
Xanax Side Effects
In addition to its helpful properties, Xanax can produce unwanted side effects. Side effects are more obvious and problematic in people who are taking large doses and are not used to the drug. The most common side effects are sleepiness and decreased alertness, slurred speech, fatigue and coordination problems. Rare side effects include hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and slowed respiration. Very unusual side effects sometimes occur such as aggression and hostility, rage, mania, tremor and restlessness/hyperactivity.
How Xanax Addiction Happens
Xanax addiction is increased because it is easily acquired and relatively inexpensive. Over time, a person who routinely uses Xanax will develop dependence on and become addicted to using it. Xanax addiction is typically higher in people who have a history of substance abuse problems including alcohol. People with borderline personality disorder or other psychiatric conditions are susceptible to addiction as well.
Xanax is also used by recreational drug users as a way to relieve distressing symptoms related to the use of psychedelic drugs or stimulants such as amphetamines. Some people who abuse Xanax use it simultaneously with other substances such as alcohol or opiates to increase the pleasurable “high”. Combining Xanax and alcohol is the most common combination. Unfortunately, using Xanax along with other substances is extremely dangerous and increases the risk of overdose and death significantly.
The vast majority of people who abuse Xanax ingest the drug in pill form. However, there are some instances of alprazolam being injected, snorted and ingested orally via thin blotter paper (such as with LSD).