Is Xanax Addictive?

Xanax is a common medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Although Xanax can relieve pain associated with anxiety, it can cause serious problems if used in the long-term. Xanax is highly addictive, and it can cause withdrawal symptoms even after short-term use.

As such, using Xanax comes with several risks. It’s important to talk with your doctor about risk factors if they’re recommending Xanax. If you are not prescribed Xanax, you should never use it because this is prescription medicine abuse that often leads to addiction.

Why Is Xanax So Addictive?

Xanax is the prescription drug known as alprazolam in its generic form. This medication belongs to the class of benzodiazepine, sometimes referred to as benzos. Like other medicines in this class, Xanax is addictive. Why is Xanax so addictive? Xanax is incredibly addictive due to how it affects the body.

Xanax works by calming your central nervous system, which causes it to classify as a central nervous system depressant. It specifically targets neurotransmitters in your brain so that it produces a calming effect. This calming effect is why it is used to treat anxiety and panic.

This calming effect impacts the body in a number of ways. For example, it slows the heart rate and blood pressure, as well as alters body temperature regulation. At the same time, Xanax releases dopamine, which is associated with happiness and pleasure. The sedative qualities, mixed with the release of dopamine are what makes Xanax so addictive.

To make the drug more dangerous, Xanax specifically is unique because it releases small amounts of the medication over a long period of time. For this reason, Xanax creates a longer-lasting effect than other related drugs. Due to these addictive qualities, Xanax addiction often requires inpatient treatment

How Much Xanax Is Addictive?

Dependence on Xanax builds up fast. Induces can become addicted to Xanax in a relatively short amount of time. However, dependence on Xanax requires regular use. On average, individuals can become dependent on Xanax in as little as three to four weeks. For some individuals, this dependence can build quicker or longer.

The reason why dependence varies based on a person is that many factors will impact a person’s susceptibility to addiction. Some factors that will impact a person’s development of dependence on Xanax include:

  • Age when first used 
  • Frequency of use 
  • Length of use 
  • General dosage 
  • Abuse of other drugs 

Let’s look at an example. A person who suffers from severe panic attacks may have Xanax in their medicine cabinet in case of a panic attack. This individual may only take a Xanax when needed, such as every month or so. This individual is unlikely to develop a dependence since they do not use Xanax frequently or for a long period of time.

In contrast, someone else may have a general anxiety disorder and feel the need to take medication for it on a daily basis. This individual is much more likely to become addicted to Xanax because they would be taking the medication consistently over a long period of time.

Signs of Xanax Addiction 

It’s important to know the signs of Xanax addiction if you or a loved one is prescribed the medication. Xanax dependence is typically defined as a person’s tolerance to the medication. If an individual is addicted to Xanax, they will experience withdrawal symptoms upon stopping the drug, such as:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Loss of appetite
  • Behavioral changes
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Muscle cramps
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sleep issues

If you or a loved one experiences these symptoms, it may be time for treatment

Get Help from Elysium Healthcare 

Now that you know how and why is Xanax so addictive, you now have the power to begin your road to recovery. Contact Elysium Healthcare if you or a loved one is suffering from Xanax addiction and seeks recovery.

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