Alprazolam Addiction and Abuse
Alprazolam is a drug marketed under the names Xanax, Xanax XR and Nivaram. It is among the most commonly sold and prescribed psychiatric medications in the US. Alprazolam falls under a group of central nervous system (CNS) depressants known as a benzodiazepines, and is used to treat anxiety, stress reactions and panic attacks. Alprazolam acts by reducing abnormal brain activity and helps to calm and relax an individual in an anxious or worried state. The drug is available in pill form and is taken orally. Alprazolam is generally considered safe and effective when taken as prescribed. However, misuse of the drug can result in significant health consequences. It is usually prescribed only for short-term use due to the risk of Alprazolam addiction and abuse stemming from its addictive properties and the side effects associated with withdrawal.
Alprazolam is commonly abused by taking it contrary to a prescribing doctor’s orders or by being sold or shared. It is also at risk of being used by teenagers and youths living at home, or by others in the home with a history of prescription medication abuse. Using alprazolam in conjunction with drugs such as cocaine or opiates is common, with alprazolam often being used to help manage the side effects of concurrent addictions.
Emergency patient admissions relating to alprazolam doubled between 2005 and 2010, suggesting that alprazolam addiction is a worrying trend that shouldn’t be ignored, in the event of abuse or dependence, alprazolam addiction treatment should be sought.
Common Street Names for Alprazolam
Common street names for alprazolam include its brand names <Xanax, Xanax XR and Nivaram, as well as bricks, benzos, bennies, blue footballs, Upjohn, z-bars, bars and xanbars.
Alprazolam is considered a Schedule IV drug under the Controlled Substances Act. It is considered to have low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. It is available by prescription only.
History and Trends in Alprazolam Addiction and Abuse
Benzodiazepine was developed in the 1950s as a safer alternative to the widely prescribed or abused sedatives known at the time. Alprazolam was first marketed in the US in 1981 and became widely prescribed due to its fast-acting relief. Commonly used and widely available, it has been noted as a drug with potential for abuse and diversion among teenagers and young people. It is sometimes used by those with crack cocaine addictions in order to help manage the negative effects of their crack cocaine addiction.
Side effects of Alprazolam Addiction and Abuse
Side effects of Alprazolam are most likely to occur upon first taking the medication, and include drowsiness and light-headedness. Depression, insomnia, confusion, nervousness and dizziness may be experienced, along with dry mouth, gastrointestinal issues, nausea, nasal congestion, blurred vision and heart palpitations.
Alprazolam produces sedation and euphoria, which may be compounded when taken in combination with other drugs. However, when combined with other drugs that depress the central nervous system, such as opiates, or with alcohol, the side effects of alprazolam can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
Alprazolam overdoses may occur, and manifest as sleepiness, confusion, impaired coordination, slowed reflexes and a comatose state.
Withdrawal symptoms of Alprazolam
Alprazolam is addictive, and even after short-term use individuals may develop a physical dependence on the drug. This is particularly true for those who have been prescribed dosages of 4mg/day or higher.
Alprazolam withdrawal symptoms can be severe, and may include tremors and seizures. Seizures are more likely to occur in those who have been taking high dosages of the drug, which is why a tapered approach to withdrawal is recommended. Other alprazolam withdrawal symptoms include dysphoria, insomnia, cramps, vomiting and sweating.
Treatment for Alprazolam Addiction and Abuse
Every year the US sees over a million emergency department visits for the abuse of prescription drugs. Drugs such as alprazolam, which are readily obtained and are at risk of abuse, are a large part of the problem.
Alprazolam abuse can destroy lives. Drug abuse can affect an individual’s ability to live a healthy, productive life, and can cause difficulties with relationships, at work, and in day-to-day living. Fortunately, there are options for managing alprazolam addiction.
Alprazolam addiction treatment approaches include behavioral therapy and targeted detox programs. Detox programs take a multi-pronged approach to managing addiction by removing an addicted individual from a situation that facilities their drug abuse, giving them a space in which their alprazolam withdrawal symptoms can be supervised, and by addressing the behaviors and risks that have led to the abuse in the first place.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an alprazolam addiction, get help now. Contact White Sands Tampa about our alprazolam addiction treatment programs today at 1-877-640-7820.