The Promise of Xanax
Xanax, also known as alprazolam, is an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication developed in the 1960s by Upjohn Laboratories.
First developed as a superior sleep aid with muscle relaxant qualities, it was soon realized that Xanax was highly effective for anxiety, panic and mood disorders. It was later presented as an alternative antidepressant that was much less harsh than other drugs available for those disorders at that time.
By the early 1990s Xanax had become the hottest drug in psychiatry and was being prescribed on a large-scale basis by psychiatrists who held it in good faith that Xanax was scientifically sound and an effective medication for panic.
The Reality of Xanax Addiction
Anyone can develop a Xanax addiction who has been prescribed the medication or who uses it with prescription.
Xanax is the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine and, therefore, the most widely abused, as well. As a benzodiazepine the drug works by suppressing the inhibitory receptor in the brain, thereby decreasing any abnormal or extreme excitement. Like most benzodiazepines it is highly addictive.
Anyone using large doses of the drug or using it for prolonged periods can experience an addiction to Xanax. That includes people who take the medication exactly as prescribed. In fact, many times those people don’t even realized they have become addicted to it.
There are, in fact, hundreds of thousands of people abusing Xanax and it is common to mix Xanax with other drugs or alcohol. In just six years, between 2004 and 2010, the number of people who ended up in an emergency room due to effects of Xanax abuse almost tripled, from 46,000 to 125,000.
Recovering from an Addiction to Xanax
Some of the side effects of an addiction to Xanax include cognitive trouble, memory loss or false memories, difficulty paying attention, nausea and vomiting, physical pain, muscle and stomach aches, headaches, migraines and loss of coordination, as well as a lack of interest in sex.
Some addicts also report flashbacks to stressful events and feeling suicidal as well as paranoia. Recovery from a Xanax addiction is difficult and lengthy, often starting with a detox in which the addict is slowly weaned off the drug. Once drug free, the recovering addict must still be treated for the affects the drug has had on the body and the brain, as well as the spirit.
Since many addicts were originally prescribed Xanax as a medication for an existing condition, such as anxiety, recovery must also include an answer to that preexisting condition, which may, or may not be, another pharmaceutical. Other therapies are primarily cognitive in nature.