Drug Addiction: The Problem of Xanax Abuse and Its Consequences

Xanax is in the group of drugs referred to as benzodiazepine which is in short known as Benzo’s. This drug is a depressant that is mostly used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, as well as tension. It has been used for a long time as a tranquilizer and it is becoming more common as well as easily available sometimes illegally online. In the U.S it is illegal to sell Xanax without a prescription. Many people buy it illegally and thus it leads to the problem of Xanax abuse. (ABUSEHELP.COM, 2009)

Xanax is very addictive and the more one takes it the greater the chances of addiction especially in cases where it is acquired illegally without a physician supervising how the drug is being used. When the drug is used for a long period of time, the body becomes used to the drug and thus one will need to increase the dosage to get the same effect as before. This leads to physical dependence on the drug and it becomes difficult to stop using it. (DuPont, 1986)

Withdrawal from Xanax especially when abruptly stopped leads to a number of symptoms including seizures, panic attacks, and in other cases death may occur. Withdrawal from the drug also increases the primary symptoms the patient was trying to contain. The brain of the patient begins to race thus leading to anxiety and this becomes difficult to deal with. This drug is dangerous when not taken as per the prescription and it can become fatal when it is combined with other drugs. Research conducted in 2005 and 2006 in the U.S showed 29 percent of young people aged between 12 and 17 were abusing benzodiazepines within a year of using them. (Drug Rehab, n.d)

Xanax affects brain activity through the slowing down of the central nervous giving a person a feeling of pleasure that leads to addiction. Xanax leads to drowsiness, reduced concentration as well as inaudible speech. Once these symptoms are experienced, they go away after a number of days. One feels calm and they feel they need to take more drugs to increase the level of calmness and hence they get addicted after continuous use of the drugs. An individual who is using the drugs may also experience memory loss as well as difficulty in breathing. If a person had existing illnesses they become worse with the use of these drugs. It can also cause cardiac-related problems if the person has problems with the heart because of the way it speeds up or slows down the heart. Other side effects of Xanax include depressed mood, muscle twitching, hallucinations, fainting, and not fearing any danger at all. One may start urinating less than is normally the case as well as having suicidal thoughts. (DuPont, 1986)

This drug should be used with precaution under the supervision of a qualified physician. It should not be used by persons who have a history of drug addiction. It should also be used for brief periods since using it for a long time leads to addiction. People who are allergic to Xanax should not take the drug and those who are taking the drug should tell their doctor if they have any breathing problems. It is also very important not to mix Xanax with alcohol or methadone since combining these drugs has greater effects than using it alone. Expectant women should not take Xanax and especially without consulting a doctor. When using this drug, one should keep it away from children and follow instructions as directed by the doctor. (DuPont, 1989)

The treatment of Xanax addiction, as well as withdrawal symptoms, is done under the supervision of a medical doctor trained to deal with issues of addiction and withdrawal. The patient should be kept in a conducive environment free from any interference so that they will be able to focus on the treatment. The drug should then be reduced gradually so that the patient does not suffer adverse effects. In most cases, reducing the drug is very dangerous but with the help of a medical doctor it can be monitored and the patient can reach a level where they don’t take any dose at all. The patients should be able to go through the whole process, being involved in dealing with their issues to avoid going back to the same problems. Therapy is very efficient in treating Xanax abuse patients since it helps the patient in their thinking and their behavior. This in turn enhances their ability to coping with their lives. (ABUSEHELP.COM, 2009)

Xanax as a drug can be very addictive and difficult to stop. It is very important for anyone using the drug to be cautious and follow the instructions that are provided. They are drugs of great value to patients who are experiencing anxiety. Xanax has had a bad reputation not because it is a bad drug but because so many people abuse it. Xanax abuse can be avoided by its proper use.

References List

ABUSEHELP.COM. (2009). Xanax Abuse. Web.

Drug Rehab. Xanax Abuse. Web.

DuPont, RL. (1986). Benzodiazepines: The Social Issues. Rockville, MD, Institute for Behavior and Health.

DuPont, RL. (1989). A Patient’s Gude to Getting off a Benzodiazepine. Rockville, MD, DuPont Associates.

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