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Dangers of Xanax Abuse

a person talks to a therapist about the dangers of xanax abuse

Xanax, a common drug for treating anxiety disorders and depression, has staggeringly high abuse potential. It’s also the most prescribed psychiatric drug in the U.S., leaving millions of households a potential gateway to a Xanax addiction. As is the case for many similar drugs, unsecured medicine cabinets are a huge player in kick-starting addictions, especially in teens. Whether it’s to self-medicate for anxiety or depression or to experiment with drugs that aren’t theirs, approximately 70% of teens who became addicted to Xanax cite exposure to a family member’s prescription as their starting point.

At California Centers for Recovery, our goal is to minimize the damage drugs can do—prescribed or otherwise. Part of that involves ensuring readers know how best to manage the presence of Xanax or other benzodiazepines inside the home. For those affected by Xanax abuse, we offer a benzo detox in the South Bay Area. We provide a safe environment where patients can participate in medically supported detox and prepare for life after therapy. For additional info on the dangers of Xanax abuse or our Southern California center, reach us online or call 877.328.5682 today. 

Understanding Xanax

As briefly mentioned before, Xanax is a type of benzodiazepine. Benzos work by making gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) function at an increased proficiency. GABA is already an important part of your brain’s neurochemistry responsible for controlling anxiety, fear, or stress levels. It accomplishes this by blocking signals going from the central nervous system to the brain and, in turn, producing a calming effect.

Benzos manipulate GABA’s ability to reduce anxiety and induce feelings of calm but invoke the risk of being abused for those reasons. Anxiety among all age demographics has seen a surge over the past few decades, even before the pandemic. As a result, Xanax, in particular, has been prescribed more than any other psychiatric medication.

The Different Types of Benzodiazepines

There are several names for different brands and types of benzos. For instance, alprazolam is the generic name for both Xanax and another drug, Niravam. Other benzos include lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium). Generally, all of these drugs do the same thing regarding how they inhibit anxiety and stress. 

Have a Prescription? Here’s What You Should Know

If you or a family member received a prescription for Xanax or any other benzodiazepine, it’s vital that every member of the household understands the risks of taking medication. Nobody other than the individual whose name is printed on the label should take the medication. The one who received the prescription should take great care in self-monitoring their reactions, compulsions, and symptoms to report to their doctor.

Taking Xanax as prescribed is less likely to incur side effects than if taken erratically.  However, taking benzos of any kind opens the door to potential side effects regardless of how they’re taken. Be mindful, and pay attention to the side effects common with benzo use: 

  • Drowsiness
  • Faulty memory
  • Coordination problems
  • Incoherent speech
  • Diarrhea
  • Heightened anxiety

Signs of a Xanax Overdose

As of 2020, benzodiazepines accounted for over 17% of overdose deaths in the United States. Higher doses of Xanax can cause the effect to go from calming to totally sedative, and it can be hard to notice when that threshold is crossed. If you’re in a situation where determining overdose symptoms is the difference between life and death, these are the symptoms to look out for:

  • Extremely poor coordination
  • Tiredness (in conjunction with other symptoms)
  • Confusion
  • Quick, shallow breathing
  • Clammy skin
  • Dilated pupils

Taking an excessive amount of Xanax can result in a poisoning effect. This can be fatal, especially if Xanax isn’t the only drug ingested. Sometimes, illicit benzos are cut with other, considerably more potent drugs like fentanyl. If adverse reactions occur after somebody has taken Xanax, the most crucial information comes from knowing how much was ingested and from where it came.

Xanax Abuse Treatment at California Centers for Recovery

If Xanax abuse has caused a major disruption in your life, professional help is the most certain, stable means of treatment. At California Centers for Recovery, we offer a safe, effective benzo detox program in the South Bay Area. Our treatment plans are constructed from the ground up around each patient’s strengths and needs.

Let us give you the tools to take control of your life again. Begin the journey to recovery today by calling 877.328.5682 or reaching us online.