Xanax – anxiety medication
Effects and consequences of addictive drugs
What is Xanax?
Xanax belongs to the benzodiazepine family, which is the name for a range of drugs used to treat severe anxiety, panic attacks and anxiety-related insomnia. It is this group to which Valium, for example, also belongs, which is also a highly addictive drug. Xanax pills are thus anti-anxiety drugs used to combat anxiety and panic attacks. It is also used by patients for sleep and insomnia, as the drug has a sedative effect.
Xanax is the top-selling anxiety drug in the United States. As soon as a person starts struggling with an anxiety disorder, that’s one of the first things you get a prescription for. It’s very common and something that most people know about. It’s very familiar from American rap culture, where medicine has almost become a brand with different slang names. The addiction is now so widespread that it has become a well-known example of prescription drug abuse.
Illegal in Denmark
The brand Xanax itself is not legally sold in Denmark, yet more and more people are using Xanax substances today. It is used as a narcotic, although it can be very dangerous and have fatal consequences. Young people in particular end up abusing the drug as they use it for their anxiety symptoms, sleep problems or similar. The internet has made it easy to order online with your smartphone or computer – or you can buy it on the street here at home.
What is Xanax used for?
Xanax is a highly addictive medication used to treat severe anxiety and panic attacks, as well as anxiety-related insomnia. It consists of the drug alprazolam, which is a fast-acting benzodiazepine that has a sedative effect.
Unfortunately, too many people who abuse Xanax end up with a strong addiction that can be difficult to kick. A severe addiction that can result in serious health problems and, in the worst case, be life-threatening. Fortunately, there is counselling and help available to get off addictive drugs if you or someone you know is struggling.
If you want to know more about what Xanax is and what makes it so addictive, read on. We take a closer look at the drug, reviewing its effects, side effects and why it’s so dangerous. In addition, we also provide advice on how to get help and how you or a loved one can get the right treatment for a Xanax addiction.
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Is Xanax dangerous?
Many people think that it is only dangerous in an overdose, but this is not the case with Xanax. Xanax can have serious consequences even if you follow the instructions. The medication is highly addictive and there can therefore be a high risk of overuse and thus drug abuse, which can result in long-term health problems.
Because the drug is so addictive, Xanax abuse is becoming widespread. Over the past few years, prescriptions for Xanax pills have increased significantly, and the number of people who have overdosed has also risen. It’s also becoming more common in our country, so it’s important that people are aware of how addictive it is. The pills may seem harmless when they can be prescribed by a doctor, but there are risks involved. The fact is that Xanax drugs are very powerful and should be used with great respect and caution.
Xanax and alcohol
Xanax abuse is dangerous enough on its own, but unfortunately it is often taken with alcohol. Xanax and alcohol are similar and a dangerous cocktail. They affect the same neurotransmitters in the brain and work quickly after ingestion. The effect is a feeling of lethargy and blackout as well as problems with balance and memory.
When you consume alcohol and Xanax at the same time, you amplify this debilitating effect. This can lead to dangerous poisoning, which in the worst case can be life-threatening. A poisoning that can slow down the body’s functions so much that they eventually stop altogether.
Xanax use can also be dangerous if combined with other antidepressants. Another dangerous combination is Xanax and caffeine, which is often seen. Many people drink large quantities of coffee to combat the drowsiness caused by Xanax. This can lead people to take even more of the drug in order to still feel the anti-anxiety effect.
How does Xanax work?
The active ingredient in Xanax is called alprazolam, which kicks in quickly after ingestion. That’s why it’s a popular choice for an anxiety or panic attack, for example, as it can come out of the blue. The drug can take up to six hours to work, and it can take a long time to be completely out of your system.
Xanax’s effect occurs because alprazolam goes in and affects the dopamine receptors in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates our sense of pleasure. In other words, it’s our “lucky fabric”. It’s what comes into play when we do something or experience something that makes us happy. At the same time, dopamine reduces the “fight or flight” feeling that can occur during an anxiety or panic attack. It is therefore a feeling of well-being that arises, which can be very addictive.
What are the side effects of Xanax?
Xanax has an anti-anxiety effect, but it also makes you more drowsy than usual. As with any medicine, there are side effects, but they can vary in degree. Not everyone experiences side effects either.
The most common Xanax side effects are:
- Fatigue, drowsiness and dizziness
- Irritable behaviour
- Headaches and memory problems
- Speech impediment and dry mouth
- Sleep disorders.
In addition to the above, tremors, involuntary movements of the body, difficulty concentrating, palpitations, muscle pain, blurred vision, tinnitus, etc. may also be side effects that may occur. They also belong to the more common ones. Then there are the more serious side effects, where drug abuse is on the list. Therefore, it is recommended that it be used only for as short a time as possible.
There are a host of different Xanax side effects, and you can find more information online. Both serious and less serious – and some you see more often than others.
Addiction to the drug Xanax
More and more Danes are struggling with Xanax addiction. Addiction occurs when you take more than the recommended amount, and it happens because people start taking more and more. Once people start taking the pills and feel the Xanax effect, they want to continue feeling the emotions they experience.
Because the medicine is so addictive, it is often recommended that you only take it for a short time. But once you start taking higher doses, it can be hard to get off. Over time, the body starts to get used to the amount, which means it takes more and more to feel the effects.
It’s a vicious circle that can be hard to get out of once you’re there. A feeling of physical dependence arises, which is difficult to stop.
Read also: Couples in treatment together
Get help treating a Xanax addiction
The body has become so dependent on Xanax that it only relaxes and releases dopamine again when Xanax is given to the body. That’s why it’s important not to just stop overnight – as with any other form of abuse.
After taking Xanax for a long period of time, and the body has become physically and mentally dependent on the drug, extreme withdrawal symptoms can occur.
Typical withdrawal symptoms can be:
- Anxiety and severe nervousness
A plan needs to be made as quickly as possible, and typically a gradual tapering off is done, with a continuous focus on the withdrawal symptoms that occur. After a successful course, it is possible to live the good life again, which is not centred on medication.
Do you need help?
If you or a loved one would like to be helped out of a Xanax addiction, Alfa Fredensborg can help with counselling and treatment. Call us or send an email to email@example.com to find out how we can help.
There is a way out of addiction, and while it can be difficult to realise there is a problem, it is the first step.
You are also very welcome to call or write if you just have some questions on the subject in general.