Alprazolam, most recognizable by its trade name Xanax, is used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Alprazolam is in the benzodiazepines class and works by decreasing abnormal brain activity. The Food and Drug Administration considers alprazolam habit-forming. Often, individuals suffering from great anxiety or panic attacks find relief by taking the drug as prescribed, but then increase their use of the drug seeking increased calm. As the dose is increased, the body develops a tolerance to the drug, meaning a higher dose must be taken to achieve the desired effect. It doesn’t take long for dependency to develop after dosage is increased.
Side Effects of Alprazolam Use
Alprazolam side effects vary in severity and may include the following:
Alprazolam and Mental Health Issues
Up to 50% of people with mental health disorders also struggle with substance abuse. Some disorders are more closely associated with drug abuse than others. These commonly co-occurring mental health issues can include the following:
- Bipolar disorder
Because of the calming effect that antianxiety drugs like alprazolam can have on the user, they can be tempting to those dealing with mental health issues. At first, alprazolam seems to lessen the negative effects of the mental health disorder, but soon an addiction develops leaving the person with more problems than they began with. Simultaneous addiction and mental health issues are referred to as co-occurring disorders and are associated with a set of unique recovery challenges that require unique and specified treatment.
Integrated Treatment for Alprazolam Addiction and Mental Health Issues
Integrated treatment is treatment specifically for those dealing with co-occurring disorders. Integrated treatment programs offer combined treatment for the addiction and the mental disorder as individuals with co-occurring disorders have unique struggles that can differ from those only dealing with one of the disorders. Quality integrated treatment plans will include the following:
- Education for patients about alprazolam and how it interacts with and affects mental illness
- Counseling, either individual or group, specifically designed for co-occurring disorders
- Examination of the role of drugs in the patient’s life and why dependency and addiction have occurred
- Teaching life skills that will equip the patient to solve problems without using drugs
- Relapse prevention training.
Get Help for Alprazolam Addiction and Mental Health Issues
If you or someone close to you struggles with co-occurring disorders like alprazolam addiction and mental health issues, we can help. Call our 24 hour toll-free helpline and begin your recovery today.