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, primarily, by decreasing abnormal brain activity. The Food and Drug Administration considers alprazolam habit-forming. Often, individuals suffering from anxiety or panic find relief by taking the drug as prescribed, but then increase their use of the drug to achieve increased calm or to combat the effects of tolerance. When used more frequently, in greater amounts or for longer than prescribed, alprazolam can cause dependence and addiction.
Side Effects of Alprazolam Use
The most common side effects of Alprazolam include:
Less common side effects include:
The rare side effects of Alprazolam include:
- Sleep apnea
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty in depth perception
- Slurred speech
Who Is at Risk for Alprazolam Addiction?
Anyone using a habit-forming drug like alprazolam risks developing an addiction. There are, however, individuals who are especially at risk due to certain factors. People at high risk for addiction are:
- Patients with a history of alcohol or drug abuse and/or dependence
- Emotionally unstable patients
- Patients with severe personality disorders
- Patients with chronic pain or other physical disorders
Alprazolam Detoxification and Withdrawal
Alprazolam and benzodiazepines cause serious withdrawal symptoms, and detox should occur gradually through tapered dosage over the course of weeks or even months. The hope is to avoid the most serious withdrawal symptoms, which can include the following:
- Panic attacks
- Rebound anxiety
- Muscle cramps
Some treatment plans include substituting alprazolam with diazepam or clonazepam. These drugs have less potential for abuse and dependence and can reduce withdrawal symptoms. However, it is safest to avoid substitution. The concern is that by substituting another medication for the problem drug, a patient is simply substituting addictions.
Alprazolam Addiction Therapy and Recovery
Continued therapy and support after alprazolam detox is vital to ensuring a drug-free, fulfilling life. Useful forms of therapy and support can include the following:
- Behavioral one-on-one therapy with a counselor
- Group therapy sessions
- Therapy that includes close family and friends
The shared goal of all forms of post-addiction therapy is to help individuals learn how to cope with the temptation of relapse and to create an environment that encourages drug-free, healthy living.
Need Help Finding Treatment for Alprazolam Addiction?
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to alprazolam, you don’t have to wait to get the help and information you need. Call our 24 hour toll-free helpline now, and a helpful representative will be glad to help you take the first steps on the road to recovery.