Alprazolam is a psychoactive anti-anxiety medication frequently sold and marketed under the brand name Xanax. It is a benzodiazepine that can cause feelings of euphoria, sedation and amnesia when abused. It is often combined with opiates, alcohol or other drugs in order to intensify its effects. A third of all patients who use the drug for longer than one month will become physically and psychologically dependent on it. While the majority of alprazolam addicts start taking the drug with a legitimate prescription, it is commonly available on the black market. Alprazolam abuse is not limited to urban or even suburban locales. It is one of the most commonly abused prescription medications throughout the rural areas of the United States and the United Kingdom.
How Alprazolam Addiction Works
As with all benzodiazepines, alprazolam works by binding to specific chemical receptors in the brain that are related to anxiety and panic. It may be legitimately prescribed as a short-term treatment for any of the following conditions:
- Panic attacks
- Generalized anxiety disorders
- Social anxiety
It has muscle relaxing properties but is not currently preferred by doctors for this type of treatment.
When alprazolam is first taken, it gives users a mild high and marked relaxation. The relief of underlying anxiety can be profound. The sedative effect of the drug tends to dissipate after a few days, but the anxiety controlling properties remain intact. Users who crave the high associated with the use of the drug frequently combine it with other chemicals or take significantly higher doses in order to achieve the desired effects. While users who take the medication strictly as prescribed are less likely to become addicted than those who abuse it intentionally, the risk is still there.
Unique Alprazolam Challenges in Rural Areas
While many people believe that drug abuse is limited to inner city neighborhoods and nightclub parties, alprazolam is one of the most commonly diverted and trafficked drugs in the world. Abuse of the drug is common in both cities and rural areas. Fewer treatment programs and potentially untrained enforcement officers may contribute to its abuse in rural areas. Increased interdiction and awareness in rural environments may help turn the tide of alprazolam abuse.
Effective Alprazolam Treatment
It is not safe for an alprazolam addict to quit taking the drug suddenly, or “cold turkey,” as this can cause any of the following life-threatening symptoms:
- Severe migraines
- Intense depression
- Panic attacks
The best way to end alprazolam abuse is to gradually taper off use of the drug over a number of days or weeks. When this is done under the close supervision of an addiction treatment doctor, the worst symptoms can sometimes be relieved by the administration of carefully chosen medications. Psychological rehabilitation is also required. This usually involves a combination of counseling and education, as well as the cultivation of effective new boundary enforcement techniques and coping skill improvements.
Alprazolam Addiction Help
If you are wrestling with alprazolam addiction, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our counselors can answer your questions and can connect you with the best recovery program for you. Don’t try to quit alone and don’t put off your first day of recovery. Call now and let us help you break free from alprazolam addiction.