Alprazolam (marketed as Xanax) is a benzodiazepine drug used to calm anxiety patients and forestall panic attacks. It is a very useful drug in this capacity; however, benzodiazepines are notorious for being highly addictive and popular recreational drugs. Alprazolam, in particular, is one of the most widely abused benzodiazepines because of its sedative-hypnotic and hallucinogenic properties. This does not mean that all users will become addicted. Safe use of alprazolam is possible.
Side Effects of Alprazolam
Taken to minimize anxiety or to reduce the nausea created by chemotherapy, alprazolam is a helpful drug that only brings minor discomfort. If one begins taking more than the prescribed dose, buys the drug illicitly, or steals someone else’s prescription, he may experience the following ill effects or others not listed:
- Shortness of temper
- Decreased ability to focus
- Overproduction of saliva
- Loss of appetite
- Upset stomach
- Weight loss
- Aching joints
- Newly developed speech impediments
It is essential that the patient follow his doctor’s orders exactly when taking alprazolam.
When the Risk of Harm Outweighs the Benefits of Alprazolam
If a woman is pregnant or nursing a baby, the benefits of taking alprazolam are not worth the risk of harm to her child. An unborn baby can become addicted to this drug if his mother takes it during his gestation period, causing him to experience withdrawal upon birth. Alprazolam is responsible for some birth defects as well. The ingestion of alprazolam through breast milk can induce unhealthy weight loss and lack of energy in nursing infants. A pregnant woman who needs anxiety medication can ask her doctor about alternative prescriptions that will not harm the baby. Patients with damaged livers, sleep apnea, glaucoma, weak lungs, borderline personality disorder, or similar ailments should avoid alprazolam if possible, as it will aggravate their existing conditions. If the user has been known to abuse drugs or alcohol in the past, the risk of becoming addicted to alprazolam may be too great. He should inquire about alternative treatment for his ailment.
How to Minimize the Risk of Addiction
A legitimate alprazolam user may ask a family member or other loved one to keep track of his intake so that he is less tempted to increase his dosage without telling his doctor. He can set up a reward system for himself that allows him a privilege for every week he uses only the prescribed dose of alprazolam. He might also look up the effects of regular alprazolam use as opposed to overuse so that he knows what he is dealing with. Alprazolam is not an evil drug, and should not be avoided solely because of the possibility of addiction. The user must simply be careful.
What to Do If Alprazolam Addiction Has Developed
If you or your loved one is addicted to alprazolam, please call our helpline. The call is toll free and will be answered 24 hours a day, because we want to help you break this drug’s hold on your life. You can be addiction free once again. Call us today to find out how.