Many people are unaware of the dangers of misusing alprazolam. There is a lingering perception that if a doctor prescribed it then it must be safe. But the fact is that alprazolam can produce unpleasant and dangerous side effects, it can quickly produce an intense physical dependency from which it will be very difficult to recover, and it can produce severe and dangerous withdrawal symptoms when use of the drug is stopped. Detox from alprazolam is a difficult process that may take considerable effort.
Alprazolam addiction is not reserved for recreational users, but can occur in those who use the drug under a doctor’s supervision. Many people begin alprazolam treatment under a doctor’s supervision not realizing that they can become addicted. Others think alprazolam is a good, safe way to relax. Educating the public about the true nature of alprazolam and benzodiazepine addiction may serve to spare people from this harrowing ordeal.
Side Effects of Alprazolam
One of the most significant aspects of benzodiazepines is the speed with which they produce dependency and addiction. Patients can become addicted after a matter of weeks. For this reason alprazolam (along with almost all other benzodiazepines) is prescribed only for short-term use. Additionally, regular long term use of benzodiazepines can lead to serious side effects, including the following:
- Impaired cognitive ability
- Impaired motor skills
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of balance
- Memory loss
- Sexual dysfunction
Doctors are aware of the side effects and prescribe alprazolam when they feel that the benefits to the patient outweigh the risks. However, when a person addicted to alprazolam uses the drug regularly for an extended period of time, and at higher doses than common among addicts, he is opening himself to the full range and maximum severity of side effects.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Alprazolam
Stopping use of alprazolam abruptly can induce severe withdrawal symptoms. The appearance of withdrawal symptoms when use of the drug is stopped is the surest indication of addiction. Once addiction has occurred it is imperative to seek professional treatment. Withdrawing cold turkey from alprazolam or any benzodiazepine can produce symptoms that are dangerous or even life threatening. A professional trained in the treatment of benzodiazepine addiction can determine a tapering schedule that will reduce the occurrence and severity of the withdrawal symptoms. It is critical that medical professionals supervise the process both to monitor the patient’s condition and to administer medication to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Questions about Treatment for Alprazolam Addiction
If you or someone you know is in the grip of alprazolam addiction, treatment is available and we can help find it. Our helpline is toll free, and we are available 24 hours a day. Call us.