Alprazolam addiction is a self-perpetuating disease. Once it has begun, the nature of the condition is that people are unable to control their drug-taking behavior without help. They become caught in a cycle of ever-worsening problems.
Developing an Addiction to Alprazolam
People begin taking alprazolam for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the drug is prescribed for anxiety or insomnia. Sometimes it is taken recreationally for its relaxing, disinhibiting, or euphoric properties. Users of other drugs such as LSD, cocaine, amphetamines and MDMA will sometimes use alprazolam to counteract sleeplessness and other unwanted symptoms from their primary drug of choice.
When users take alprazolam on a regular basis, their bodies adapt to the presence of the drug, and larger or more frequent doses are needed in order to produce noticeable effects. This is known as drug tolerance. Users generally find themselves taking larger and larger amounts of alprazolam, or combining the drug with other sedatives, such as alcohol or opioids. This can be extremely dangerous. Even common medications such as antihistamines, muscle-relaxers, anti-depressants, and some anti-nausea drugs can combine with alprazolam in a synergistic and dangerous way.
Drug tolerance can quickly turn to drug dependence. Alprazolam dependence develops because the human body is always attempting to maintain balance, or homeostasis. The body begins to see the presence of the drug as normal, and makes changes (primarily related to neurotransmitter levels) that reflect that. When the drug is not being regularly consumed, the body’s changes are unmasked, and withdrawal symptoms occur. For many, this means that they are unable to sleep at all without taking the drug, or face anxiety and panic attacks without it.
Alprazolam Addiction Treatment
The first step in breaking the cycle of alprazolam addiction is a supervised, medically managed detox. Alprazolam is a drug in the benzodiazepine class and benzodiazepine withdrawal can be severe and dangerous. It is not wise to attempt it without help. During detox, the dosage of alprazolam may be slowly reduced, or patients may be switched to longer-acting benzodiazepine drugs such as diazepam or clonazepam. Withdrawal symptoms will be monitored and treated as necessary.
After detox, addiction treatment in either a residential or outpatient setting is indicated. This will involve components such as motivational enhancement, education, and relapse prevention training. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often utilized, in which thought patterns and beliefs that may contribute to drug use are identified. Often, family or couples counseling is provided, which can help resolve underlying issues as well as those that have arisen as a result of drug addiction.
Break the Cycle of Alprazolam Addiction Today
It is difficult to break the cycle of addiction without help but also difficult to know where to find the assistance needed. We can lend a helping hand. Call our toll-free helpline, available 24 hours a day, and let us support you while answering your questions about alprazolam addiction treatment. We can check your insurance coverage and provide you with the other information you need to find a treatment option that is right for you.