Xanax and Niravam are two of the popular brand names for alprazolam, a medication commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and panic attacks. The drug works by slowing abnormal activity in the brain and also has euphoric properties that can affect the neural reward center. For this reason, many people take the drug illicitly to achieve a high or intensify the effects of alcohol. Regardless of the reason, a user can quickly develop a physical dependency and tolerance, which can have profound negative consequences. If a person takes high doses of alprazolam, an addiction may develop more quickly.
Risks of Alprazolam Abuse
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has found that alprazolam abuse can lead to lasting changes in brain chemistry. One of these changes is a reduced ability to experience pleasure from activities other than taking than the drug. Taking high doses of alprazolam can lead to a number of health risks, including the following:
- Central nervous system (CNS) depression – A high dose of alprazolam or drug interaction can lead to a CNS depression, which can lead to the respiratory system failure and potentially cause death or coma.
- Mood disorders – Although the drug is meant to calm emotions, alprazolam can result in paradoxical mood swings and can provoke existing mood disorders.
- Suicidal thoughts – Alprazolam may, in some cases, lead to the introduction of suicidal thoughts or an increase in suicidal intentions among users.
- Rebound effect – Another paradoxical result is the rebound effect, which is the intense return of the anxiety disorder and panic attacks the drug originally treated.
- Cognitive malfunction – Memory loss, impaired motor skills and weakened decision-making skills can also occur with excessive use.
As with other drugs, addiction to alprazolam can lead to strained finances and relationships as well as serious workplace accidents.
Rehab Treatment for Alprazolam
Alprazolam and its brand name equivalents are all benzodiazepine class drugs, which require special precautions for a safe detox. Quitting alprazolam abruptly can cause a number of effects, including the following:
- Withdrawal symptoms that increase in intensity and overall duration
- Psychiatric effects like schizophrenia, psychosis and mania
- Catatonia or coma
Due to these risks, professional rehab is the safest and most effective way to stop abusing alprazolam. Comprehensive treatment programs can feature a variety of therapy techniques, including the following:
- A tapered detox process to wean the user off the drug at a controlled rate
- Medical supervision to address any discomfort or concerns
- Integrated treatment for mood disorders or mental health issues
- Health screenings to look for any alprazolam-related damage
- Relapse prevention techniques to empower the patient to resist drug use triggers
- Behavioral therapies that improve a person’s daily habits and life skills
- Ongoing aftercare counseling and support groups
Rehab can also feature several alternative therapies to deal with anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia and mood swings. Treatment seeks to care for the whole person, including any co-occurring conditions.
Finding Help for Alprazolam Abuse
If you or a loved one is struggling with alprazolam abuse, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and discuss treatment methods, rehab options and health insurance coverage. High-dose drug use leads to risky consequences, so do not delay seeking help. Please call now.