Alprazolam (also known by the brand name Xanax) is the most common benzodiazepine prescribed. In fact, a 2008 study showed that of the top fifty prescribed medications in that year, Xanax ranked number nine with sales in excess of $450 million. Xanax is the most often prescribed medication for short-term use to treat anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and moderate to severe stress.
How Does Alprazolam Work?
For people suffering from anxiety, neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain) may be out of balance. Benzodiazepines affect a chemical in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). By reducing the activity of nerves in the brain, GABA reduces anxiety. Alprazolam is designed to increase the effects of GABA.
Alprazolam for Anxiety
For people suffering from panic disorders, relieving symptoms quickly is paramount. Since alprazolam has a fast onset of symptom relief, physicians frequently prescribe it for its ability to treat panic attacks quickly.
Unfortunately, it is common for people taking the drug on a regular basis to become tolerant to its therapeutic effects. What this means is that the person does not get the same level of relief from alprazolam as he or she originally did. After regular use of alprazolam, the only way a person can achieve that original effect is to increase the amount of the drug taken, which can be unhealthy and even dangerous if not monitored by a doctor.
Alprazolam Abuse Indicators
Since regular use of alprazolam is proven to have reduced effectiveness, people seeking to achieve the original benefit of the drug are at risk for abuse. The most obvious abuse indicator is if a person increases either the amount or frequency of taking the drug without a recommendation from a physician.
Other behavioral indicators of abuse and addiction are as follows:
- A user may become compulsive about using alprazolam and feel that he or she is completely unable to stop
- As the user’s compulsion increases, he or she becomes increasingly concerned about getting more alprazolam, and may try to obtain prescriptions from various doctors or even through other sources such as the Internet
- Because the user’s focus becomes so centered on acquiring alprazolam, he or she may exhibit changes in habit or lifestyle, which may impact his or her ability to take on responsibilities associated with work, school, and home
Recreational Abuse of Alprazolam
The most frequent abusers of alprazolam are adolescents and young adults who take the drug to get reach a state of calm. The following are some facts about alprazolam abuse:
- People who are low on funds can acquire the drug cheaply
- Abuse of alprazolam is particularly high among heroin and cocaine abusers
- Approximately 50% of people entering treatment for narcotic or cocaine addiction also report abusing benzodiazepines, including alprazolam
Alprazolam Addiction Help
If you or a loved one is addicted to alprazolam, please call our toll free number today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about alprazolam addiction treatment. We are here to help.
1 (877) 345-0698