Xanax, the prescription drug used to assuage panic attacks and anxiety symptoms, often becomes an addictive vice used by adults – and teens – as an escape or diversion.
Xanax is in the benzodiazepine family. It was originally crafted to relieve anxiety, insomnia and panic disorders. It also contains sedative, hypnotic and anticonvulsant properties. The Benzodiazepine family includes:
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Clobazam (Onfi)
- Chordiazepoxide (Librium)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Temazepam (Restoril)
- Triazolam (Halcion)
Teens who abuse benzodiazepines – also called benzos – are extremely vulnerable to addiction and should seek Xanax addiction treatment. Pill popping Xanax can have dangerous mental and physical side effects when used recreationally.
Treatment through Sovereign Health Rancho San Diego helps young patients take control of their lives, and often for the first time. We use a combo of modern treatment modalities and alternative therapies to best set a teenager up for success and real recovery.
Side Effects of Xanax Abuse:
- Double vision or blurriness
- Drowsiness, dizziness and sedation
- Dry mouth or seemingly parched throat
- Memory problems
- Slurred speech, confusion, lack of focus or coordination
- Swollen hands or feet
- Upset stomach, nausea or vomiting
Some of these signs are hard to distinguish because a teen in their formative years will exhibit some of the same symptoms. It’s best to look for a combination thereof if a parent is not sure.
Xanax and other benzos can cause changes to the brain especially to a youth in puberty when the brain is already making drastic developments.
Tolerance is also built up with long-term use, which makes these medications demonstrate less of the euphoria and subsequently requiring higher or more frequent dosages.
Red Flags of Xanax Addiction:
A Xanax addict may show some of the following red flags:
- Raiding parents, relatives or friend’s medicine cabinets
- Hiding pills in another container
- Explaining away pill-popping habits
- Frequent complaints of anxiety, insomnia to get parents to take them to doctor’s office for a prescription
Uncontrollable cravings are the hallmark of any addiction. These cravings spur addicts to go to extremes to obtain the drug of choice, such as lying and manipulation, illegal activity and risky behavior.
Xanax Inside the Body
Xanax excites the gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter, which overrides anxious and fearful feelings but also slows brain communication across the board. A youth may feel calmer, but needed critical thinking and reflexes are mitigated.
As brain activity is diverted and funneled toward GABA in the brain, less energy is available for neurotransmitter functions such as: Acetyl choline, dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin. These brain paths manage everyday alertness, emotional responses, coordination, memory and muscle tone.
Xanax affects the same neurotransmitters as alcohol affects in the brain. Taken together, the dangers are multiplied.
Overdosing on Xanax can make it hard to breathe. Overdose can also result at a lower dose because of the synergistic effects when consumed with alcohol in the system.
Xanax and other benzos provide immediate relief of symptoms whereas antidepressants can take weeks to regulate the brain. If relief is quickly onset so are the withdrawal symptoms if the teen stops or is inconsistent with the amount consumed.
Xanax’s fast-acting nature also means short-term relief. This means even patients using it appropriately take it more frequently than perhaps other drugs, which is why it’s easy to become addicted to.
People often experience a return of adverse psychological symptoms even between doses.