Prescribed to treat insomnia, anxiety, and panic disorders, Xanax is a powerful benzodiazepine that is the number one prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States. Long-term usage can make Xanax extremely addictive, which poses a risk to thousands of Americans, as the drug is typically prescribed for long-term usage. Teenagers are also known to be addicted to Xanax, and 70% of those who are addicted get the drug from their family’s medicine cabinet.
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How Xanax Addiction Occurs
Xanax is the brand name for a prescription sedative called alprazolam, which affects the brain and central nervous system. By boosting a brain chemical called GABA, it slows down the nerve cell activity occurring in the brain and produces a calm feeling, which is why it’s prescribed so often to help individuals struggling with anxiety.
Xanax tolerance in the body develops quickly, which requires the user to take more of the drug in order to obtain the same effects. As a result, someone addicted to Xanax could be taking between 20 to 30 pills a day. With tolerance to a drug also comes withdrawal. After a few hours, a user could start to feel the negative side effects withdrawal, which requires them to take even more Xanax in order to stop it.
Xanax can be abused in several ways, including by injecting it, snorting it, taking it with other drugs or alcohol, or taking multiple pills at once. It may be difficult to believe you’re addicted to Xanax due to the calming feeling that washes over you, but addiction can lead to serious health risks down the road.