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Is Xanax Addictive?

Most of the time, prescription medications are given to us for our own good. They are used to treat or cure a specific ailment, and the side effects are safe enough for regular use. However, what is less understood is whether the drugs we are being given are addictive. How careful do we need to be when we take them? Knowing as much as you can about a medication is an important first step in battling addiction before it starts. 

At Hillside Mission Recovery, we know that addiction can happen even to those who don’t intend to abuse medication. Having the knowledge to recognize the signs and know where and when to get help is crucial to sobriety. In this post, we are going to look at the drug Xanax, what it does, how someone might become addicted to Xanax, the signs of Xanax dependence and abuse, and how to find a Xanax addiction treatment program. 

What is Xanax Used to Treat? 

Xanax is the brand name of a drug otherwise known as Alprazolam. This drug is most often used to treat generalized anxiety disorders as well as panic disorders though it can also be used to treat some sleep disorders and other conditions as a combination medication along with other treatments. 

The drug Xanax is in a category of drugs known as benzodiazepines or “benzos”; these drugs work by acting on the body’s central nervous system and certain parts of the brain. This type of drug interferes with the message pathways between the nervous system and the brain to either slow down or speed up certain reactions or the production of certain chemicals, thus helping with these particular problems. 

In the case of Xanax specifically, it heightens the production of a natural chemical called GABA to reduce the reaction of the brain’s fear response, which is the primary cause of anxiety and panic attacks. 

How Addictive is Xanax?  

If you want to know “is Xanax addictive” and understand the Xanax addiction rate, you have to understand how the drug works and what causes it to be addictive in the first place. Xanax and similar benzodiazepines are all tightly regulated and considered highly addictive. As such, they are only meant to be taken by a doctor’s prescription and are usually only prescribed as a short-term treatment. 

There are two main reasons why a person becomes addicted to Xanax. 

The first reason is that Xanax, like other benzos, works by acting on the brain and nervous system. This gradually changes the way that both these parts of the body function. The body gets used to having the drug in its system. This is why we see the effects of the drug diminish over time. 

What this does is causes the body to become chemically dependent on the drug to function normally in day-to-day life. When the body doesn’t have the drug, we experience cravings for it as the body slowly starts to enter what is known as withdrawal. 

The second reason that people start to misuse Xanax and ultimately become addicted is that they like the way it makes them feel. They continue to seek that feeling more and more, even when the body adapts to the drug, leading them to take higher and higher dosages. Xanax produces a sedative-like effect on the body that makes a person feel calm and relaxed. While it does not produce a “high” like other drugs, many enjoy these calming effects. 

What Are the Signs of Xanax Abuse? 

Xanax abuse signs are similar to many other drugs. A person abusing Xanax may start simply by using more than their prescription dictates. Once the drug is no longer as effective, they will also likely change how they use the drug, such as snorting or injecting it. 

This behavior may be combined with them being more secretive, trying to find more ways to get the medication, such as taking other people’s prescriptions or stealing the drug. They sometimes become withdrawn from family and friends and no longer find enjoyment in things they used to like to do. 

This can lead to a range of problems, including financial and legal difficulties. 

How to Find a Xanax Addiction Treatment Program 

Finding treatment is the important first step if you or someone you know is dealing with a Xanax addiction. Hillside Mission Recovery is here for you every step of the way. 

We offer a calming setting for our Mission Viejo rehab center. All of our clients in our Los Angeles inpatient residential program receive quality treatment from our highly trained and caring staff. Each program is personalized to the individual and works to treat the addiction, not the substance. Most clients start with detoxification in Southern California before moving on to treatment and aftercare. 
When you’re ready to get help, contact Hillside Mission Recovery today.