Xanax Dependency

Can Benzodiazepines cause long-term brain damage?

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Xanax is the most frequently prescribed benzodiazepine drug in the US, with about 49 million prescriptions written in 2011.

It is prescribed at higher rates that other benzodiazepines like:

Ativan (27 million prescriptions). Valium (about 15 million prescriptions).

Klonopin (about 27 million prescriptions). Restoril (about 8.5 prescriptions).


First introduced in 1976, the medication comes in tablet form or an extended-release capsule. When taken as prescribed, it has potent and therapeutic anti-anxiety and sedative effects. It is most often given to patients for mental health disorders related to anxiety, including: Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and various phobias. The short-term effects of Xanax are beneficial to many individuals. It has the potential to reduce the physical tension, restlessness, and feelings of unease common with anxiety.

Vocabulary

Benzodiazepines- any of a family of minor tranquilizers that act against anxiety and convulsions and produce sedation and muscle relaxation.

Alprazolam- It can treat anxiety and panic disorder. Common brands/generic name: Xanax, Niravam

Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA)- is an amino acid in the body that acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It limits nerve transmission, inhibiting nervous activity.

Xanax Addiction and Rehabilitation

Side Effects

All prescription medications have side effects. Some of the common side effects of Xanax include (while taken as directed):

Memory problems

Unusual changes in your mood

Drowsiness

Changes in sex drive

Headaches

Weight changes

Fatigue

Seizures

Dizziness

Dry mouth

Difficulty concentrating

Bad Anxiety is probably the single most miserable emotional state humans can experience. It is truly a living hell. For people who struggle with anxiety, the fact that benzodiazepines work so quickly greatly increases the risk for developing psychological dependence.

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Lasting Health Effects of Xanax

Chronic use or abuse of sedatives, such as Xanax is contributed with:

Cognitive deficits

Delirious states

Depression

Psychotic experiences

Aggressive and impulsive behavior


People taking Xanax for an extended period of time can experience long-term side effects. One common long-term effect is memory impairment. Impairment might be mild, but it can impart a lasting effect. It becomes VERY difficult to maintain the needed levels of concentration to receive and retain information from conversations that is observed. Someone who takes Xanax often, can say that they forget a lot and sometimes don't know what their doing or why they are doing it.

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I NEED MORE! People who take Xanax for an extended amount of time may build up a tolerance for the drug. When tolerance occurs, your body requires a larger dose or increased frequency of use to achieve the similar effect that the substance had on you when you began the prescription.

CHECK THIS OUT!

Percent of population with any benzodiazepine use by sex and age, US 2008 GRAPH

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Treatment for Xanax Addiction

When you first arrive at a treatment center, you begin the detoxification process according to the duration, dose, and usage frequency. During this time, the medication will be reduced and removed from your body system. Hospitals, detoxification centers, and rehab centers have trained medical staff to help you cope with your withdrawal symptoms. After this process, your treatment will shift to include addressing the reasons behind your use and will include some forms of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling.

Outpatient treatment programs offer more flexibility than inpatient programs. This could include individual counseling and/or group therapy or nonprofessional/community based support groups. Some people need the additional structure that an inpatient program provides. This would include living in a facility, typically 30,60, or 90 days. During your stay you focus directly on recovery. Your day may consist of group or individual therapy, recreational activities, and skills training. It's important to review all your options and choose a program that is right for your physical health, mental, and overall well-being.

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No one deserves addiction. If you think you have a problem with Xanax and need help finding a treatment program that's right for you, call