There are physical and psychological signs of Xanax addiction. First of all, Xanax is prescribed for a number of issues — mainly anxiety. However, it also works for agitation, seizures, mania, muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal, and insomnia.
What is Xanax?
Its generic form is called alprazolam, and it’s the most prescribed drug for psychiatric care. It works well to give users a sense of calm and to relieve the symptoms they may have (mentioned above).
The problem is that Xanax is highly addictive. It doesn’t always lead to addiction, but it is quite prevalent. It can also lead to tolerance. This is because it was never intended to be a long-term solution. For many, however, it is used on an almost permanent basis, which is where the addiction comes into play.
By the Numbers
According to Health Research Funding, doctors write 50 million prescriptions for the family of drugs to which Xanax belongs, and it is the fifth most prescribed drug in the United States.
The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that many young adults have used Xanax. These results were for non-medicinal use, or, in simpler terms, recreational abuse. The rate of use for those between the ages of 18 and 25 (10.3 percent) was nearly double that for people aged 26 or over (5.7 percent).
Signs of Xanax Addiction
If someone has become addicted to Xanax, the first thing that they or someone they love may notice is that they have a physical dependence. They almost become obsessed with it. For example, if they are almost out or at a place where they have missed a pill, they may become upset or agitated. This obsession may mean that they also start to take more or increase their dosage.
The psychological signs of Xanax addiction include things like:
- Avoiding tasks where concentration is needed
- Easily annoyed
- Hard time remembering things
- Being overly talkative
- Manic moods
- Excessive changes in mood
- Sudden irritability
- Lack of enthusiasm
- Increased fatigue
Along with the above short-term issues, there are issues with long-term use. These include:
- Increased risk of dementia
- Problems with memory
There are four stages of addiction. These are initiation, experimentation, regular misuse, and dependence.
Initiation is where the user is first introduced to Xanax. This is sometimes through a prescription from the doctor and sometimes through a friend as recreational use.
Experimentation is where the dosage is altered. A person might take more than their usual dosage or tweak their prescription.
Regular misuse is as simple as it sounds. This is where the person is in a pattern of taking their Xanax more often, more at one time, and so on.
Dependence is the point where someone has a dependence on the drug due to developing a tolerance to it.
If you or someone you know is showing signs of addiction to Xanax, it is important to seek help.