Xanax, or as some know it as Alprazolam, is a medication that reduces anxiety and helps reduce the frequency of panic attacks. Xanax is derived from benzodiazepines, which are a class of drugs that calm the nervous system and give of calming effect to the neurotransmitter GABA found in the brain. For example, if you are feeling quite anxious and you take a Xanax pill, in about 15 minutes you will feel much calmer and that calm feeling will last for a couple of hours. Xanax, approved by the FDA in 1981, was the first anti-anxiety pill to come forth for anxiety disorders.
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) deems benzodiazepines (benzos) highly addictive. Thus, they are classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance and must be prescribed by a physician. A doctor will prescribe a benzo such as Xanax to help someone with anxiety disorders, seizure disorders, insomnia, or muscle spasms, and despite warning them about the risk for chemical dependence, still plenty of people become addicted.
Mixing Xanax with Alcohol
Xanax can be very effective at decreasing high anxiety levels when taken as prescribed. However, there are some people that take Xanax and drink alcohol together in order to feel even more relaxed and a greater sense of euphoria as well.
What Happens When You Mix Xanax and Alcohol?
If someone is taking Xanax as prescribed and has a little bit of alcohol, it probably won’t make much of a difference. For example, if you’re taking your prescribed amount of Xanax each day and one day you decide to drink one or two beers, the mixture probably won’t be noticed. The person may become buzzed from the alcohol and relaxed from the Xanax.
However, when someone takes more Xanax than prescribed and drinks higher amounts of alcohol, it can become a very dangerous mix. Now, the effects may differ depending on whether the person abuses more alcohol than Xanax or vice versa.
The interactions between Xanax and alcohol can experience a host of negative effects, including:
- Increased lethargy or sedation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Breathing difficulties
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The Good and Bad Sides of Xanax
With the high amount of stress in today’s world, many men and women are carrying around huge amounts of stress day in and day out. If you ask your coworkers and friends how they’re doing with their stress levels, most of them will let you know that they are in desperate need of a massage and a vacation. With work, family, chores, tasks, and running from here to there each day, it is actually quite easy to become stressed out. The problem with chronic stress though, is that it can lead to emotional and physical problems.
The Rise Of Anti-Anxiety Medications
Due to the high anxiety that people are feeling, many people are heading to their physician wondering if they can find some relief through medication. In fact, anti-anxiety pills are prescribed by the thousands each day, with Xanax being a common prescription.
With Xanax being prescribed at a high rate, it is necessary to understand the dangers of Xanax as well as the benefits. The benefits, of course, are curbing the high anxiety feelings so that you can move on with life without being completely stressed out, but the dangers are when you begin to rely on Xanax far too often or take more than prescribed. Xanax ought to be used as little as possible with the intention of weaning off eventually when you can learn to decrease anxiety in more natural ways. Xanax and alcohol should not be used together.
Xanax is used to treat social anxiety disorder (SAD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and is very helpful for those who struggle with intense anxiety and panic attacks. It certainly has its benefits, but is oftentimes prescribed as the first solution to anxiety instead of trying alternative, more natural ways to cope with the anxiety.
The side effects of Xanax are drowsiness, dry mouth, slower speech, and sometimes a skin rash can develop. As with any medication, it is important to monitor side effects and discuss any concerns with your doctor.
Withdrawal Symptoms From Xanax
It is advised that at some point patients try to reduce the dosage or come off Xanax completely. Sure, stressful situations continue, but there are alternative methods for handling stress most of the time. Even those that struggle with intense panic attacks can try to learn relaxation methods in order to cope with the anxiety without solely relying on medications.
Once the decision to come off Xanax has been made, it is important to wean yourself off under the supervision of your doctor, as the withdrawal symptoms can be tough to handle if you stop cold turkey. Withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, confusion, anxiety, headache, body aches, depression, and shaking. Tapering off Xanax is the most effective way to come off the medication without suffering major side effects.
How Do I Stop Taking Xanax?
No one wants to get addicted to anti-anxiety pills such as Xanax, but due to the way the medication makes you feel, it is quite easy. The feeling of relaxation and a bit of euphoria can become habit forming. This occurs with other anti-anxiety tranquilizers, or benzodiazepines, as well.
If you’ve tried to stop taking Xanax on your own, you probably experienced some uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, you started taking Xanax again because the symptoms made you feel terrible. It is difficult to detox from Xanax on your own and for this reason, it is best to perform a Xanax detox under the supervision of a doctor, as the best way to detox is to wean yourself off.
You also attend a detox center in order to get off of the medication. A detox center usually allows you to stay for 5 to 7 days in order to detox from the harmful toxins associated with Xanax. The professional staff will do all that they can to make your stay comfortable as you go through the detox process.
Attend a Xanax Rehab
After detox you can attend a drug rehab treatment facility to continue treatment should you desire. There are inpatient and outpatient rehabs to choose from depending on if you can actually live at the center or commute. Both types are advantageous and offer counseling, addiction classes, and the opportunity to create a treatment plan that works for you. Most rehabs are about 28 days, but should you need treatment longer you can usually extend treatment.
If you cannot attend a rehab, you can see your psychiatrist or medical doctor and ask them to help you with your Xanax detox and treatment. If you go to your primary doctor, he or she may refer you to a substance abuse professional in the community. It is important to gain professional help in the matter, as they will be able to prepare you for the withdrawal symptoms, support you during the process, and direct you to support groups in your community. The important thing is simply to seek treatment for your addiction.
The same goes if you happen to be addicted to alcohol. Simply reach out for help and begin your journey to freedom today, as there is a beautiful life on the other side of addiction.
Want more information about how Chapters Capistrano can help? Feel free to call 949-276-2886 and one of our addiction specialists will help get the information and help you need.
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