Addiction Facts
Xanax Addiction Recovery

Benzodiazepines like Xanax are commonly prescribed for the short-term treatment of moderate or severe anxiety disorders and persistent sleep issues like insomnia. The reason why this medication is only prescribed to be taken for a short period of time is because it is extremely habit-forming. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 12.5 percent of adults in the U.S. currently use a benzodiazepine medication like Xanax. This equates to roughly 30.5 million people. Of these people, an estimated 2.1 percent meet the diagnostic criteria for a benzodiazepine use disorder. At CuraSouth we treat the symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal while preparing each of our clients for the next step in their personal recovery journeys. When left untreated, the physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable — and sometimes life-threatening. Unfortunately, the majority of people who struggle with Xanax misuse avoid seeking the professional help they need, either because they are hesitant to undergo withdrawal or because they believe addiction treatment is unnecessary. We have compiled a list of 10 Xanax addiction facts, in hopes of encouraging you or your loved one to reach out for help sooner rather than later. Contact us today with any additional questions you might have.

Fact #1: Xanax Addiction is Not a Choice.

Many people who develop Xanax addiction were initially prescribed the medication for a legitimate reason. Because Xanax is so habit-forming, many people begin to develop a physical dependence on the medication without realizing what is happening. They might begin to develop a tolerance, and slowly increase their dose in order to achieve the desired effects. As they increase the dose their bodies become accustomed to an increased amount of the medication, and when use is stopped abruptly they start to experience withdrawal symptoms. Over time, Xanax use becomes compulsive. A person no longer has a choice in the matter — the physical body becomes addicted to the substance and the mind repeatedly sends the message, “If we don’t keep using Xanax we’re going to die.” Brain chemistry changes over time, and even if a person experiences a variety of severe personal consequences at the hands of Xanax addiction they cannot stop using the medication without professional help.

Fact #2: Xanax Addiction Has a Genetic Component.

When it comes to the development of any type of addiction, there are several risk factors which make some people more susceptible than others. Genetic predisposition is a major risk factor. This means if you have an addiction of any kind in your immediate or extended family, you are more likely to develop a substance use disorder yourself. Other risk factors include your environment, the presence of underlying and untreated mental illness and unresolved trauma.

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Fact #3: Xanax Addiction Can Happen to Anyone.

Xanax addiction can happen to anyone — not just those who were prescribed the medication for an anxiety disorder. The majority of Xanax use disorders occur in people who have never had a written prescription. These people might obtain the medication from a friend, purchase it directly from a drug dealer or find it in the medicine cabinet of a friend or relative. Your age, gender, personal background or income bracket also present no indication of whether or not you’ll develop a Xanax abuse disorder. Prescription drug addiction can truly happen to anyone.

Fact #4: Xanax Addiction Can be Fatal.

Many people mistakenly believe that because Xanax is prescribed by medical professionals, it cannot be particularly harmful. On the contrary, Xanax addiction can be fatal when left untreated. An article published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine states alprazolam (Xanax) is significantly more toxic than other benzodiazepines, and rates of alprazolam overdose are particularly high. Another study, this one published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, states 16 percent of all opioid overdose deaths in 2019 also involved a benzodiazepine like Xanax. Increasing rates of benzodiazepine overdose deaths can be partially attributed to skyrocketing rates of written prescriptions. As it stands, Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the country. NIDA also states, “Between 1996 and 2013, the number of adults who filled a benzodiazepine prescription increased by 67 percent, from 8.1 million to 13.5 million.” If you or someone you love has been struggling with Xanax addiction, seeking professional help is important to avoiding a potentially life-threatening overdose.

Fact #5: Xanax Addiction is Progressive.

Addiction is a progressive condition, meaning associated symptoms continue to get worse the longer they are left untreated. Unfortunately, many people who struggle with Xanax addiction fail to seek professional help early on, and by the time they finally enter medical detox they have experienced a wide range of personal consequences as a direct result of their substance use. Reaching out for help sooner rather than later is always a good idea.

10 facts about Xanax abuse and addiction everyone should know

Fact #6: Xanax Addiction Happens to People with Anxiety Disorders.

If you struggle with an anxiety disorder and you are prescribed Xanax by a trusted psychiatrist, you are still susceptible to addiction. It is important for Xanax and all other prescription drugs to be taken exactly as directed. Some people who struggle with moderate or severe anxiety disorders might start taking slightly more than the recommended dose, or they might take the medication more frequently than directed. Failing to consult your psychiatrist or primary care physician and adjusting your dose on your own can easily lead to physical and psychological dependence — even if adjustments seem minor.

Fact #7: Xanax Addiction Can Do Permanent Damage to Memory.

People who misuse Xanax often “black out” for extended periods of time. Several research studies have shown that long-term Xanax use can significantly impact memory, ability to pay attention and overall cognitive function in otherwise healthy individuals. Xanax has also been linked to early onset dementia. If you have been misusing Xanax, related risks extend far beyond the development of a dependence on the substance. If you fail to seek professional help you could be doing permanent damage to your brain.

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Fact #8: Xanax Addiction Can Destroy Your Life.

People often think prescription drugs are not as damaging as illegal drugs like heroin, methamphetamine or cocaine. How can a medication initially prescribed by a doctor — a trusted medical professional — do serious and lasting damage? The truth is, prescription drugs can do just as much damage as illegal drugs if they are misused for an extended period of time. People who suffer from untreated Xanax addiction often experience interpersonal problems, legal and financial issues, serious health-related complications and worsening psychological problems. The good news is that recovery is always possible, regardless of how severe related consequences have become.

Fact #9: Xanax Addiction is Treatable.

No matter how severe a Xanax addiction has become, recovery is always possible with a professional treatment program in place. If you have been struggling with an addictive disorder you likely feel helpless, hopeless and alone. Rest assured — you are far from alone. There are thousands of people just like you, who have struggled with addiction, sought professional treatment and gone on to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. Contact us today to begin.

Fact #10: Attending Treatment Greatly Improves the Chances of Treating Xanax Addiction.

If you have been misusing Xanax or any other prescription medication, you might be tempted to attempt detoxing on your own. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can be particularly severe — even life-threatening when left untreated. At CuraSouth we treat all symptoms associated with Xanax withdrawal while preparing our clients for the next step in the addiction recovery process.

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    When it comes to Xanax addiction, medical detox always comes as a recommended first step of the recovery process. Xanax is a benzodiazepine medication, and the withdrawal symptoms associated with benzodiazepine can be life-threatening when left untreated. At CuraSouth we effectively treat the physical and psychological symptoms associated with Xanax withdrawal with a combination of proven detoxification techniques. When it comes to Xanax, tapering is often necessary. The dose of the medication is slowly reduced under the guidance of an experienced medical professional in order to prevent the more severe symptoms of withdrawal. As symptoms develop they are treated with a combination of medication, behavioral therapy and dual diagnosis treatment options. Our main priority is providing each individual client with a safe and pain-free benzodiazepine withdrawal while preparing them to take the next step on their personal recovery journeys. If you would like to learn more facts about Xanax addiction or if you would like to learn more about our personalized program of benzodiazepine detox, contact us today.