While the country is in the midst of an opioid addiction epidemic, a new danger is quietly on the rise. Xanax, a prescription medication that’s commonly administered to patients suffering from anxiety, is gaining in popularity and increasingly being overused and abused.
Why is Xanax Becoming Our Next Big Addiction Epidemic?
Xanax and similar drugs are typically used to treat panic attacks and anxiety disorders. Between 1996 and 2013, the number of prescriptions written for benzodiazepines has increased by 67%, and the use of this class of drug continues to grow. Even more alarming is the fact that xanax is dispensed three times more often today than it was in 1996.
The dilemma of xanax abuse is mounting, and it has already been responsible for a number of overdoses. Between 1999 and 2015, benzodiazepine overdoses have risen by an increase of nearly eight times. These drugs have also played a part in a large portion of opioid-related overdose deaths.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Xanax Addiction?
You may know someone with a benzodiazepine addiction, and if so, it’s important to educate yourself on what the symptoms of xanax abuse look like. Every drug produces its own unique symptoms of addiction, and in many cases, you may only see a few signs of xanax abuse. Here’s what to look out for:
Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction
- Slurred or incoherent speech
- Blurred vision
- Inhibited motor coordination
- Breathing difficulties
- Mental fogginess and confusion
Overusing xanax and other benzodiazepines causes the brain to acclimate to the drug, which means the person using xanax soon requires more of the drug to achieve the same level of effectiveness. This means the individual will continuously increase dosage over the course of time. Ultimately, this can lead to something as serious as a coma, so it’s important early on to recognize the warning signs of addiction.
Xanax addiction is similar to other addictions in that it may cause the individual to engage in risky behaviors. Once a person begins the cycle of addiction and their needs outgrow the supply they obtain from their doctor, they will begin to look for other sources of the drug. In the beginning, this can result in “doctor shopping,” or looking for other doctors who will give them new xanax prescriptions. For awhile, seeing multiple doctors can help fill the need for the drug.
Eventually, most doctors will catch on and stop filling xanax prescriptions for the patient. When this happens the individual may look for street drugs that offer the same effects, or they may begin browsing the internet for synthetic benzodiazepines. In either case, this is often an indication that the addiction has advanced to a dangerous level.
If you suspect a loved one is addicted to xanax or another benzodiazepine, it’s important to address the problem as soon as possible.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing substance abuse and/or symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.