While illicit drugs continue to be a problem, the rate at which prescription drugs are abused has grown alarming. Medications, particularly opioid painkillers, and benzodiazepines have created a problem of near epidemic proportions. Hospitals and rehabs are seeing an increasing number of people from all walks of life come through with problems related to these drugs.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax is a commonly prescribed benzodiazepine. “Benzos” are central nervous system depressants that are often prescribed to people who suffer from anxiety or other mental health conditions, as well as for insomnia and epilepsy.
The overall effect of a benzo is relaxation. The drug relaxes the respiratory system and other neurological and physical functions.
Certain benzos are prescribed for anxiety more frequently than others. Xanax is a common go-to drug for doctors when prescribing a med for anxiety or panic disorder. Xanax is intended for short-term use under the supervision of a doctor, preferably with additional counseling to help manage anxiety.
Xanax, like other drugs in this class, is highly addictive, both physically and mentally. A person taking Xanax for any length of time, even though taking it as prescribed may find themselves physically dependent on the drug.
Women And Xanax
Women are prescribed Xanax far more often than men are. Statistics show twice as much. Studies show that women suffer from anxiety twice as often as men do. This is partly due to chemical differences in the brain. It is also likely that women seek medical help for anxiety more than men do. And, it is believed that doctors are more likely to prescribe drugs to women for anxiety.
One major issue with Xanax is that it is prescribed so easily, but only masks symptoms of the problem. Xanax doesn’t cure anxiety.
Xanax is an effective medication. When used as directed for anxiety and panic it quickly alleviates symptoms. This is good, but unless the anxiety itself is addressed, the medication is just a band-aid.
What often happens is that women go to their primary physician with symptoms of anxiety and walk out 20 minutes later with a prescription for Xanax. They begin taking the medication and find immediate relief for their anxiety.
The problem is that there is often no follow-up. No counseling, no learning how to cope with symptoms and develop tools and strategies so that the medication is no longer necessary. Instead, the woman continues taking the Xanax, running the risk of physical dependence and psychological addiction.
Signs Of Xanax Addiction
How do you know if you have a Xanax addiction problem? First, it is important to know if you have become physically addicted to Xanax. If you have become physically dependent on Xanax you should not stop the drug abruptly. Doing so can be dangerous.
Tolerance to Xanax can develop after regular use, even if you have been taking the medication as directed. If you notice that it seems like you need to take more Xanax to get the same effects, or if you find that the Xanax is “wearing off” or “not working” then you may be dependent on the drug.
You should consult your doctor if you suspect you have a Xanax addiction. Here are some signs that you should be looking for:
- You are taking the drug recreationally.
- You are taking the drug in a way other than how it is prescribed.
- You are getting Xanax from multiple sources, or are having to buy Xanax.
- You become nervous or depressed when you run low on Xanax.
- You are lying about how much you are taking, or minimizing the problem in other ways.
- You are having difficulty coping with life when you don’t have the drug, or are unable to function without it.
- Your Xanax use is resulting in consequences at home or work.
What To Do About A Xanax Addiction
The first step in dealing with a Xanax addiction is to contact a medical professional about the problem. This is because you must detox from Xanax gradually and safely.
Detoxing from Xanax is just the first step, though. The psychological addiction can be powerful. An inpatient treatment center can help you heal from addiction and learn to cope with your anxiety so that you can live a drug-free, healthy and happy life.
It is very important that you seek treatment at a women’s drug & alcohol rehab not only for your addiction but also for your anxiety. One common problem with recovery from Xanax addiction is that if the anxiety is not addressed, it may just resurface and start the whole cycle over again.
Finding Treatment For Xanax Addiction
If you are a woman struggling with addiction to Xanax or other drugs or alcohol, Wayside House can help. Wayside House is a treatment center created for women, by women. In addition to treatment of addiction, our program also addresses co-occurring disorders and offers comprehensive, holistic treatments often only found in more expensive treatment centers. Wayside House is set in a serene, welcoming and safe environment. Call 1-800-655-0817 to learn more.