The drug Xanax is a widely prescribed medication used to manage medical and mental health symptoms. Although effective, using drugs like Xanax and other benzodiazepines is not without risk. Data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the number of overdose deaths linked to benzodiazepines like Xanax increased by more than 830% between 1999 and 2017.


What is Xanax?

Xanax is a prescription medication used in medical and mental health applications to help those who struggle with certain sleeping disorders and various anxiety disorders. In most cases, Xanax is meant for and only prescribed for short-term use because long-term, regular use of Xanax (even when used as prescribed) can lead to withdrawal difficulties and addiction. Although providers understand the risks associated with Xanax use, the benefits of Xanax use often outweigh the potential risk. As a result, Xanax remains one of the most frequently prescribed mental health medications in the United States.


When used as directed by your provider, Xanax provides several benefits, including muscle relaxation, calming, and sedation. Benzodiazepine drugs like Xanax are safe when used as part of a short-term course of treatment. Despite its benefits, however, Xanax is highly addictive and often misused. Once a dependency on Xanax develops, it is crucial to seek help at a rehab program n Malibu, where supported detox and comprehensive addiction treatment services are available.


Is Xanax Safe?

When used as prescribed and for the specified duration, Xanax is considered safe. However, there are characteristics of long-term Xanax use or misuse of Xanax that can lead to dangerous complications. When used long-term, Xanax can be dangerous due to dependence and tolerance that inevitably develop and several adverse health effects that can occur. Research studies suggest that the use of Xanax for more than six months in older adults increases their risk of developing Alzheimer’s’ disease.


In addition to potential health consequences, long-term Xanax use increases the risk that you will experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop using it. Some people will only have mild or moderate symptoms such as sleeping problems, restlessness, irritability, and changes in heart rate. Others, however, may experience severe and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, including seizures, hallucinations, and coma.


Another danger of Xanax is the potential for overdose or fatal complications when mixed with another drug such as alcohol. It is not uncommon for people to mix Xanax and alcohol to enhance the effects of both substances. But mixing Xanax with another depressant can lead to over-sedation and potentially fatal consequences. In addition to the overdose risk that accompanies mixing Xanax and other substances is the overdose risk linked to Xanax itself. If someone takes a larger than prescribed dose of Xanax, it can lead to cardiac and respiratory emergencies. The potential dangers of Xanax withdrawal are best managed in a supportive treatment center in Southern California, where medical and mental health staff can help you safely manage the most difficult symptoms.


Can Xanax Be Addictive?

In 2020 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the warning placed on benzodiazepine drugs like Xanax must change to reflect the high risk of “abuse, misuse addiction, physical dependence, and withdrawal symptoms.” Data from the FDA shows more than 92 million benzodiazepine prescriptions were filled at pharmacies in the United States in 2019. Of those, 38% or nearly 35 million were for Xanax.


Although Xanax is an important and effective addition to many treatment plans, the risk for dependence and addiction is high. It is possible to develop a physical dependence on the effects of Xanax after only a few weeks of regular use. When used for more than a few weeks, withdrawal symptoms and side effects will occur if Xanax is suddenly discontinued. Tolerance to Xanax requires only a few days of regular use to develop. Because Xanax tolerance, dependence, and addiction can occur even when using the drug as prescribed, most providers limit the duration of Xanax prescriptions to thirty to sixty days.


How to Find Xanax Addiction Treatment in Malibu

Overcoming Xanax addiction is possible with help and support from a treatment center like Rise in Malibu. Detoxing from Xanax can lead to several withdrawal symptoms that might be difficult to manage outside of a supported environment. Let the team at our luxury Malibu drug and alcohol treatment help you defeat Xanax addiction. Contact us today to learn more about detox and addiction treatment in Malibu.

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