If you or a loved one have an anxiety or panic disorder, your doctor may have spoken with you/them about a medical prescription to reduce the symptoms of this mental health disorder. The most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine for panic and anxiety disorders is alprazolam, brand name Xanax.
You probably have many questions about Xanax use including whether or not it’s addictive and even how long it takes to become dependent or addicted to Xanax. These common questions are thoughtful and logical.
At Stillwater Behavioral Health, we want to help provide the answers to these questions and more. Our substance abuse treatment programs are designed to help people who are struggling with mental health disorders and utilizing legal and illegal drugs to manage the symptoms. Contact us today to see how our dedicated staff can support you through addiction treatment at Stillwater Behavioral Health.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax is the brand name of the drug Alprazolam. It is prescribed for anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax is an extremely addictive benzodiazepine that works to decrease panic attacks, motor tension, autonomic hyperactivity, and vigilance and scanning; all common signs of anxiety and panic disorders.
Taking Xanax regularly over a short period of time can create a calming feeling with the following side effects: “drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, dysarthria, headache, memory impairment, and depression.”
Individuals who are prescribed Xanax should be closely monitored by their doctor. Alprazolam, while it is the most popularly prescribed benzodiazepine, is also appreciated in more intentional overdose deaths, lengthier hospital stays, and birth defects like dysmorphism and mental retardation.
How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted to Xanax?
If your doctor has prescribed you or your loved one Xanax, you may be wondering “how long does it take to get addicted to Xanax?” Wondering about this question may be due to concerns about starting a new medication, concern about continuing to use a medication prescribed, or worry about a loved one’s use.
How long it takes to get addicted to Xanax depends on several factors, however, it is mostly dependent on the amount prescribed. Based on studies analyzed by the FDA prior to Xanax approval, individuals who were prescribed more than 4mg per day had difficulty weaning down to 0mg. Similar studies indicated that there was no difference in weaning down to 0mg based on length of use (3 months or 6 months). However, the FDA access data does indicate that doses between .75 mg and 4mg still pose a risk for dependence.
Another factor that has been noted to be associated with Xanax addiction is the prior misuse of alcohol or opioids. Individuals who have a history of substance abuse are more likely to misuse Xanax (alprazolam) because of the effect it provides the body.
Xanax use can also lead to addiction based on the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Individuals who wish to stop using Xanax after a period of time should consult with their doctor about the best way to ween usage, as withdrawal reactions to Xanax include potential life-threatening seizures. Seizures only occur in a small percentage of the population, but are most common in the first 24-72 hours after reduction in use.
How To Get Help With a Xanax Addiction
At Stillwater Behavioral Health, we pride ourselves in providing high-quality rehabilitative treatment and care for individuals struggling with addiction. Through individualized treatment plans, our clients can access supportive care to address their recovery goals and help heal their mind, body, and spirit.
Stillwater Behavioral Health is a leader in providing combination treatment with evidence-based therapeutic treatment with alternative high-quality creative treatments designed to support mental, physical, and emotional health. We utilize the best and newest treatments, including Medication-Assisted Treatment, to support individuals in improving their mental health.