Xanax (otherwise known as alprazolam) is a try of benzodiazepine, which is a central nervous system depressant. It’s often prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders, and it’s one of North America’s most highly prescribed drugs. In fact, in 2017 Xanax was the 21st most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 25 million prescriptions.
Because Xanax is so accessible in the U.S., and because it helps numbs extremely common signs and symptoms of anxiety, it is highly addictive. In prescription instances, the drug is also highly tolerable, and a person may take up to 30 pills a day without extreme risk of overdose.
Unfortunately, like alcohol, Xanax is a dependency drug and if a person with a tolerance decides to quit, they will likely experience withdrawal effects like heightened anxiety, restlessness, insomnia and tremors.
Because of its tolerability, spotting a Xanax addict is extremely difficult. In this blog, we showcase some of the common signs that your loved one might be addicted to Xanax.
1. Physical signs
Physical symptoms are arguably the most telling indicator of a Xanax addict, and that’s because these symptoms usually occur when a person is taking more than the recommended dose of Xanax.
Common physical signs of Xanax include:
- slurred speech
- dry mouth
- feeling light-headed
- increased salivation
- decreased sex drive
- lack of coordination
Usually, a person who is prescribed Xanax doesn’t experience these symptoms regularly. There may be an adjustment period, but these are sure-fire signs that a person is abusing their subscription.
2. Psychological signs
A little like alcohol, Xanax abuse comes with common symptoms that make it easy for an individual to forget the fine details of important conversations, and an addict often becomes forgetful.
Abuse and addiction of Xanax are different things, however, and these symptoms are likely to be more commonly present in a person who sustains long-term abuse (ie addiction) of Xanax.
Some common psychological symptoms of Xanax include:
- becoming easily annoyed
- becoming more talkative
- major changes in behavior (excessive tiredness or lack of enthusiasm)
- sudden irritability
- manic-type moods
- trouble remembering things
- avoiding tasks that require prolonged attention
3. Behavioral signs
If a Xanax addict can’t get a prescription, they may express behavior changes. These sorts of signs are common among all addicts who put their addiction before the consideration of others. Often, they turn to lying and stealing to help fund their addiction. If you notice your loved one going through random spurts of acquiring things they wouldn’t usually have, they may be abusing a substance.
A few other behavioral signs of a Xanax addict include:
- Slurred Speech: When someone is abusing Xanax, it has a strong effect on them. Because Xanax is a depressant, it causes slurring of speech, much like alcohol.
- Disorientation and Memory Problems: Disorientation and memory loss are common signs of Xanax abuse. Xanax slows down nerve cell activity in the brain, and this can cause disorientation in an addict. In severe cases, it can cause short-term amnesia or ‘Xanax blackouts’.
How to help a Xanax addict
If you recognize some of these signs in your loved one and you suspect that they may be abusing Xanax, it’s time to step in and offer help.
While this may be difficult to do, there are a few ways you can safely and calmly approach your loved one about their problem and propose the idea of professional help. Listening, for example, is a powerful tactic to ensure that an addict is heard properly.
To find out how Tikvah Lake can help your loved one with their Xanax addiction, speak with one of our experts today.