Anxiety is a real condition that can be debilitating in both adults and in kids. In fact, 1 out of 4 Americans will experience Anxiety Disorder in their lifetime. People who experience anxiety have intense levels of fear and worry about everyday things that might be perceived as minimal to other people. What happens during these times of anxiety is nonstop feelings of uncontrollable terror or panic. In order to get through the anxiety, sometimes the prescription drug, Xanax, also known by the generic name of alprazolam, is prescribed. Xanax is a fast-acting benzodiazepine medication. That means it brings about a big change in the brain in a short period of time. As a result, it is considered one of the most addictive benzodiazepine medications on the market today.
The alleviating side of Xanax
As stated, Xanax is a benzodiazepine used as a depressant for the central nervous system that creates a soothing and calming effect on the brain. Since this drug has a rapid absorption rate and meant to relax a person’s anxiety, Xanax has become an effective antidote stress as well to minimize nausea during chemotherapy, appease depression, and relieve a few other health issues. While this may seem like the holy grail for anxiety, Xanax also has a dark side that can come out as an addiction.
The side effects of Xanax
While Xanax may be used to combat anxiety with a proven track record, there are side effects that should be considered before an individual starts to consume the prescription drug. The main side effects are drowsiness and a decrease in a person’s reaction time from the sedation that Xanax provides. The main warning for Xanax is to not drive under the influence of the prescription and to mot mix it with alcohol or any other drugs. Other side effects can include memory impairment, constipation, fluctuation in weight, changes in diet, and decreased libido.
The addicting side of Xanax
The main problem with Xanax is the Schedule IV Controlled Substance classification given by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) which alludes the drug is not considered highly addictive and has a low potential for abuse. Xanax, however, is highly addictive within a matter of only weeks especially due to the high number of prescriptions written by doctors. According to a report from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) published by PubMed in December of 2018, Alprazolam is one of the top ten drugs found in overdoses and one of the top four drugs used in suicidal deaths.
Xanax may take the edge off for some people on an as-needed basis like the prescription reads, but there are many others who abuse the drug and become addicted to the sedative effects. What you need to know is this – Xanax withdrawal is difficult and dependence on Xanax can be fatal. Next week we will discuss the danger of Xanax abuse and what to be aware of when stopping its use.