September 5th, 2023
Alprazolam, sold under the brand name Xanax, is a potent benzodiazepine prescribed to treat panic and anxiety disorders. While it is not available on prescription through the NHS, a recent study has raised concerns about the non-medical use of Xanax in the UK. Findings indicate that many individuals obtaining the drug do so through illicit channels, highlighting the alarming trend of consuming Xanax without any medical guidance or advice.
At Oasis Runcorn, our primary focus is to offer comprehensive guidance and unwavering support to anyone who needs help with their Xanax addiction. We are dedicated to ensuring you receive the necessary assistance through our Xanax addiction treatment programme.
What is Xanax and how does it work?
Xanax is primarily used to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorders. It works by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which helps to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
Xanax is available in different strengths, including immediate-release tablets, extended-release tablets and oral solutions. The immediate-release tablets provide rapid relief of symptoms, while the extended-release formulation offers a gradual and sustained release of the medication.
Due to its calming and sedative effects, Xanax can effectively manage anxiety-related symptoms.
Why does Xanax have the potential to be addictive?
Xanax, like many other medications, can be considered a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can provide much-needed relief from anxiety and panic disorders, helping you regain a sense of calm and stability in your life. However, Xanax has qualities that make it dangerous and potentially harmful, with the chances of developing a prescription drug addiction being high.
Some of the risks associated with Xanax include:
- Addiction: Prolonged or excessive use of Xanax can lead to physical and psychological dependence, making it challenging to stop using the drug.
- Sedation and respiratory depression: Xanax is a central nervous system depressant that can cause sedation and drowsiness. When taken in higher doses or combined with other substances, such as alcohol, it can result in extreme sedation, respiratory depression and even overdose, which can be life-threatening.
- Memory impairment and cognitive effects: Xanax can impair memory and cognitive function, leading to difficulties in concentration, coordination and decision-making. This can pose risks, particularly when operating machinery or driving.
- Withdrawal symptoms: Abruptly stopping or reducing the dosage of Xanax after regular use can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including rebound anxiety, insomnia, irritability and seizures. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines should be done under medical supervision to manage potential complications.
What are the Xanax addiction symptoms?
Understanding how to identify the symptoms of addiction to Xanax is of paramount importance due to the widespread misuse and abuse of this medication.
Short-term side effects of using Xanax can include:
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Confusion and difficulty concentrating
- Impaired coordination and balance
- Slurred speech
- Nausea and vomiting
- Memory problems
- Reduced inhibitions
- Increased or decreased appetite
Long-term use of Xanax can lead to more severe side effects and potential health risks, including:
- Development of tolerance
- Physical and psychological dependence
- Memory and cognitive impairment
- Emotional blunting
- Respiratory depression
- Increased risk of accidents and injuries
It’s important to note that the specific side effects and their severity can vary from person to person.
How can I tell if I have a Xanax addiction?
If you are taking Xanax, it is crucial to familiarise yourself with the signs of a Xanax addiction. Acknowledging the problem can be challenging, but taking the first step and seeking help can provide immense relief. It’s important to be honest with yourself and answer the following questions:
- Do you find yourself taking higher doses of Xanax than prescribed or using it more frequently than recommended?
- Have you experienced cravings or a strong urge to take Xanax even when unnecessary?
- Do you continue to use Xanax despite experiencing negative consequences in your relationships, work or other areas of life?
- Have you attempted to cut down or stop using Xanax but found it challenging due to withdrawal symptoms or intense psychological cravings?
- Do you spend a significant amount of time obtaining, using or recovering from the effects of Xanax?
- Have you noticed a decline in your overall well-being, such as increased anxiety, depression or a deterioration in physical health, due to Xanax use?
If you find yourself answering “yes” to one or more of these questions, it is possible that you are suffering from Xanax addiction. By seeking professional help and support, you can address any concerns or difficulties related to your Xanax use.
How does a Xanax addiction develop?
There is no single answer to why a Xanax addiction starts, as every individual’s experience is unique. By understanding the potential risk factors and pathways, you can identify warning signs and take proactive steps to prevent or address Xanax addiction:
- Recreational use and experimentation: You may try Xanax for non-medical purposes, seeking its sedative or euphoric effects, which can lead to continued use and addiction.
- Misuse of prescribed medication: Taking Xanax in higher doses, more frequently or for longer periods than prescribed can increase the risk of developing an addiction.
- Self-medication for mental health disorders: In some cases, a Xanax addiction can occur when you use the drug to self-medicate without the guidance of a medical professional.
- Genetic and environmental factors: Genetic predisposition and environmental influences, such as a family history of addiction or early exposure to substance abuse, can contribute to the development of an addiction to Xanax.
- Pre-existing substance use disorders: If you have a history of substance abuse, you may be more susceptible to developing an addiction to Xanax. Similar to alcohol or opioids, Xanax produces sedative and calming effects, which can appeal to those who use substances recreationally.
How is Xanax addiction treated?
At Oasis Runcorn, we empathise with the challenges that come with Xanax addiction. This is why we are dedicated to providing the necessary support for recovery. Our Xanax addiction treatment programme offers a comprehensive and integrated approach to help you overcome your Xanax addiction.
Our programme begins with a medically supervised Xanax detox process. This ensures you can safely eliminate Xanax from your system while minimising withdrawal symptoms. Our medical professionals closely monitor the detox process and may utilise a tapering-off approach to gradually reduce Xanax dosage safely.
Following detox, our Xanax rehab programme focuses on therapy, counselling and group sessions. Our team of experienced professionals help you understand the underlying factors contributing to your Xanax addiction and provide you with effective coping strategies. Through therapy, you gain insights into your patterns of Xanax use and develop healthier alternatives to manage anxiety or other underlying issues.
Xanax in the UK
Xanax is not commonly prescribed or used in the UK, so it’s understandable if you aren’t familiar with its effects or legality. This is why we have devised several interesting facts about Xanax in the UK:
- Xanax is a Class C drug and possession could get you up to two years in prison. Distribution of the drug could lead to a fourteen-year sentence.
- Xanax is only available through private prescription.
- According to media reports, there is evidence of Xanax being obtained through online sources, particularly on the dark web. The United Kingdom has been identified as accounting for 22% of global online sales of Xanax in these illicit online marketplaces.
- In Scotland alone, 366 Xanax-related deaths were recorded during 2015-2020
- The UK has an issue with counterfeit Xanax. During 2016-2019, over £1m of counterfeit Xanax were seized at UK ports. More recently, a father and son were arrested and found guilty of running a counterfeit Xanax factory worth £3.5m
My loved one is addicted to Xanax – what can I do?
If your loved one is struggling with Xanax addiction, there are several steps you can take to provide support and encourage them to seek help:
- Educate yourself: Learn about Xanax addiction, its effects and available treatment options. This knowledge will help you better understand your loved one’s situation and provide informed support.
- Express concern and care: Let your loved one know that you are genuinely concerned about their well-being. Express your love, support and willingness to help them through their Xanax addiction.
- Avoid enabling behaviours: Refrain from enabling your loved one’s Xanax use. Avoid providing financial support, and don’t cover up their actions or minimise the severity of the issue.
- Set boundaries: Establish healthy boundaries to protect yourself and maintain your well-being. This may involve clearly communicating your expectations and limits regarding their Xanax use and seeking professional advice on establishing healthy boundaries.
- Seek support for yourself: Caring for someone with a Xanax addiction can be emotionally challenging. Consider seeking support from friends, family or support groups who understand and can offer guidance during this difficult time.
Remember, while you can provide support and guidance, your loved one ultimately needs to decide to seek help for their Xanax addiction themselves. Encourage them to take the necessary steps towards recovery but also recognise that their recovery journey from Xanax addiction is unique and may take time.
What are the next steps?
If you or someone you know is struggling with Xanax addiction, now is the time to take action and seek professional help. Don’t let Xanax addiction control your life any longer. Oasis Runcorn can provide the support, guidance and resources necessary for a successful recovery.
Reach out to Oasis Runcorn by picking up the phone and one of our trusted staff members will be able to guide you on the next steps towards recovery.