Are you wondering how you can tell if someone is on Xanax, are you concerned about a loved one whom you suspect may be self-medicating using Xanax? Your concern may be well-placed, for Xanax is a highly potent narcotic that should only ever be used when prescribed by a medical professional. What’s more alarming is that Xanax can be quite addictive if not used responsibly.
There are multiple ways to tell if someone is on Xanax because they exhibit a range of behavioral and psychological symptoms that elucidate the seriousness of their condition. These include mood swings, feeling drowsy and sedated, or having trouble remembering things, among many other symptoms.
This is why, if you are to help the person you hold dear to get better, then you need to equip yourself with the basics of Xanax and how this addiction works. Learn why people use Xanax and how to identify signs of Xanax use and abuse
Luckily, there are a number of signs and symptoms that people on Xanax exhibit, which then become exacerbated when someone is abusing the drug. The following signs will help you identify whether your loved one is suffering from a Xanax addiction, according to which you can get them the help they need in a timely fashion.
However, before we get to the signs, it is important to stress that people who have prescribed Xanax and use it according to that prescription do not necessarily exhibit severe symptoms. They are able to go to work and maintain their jobs and take care of their families.
Even when a doctor prescribes Xanax, it is not unlikely for someone to experience the side effects of the drug. These include nausea, experiencing dizziness, blurry vision, dry mouth, headaches, tremors, decreased coordination and libido, feeling drowsy or sluggish, and in some cases even seizures.
The symptoms described above are of regular Xanax use and not abuse. Below are the symptoms commonly exhibited by those abusing Xanax.
When someone is abusing Xanax, they may exhibit a variety of behavioral signs that you can see. Oftentimes, people on high doses of Xanax will slur their words as if they are drunk after having consumed alcohol. They may also exhibit problems with cognition as alertness decreases.
Other behavioral signs include sleeping for unusually long periods of time, getting irritated, lack of interest, self-isolation, and stealing other kinds of medication to get their fix. People abusing Xanax have also been found to mix it with other intoxicants such as alcohol, which even with small amounts of Xanax can be a fatal combination.
Additionally, someone abusing Xanax will also exhibit mood swings and being secretive, and even lash out at others around them, especially if they are experiencing withdrawal. They may also lie about a variety of things and do so in a manner they believe is convincing enough for others, which in many cases is not true.
While these may be trickier to notice, you will eventually be able to identify a variety of psychological signs of Xanax abuse if you spend enough time with the person in question. Some people experience suicidal ideation on high doses of Xanax and can experience aggression and hostility when engaging with other people.
In more severe cases of Xanax abuse, addicts report having spiraled into other mental health disorders such as depression, experiencing delirium, cognitive impairment, dementia, and even psychosis. Prolonged use or taking a high dosage can also lead to sedation that lasts for days, which can be dangerous if a person is in an unsafe environment.
Some of the psychological signs of Xanax abuse can become permanent unless treatment is not sought timely. So, it is incredibly important that you pay attention to whomever you suspect may be suffering from this addiction.
Besides the symptoms listed above, there are a variety of other signs that you can keep a lookout for when trying to assess whether your loved one is struggling with a Xanax addiction. Here is a shortlist that can you can refer to:
There is a key difference between using Xanax for recreational purposes and being addicted to Xanax to the point that one is abusing the drug, i.e., taking it often and in large doses. When using Xanax recreationally, people are known to combine it with other intoxicants, such as alcohol, to achieve the desired buzz.
People who are using Xanax recreationally also have a less challenging time quitting the drug altogether and experience little to no withdrawal symptoms in comparison to those addicted to it.
Xanax, otherwise known as alprazolam, belongs to a broad category of drugs known as Benzodiazepines, or Benzos for short. This drug is mainly used to target the central nervous system of the body to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and heightened stress, such as panic attacks and insomnia, for example.
Xanax works by increasing the effects of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), which is found naturally within the human body. This induces a calming effect, which is why it is used for sedation purposes in some cases. So, sleeping on Xanax can be very intense, as you may feel drowsiness even 12 hours after ingestion.
Typically, its effects begin to be felt within an hour of consumption and can be felt up to 6 hours after use. Because of this, Xanax is also referred to as a short-acting Benzo. It usually is taken in the form of a pill or a bar, from which bits of the medicine can be broken off to make the dosage smaller.
Other uses of Xanax include treatment for alcohol withdrawal, seizures, and sedation for manic episodes. Because Xanax is a highly potent Benzo, doctors reduce its dosage for their patients with time. Normally it is prescribed between two to six weeks.
In the United States of America, Xanax is the most commonly prescribed Benzo despite others like Ativan and Klonopin being available for use. It is highly addictive and can very easily be abused if one is not careful. People who use it as prescribed have also been known to become addicted to it since tolerance for it can develop fairly quickly.
Since it is a sedative, a Xanax addiction can lead to many troubling ramifications for the person abusing the drug and often impacts the lives of those around the person addicted to it in alarming ways. Because it alleviates symptoms of anxiety, it will also make a person feel a lot less inhibited when it comes to day-to-day activities.
This can lead to dangerous behavior such as driving while on a high dose or just generally having lesser inhibitions when doing things that require one to be completely sober. Therefore, even a person whom you know to be extremely responsible might end up getting behind the driver’s seat without a second thought if they are taking Xanax.
Many people that are using Xanax frequently or have become addicted to it are usually unaware of their condition in terms of its severity. If approached without the appropriate attitude, they might react defensively and, in some cases, even get violent. This is, unfortunately, a reality of addiction, which is why it is extremely important to seek treatment or opt for interventions as soon as possible.
When approaching someone to seek help for their addiction, it is imperative that you come from a place of concern and care for the person. Make sure to also have someone else present when you have this intervention, ideally someone else the addict trusts and is close to.
It is always best to seek the guidance of a professional in such situations, for they are trained to understand how an addict thinks. Hence, they can best prepare you with all the possibilities of what might be the right treatment option as well.
One form of intervention is joining a rehabilitation program that can help you get better and quit Xanax. These medical programs slowly wean off the addict from the drug because stopping it abruptly may induce serious health crises such as experiencing seizures.
Depending on the severity of the addiction, there are in-patient and out-patient treatment programs that provide addicts with the care they need throughout this process.
Those with a more severe addiction to Xanax typically opt for the in-patient care in which they are cared for at a facility designed to help addicts recover. Here they are monitored 24/7, where the difficult symptoms they will experience can be managed well.
So, if you are concerned and troubled about the state of your loved one, you should consult with a health professional immediately to get the best advice on how to proceed.
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