Anxiety disorder is a severe mental illness characterized by constant worries, fears and anticipations even over trivial issues. It is the most common mental illness in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly 40 million adults (18 percent of the total population) in the U.S. experience the symptoms of an anxiety disorder.
Though the condition is treatable, only about one-third of those suffering from anxiety disorder receive treatment, says the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). With more awareness about its repercussions, the number of people seeking medical help has increased. However, many people with symptoms of anxiety prefer self-medicating the condition by popping anti-anxiety pills such as Xanax.
Xanax, a brand name for alprazolam, is part of a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. With potential to slow down the central nervous system, Xanax has vastly improved lives of many people suffering from severe mental health issues including anxiety. But, long-term use of this drug or self-medication without proper prescribed dosage can lead to addiction and other side effects.
Non-medical use of Xanax is harmful
Xanax is primarily prescribed to patients suffering from different types of anxiety disorder such as general anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder and social anxiety disorder. However, the drug is also taken by many for non-medical purposes owing to its sedative effects. Xanax is one of the commonly abused prescription drugs as it acts quickly in the body. The effect of the drug tends to last for at least six hours.
While the short-term effects of the drug include difficulty in cognitive skills and producing words properly, the long-term effects can be weight changes, dizziness, dry mouth, memory problems, skin rashes, frequent mood swings and changes in sex drive, among others.
Notably, the side effects of the drug tend to aggravate if taken in combination with other medication or substances. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “The side effects can be stronger if Xanax is combined with other substances that depress the central nervous system, including alcohol, sleep aids, prescription painkillers and antihistamine allergy medications.”
Development of Xanax dependency
While there is a long list of the physical and mental side effects caused by the non-medical use of Xanax, one of the most dreaded consequence is development of drug dependency. Many people began using Xanax without any prescription as a self-medication to relax their physical tension, temporary restlessness and attain a peaceful sleep. However, its regular use makes the body tolerant of the drug following which the user tends to take more amount of drug to attain the same intensity of relief.
The regular consumption of Xanax, especially in large quantities, leads to development of chemical dependency towards the medication. As a result, the body refuses to work normally in absence of the drug. This may also lead to experiencing withdrawal symptoms in some users. Besides, development of addiction is another major consequence of the Xanax misuse. Addiction of Xanax is often characterized by the craving for the drug.
Road to recovery
Consumption of Xanax necessarily requires medical supervision. Intake of large quantity of the drug without prescription is highly risky. Also, it is important for doctors to curb the prescription of Xanax, as it further leads to easy availability of the drug for abuse. Self-medicating Xanax for anxiety disorders will only increase the risks of the problem, rather than easing the symptoms. It is advisable to get enrolled in a holistic anxiety treatment program to embrace an anxiety-free life.
Anxiety disorder can be treated. If you or a loved one is suffering from any kind of anxiety disorder and looking for a safe and effective anxiety treatment center in Florida, the Florida Helpline for Anxiety can assist you. For detailed information about the best anxiety treatment center in Florida, you may contact us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-920-9834 or chat online with our representatives.