Xanax, also known by its generic name alprazolam, is a potent benzodiazepine medication that is primarily used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
It works by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that inhibits brain activity and produces feelings of relaxation and calmness.
While it can be effective in treating anxiety and other conditions, the side effects of Xanax can be highly dangerous in both the short term and long-term. For those who may be struggling with Xanax abuse, finding a treatment center should be your first and only priority. In today’s article, we will delve deeper into a few of the many issues that can arise when it is used improperly.
Potential for Addiction and Dependence
Benzodiazepines like Xanax are highly addictive and can lead to physical and psychological dependence, particularly if used for an extended period of time or in higher doses than the prescribed amount.
Long-term Xanax use can lead to increased tolerance, which means that higher doses are needed to achieve the same desired effects. This can quickly spiral out of control, leading to addiction and possibly serious withdrawal symptoms if the medication is abruptly stopped.
In addition to dependence and addiction, Xanax can also cause a wide range of other side effects. Short-term side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, memory problems, headache, blurred vision, slurred speech, nausea, and vomiting. These issues can impair cognitive and motor function, making it dangerous to operate heavy machinery, drive a car, or any number of other common activities.
Xanax can also have more serious short-term side effects, including seizures, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and respiratory depression. These are more likely to occur in people who take it in high doses or who combine it with other substances, such as alcohol or opioids. Combining Xanax with other substances can be particularly dangerous, as it can increase the risk of overdose and death.
Long-term use can lead to numerous physical and mental health problems, including memory impairment, cognitive decline, depression, and anxiety. Chronic use of Xanax can also cause structural changes in the brain, particularly in the hippocampus, a region that is important for memory and learning. These changes can further exacerbate cognitive decline and memory problems.
More Dangerous Effects
One of the most severe side effects of Xanax abuse comes in the form of severe withdrawal symptoms which can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Symptoms of withdrawal may include seizures, hallucinations, delirium, psychosis, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. These can be particularly severe in people who have been using Xanax for a long time or in high doses.
Seeking Help for the Side Effects of Xanax
While Xanax can be an effective treatment for anxiety and other conditions, it comes with a number of dangerous side effects that should not be taken lightly. It is important to use this medication only as prescribed and under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider, and to be aware of the potential risks associated with this medication.
However, if you are suffering from addiction, it is crucial to seek out a certified treatment center to get the help you need.