Drug addiction is always a serious matter, but long term addiction can have permanent consequences on a person's well being. Alprazolam is a highly addictive drug that is more commonly referred to as Xanax. While intended for short term use, many people who are continually prescribed the drug develop an addiction. This causes potentially deadly changes in the body, and those who use Alprazolam illegally are also susceptible to long term addictions. An Alprazolam addiction is difficult to stop because the way the drug influences the brain creates a high potential for abuse.
Most Alprazolam users are prescribed the drug for an average of eight weeks. The drug is potent enough to cause relief over a small period of time and its addictive nature makes it a better short term treatment. However, those with extreme anxiety, depression or social phobias may need Alprazolam for extended periods of time. Alprazolam works fast, and it is easy for the brain to get used to the drug and become dependent. Without Alprazolam, the brain has trouble functioning normally, and anxiety problems are exacerbated.
Alprazolam has a short effectiveness time compared to similar medications. The body may stop feeling the effects of the drug, and this is why multiple doses a day are normally needed. Users may experience withdrawal between scheduled doses, and this increases the risk of addiction. While the effects usually wear off fast, half a dosage of Alprazolam can remain in the body for up to 12 hours. While the user may not be aware of any benefit, the drug is in the system and can add to the current dosage. This leads to a build up in the body that can also start an addiction.
Patients who have been prescribed Alprazolam are eased off the drug to limit withdrawal symptoms. However, this does not always help those that have been on the drug for long periods of time. Users may already have become dependent on the drug without being aware and will go through withdrawal. The withdrawal symptoms are especially difficult for those that have been on the medication for extended periods. Those that take prescribed Alprazolam on a permanent basis can easily develop a long term addiction. Short term users can also develop an addiction, but this is less serious and less likely. Those with a temporary Alprazolam prescription experience little risk as long as they follow dosage instructions and speak with a doctor about any problems.
Those taking Alprazolam illegally are the most likely to develop addictions. A long term addiction is easy to start because there is no oversight when taking illegal drugs, and Alprazolam is naturally addictive. Individuals can quickly become dependent, and many people combine Alprazolam with other substances. Mixing alcohol and Alprazolam produces many health risks and also creates an addiction quicker.
Long term addiction leads to problems like depression, increased anxiety, memory loss and more. Addicts have trouble receiving the same high from Alprazolam because the effects can start to wear off after a few months of continued use. The drug has less power over the brain, and withdrawal symptoms can occur.
Alprazolam has many side effects that users may not even be aware exist. Those who are prescribed the drug long term may not know they are addicted or experiencing side effects because of the mind altering properties of the drug. This often occurs in those who are prescribed a low dosage but have regularly been taking the drug for months or years. Long term addiction creates a dependence that makes Alprazolam necessary for everyday activities, and users become frantic if they think they could miss a dose. Symptoms may worsen or could have disappeared, but users will still crave Alprazolam. These behaviors are indicative of a long term addiction.
Those who stop using Alprazolam will start feeling better after a few weeks off the medication. However, it is hard for those with long term addiction to know they are in a lessened state. Clarity often comes after stopping the medication, and it can take a long time for users to know something is wrong.
Individuals who constantly need Alprazolam may start needing a stronger dosage than what they are prescribed. This leads those with a long term addiction to find other ways to get the drug. Common practices involve going to multiple doctors to get many prescriptions at one time, forging a prescription or stealing medication. Those who started with a prescription may instead turn to illegal Alprazolam to get more of the drug. This comes from different countries and is even more dangerous than abusing regular Alprazolam because it can contain unknown properties. Those with long term addictions are willing to risk their safety to use Alprazolam.
Health problems are not the only matters long term users suffer from. Alprazolam addicts often have a greater likelihood of getting into accidents or altercations. Accidents can occur because of blunted senses, and fights start because of an increase in violent, aggressive behavior. These problems can lead to arrests, litigation costs, hospital admittance and more. Addicts are also more likely to shop lift, commit suicide, or lose a job. Many of these situations lead to high costs, problems with loved ones and mistakes that could permanently affect the user.
Long term addiction often occurs because it is too difficult for many individuals to quit taking Alprazolam. Those that quit Alprazolam too soon, do not follow dosage instructions or try to stop when taking a large amount may trigger an addiction or withdrawal symptoms. This is why doctors are specific about dosage instructions and wean patients off the drug. Those who have trouble are normally those who did not follow dosage instructions or those who take Alprazolam illegally.
Other problems occur because of withdrawals. Painful withdrawal side effects like tremors, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting and convulsions make it difficult for many to quit. In addition to these withdrawal symptoms, those who have abused the medication may face other symptoms. These more intense symptoms include sensitivity to light, trembling, no sense of reality and hypersensitive hearing.
Long term addiction is more common in those who have a dependency on alcohol. This is because the drug is especially addictive as it acts similarly to alcohol. The combination of both Alprazolam and alcohol is especially dangerous, but many recovering alcoholics relapse and use both alcohol and Alprazolam.
In addition to the brain's dependence, fear can also cause long term addiction. Some people want to quit Alprazolam but are afraid of withdrawal symptoms. This worry makes it impossible for some to start over and can make withdrawal symptoms worse. While long term addiction is harder to overcome, the actual withdrawal process can be simple. The regular process a doctor uses to wean short term patients also works in many long term cases. Close monitoring followed by an explanation of any symptoms helps a person stay in control and committed to ending a long term addiction.
Long term addiction can be difficult to end. In addition to dependence and withdrawal symptoms, it is hard for many to find help. Doctors treat some individuals and wean them off the medication, but many need more intensive care. Detox centers provide inpatient facilities that help a person while suffering through withdrawal. Individuals can also secure long term treatment options like therapy for after detoxing. Long term addiction is not easy to overcome, but it is possible.