How Long Before You Become Addicted to Xanax?
The United States has an anxiety problem and Xanax is often the medication to manage anxiety and panic attacks. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSMD) characterizes panic attacks as abrupt feelings accompanied by at least four major symptoms. These include shortness of breath, increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, dizziness, and nausea. The less common symptoms are chest pain, choking, numbness or tingling sensations, and hot or cold flashes in parts of the body.
People who experience these episodes feel intense fear, often lose control of their body and/or mind, and may have thoughts of impending death. Also, the stress of one panic attack often leads to excessive worry and eventually causes further episodes. In other cases, certain stressors or triggers that are often unique to the individual cause anxiety and/or panic attacks.
About 3 in 100 Americans aged over 12 years struggle with some form of anxiety and tend to last a long time. Most patients still experience panic attacks and take medication to manage their symptoms even after six to seven years. The timeline of using anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax is worrisome because of the risk of addiction.
The Timeline of Xanax Addiction
Using Xanax as the prime choice to manage the symptoms of fear and anxiety did not happen overnight. Alcohol was the earliest form of anti-anxiety drug and was used both casually and in professional medical settings until it was replaced with barbital. The barbiturate was used to treat anxiety and was later revealed to have many side effects, addictive properties, and the risk of fatal overdose. For these reasons, this class of drugs was eventually replaced by the benzodiazepines which are less harmful but not devoid of the addictive properties of its predecessors.
Benzodiazepines hold great clinical value but, without exception, are dangerous drugs when abused or even used as prescribed for long periods. Therapeutic users can develop tolerance in just a few days and become dependent within four weeks of use. Despite this timeline, getting addicted is not a one-size-fits-all hat. The circumstances surrounding your addiction may differ from that of another fellow.
For recreational users of Xanax, the dangers are even higher and full-blown addiction can happen in just a couple of weeks. Over time, the addiction strengthens and addicts are likely to begin making drug acquisition a priority. Their behaviors will be almost the same as people who use illicit drugs like heroin. Despite these, it is very possible to beat Xanax addiction with professional help.
Find Help for Xanax Abuse
We understand that anxiety interferes with social relationships, personal happiness, and employment, and thus the need to use Xanax as a coping means. However, the hard truth is that pills alone will not fix your anxiety as up to 6 in 10 people diagnosed with panic disorder also develop depression later.
Getting treatment for Xanax addiction is possible. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your addiction, NJ Addiction Resources can get you the best help you deserve. Call our addiction helpline to get started on your journey to freedom from Xanax addiction.