Xanax, also known as alprazolam, is often used to treat people with anxiety disorders. It is a benzodiazepine, which means that it affects the central nervous system. Since it brings positive and calming sensations, a person may become easily addicted. When used for long periods, a person may become tolerant and require more to get the same effects. Cravings can begin and lead to improper behaviors.
When addiction strikes, people may use strange methods to achieve pleasant effects. For example, some individuals begin smoking the drug. Unfortunately, this habit can cause devastating health consequences. It is vital to follow medical advice so that misuse does not become a problem.
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What is Xanax?
To repeat, Xanax is prescribed to people with high levels of anxiety or panic. It increases the effects on the brain’s neurotransmitters, especially GABA. GABBA has calming properties, relaxes muscles, and slows brain activity.
Since Xanax can cause a person to feel drowsy, it is recommended that a patient take it before bed. This particular drug works quickly and stops working fast. In other words, it only provides relief from symptoms for a short time. When repeat anxiety occurs, a person will want to take more of the medicine. Often, this begins the cycle of addiction.
When it comes to dosing, each patient is different. Most doctors start low and slowly increase the dosage until the best results occur. Older individuals with mobility issues are advised to use extreme caution. Xanax may dampen muscle function, which can raise the risk of falls.
Should I Smoke Xanax?
Although a person who needs Xanax is given a prescription on a short-term basis, some individuals become hooked and require more. In fact, they resort to drastic measures so that they achieve a high. Often, Xanax is found on the streets. People use it for recreational purposes, which is extremely dangerous.
Normally, Xanax is prescribed in pill form. However, snorting and injecting Xanax are becoming two popular methods of consuming the drug. Some individuals are smoking the medication as well. Most people fail to realize that smoking Xanax does not bring the same intense effects. However, users may combine Xanax with other drugs and smoke the mixture. Since Xanax may interact with these other drugs, fatal results may occur. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 92 percent of Xanax overdoses include a combination with an opioid. On the other hand, mixing Xanax with a stimulant may mask the effects. This makes a person take more. In this case, an overdose is likely as well.
Risks and Dangers of Smoking Xanax
To repeat, Xanax is part of the benzodiazepine family. It lowers the body’s temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. By smoking the drug, it is not digested properly, which heightens its side effects. Likewise, heating the drug may change its composition. When consumed with alcohol or an opioid, respiratory distress may result. Other health issues may arise as well.
- Lung Irritation. Smoke can irritate and inflame the lungs, which makes breathing difficult. Also, coughing and wheezing may begin.
- Cardiac Problems. Smoking Xanax may strain a person’s heart. Therefore, blood pressure increases. This can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
- Aspiration Pneumonia. Inhaling Xanax includes the consumption of other toxic chemicals. This irritates the lungs and can cause an infection like aspiration pneumonia.
Side Effects of Xanax
- increased irritability
- dry mouth
- difficulty with concentration
Legal and Ethical Considerations
Numerous states, including Florida, have strict laws against the misuse of Xanax and similar drugs. If a person is found to illegally possess this medication, he or she may be sent to jail for up to five years. Expensive fines may be imposed as well. Drugs of this nature are becoming a big problem in this country and are causing numerous deaths. Doctors are advised to prescribe them with care. The risk for addiction is high. Therefore, a person with a prescription must follow the directions carefully and use the medicine for short periods. If a problem begins, help is available.
Alternatives and Safe Use
Although Xanax is an effective drug for people who suffer from anxiety, there are safer alternatives that can bring positive results.
- Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. These are antidepressants that block the absorption of serotonin in the body. They regulate the mood so that symptoms of depression decrease.
- Buspirone. This drug is in the family of anxiolytics. It is safe for long-term use.
- Trazodone. This medication aids with sleep, so it is a smart option for people who use Xanax to battle insomnia. It is a melatonin receptor agonist that helps keep brain chemicals in balance. It brings less side effects as well.
Certain Xanax alternatives have nothing to do with pharmaceuticals. To treat anxiety disorders, there are non-medication options that can bring relief.
- Therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a way to successfully treat anxiety. It allows a person to examine and analyze thoughts and feelings so that coping skills are developed to lower stress.
- Exercise. Many people receive short-term anxiety relief from exercise. Moving the body releases endorphins. These bring feelings of relaxation and a lightened mood.
- Meditation. Meditation is a great way to relax the mind and body. Practicing mindfulness techniques like deep breathing may improve anxious feelings.
Dangers of Xanax
Xanax can be a helpful treatment for a person with anxiety. However, it is very addictive. Although it is meant for short-term consumption, a tolerance can develop. This may be the start of addiction, which is a time when an individual may use drastic measures to ensure his or her supply is maintained. Also, a person may utilize strange methods to ingest the drug. In certain cases, an individual may smoke the medication. Smoking Xanax can be extremely dangerous and lead to an overdose, especially when it is combined with other drugs. It is key to follow the directions of your doctor. If you find yourself tackling an addiction problem, professional assistance is available. The experts at Recreate Life Counseling are ready to help. For more information, call us today.