Xanax is a very commonly prescribed medication in the United States that is mainly prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and sleep problems like insomnia. It can also be used to treat seizures. Since Xanax is a prescription medication, many people may think it is harmless or can not have dangerous. Unfortunately, Xanax use does come with a hefty list of serious downsides.
Downside 1: Dependence and Addiction
A huge part of understanding how and why Xanax can be so dangerous and have so many downsides involves knowing how it affects your brain and your nervous system. Xanax is a benzodiazepine. When they originally came out, they were marketed as being the safe alternative to something called barbiturates.
However, Xanax can be just as risky because of the way it affects your brain. Xanax acts on certain neurotransmitters in the brain called GABA. GABA is responsible for the calming and relaxing effects of Xanax because it slows down your brain and central nervous system activity. So while it is very beneficial when you have a disorder it can help; a downside is that it can become harmful to you with continued and prolonged use.
After prolonged use, your brain will become used to the effects that Xanax has on the GABA neurotransmitters. When you suddenly stop using Xanax, your brain and body no longer produce enough GABA on their own because it got used to you chemically supplementing it. This is how dependence and addiction are born. Xanax is strong enough to cause dependence or addiction in just 2-4 weeks of use.
Downside 2: The Long Term Side Effects
Xanax is not only dangerous because of the high risk for dependence and addiction, but it can also have many negative effects on your health over time. For example, it is shown that adults who take benzos for periods longer than 6 months have a much higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, Xanax use, in general, can cause serious problems with your brain. For one, it can literally shrink your brain and cause you to lost grey matter. It can also lead to memory problems and memory loss.
In addition to these serious problems with your brain, another downside is the withdrawal associated with ongoing Xanax use. This happens when someone suddenly stops long-term use and it can be very dangerous for you. Some of the withdrawal symptoms can include sleep problems, irritability, weakness, body pains, restlessness, blurred vision, anxiety, and depression.
There are also some much more severe withdrawal symptoms associated with long-term use, including hallucinations and seizures. Xanax withdrawal seizures can even lead you to coma and even death.
Xanax Can Take Over Your Whole Life
The high likelihood for addiction and dependence as well as the serious health risk are all very bad downsides to Xanax use. These reasons alone should be enough for you to recognize that Xanax use is just not worth it. Xanax can take over your whole life.
Overcome Xanax Abuse at Recreate Life Counseling
If you or someone you love is addicted to Xanax and are ready to take the courageous steps to get sober, the first thing you need to do is go into a medically assisted detox. Recreate Life Counseling can help you with that. In our detox, you will be in a safe environment while the drugs leave your system.
Once you have detoxed, the best and safest option to get off of and stay off Xanax is by using one of our many treatment programs offer. Addiction required a multi-layer approach to give you the best chance at long-term sobriety. Addiction isn’t an easy thing to face. Luckily you do not have to face it on your own.