The abuse of prescription benzodiazepine medication such as Xanax and Valium is one of the most serious and widespread problems in the United States. Prescription drug addiction has become a major national health concern and has caused hundreds and thousands of accidental, overdose-related deaths over the course of the past decade. In 2016, the National Study on Drug Use and Health reported that nearly 30 million American citizens over the age of 12 had experimented with or abused illicit drugs at one point or another during their lives.
It’s estimated that over 54 million Americans had experimented with prescription drugs (that were not initially prescribed to them) in 2018. This clearly shows the growing issue and indicates that a serious percentage of adults are using prescription drugs other than as prescribed. Experimenting with addictive benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium very often leads to addiction, seeing as both drugs are extremely habit-forming.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is a prescription sedative used to treat anxiety disorders, most commonly. When abused, Xanax is dangerous for several different reasons. First of all, it can be extremely addictive. Those that abuse the drug are liable to develop a physical dependence within a matter of weeks if they’re abusing the drug regularly. Secondly, Xanax abuse can cause serious psychological complications when used other than as prescribed.
The drug impairs memory, especially when mixed with other drugs like alcohol or other sedatives. Additionally, when mixed with alcohol, it can slow breathing to the point of respiratory depression – which can lead to death. It can cause suicidal ideation and paranoia. It is estimated that over 70 percent of teenagers who have abused Xanax get it from the unlocked medicine cabinet of their parents or another family member. The safe-keeping of potent prescription drugs like Xanax is of the utmost importance.
What is Valium?
Valium is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, seizures, and disorders marked by muscle spasms. This classification of drugs is known as a benzodiazepine, and it is extremely potent and highly addictive when abused. Similarly to Xanax, this drug can cause severe memory loss, and abuse of this drug can lead to serious psychological issues like suicidal ideation, depression, and paranoia.
Mixing Valium with other drugs – especially alcohol – can lead to serious health-related complications. When taken as prescribed, Valium can be extremely beneficial in helping patients avoid panic attacks, seizures, and painful muscle spasms. However, those that use Valium other than as prescribed are putting themselves in harm’s way. If you or someone you know has been abusing this potent drug, it is crucial that professional help is sought immediately.
Dangers of Prescription Benzodiazepines
If you’re concerned that you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to Xanax or Valium, there are several symptoms and warning signs to keep an eye out for. Both of these drugs are heavily prescribed by physicians, and raiding medicine cabinets for unused or expired prescriptions is one of the main ways that prescription drug addicts get ahold of their drug of choice. They may also engage in doctor shopping; meaning they go around to different doctors in attempts to get their hands on multiple prescriptions at one time. If the addict has a hard time finding the drug, he or she might begin to experience withdrawal symptoms.
The symptoms of Xanax and Valium withdrawal can be extremely dangerous, and those experiencing withdrawal symptoms need to check themselves into a drug detox immediately. Once physically stabilized, the individual will be transferred to an inpatient drug rehab. Because the chances of relapse in early sobriety are so high when it comes to Xanax and Valium addiction, undergoing a comprehensive continuum of care is essential. For more information on our prescription drug addiction treatment program, please contact us or give us a call today.