Xanax Withdrawal Effects & the Need for Treatment Help
People struggling with anxiety-based conditions have a difficult time managing the affairs of daily life, especially during stressful or hectic periods. Xanax, one of several medications used to treat anxiety symptoms offers an effective treatment remedy, though it does carry a fairly high risk for abuse and addiction.
Once a person reaches a point where it’s time to stop taking this drug, there’s a good chance he or she will experience Xanax withdrawal effects, particularly in cases of long-term use. While it is possible to overcome Xanax withdrawal effects on one’s own, the likelihood of making it through the withdrawal period decreases the longer a person has been on the drug. Under these conditions, seeking out professional treatment help offers the best chance of stopping Xanax use once and for all.
Xanax, also known by its generic name Alprazolam, belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs. Benzodiazepines produce sedative-like effects which work well at relieving anxiety states as well as panic episodes.
According to the University of Maryland, Xanax works by increasing GABA neurotransmitter outputs in the brain. The presence of GABA has an inhibitory effect on brain cell activity, slowing nerve impulses and essentially quieting the conditions that give rise to anxiety symptoms.
While only intended as a short-term treatment, many people affected by anxiety-based disorders take Xanax for longer than prescribed simply because these types of disorders can be chronic in nature and require ongoing treatment. It’s just as easy to fall into a pattern of abusing Xanax due to the quieting effects it has on one’s mood state.
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Xanax Withdrawal Effects
Xanax withdrawal effects develop out of the brain’s growing dependence on the drug to function normally. Considering how it alters nerve cell impulses in the brain as well as throughout the central nervous system, abruptly stopping Xanax after prolonged use can bring on fairly severe withdrawal symptoms, some of which can be life threatening, according to the Food & Drug Administration.
Xanax withdrawal symptoms may take the form of:
- Muscle cramps
- Blurry vision
- Severe anxiety
- Confused thinking
Once physical dependence takes hold, Xanax withdrawal episodes become a central part of the problem in terms of the discomfort that results and the overwhelming urge to resume drug use in order to gain relief.
The brain quickly adapts to Xanax’s effects so much so that the drug gradually reconfigures the brain’s chemical pathways over time. According to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, this degree of change creates the types of conditions where Xanax addiction can easily develop.
Xanax addiction most affects a person’s thinking, focusing his or her attention on getting and using the drug. At this point, the brain’s chemical processes have reached an imbalanced state, a condition that inevitably impairs cognition, emotions as well as the centers that regulate impulse control. Once addiction sets in, Xanax withdrawal effects become all the more intense since a person has to contend with both the physical and psychological aftereffects of the drug.
The Need for Treatment
Considering the stronghold Xanax imposes on brain functioning and how these effects compound over time, someone who’s used Xanax for several months at a time will likely require some form of professional treatment help in order to stop taking the drug. Otherwise, repeated relapse episodes will only strengthen the drug’s hold over a person’s life.
If you or someone you know are having difficulty overcoming Xanax withdrawal effects and need help finding treatment services in your area, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at to speak with one of our phone counselors.