24 May Xanax Withdrawal, Symptoms, and Treatment
The story of Xanax and other benzodiazepines is an interesting one. Originally they were created to be a safer alternative to the old school tranquilizers such as barbiturates. They had a boom of popularity several decades ago, especially Xanax for their anxiety relieving effects. They seemed to treat such disorders as anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. They were highly effective in helping people safely go through the withdrawals caused by alcohol dependence. Initially Xanax seemed to be a highly successful and effective medication, unfortunately the FDA, doctors, and the general public highly underestimated the dangers and the dark side to Xanax withdrawal. In the past several years there has been a massive resurgence of overdoses and overdose related deaths associated with Xanax.By now, most Americans are vaguely aware of the opioid epidemic and crisis going on in United States right now. From 1999 to 2016 the number of opioid overdose deaths has quintupled. The number of Xanax and benzodiazepine related deaths has increased by an eight-fold factor over that same period of time. As well, what many Americans who are aware of the current opioid crisis are unaware of, is that 30% of all opioid related deaths are actually considered a fatal mixture of opiates and benzodiazepines. Due to the sheer destruction of the opioid epidemic, the Benzodiazepine epidemic that has gone hand in hand with it has received much less attention from lawmakers and the public.
Recent Numbers on Xanax Use
Just as with opiates, much of the harm that comes with Benzodiazepines like Xanax comes when mixed with other drugs. Benzodiazepines become exponentially more dangerous when combined with other drugs due to causing a synergistic instead of cumulative effect on the respiratory system. Although the research is limited, the research available leads to the information that around 90 percent of benzodiazepine related deaths also involved an opioid. As well, about 80 percent of recreational benzodiazepine use was carried out alongside other drugs or alcohol. Xanax has become widely available, the amount of prescriptions from 1996 to 2013 has increased by 67 percent and the overall number of pills prescribed has tripled over that same period of time.
Effects and Withdrawals
Xanax is a highly addictive substance. Xanax has highly sedative and euphoric effects causing people to become addicted and develop a physical dependence quite rapidly and easily. A person’s tolerance for Xanax can build quickly if it is taken regularly. Xanax withdrawal symptoms will begin to be experienced even if Xanax is taken in a lower dose than the body has become accustomed to. This is where the real danger with Xanax withdrawal lies. People often experience severe anxiety, sweating and muscle cramps. It can be excruciatingly painful and often will require a medical intervention. In severe cases people who are going through withdrawals from Xanax can experience hallucinations and seizures, which can be fatal if not treated. It is highly recommended to seek inpatient treatment to safely detox and taper off of Xanax to minimize the symptoms of Xanax withdrawal.
Here are the most common symptoms of Xanax Withdrawal:
-Muscle Pain and Stiffness
For many people, Xanax was a dream come true that backfired. Over periods of time many of the ailments that it initially treated became worse. Many of the people taking Xanax experience addiction, worsened anxiety, and physical dependence. There is no easy explanation for the resurgence in popularity of Xanax, yet it has become a centerpiece topic in music and pop culture. Some suspect that, put simply, the world we live in is just anxious. We need to start taking pain, suffering, anxiety, and addiction seriously. There are many outlets and resources offering help. The real challenge is getting that help to people when and where its needed most and being able to offer that help effectively.