What Is Xanax?
Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a prescription benzodiazepine. It’s commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
It does this by enhancing the activity of a neurotransmitter in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which inhibits the brain’s activity and produces a calming effect.
This euphoric effect has led some people to snort Xanax to get high, as well as abuse it in other ways. Some people also mix it with other drugs: for example, Xanax and weed or Xanax and alcohol are popular combinations.
Xanax comes in several forms:
- Oral Tablets — This is the most common form of Xanax. They come in various strengths such as 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg.
- Extended-Release Tablets — Known as Xanax XR, these tablets are designed to release the medication slowly over a longer period. These can also come in varying strengths like 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, and 3 mg. These are also known as Xanax bars.
- Orally Disintegrating Tablets — These tablets dissolve quickly in the mouth and are available in different strengths.
- Liquid — Less commonly, alprazolam is available in a liquid form that can be measured and ingested via a dropper.
- Injectable Forms — Though very rare in most treatment settings, injectable forms of this medication do exist but are not commonly used in standard medical practice for anxiety or panic disorders.
Xanax is the most prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States. According to one estimate, doctors write more than 48 million prescriptions for Xanax each year. The ease with which Xanax can be obtained has led to it becoming a popular street drug.
Even compared to other drugs in its class, Xanax can be very habit-forming and lead to dependency and withdrawal symptoms. It’s classified as Schedule IV under the Controlled Substances Act.
The Dangers of Snorting Xanax
Snorting Xanax comes with a host of potential dangers and complications.
- Increased risk of overdose — Snorting Xanax allows the drug to bypass the first-pass metabolism in the liver, leading to a rapid onset of effects. This increases the risk of overdose as it is more difficult to control the dosage.
- Damage to the nasal cavities — The physical act of snorting can irritate the nasal cavities, leading to problems such as nosebleeds and a chronic runny nose. It can also introduce bacteria, leading to infections.
- Respiratory issues — Snorting Xanax can cause respiratory issues, including difficulty breathing.
- Neurological problems — The rapid onset of effects from snorting Xanax can increase the risk of developing a dependency or addiction to the drug. This can make other mental health issues more likely.
Aside from snorting Xanax, people can also abuse Xanax by injecting it, mixing it with other drugs such as alcohol or other benzodiazepines, and taking it orally in high amounts.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Xanax Abuse?
Here are some signs someone may be snorting Xanax:
- Sleeping for extended periods of time
- Impaired coordination
- Legal problems
- Cognitive impairment
- Nausea or vomiting
- Slurred speech
- No longer engaging in former activities; withdrawal
- Missing school or work
- Dry mouth
- Seizures during withdrawal
Identifying the signs and symptoms of Xanax abuse is a critical step in getting help for yourself or someone else. If you suspect someone is snorting Xanax or any other substance, reach out for professional treatment.
What Is Xanax Withdrawal Like?
Xanax withdrawal can be a complex and sometimes dangerous process, as it involves the body adapting to the absence of the drug after a period of sustained use.
Here are some symptoms you can expect during Xanax withdrawal:
- Increased anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts
- Weight loss
- Heart palpitations
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Difficulty concentrating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle pain and stiffness
These symptoms can develop within hours to a few days of the last dose. Acute symptoms peak in the first week or two. Usually withdrawal does not last longer than that, though there are exceptions.
In some cases, individuals might experience symptoms for several months, a condition known as protracted withdrawal or post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).
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Xanax Addiction Treatment at South Coast Behavioral Health
If you or a loved one are struggling with Xanax addiction, South Coast Behavioral Health is here to help. The first step in treating Xanax addiction is a medical detox. This means using drugs to manage withdrawal symptoms.
Our medical detox program in California is staffed by caring and compassionate professionals who can provide you with medications to manage your withdrawal symptoms. This may include things like anti-seizure medication and antidepressants.
After detoxing, treatment should involve therapy to treat the drivers of addiction.
Treatment for substance abuse takes place along an entire spectrum of care. Along that entire spectrum are various behavioral therapies, support groups, and the use of medically-assisted treatment (MAT).
These levels of treatment are, in order, as follows:
Residential Treatment in California
After successfully completing medical detox, you’ll move receive inpatient treatment in Orange County California. There, you’ll receive medically-assisted treatment and dual diagnosis treatment to deal with any cravings or co-occurring mental health issues you may be battling.
We also offer residential treatment facilities in Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Huntington Beach for those who desire gender-specific treatment. There, patients get round-the-clock medical attention and monitoring while living at the institution full-time.
In addition to individual and group counseling and medication management, you’ll also have access to leisure activities and family support services.
Partial Hospitalization in California
Most clients start substance abuse treatment with South Coast in our residential treatment program. After completing that, many desire something that still provides structure and support, but with extra space and time to oneself. For that, we offer Partial Hospitalization in Newport Beach.
A step down from inpatient care but with more structure than conventional outpatient programs, partial hospitalization offers a good balance for those looking to ease back into normal life. Clients can receive care five to seven days a week for a number of hours each day, returning back to their homes in the evening.
This way, they can recover without putting their daily lives completely on hold, receiving intense therapeutic interventions like group and individual therapy, skill development, and medication management as necessary.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment in California
For those leaving inpatient residential treatment or partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are yet another gradual step forward on the road to recovery.
With a focus on group therapy, individual counseling, and education, clients undergoing Intensive Outpatient Treatment in Newport Beach can meet three to five days a week. Each session lasts three hours.
This level of care requires the least amount of attendance at a facility.
Get Started Today
Xanax addiction is a serious disease but can be overcome with proper treatment. If you or a loved one are struggling with Xanax addiction but wonder how long addiction treatment takes or have other questions, call us at 866-881-1184 or contact us here.
Our highly qualified staff will be happy to help give you an idea on what to expect from your addiction recovery timeline, help verify your insurance, and assist with any other questions you may have.
Reach out today to speak with a representative who can help you determine your treatment options and get you started on the road to recovery.