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How is Xanax Abused?

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The most widely-prescribed benzodiazepine drug, Xanax, is also the most commonly abused. Its generic name is alprazolam. It can be very effective for several different conditions — anxiety, sleep issues, muscle tension — yet it’s never without risk, not even when taken as directed by a physician. Many people are prone to misusing Xanax, and a lot of people use it recreationally right off the bat. Many addicts turn to snorting, dissolving, or smoking the tablets instead of swallowing them. Many people mix in other drugs as well.

In the mid to late 2000s, Xanax-related ER visits tripled in the US. According to The Drug Awareness Warning Network, 96,000 people out of 125,000 had mixed their Xanax with alcohol, opiates, marijuana, cocaine, or a combination.

Xanax tolerance builds quickly, so it’s not always easy for friends and family to notice anything amiss. As a medication, benzodiazepines are meant to be taken only in the short-term. If taken for too long, it can cause issues with memory, sensory perceptions, and learning abilities. Research has shown that people who use Xanax for more than 6 months are 84 percent more likely to develop dementia at some point in their lifetime.

Xanax poses its greater risk to the elderly–30 percent of its users—mainly because it impairs motor coordination. This puts elderly people in increased danger of crashing their cars or tripping while walking.

Also important to know are the more immediate effects of Xanax abuse. These include:

Nausea and vomiting
Vision problems (blurring, double-vision)
Memory issues (short-term or long)
Attention problems, confusion
Muscle control problems (spasms, lack of coordination)
Low libido
Slurred speech
Dry mouth
Loss of appetite
Mood swings
Withdrawing from Xanax is dangerous without medical help. Don’t attempt it alone; there’s no or sensible reason to do so. Escaping the drug’s grip will require a weaning process, and that’s best handled by professionals–in a detox center if deemed necessary.

Once clean and sober, addicts still need to recover emotionally. Addictions run deep, but here at Blueprints, we dig even deeper.