Alprazolam Addiction and Rehabilitation

Alprazolam Addiction Rehabilitation Header
Last Edited: March 15, 2020
Claudia Rose
Clinically Reviewed
Edward Jamison, MS, CAP, ICADC, LADC
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and certified by an addiction professional.

Dangers of Alprazolam Abuse

The prescription anti-anxiety drug Alprazolam is only of the most commonly abused substances in the United States. Although prescription drug abuse is gaining attention from the media, this societal problem is still rampant. Alprazolam is prescribed by doctors for medicinal use, however, this drug comes with many side effects.

Abusing Alprazolam covers any use of the drug that is outside of the guidelines set by the prescribing physician. Most people who abuse Alprazolam started using it for legitimate medical reasons. The line between medical necessity and want becomes blurred, eventually resulting in abuse.

Abuse of Alprazolam can lead to severe injury or death. Furthermore, habitual use of this drug can cause tolerance, addiction and dependence. Not only does the drug cause severe injury, but its influence on cognitive function result in many injuries, assaults and accidental deaths. Drugged driving, taking more than prescribed, taking someone else’s prescription, mixing Alprazolam with other drugs, such as alcohol, and other non-medical uses can cause devastating consequences.

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Street Names for Alprazolam

Alprazolam is often called by its proper name or one of its many nicknames, such as: Xannies, Zannies, Bars, z-Bars, Xanbars, Zany Bar, Handlebars, Benzos, Planks, Bricks.

Alprazolam Effects

Alprazolam, which is the brand name for Alprazolam, is a prescription drug that is used in the treatment of social anxiety and panic disorders, as well as a sedative before surgery. It relaxes the muscles and produces a general calming effect. It works as a central nervous system depressant and affects the neurotransmitter GABA, which is associated with anxiety and nervous tension.

Alprazolam works quickly and the effects typically last between 4-6 hours. The substance, as well as other Benzodiazepines, can easily become addictive. Alprazolam is very commonly prescribed, and is one of the most heavily abused prescription drugs in the country. Many people who are prescribed the drug ultimately become dependent and wind up abusing the drug for the calming and euphoric effect.

Warning signs of Alprazolam abuse in a loved one

Dealing with someone hiding a substance abuse problem is difficult in many ways. It can be hard to know what is happening and what to do about it. When someone close to you is hiding an Alprazolam abuse issue, the situation has reached a level of seriousness that demands action. The first step is determining whether a friend or family member is abusing Alprazolam. This can be especially difficult, however, there are some signs you can look out for:

The effect of Alprazolam can cause a numbing of reality and sense of calm. Many people seek Alprazolam for this effect when problems arise that seem overwhelming. If a person cannot attempt to cope with life issues without Alprazolam, there may be a problem.

If a loved one is taking more Alprazolam than is prescribed by a doctor, running out too soon, taking it more often than recommended, he or she may have a problem. These are signs that your loved one is becoming addicted to the drug and needs outside help.

Factual Dangers: Alprazolam

Alprazolam can either be a healthy tool or become the catalyst for the destruction of health and happiness of an individual. This powerful prescription drug comes with consequences if not taken correctly, and even sometimes, if taken correctly. From deadly withdrawals to drugged driving, Alprazolam can come with severe consequences. Make sure to educate yourself before or if you are using Alprazolam. Below are some of the dangers associated with Alprazolam.

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The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that young adults were the most likely to have ever used alprazolam or the closely related drug lorazepam for non-medical purposes.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 50% of the nearly 176,000 emergency room visits for benzodiazepines in 2011 also involved alcohol or other drugs.

Since 2006, there has been a rapid increase in the number of people admitted to drug treatment centers in the US for sedative or tranquilizer use in general.

True Stories of Addiction

Nicole was given a drug similar to Alprazolam which ended up changing her life forever. It is a miracle she has recovered and living the life she is today.

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Alprazolam Rehab Treatment

Alprazolam is one of the most commonly prescribed and most addictive prescription drugs on the market. Despite the millions of prescriptions written for it every year in the United States, not everyone who takes the drug becomes addicted. Alprazolam addiction is often a sign of another underlying issue, which must be identified and adequately addressed for the individual to live a happy and fulfilling life.

The various therapeutic approaches utilized in a rehab center help people resolve past trauma and learn new and better ways of dealing with stress in the future. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works with a person to identify old, toxic thought patterns and replaces those patterns with new, healthier ones. Other promising therapeutic options are utilized depending on the needs of the individual. Such therapies include EMDR, equine therapy, art therapy, yoga, meditation and more.

An integrated treatment program will tailor fit a schedule to best meet the person’s needs. This ensures that he or she makes the most progress possible during his or her time in treatment. An integrated program also signifies that the treatment center takes into account cooccurring disorders or dual-diagnosis. People with an addiction and another mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, must address both problems simultaneously to fully recover from either disorder.

Alprazolam Detox Treatment

Before the healing remedies of drug and alcohol rehab can be started, the individual must first fully detox from all substances that’s in his or her body. Different drugs and drug combinations can cause drastically different withdrawal symptoms. The most dangerous substances to stop suddenly are Alcohol and any type of Benzodiazepine, including Alprazolam.

Withdrawal from Alprazolam can be fatal. Benzodiazepines, such as Alprazolam, can cause seizures which in turn can cause severe body and head trauma and death. Stopping drug use involves a long weaning period where a person slowly tappers off the drug. Anyone that stops using Alprazolam suddenly will need to find intensive medical care. Most likely the person will need to attend an inpatient detox program where medical personnel are on site 24-hours a day. Around the clock supervision and support means that each person will be safe and well looked after.

The withdrawal symptoms from Alprazolam can be unpleasant. However, the medical professionals in a detox facility may administer medications to help make the individual as comfortable as possible. Other healing and stabilizing treatments are also available, but may vary between treatment centers. If you or your loved one is addicted to Alprazolam, seek the help of medical professionals to stop abusing. Finding a detox center can mean the difference between life and death.

Addiction to Alprazolam

Most people have experienced anxiety or insomnia at some point in their life. Difficulty in social situations or getting a good night’s sleep can start to affect just about every area of life. People live in a fast-paced, high pressure world and it is no wonder that so many experience negative effects, and the remedy for many people is a Benzodiazepine like Alprazolam.

The most common problems with Alprazolam are its high potential for abuse and its addictive properties. Many people start taking prescription drugs for a legitimate ailment, however quickly become tolerant, dependent and addicted. What starts as taking the drug as prescribed turns to needing more of the drug more often. Quickly, the drug is no longer treating an occasional anxiety attack or sleepless night, but is needed frequently. For many people, this occurs faster than previously thought possible.

Once a person has become addicted, he or she needs an increasing supply of the drug just to function. The person will not be able to go without the drug without suffering debilitating withdrawal symptoms. With addiction comes tolerance, one of the first signs of physical addiction, which means it can require an enormous amount of Alprazolam for the person to experience relief. To overcome this, many people try other ways of taking the drug or increase the dose, which only escalates the problem.

Alprazolam Dependency

Dependency to Alprazolam is different from addiction in that, once dependent, the drug is now needed to feel normal and no high is experienced. Many people may start using because of a diagnosed disorder. However, if they are self-medicating rather than taking the recommended dose, there is a good chance of developing an addiction or dependency. People who abuse substances are often trying to self-medicate, which is self-treating some disease, or masking or numbing an emotional or psychological pain.

Many people start taking Alprazolam due to a legitimate problem. A prescription is obtained from a doctor and the person realizes how much better they feel with the drug. People find that it relieves stress and creates a feeling of euphoria. The feeling while under the influence of the drug becomes the new normal as the person increases how much he or she takes Alprazolam. Eventually, the person only feels normal and can only function with the aid of the drug.

It is possible to become emotionally and psychologically dependent on Alprazolam. This mind and mood altering effect can easily become the norm and cause reality without them difficult to endure. Dependence to Alprazolam is a clear sign that an underlying issue needs to be identified and addressed for the individual to live a happy, healthy life. If a loved one is dependent on Alprazolam, consider staging an intervention.

Intervention for Alprazolam Abuse

Alprazolam abuse, addiction or dependency is more common than many people think. When it comes to prescription drug abuse, many are reluctant to see the situation for what it is– addiction. Often, the individual will argue that the original cause for the drug has gotten worse or that the doctor is simply not prescribing enough for him or her. It can be difficult to communicate with someone who doesn’t see the problem realistically. It is often a good idea to stage an intervention to get the person’s attention. An intervention in its simplest form is a conversation where the person is confronted about his or her using. There is a plethora of ways to stage an intervention.

An intervention is a tool and an excellent way to communicate your concerns and suggestions in a loving, supportive way. It can be greatly beneficial to elicit the help of a professional interventionist. A professional can help you and other friends and family members prepare for and execute the event. The presence of a professional interventionist often has a calming effect which can help prevent emotional outburst, or if they occur he or she can quickly defuse the situation.

If you believe someone has a Alprazolam addiction, it is crucial that you encourage them to get help. Many people have died from Alprazolam and people who use the drug recreationally are prone to experimenting with other drugs either in conjunction or alone. To ensure the health and safety of your loved one, it is wise to stage an intervention as soon as possible.

Recovery from Alprazolam Abuse

Abuse of prescription drugs are on the rise in our country. People of all ages and backgrounds are becoming addicted to prescription pills and the situation is getting out of hand. Just because these drugs are obtained from a doctor and pharmacy does not make them safe or non-addictive alternative to other harmful substances.

Most people naturally hide how much and how often they use once the addiction takes off. Therefore, a common side effect of drug addiction is isolation. Because of prolonged periods of isolation, often marred by traumatic and intense interactions with others, many people who become addicted shy away from open and honest discourse. For this very reason, 12-step meetings are a natural ally of addiction treatment. 12-step programs are the longest running and most successful solution to any drug or alcohol addiction. Where prescription drug addiction is prevalent, so is recovery from prescription drugs.

Many people have been where you are and found a better way to live. Life in recovery is full of fun, adventure and opportunities. A better life than you can imagine is yours for the taking. All you need to do is reach out and get the help you need and deserve. Find a local 12-step meeting in your area and get started. There are prescription drug specific meetings as well as programs that cover a more comprehensive list of substances. Do not wait any longer to start living a life of fulfilment and connection. The life you want and deserve is waiting for you in recovery.

Dangers of Alprazolam Overdose

People who abuse Alprazolam are playing a deadly game. As occasional use turns to a craving, those who go against doctor’s instructions are taking a huge risk, one that could cost users their life. Many people mistakenly believe that prescription drugs are not dangerous, because they are distributed as medicine. This is simply not true, as too much Alprazolam can lead to overdose and death. As Alprazolam is a central nervous system depressant, an overdose can cause symptoms as decreased mental processing, confusion, impaired cognitive and motor skills, memory loss, muscle weakness, slowed reflexes, loss of balance, coma and death.

Overdosing alone is a serious situation, however, taking too much is concerning in other ways. An excessive amount of Alprazolam can render a person fully unconscious, unable to walk or make sense of their surroundings. The person can easily fall prey to abuse, step in front of a car or out a window.

If a person has mixed Alprazolam with other substances, it can make it more difficult to understand what is happening. Alprazolam and Alcohol, or any other depressant can slow a person’s functioning exponentially. Combing Alprazolam with an amphetamine, such as ADHD medication, can cause overdose and death, despite common thinking that they counter each other. They each alter a person’s brain chemistry and the results can be unpredictable. It is easy to overdose on Alprazolam, which can quickly turn a situation into a fight for survival. If you suspect someone has overdosed on Alprazolam, call 911 immediately.

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Alprazolam Use, Abuse and Dependency

Prescription drugs have created a new wave of addiction in the United States. Millions of people are becoming addicted to prescription drugs and, potentially, graduating to street drugs to feed the cravings addiction causes. Of the drugs that most commonly result in addiction and further drug abuse, Alprazolam ranks high.

Alprazolam, a prescription Benzodiazepine, is a strong anti-anxiety and sleep aid intended for short term use only. Many people who experience panic attacks, generalized anxiety or sleep problems are prescribed this substance. However, many people are being prescribed Alprazolam for longer than is recommended for. The reason is mostly due to the enormous focus on quick-fixes and pharmaceuticals in the United States in recent years. The best way to overcome such issues as anxiety and sleep disturbances is long lasting behavioral and other therapeutic methods. However, these take time and many people want a quick-fix rather than a long-term remedy.

Taking Benzodiazepines for an extended period is likely to cause a person to become physically dependent to the drug. Once physical dependence has occurred, stopping Alprazolam suddenly often results in life threatening seizures and other unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

People who come to rely on Alprazolam to overcome anxiety or sleep issues also typically do not learn other coping techniques. The drug is the only way they know to conquer their anxiety or get a good night’s sleep. This is an enormous problem as it often results in long-term use and tolerance, dependence and addiction. Commonly, the Alprazolam stops working and the person is left with a decision between stronger, more dangerous street drugs or face the source of the problem head on.

Alprazolam is one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Its popularity is mostly explained by the 50 million prescriptions written for the it every year. Many people find that once they start taking it for a legitimate reason, it is difficult to stop. Without learning other, healthier coping techniques to combat the original ailment, many people find that they need the drug more often and more of it.

Abuse of Alprazolam is extremely dangerous- both using and quitting the drug. Alprazolam causes sedation and memory loss, which could result in devastating accidents and no memory of the event. You could walk to your car only to find it mangled and no idea how it happened.

Some people might start combining Alprazolam with other central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol, muscle relaxers or allergy medication to intensify the downer effect. This is incredibly dangerous as overdose or drug interactions easily occur and may cause life-threatening depressed breathing, cognitive function or other critical processes.

Alcohol is a common substance mixed with Alprazolam; together the combined decrease in cognition can easily lead to harm. Alprazolam is sometimes added to an alcoholic beverage and used as a date rape drug due to its effects of sedation and memory loss as well as its ease of access. A frightening reality is that many people wake up to having been sexually assaulted, with no memory of the attacker or of the event.

Long-term use, even as prescribed often leads to physical and mental addiction. Physical addiction is apparent when withdrawal symptoms arise upon ceasing use of the drug. Benzodiazepine withdrawal is one of the few instances where suddenly stopping a drug can cause sudden death. Seizures, which are potentially fatal, are also common with Alprazolam withdrawal.

Psychological addiction or dependence occurs when a person cannot function without the substance. Alprazolam causes dependence in an extremely high number of users and abusers. Its effects on the brain create a situation where people are unable to perform functions that was possible, prior to starting the drug. In the case of someone who starts Alprazolam for a specific anxiety, once dependent, the person may no longer feel able to interact with anyone without the drug, even though initially he or she only needed it for public speaking.

Alprazolam is one of the most dangerous drugs to stop taking suddenly. Due to the life-threatening seizures, it is strongly recommended that you enter a detox facility before you stop using. If you are unable to attend an inpatient detox program, consult a physician before stopping. A taper may be necessary to successfully quit taking Alprazolam without enduring harm.

Addiction to Alprazolam is indicative of another, potentially more serious underlying issue. If you or a loved one has become addicted or dependent on Alprazolam, seriously consider attending an inpatient treatment program in order to identify and adequately treat the problem. The professionals in a treatment center will help you learn healthy coping skills to use in place of drugs and alcohol.

A life lived without Alprazolam and other mood and mind altering substances brings many blessings and possibilities. You deserve a better life, free from Alprazolam addiction, and it is possible. Get started on healing today.

Short-term effects

Alprazolam may be used as medicine; however, it is still a powerful drug. Use of this drug should only be done with caution and respect. Use of Alprazolam for any amount of time can lead to addiction, after all. There is no set formula for calculating who gets addicted or how quickly it will happen. There are warning signs to consider, including whether Alprazolam is being used to self-medicate another underlying emotional or psychological issue.

A person who has developed a problem with Alprazolam will display certain symptoms. If the person has just become addicted recently, you may try looking for signs of Alprazolam use. Some general signs and symptoms of Alprazolam use include slurred speech, fatigue, agitation, increased aggression, involuntary physical movements, muscle weakness, drowsiness, and dizziness.

Additionally, some effects of Alprazolam can be especially dangerous. Short-term effects that may be noticeable from an outside perspective and indicate a severe problem including: compromised cognitive and motor functions, slowed reflexes, loss of balance, and respiratory depression. These are problematic issues as they indicate that they person is unable to determine how much is too much Alprazolam. Typically, if you are concerned about an individual’s Alprazolam use, you are right to be. The person abusing often goes to extremes to cover up the amount and frequency that he or she uses it. If someone is showing signs of addiction, then he or she is losing control and can no longer keep the charade up, and needs help now.

Long-term effects

Someone who is dependent on Alprazolam will usually struggle with meeting social, educational and professional responsibilities. He or she is will typically become more withdrawn and stop or participate in less activities, which previously were a source of interest and meaning. The paranoia associated with Alprazolam abuse, combined with the fear of being caught, can motivate a person to avoid social situations and people who know him or her well. The separation from supportive relationships can also further abuse, as the person is far from view and can use with less guilt.

Additionally, one’s need for more Alprazolam will become compulsive, causing devastating effects. The extent to which people have gone to obtain drugs can be horrifying. In most cases, Alprazolam addiction leads to other substances being mixed with it, intensifying its effects. The long-term physical effects of Alprazolam can be detrimental; some symptoms of long term use include anxiety, depression, psychotic experiences, cognitive deficits, aggressive behavior and seizures. Long term use of Alprazolam can also significantly alter memory formation.

Alprazolam use will always come with an elevated tolerance, which is where some additional problems are usually associated. If the dose prescribed by the doctor was not sufficient, then the person may combine Alprazolam with Alcohol or other illicit drugs. The combined long term consequences of such behavior depend on the person, his or her genetics, the amount used, what was used, length of use and other factors.

True Stories Of Addiction: Alprazolam Takes Over

Sherri grew up in a good home with a loving mother who did what she could to make Sherri smile. Whatever Sherri wanted growing up, like a toy or electronic, she got. There was nothing in her life that caused her to start abusing drugs like Alprazolam, but she did them anyway. The drugs made her feel like her life was complete; she felt invincible, like nothing could harm her. She didn’t realize she was already harming herself by using the drugs. Sherri lost everything due to her drug addiction and thought she was hopeless. This was until she was introduced to a 12-step program where her life changed forever.

Inpatient Alprazolam Rehab

Once a person has become addicted to Alprazolam, a serious change needs to occur to return to health. The person cannot go back to using in a normal manner, which in the case of Alprazolam, means as prescribed by a doctor. The person needs a psychological, emotional and spiritual shift to find a healthier path.

For most, inpatient treatment is the recommended option to start a new life in recovery. Many inpatient treatment centers have some amount of detox or stabilization level of care. Typically, each person will start at the most intensive level of treatment and move down as he or she progresses. Inpatient treatment will provide you with around the clock care and support, which is critical for someone in the first few days of sobriety. The intensive and secure environment helps keep people accountable, safe, and on the right track.

Several types of therapies are utilized by professionals to help each individual make the most progress possible during his or her stay. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps one identify toxic thought patterns and change them into more productive, healthy ones. Inpatient treatment programs are typically 30, 60 or 90 days in length however, there are many variations and some last much longer or shorter. These intensive and comprehensive programs address underlying issues of his or her dependency, teach each person about addiction, and help him or her to cope with stress and triggers in a healthy way. Inpatient programs often see the highest success rates of rehab programs.

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Outpatient Rehab

Many people follow up inpatient treatment with outpatient rehab. However, for those looking for a treatment program to start, inpatient is typically better suited for most people. For some, outpatient is the only option. It too can provide the necessary guidance and support to recover from addiction.

Outpatient rehab is the phase of treatment with the lowest intensity. Outpatient treatment is only for people who have fully detoxed and stabilized, as the individual and group therapy would prove ineffective if the person is still inebriated. An individual needs to be as clear headed as possible and already have some healthy coping skills developed for outpatient therapy to work. Outpatient allows a good deal of responsibility and access to substances, which can prove too much to resist for people new to sobriety. Many people choose to combat the temptation to use by electing to live in a sober living facility while attending the outpatient program. This is especially beneficial as it provides the safety and structured environment necessary at home and in treatment.

With outpatient rehab you can attend support group meetings in the evenings while tending to your responsibilities during the day. Outpatient treatment offers similar programming to inpatient treatment, however on a part-time, non-residential basis. Different therapeutic techniques are utilized to identify and address the underlying cause of the person’s using. The person is equipped with healthy living techniques and coping skills.