Xanax and other prescription medications have enabled countless people to live healthier and more satisfying lives. Unfortunately, as is the case with virtually every type of prescription drug, Xanax use can be accompanied by a variety of dangerous side effects, including a risk of abuse and dependence. With millions of people using this drug every day, addiction to Xanax remains a significant public health concern in the United States.
Xanax Addiction Statistics
Xanax is the brand name of alprazolam, which is a benzodiazepine. This medication is most commonly prescribed to treat people who have developed generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and certain other anxiety disorders.
The following statistics about Xanax use in the United States were provided by the consumer data company Statista:
- In 2020, about 16.8 million alprazolam prescriptions were written in the U.S.
- From 2016-2020, the annual number of alprazolam prescriptions in the U.S. decreased by about 34%.
- The annual number of alprazolam prescriptions in the U.S. peaked in 2014, when 28.9 million were written.
How Do People Form an Addiction to Xanax?
Addiction is a behavioral health disorder that is characterized by overwhelming urges and a loss of control. When a person becomes addicted to Xanax, they become unable to stop using this drug, even after experiencing physical, psychological, and/or social damage as a direct result of prior use.
A person’s risk for Xanax addiction can be influenced by several genetic and environmental factors, including a family history of addiction, previous mental health struggles, certain personality traits, exposure to significant stress, and access to the drug.
People typically form an addiction to Xanax in one of two ways:
- They begin to use Xanax on a prescription basis for a legitimate health concern. Over time, they may begin to use it more frequently or in larger doses than recommended by the prescribing physician. When they try to stop or cut down on their use, they discover that they have become addicted to Xanax.
- They use Xanax for recreational purposes. Xanax’s ability to elicit a sense of relaxed euphoria makes this drug popular for people who are seeking a certain type of illicit high. But using it without the guidance and supervision of a qualified professional can lead to an addiction to Xanax as well as a host of other negative outcomes.
Regardless of why a person first used Xanax, anyone who exhibits any signs or symptoms of dependence to a drug should complete an assessment with a qualified healthcare provider. Additionally, the professional who conducts this assessment can provide an accurate diagnosis and, if necessary, recommend treatment options.
Dangers of Xanax Addiction
An untreated addiction to Xanax is a serious problem that can increase a person’s risk for many harmful effects. Some of the harmful effects include the following:
- Memory loss
- Impaired cognition
- Sexual dysfunction
- Liver damage
- Cardiovascular distress
- Being arrested and jailed
- Suicidal ideation
When discussing the many possible dangers of Xanax abuse and addiction, here are two important facts to keep in mind:
- The negative effects of Xanax addiction do not follow a predictable schedule. For example, overdose and death can occur the very first time a person abuses this drug.
- You don’t have to hit “rock bottom” before you can benefit from treatment for Xanax addiction. The moment you realize that you are unable to resist the urge to continue abusing Xanax, you should contact a treatment center or consult with your family doctor.
How Do People Overcome Addiction to Xanax?
Addiction to Xanax is a chronic, progressive disease. This means that, like diabetes, arthritis, and certain types of heart disease, the goal of treatment typically isn’t to cure the problem, but to ease symptoms.
In the case of Xanax addiction, the general objective of treatment is to empower people to achieve recovery. This means that they have stopped using it and are able to manage urges without resorting to Xanax use. To help people accomplish this, reputable Xanax addiction treatment centers such as LA Detox may provide an array of therapies and related support services at several levels of care.
Ideally, treatment for Xanax addiction should begin with a thorough assessment. This ensures that the individual’s treatment team is aware of the full scope of their needs. In addition, this includes any co-occurring mental health concerns that may have contributed to their substance abuse or prevented them from seeking help sooner.
The information that is gathered during the assessment process can help the treatment team develop a customized plan that addresses the individual’s needs and prepares them to achieve their short- and long-term goals. Depending on a variety of factors, personalized treatment for an addiction to Xanax may include elements such as the following:
- Residential treatment
- Outpatient programming
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Individual, group, and family therapy
- Trauma-informed care
Begin Treatment for Xanax Addiction at Los Angeles Detox
If Xanax addiction has disrupted your life or the life of someone that you care about, please know that help is available and treatment works. LA Detox offers multiple levels of compassionate care for adults in the Los Angeles, California, area who are struggling with addiction to Xanax and certain co-occurring mental health concerns.
Finally, at our center, dedicated professionals provide personalized treatment in a safe and highly supportive environment. With our help, you can stop using Xanax and start living the healthier life that you deserve. To learn more about our programs and services, or to schedule a free assessment, please either visit our Contact page or call us today.