Xanax is a benzodiazepine that is prescribed to treat stress and anxiety disorders. Xanax can be dangerous when a person uses it, but not as prescribed. Many people turn to Xanax to self-medicate instead of getting treatment for a mental health condition. This offers temporary relief rather than a long-term solution for mental health management and therapy. When a person self-medicates, he or she is a risk of developing an addiction to Xanax or other benzodiazepines.
Xanax gives a person an immediate, calming effect. Over time, he or she will need to take more of it to replicate the feeling of relief, which puts the person at risk of overdose. The combination of tolerance and dependence makes it hard to quit without medical treatment. Just like alcohol, benzodiazepines can cause blackouts.
According to an article for the NIH on alcohol, memory blackouts, and the brain by Aaron M. White, Ph.D., “Like milder alcohol–induced memory impairments, these periods of amnesia are primarily “anterograde,” meaning that alcohol impairs the ability to form new memories while the person is intoxicated, but does not typically erase memories formed before intoxication.” When a person has a blackout, the risk of it occurring again increases. A person does not need to be addicted to experience a blackout.
Xanax works quickly, is addictive, and effective. Some patients take more of the Xanax than prescribed to get high. Benzos enhance the effects of opioids, which increases the risk of dependency and addiction. Mixing any two drugs together will increase the probability of hurting yourself or others and can be fatal.
Many people who self-medicate with Xanax are at risk of using something that looks like Xanax, but actually contain a dangerous synthetic opioid. A fake Xan bar is a tablet that looks like Xanax but is actually a deadly combination of Xanax and fentanyl, a cheap synthetic opioid that is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine. Rather than risk the possibility of an overdose or early death, people need to get help for underlying mental health conditions.
Mental health disorders are common and treatable. Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication, similar to Valium and Ativan and is prescribed for people who suffer with severe stress and an anxiety disorder. Drugs such as Xanax should be taken only as prescribed.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and a mental health disorder, do not be afraid to ask for help. Get help today.
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