Xanax addictions can be effectively treated. In fact, addiction experts have a variety of comprehensive tools they can employ when people develop a compulsive pattern of use that is out of their control. However, in order for the healing to begin, the addiction must be recognized, and the person must agree to get help. It sounds easy, but in reality, it can be difficult for families to notice the signs of abuse, especially if it is new territory for the family.
Differentiating Use and Abuse
It’s relatively easy to spot someone who has a prescription for Xanax. Pill bottles might be left out on countertops, or the person might take the pills openly. Because Xanax is known for being habit-forming, many people may immediately be concerned about their loved one’s use. However, many people take Xanax, as prescribed while under consistent care of a doctor, without developing an addiction.
Even still, the risk of addiction is real.
People who take Xanax for long periods of time might feel jittery and uneasy when they don’t have access to their medications. Their bodies might have adapted to the medication in such a way that they need it in order to continue to function normally. This is called physical dependence, but it does not necessarily signal an addiction issue. Tolerance — your body requiring more of the drug to receive the same effects — and dependence can both be regular developments in taking a medication. However, both can lead to addiction. When individuals begin to be negatively affected by a drug but cannot stop taking it, despite consequences, they have become addicted.1
People who are addicted to Xanax may show signs of preoccupation, including the following:
- Discussing the drug often
- Making multiple trips to the doctor to ask for more pills
- Checking pockets frequently, ensuring that the pills are there
- Taking frequent trips to the bathroom to take more pills
- Skipping work or social activities in order to take pills
Some people might also stoop to criminal activities in order to keep a Xanax supply, and they might defraud pharmacies, using multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors, or steal pills from family members or friends. Not all people are forced to this activity because many people who abuse prescription drugs get the medicine from friends and family members, and may pay nothing for their drugs. Family members may willingly share with their loved ones who claim to need the drug for a variety of reasons. Whereas criminal activity is an obvious warning sign, asking to share a prescription for a cause for concern.
Since Xanax is a sedative drug, it’s not uncommon for abusers to seem sleepy and drunk on a regular basis. They might also shift from one mood to another quite rapidly, particularly if they’re using forms of Xanax that take hold quickly and leave the body quickly. People who snort these medications may be especially vulnerable to mood shifts, and they may also emerge from private moments with telltale traces of powder on their noses and lips. Other physical signs of abuse include dizziness, weakness, lack of coordination, and difficulty breathing.
Ken suffered from an addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs, including Xanax, despite having had a successful NFL career. It took getting in a horrible accident with his son to begin seeking help. He says in his Heroes in Recovery story, “By the grace of God, I was able to finally get the right people in my life. My recovery is always first today and that is how I have made it to two and a half years of sobriety.”
You can find freedom just like Ken.
If someone you love is exhibiting these symptoms of a Xanax addiction, the time to take action is now. Please call us at Black Bear Lodge at our 24 hour, toll-free helpline to find out more about how we can help the person you love recover. We can talk you through all steps of the process and offer encouragement for talking with your loved one. Please call 706-914-2327 now.
1 “Tolerance, Dependence, Addiction: What’s the Difference?” National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. 12 January 2017.
2 Goldberg, Joseph, “Benzodiazepine Abuse” WebMD. 23 April 2016.