Xanax is a benzodiazepine that’s prescribed to treat anxiety disorders. During an episode of panic or an anxiety attack, a person can take Xanax for fast relief of their symptoms. Xanax acts as a tranquilizer, and it calms a person’s mind and body. For people who suffer from anxiety that significantly interferes with their lives, Xanax can be a great help.
On the other hand, Xanax is also a highly addictive substance. People can become physically addicted to benzodiazepines after using them for a very short time, which can lead to all the problems that are associated with drug addiction. If you have anxiety, how do you weigh the pros and cons of treating it with Xanax? There are lots of things to consider before you and your doctor decide if it’s right for you.
When a person becomes addicted to Xanax, they have cravings for it, and they can begin to take it without regard to any negative consequences it could be having in their life. For example, the life of a person who is addicted to Xanax revolves around taking the drug. One of the reasons Xanax is highly addictive is the way it builds up in your system. A person can develop a tolerance to their prescribed dose of Xanax fairly quickly, and at that point they’ll need to take more Xanax in order to get the same relief from their anxiety they had in the beginning. If a person suddenly stops taking Xanax, they’ll feel withdrawal symptoms that can be mild, moderate, or severe. Severe symptoms include seizure, and Xanax withdrawal can be fatal.
While Xanax can be risky, it can also have life-changing benefits for people who have anxiety or panic disorders, especially when those disorders are severe. Anxiety and panic attacks are physically, mentally, and emotionally debilitating, and Xanax can help to instantly calm a person during an attack and allow them to live a happier and more productive life.
Extended-release Xanax (Xanax XR) is also an option, and it is taken once per day. If a person has a history of addiction, they should not take Xanax. If a person does not have a history of addiction but is concerned about the addictive properties of Xanax, Xanax XR can be a better choice, but while Xanax XR is works slightly differently, it is still an addictive benzodiazepine.
Xanax is meant to be a short-term solution to anxiety, but doctors often prescribe it for the long-term, sometimes without adequately discussing the risk of addiction and withdrawal with their patients. There are also non-benzodiazepine alternatives to Xanax. The biggest concern with taking Xanax is that a person can come to rely on the drug for dealing with anxiety and panic, and they won’t develop healthier coping skills. Xanax can mask the need for them to work on cognitive-behavioral solutions to anxiety and panic, which is more effective in the long-term.
As mentioned above, the decision to take Xanax for anxiety or any other type of anti-anxiety medication is an individual one that should be made with a doctor. The question isn’t whether Xanax is a bad drug or a good drug; the question is whether or not it’s right for you.