People turn to the abuse of various harmful substances for a number of different reasons. For some, it’s due to using alcohol and drugs to socialize, which is why alcohol is often called a social lubricant. Similarly, many individuals will begin abusing a substance if their peers have been experimenting with the recreational use of alcohol or drugs. There have also been studies that showed many addicts were exposed to substance abuse at impressionable ages, likely due to their having loved ones who were dependent on dangerous substances.
It’s also not uncommon for individuals to merely be curious about alcohol or drugs and take it upon themselves to begin experimenting on their own volition. However, one of the most common reasons why a person begins using chemical substances regularly is as a form of self-medication for physical or psychological distress.
The word “medication” implies a substance that’s being used to alleviate an individual’s symptoms of a physical, mental, or emotional nature. Due to the countless number of diverse symptoms a person could potentially experience, it follows that there would similarly be many medications available to treat them. Alcohol and street drugs are used when individuals take it upon themselves to self-medicate for some form of distress; however, people can also become physically and even psychologically dependent on substances they receive via legitimate prescriptions from their primary care physicians.
One example of an addictive pharmaceutical is Xanax, which is familiar to most as a medication used to alleviate anxiety. For individuals who suffer from addiction or have become addicted to Xanax, the continued use of Xanax to treat one’s anxiety will surely be strongly discouraged or even prohibited. Therefore, the following will explain how individuals can handle anxiety without using Xanax in addition to giving a more comprehensive description of the drug and the process involved with overcoming Xanax dependency.
What is Xanax & What Does Xanax Treat?
When it comes to pharmaceuticals, the purpose of each medication is to target very specific symptoms while having minimal to no effect, adverse or otherwise, on other areas of the both. In practice, it’s very rare for a medication to affect only one area or system of the body; when a medication has some level of effect that’s not intended or desired, they’re called side effects. Determining whether an individual should use a medication involves weighing the benefits and the side effects. This is important to know as Xanax is one of a group of medications called benzodiazepines, which are medications that tend to have very specific side effects, especially when taken in excess.
Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive drugs that evoke a relaxing or tranquilizing effect on the body. Similar to depressants, benzodiazepines alter the levels and functioning of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, amplifying ones that cause stress and relaxation while inhibiting those that cause stress and anxiety. Benzodiazepines like Xanax are typically used to treat conditions that involve chronic anxiety as well as insomnia, panic attack, epileptic seizures, and severe alcohol withdrawal.
Due to their intensity and the short amount of time required for it to take effect, Xanax is a benzodiazepine that’s regarded as highly effective when used sparsely for a short period of time but becomes quite dangerous when used too much over an extended period of time. In short, habitual abuse of Xanax and its effects on the brain’s chemistry cause the brain to adapt to its effects, which can mean either amplifying certain functions while ceasing others. This has major implications for one’s mental and physical well-being and can lead to physical dependency.
How to Overcome Xanax Dependency
With continuous abuse of Xanax, an individual begins to suffer from the effects of Xanax dependency. Since the drug is psychoactive, it provides very specific effects to one’s psychology. In particular, individuals will come to rely on Xanax in order to not feel anxiety in stress; without Xanax, individuals will be unable to maintain the levels of neurochemicals that will prevent them from being anxious, which has an effect of amplifying their anxiety to an alarming degree. As such, individuals who have become dependent on Xanax will require detox treatment as an essential precursor to receiving recovery treatments.
This is an initial period during which the individual is cleansed of Xanax and other toxins while the body stabilizes itself, returning to its natural state and restoring much of its natural functioning. During Xanax detox treatment, individuals are monitored to ensure their safety since detoxing from benzodiazepines can be extremely dangerous in certain instances. Due to the intense effect benzodiazepines like Xanax have on the brain, abruptly ceasing one’s Xanax use can be nearly as dangerous as severe alcohol withdrawal, which is why Xanax detoxification much occur while under supervision and receiving professional medical care.
Overcoming Anxiety Without Xanax
The purpose of taking Xanax is because of the relief it offers those who experience higher-than-average levels of anxiety. For such individuals, Xanax helps them to return to a more manageable stress level. Unfortunately, being an individual in recovery from addiction, whether to Xanax or any other substance, typically means that he or she is unable to use any mind-altering substances like Xanax. Although there are surely exceptions in instances when an individual is virtually unable to maintain a certain quality of life without the aid of drugs, recovering addicts will have to learn ways to manage their anxiety without the use of Xanax and other medications. In fact, overcoming stress without resorting to substance abuse is a very important component of most evidence-based treatment programs.
Individuals learn a variety of techniques that help them achieve a state of calm and relaxation, such as meditation and finding ways to distract themselves from whatever it is that’s causing them stress. Taking walks or a bubble bath, finding opportunities to volunteer, reading, and pursuing one’s hobbies and interests are often suggested as ways of coping with stress without medication. Exercise has also proven to be effective for managing stress and anxiety as it causes a release of endorphins and natural opiates in the brain, causing feelings of happiness and fulfillment.
It’s also important for individuals to have a well-balanced diet, ensuring that one is receiving all the necessary nutrients and vitamins; in particular, magnesium has been found to be lacking in individuals who experience more-than-average anxiety as the body uses or depletes its magnesium during times of high stress and anxiety.
The Palm Beach Institute Can Help You Find Freedom from Addiction
Recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction is a journey with many different, interconnecting parts, much like the cogs of a clock. Each component is important in fortifying the overall goal, which is to achieve long-lasting sobriety. If you or someone you know would like a free consultation or assessment, the Palm Beach Institute is here to help. Call us at 855-960-5456 to speak with one of our experienced and caring recovery specialists. A better life and healthier you is just a phone call away, so don’t wait any longer to begin the healing journey.