Over 17% of Americans are in a dangerous cycle of Xanax dependency. This statistic is especially painful when one of those Americans happens to be your loved one. But you can’t be sure they are doing it; all you have is your suspicions.
Still, knowing the signs of Xanax abuse can help you get your loved one the treatment they need to recover from addiction before things go too far. Keep reading for how to tell if someone is on Xanax.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax is a name brand for the drug alprazolam, which is a benzodiazepine (also known as “benzos”). Benzodiazepines are commonly used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks. They also have sedative properties that make them useful in treating seizures, insomnia, and muscle spasms.
Xanax is a central nervous system depressant, meaning it slows down your body. This sedates you and makes you feel calmer, which is why it’s good at treating panic disorders. It also helps reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, like shaking hands or sweating palms.
But on top of calming down your body, Xanax also slows down your mind. This means you’ll have trouble focusing on tasks, but you’ll feel very relaxed.
Of course, this medication should be used as directed by a physician so it delivers the relief the patient needs. If misused, it could cause post-acute withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation.
How to Tell if Someone Is on Xanax and Abusing It?
When a doctor prescribes a person Xanax, they are not supposed to take more than the recommended dosage. This is important because it can be dangerous if someone overdoses on this medication. If you suspect that your loved one may be abusing their prescription, there are several signs that this is the case:
Frequent drowsiness and poor coordination are telltale signs of Xanax addiction. Someone who is high on Xanax struggles with tasks that require fine motor skills like typing or buttoning clothing. If you see someone stumbling with these types of tasks and showing signs of sleepiness as well, they may be using Xanax recreationally.
Xanax also negatively impacts balance. You can see this when someone who is high on Xanax moves around. They are unsteady and have trouble standing for long periods.
You’ll also see swelling in a Xanax abuser’s hands and feet. This is because Xanax slows down the body’s ability to process fluids, which causes water retention. Weight fluctuations will be common during this period.
If you suspect that a friend or family member is under the effects of Xanax, you’ll see it in their actions.
People who abuse Xanax have poor memory. They may repeat the same question or statement over and over again, or they might not recall what happened earlier in the day.
Slurred speech also occurs. So if you notice someone slurring their words to the point where they’re difficult to understand, they may be under the influence of Xanax.
A person who is always high on Xanax will also seem very relaxed and at ease. This drug can make people feel euphoric, so if you see someone smiling for no apparent reason, it could mean that they’re abusing this prescription medication.
One of the most obvious signs, though, is poor reaction time. People who are under the influence of Xanax will be slow to respond and may appear lethargic.
Prescriptions From Unfamiliar Doctors
Xanax is a prescription drug, so it’s illegal to buy without a prescription. Moreover, you can only legally purchase Xanax from a licensed pharmacy or doctor.
If a loved one has an unfamiliar doctor’s name on their prescription, there’s probably something fishy going on—especially if they’re being prescribed more than the typical amount of pills. This could be a sign that they’re receiving multiple prescriptions from different doctors to use interchangeably with each other.
How Dangerous Is a Xanax Addiction?
Xanax is destructive. The drug causes breathing problems, comas, and blurred vision when used too often or taken in large batches.
Not only can abusing this drug lead to health complications, but overdose deaths are on the rise as well. Benzodiazepines were involved in almost 7,000 deaths from January 2019 to mid-2020.
How to Help Your Loved Ones
Rehabilitation is the most effective treatment for Xanax addiction. There are many programs available, and each is tailored to the specific needs of the patient.
Recovery is more than just quitting Xanax; it’s also a lifelong process of learning how to live without drugs in every aspect of life. New ways of thinking and behaving won’t come easily. That’s why rehab is an absolute necessity.
Finding experts at the right facility can make all the difference in your loved one’s recovery. They will help educate patients about their condition, provide them with counseling and therapy, and give them tools to avoid relapse once they return home.
The team at the facility will also work with you to ensure that any underlying mental health issues are addressed so that your loved one can live a happy, healthy life.
Get Your Family On the Path to Recovery
Now you know how to tell if someone is on Xanax and can look at your family members’ behavior more closely. If you suspect that someone you know may be abusing Xanax, it’s important to get them help right away.
Our team at the Altitude Recovery Community can work with you to get your loved ones into a secure environment where they can begin their journey to recovery. The first step is talking with one of our admissions coordinators.
If you have any questions about how to help someone who has an addiction problem, call us today.