“I want a new drug… one that won’t make me sick… one that won’t make me crash my car or make me feel three feet thick” – Huey Lewis
My grandfather took Valium, a benzodiazepine as prescribed by his doctor daily for 10 years. One night while watching the evening news he learned the drug was considered addictive and new warnings had been issued by its manufacture. Alarmed he never took another valium from that day forwarded. His decision cost him his life. For the next three weeks he suffered horrible depression and withdrawal symptoms associated with the drug and committed suicide in the family dining room at 59 years old. It didn’t have to end that way, a medically supervised detoxification could have saved his life and been completed in 3 – 5 days. Sadly, he suffered and died in silence.
For years, I was addicted to Xanax… which is the younger cousin of Valium, and just as dangerous. I was prescribed the drug initially for panic disorders and depression. Like my grandfather, I took the medication as prescribed, and like my grandfather when I tried to stop using it…. my world fell apart.
The effects of Xanax abuse go far beyond the symptoms the drug creates. The real effects of Xanax abuse are seen in what it does to an addict’s life, mind and relationships. Since Xanax – including its generic form, alprazolam – is the most widely-prescribed of the benzodiazepines, it is also the most widely abused of these drugs. And there are hundreds of thousands of people who are suffering the effects of Xanax abuse. Between 2004 and 2010, the number of people who visited emergency rooms who were suffering from the effects of Xanax increased from 46,000 to nearly 125,000.
After opiates (pain killers), Xanax is one of the most popular drugs of abuse. Because one’s body builds up a tolerance to this drug, those who are addicted can reach extraordinary levels of Xanax consumption. For example, a CNN report on Michael Jackson’s death stated that before he died, he was taking ten Xanax a night, which was a reduction from his earlier consumption of 30 – 40 Xanax a night.
A person who is accustomed to taking Xanax may not exhibit signs of being “high” but they may not be able to conceal the other symptoms of Xanax abuse.
You might see a person manifest these symptoms of Xanax abuse:
Thoughts of harming oneself
Uncontrolled muscle movements
If you see signs of Xanax abuse and want to help someone get off this drug, you may need to get the person through a medical detox before they can go to rehab. Xanax and other benzodiazepines can require a very careful period of weaning before it is safe to discontinue them. Symptoms like seizures and severe mental disturbances can result if the drug is discontinued without careful support.
A person who has become dependent on this drug – which means they have come to rely on this drug psychologically as well as being physically addicted – will probably need rehabilitation before they can embark on a new, sober life. When a person is addicted, they have found an escape from life’s problems and now they must learn how to have a productive, enjoyable life while also not needing this kind of escape. This normally takes some time and also takes learning sober living skills.
A person who is addicted to a drug will very often feel that life will be unbearable without that drug. This is one of the reasons that an addicted person will fight the idea of rehab. Very often, they are just taking the drug they are addicted to so they will feel “normal,” so they can function in daily life. You take the drug away that they think makes them feel “normal” and they may not believe they can cope with life.
But they can. It takes a thorough, effective drug rehab program.
Recovering from the effects of Xanax abuse is difficult and even dangerous to do alone. Many people must be weaned off Xanax by a physician, sometimes in a medical detox environment. But when they are off the drug, the person will still need to recover from the damage the addiction does to mind, body, spirit and life. This is where the Narconon drug recovery program can help.
This addiction recovery program is drugless, meaning that no drugs are ever prescribed as part of treatment. The focus is on repairing the damage that addiction does, whether that addiction was to Xanax, opiates, alcohol or any other substance of abuse. There are some fifty Narconon recovery facilities around the world. In each one, the program is the same, taking on average eight to ten weeks to complete. The Narconon recovery program is structured so that the individual has tools that help him succeed in life and remain drug-free. The Narconon program not only addresses the debilitating effects of drug abuse on the mind and body, but also resolves why a person turned to drugs in the first place. As a result, a person can graduate from the program into a new life free from drug use.
Narconon is one of many programs available to anyone living in addiction. A quick google search is a perfect beginning to a new life. You’re reading this on the computer now… why not take a minute and do some research of your own? Learn how this and other programs can help someone you care about who is trapped in Xanax addiction.