Xanax overdose occurs when an individual accidentally or intentionally ingests more of the drug than their body can sufficiently process. Xanax is the trade name for the anti-anxiety medication Alprazolam, and is in the class of addictive prescription medications known as benzodiazepines. The drug is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and nausea due to chemotherapy. Although Xanax is a prescription medication, it is also a controlled drug, which means it is illegal to take Xanax without a prescription. It is a commonly abused drug, and one that is illicitly used by individuals who abuse other prescription and non-prescription drugs. Xanax works by acting on neurotransmitters in the brain that produce a calming effect throughout the body. This calming effect sparks dopamine, which is the body's "reward" hormone. Similar to street drugs like heroin, the euphoric effect caused by using Xanax is extremely addictive.
Xanax is the most prescribed and the most misused benzodiazepine drug on the U.S. retail market. Individuals who use the drug to treat anxiety begin to feel calmer almost immediately. However, Xanax will make individuals feel calmer even if they haven't been diagnosed with anxiety, which some people find pleasant and one of the reasons there is such a high rate of abuse of the drug. As discussed earlier, Xanax can also produce a feeling of euphoria or a "high", which is another reason the drug is attractive to individuals who illicitly use or misuse the drug.
Xanax overdose can occur both in individuals who have been legitimately prescribed the drug, and in individuals who have been abusing the drug recreationally. Overdoses can occur under a variety of circumstances. For instance, an individual may accidentally take too much of the drug because they are not getting the results desired from their normal dose. Xanax overdose is also common in individuals who are using the drug to achieve a "high" and have not yet built up a tolerance to it and unknowingly take a potentially dangerous dose.
The specific effects of a Xanax overdose vary depending on a number of factors, including how much Xanax was taken and whether it was taken with any other medicines, alcohol, or street drugs. The severity of Xanax overdose can also vary, depending on how much of the drug is taken and any other drugs that have been taken. A Xanax overdose puts the individuals at risk for serious health consequences and can be potentially fatal, so it is important to know the symptoms to look out for. Xanax overdose may include one or more of the following symptoms:
According to a study of deaths in Palm Beach County, FL where the Xanax was detected, an estimated 50% of cases were attributed to the individual combining Xanax with other drugs. In most fatal Xanax overdoses cases, the other drugs used included either cocaine or methadone.
Xanax overdose is much more common in individual who have been abusing the drug. This is because individuals build a tolerance to Xanax over time, and during this time the effect of the drug is greatly diminished causing the individual to need more frequent and higher doses of the drug. If the individual increases their dose to one that the body cannot tolerate, it could result in a dangerous and even fatal overdose. A fatal Xanax overdose is even more common in individuals who are abusing more than one drug at the same time or using Xanax with alcohol.
Aside from the dangers associated with Xanax overdose, use of the drug put the user at risk of serious side effects. Xanax use can cause vision difficulties, seizures, mental confusion, depression, irritability, nervousness, sleep problems, stupor, nausea, muscle spasms, palpitations, tachycardia, incontinence, rashes, and unstable blood sugar levels. Some of the most common side effects associated with Xanax use include dizziness, drowsiness, slurred speech, and clumsiness, abdominal cramps, blurred vision, dry mouth, diarrhea, headache, and nausea or vomiting.
If Xanax overdose has occurred as the result of abuse or dependence to the drug, the individual should seek treatment at a long-term inpatient drug rehab facility. Professional drug treatment counselors can administer a drug detox and get them through any other treatment needed. With professional counseling and therapy the individual will have a greater chance of avoiding future Xanax dependence, addiction and overdose and they can get the help they need to overcome addiction. Contact a professional drug treatment counselor today if you are struggling with Xanax addiction to get the help you need today.