What is Xanax? A Guide to What You Need to Know
Maybe you recently got prescribed Xanax. Or, you’ve heard people talk about it and find yourself wondering what is Xanax. Either way, it is important to know what this drug does because while it can work wonders for people when it is used correctly, it can also cause a lot of damage.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is a controlled substance that is prescribed by a doctor, usually a primary physician or a psychiatrist. It is primarily used to treat anxiety and panic disorder, as it promotes a sense of calm in people who are anxious. It is a benzodiazepine, commonly referred to as a “benzo”, that is also highly addictive and very dangerous to combine with other substances.
When Xanax is used correctly, it is usually prescribed as-needed only. Patients are encouraged to take as small of a dose as possible to help to manage their symptoms of anxiety or panic. It is known for acting fast, so you can get symptom relief within about 15 minutes. It can also help with minor depression as well as sleep disorders. When it is used properly and the dosage is at or less than the doctor prescribed, it is a safe and effective treatment for people suffering from these disorders.
The problem with Xanax is that it is easy to become hooked. And, when you get hooked, you need more and more of the pills to achieve the same symptom relief. You may even find yourself using Xanax when your symptoms aren’t present, just because you want to feel the effects, which include:
- A Relaxed Feeling
- Happiness and Contentedness
To get these feelings, many people who originally take the drug as prescribed end up abusing it even when they have no therapeutic need for it. They can obtain Xanax illegally through friends or by buying it off of the street, which is dangerous because what is Xanax to you on the street can actually be something lethal.
People who abuse Xanax rarely only abuse Xanax, which is where things become even more dangerous. Mixing Xanax with other pills, like opiates, and/or alcohol can be lethal because all of these substances suppress your respiratory system, which can make you slip into a coma and die. Alcohol and Xanax are commonly abused together because they mimic the effects of one another. Many alcoholics need Xanax to get through the day, in order to continue drinking at night. It is a vicious cycle that is extremely dangerous.
Another danger of Xanax is withdrawal. Along with alcohol, Xanax withdrawal can produce Delirium Tremens (DTs), the most severe form of detox from alcohol or a benzo. DTs come on rapidly when you attempt to reduce your intake of alcohol or a benzo. It can make you confused, hallucinate, and have severe anxiety and agitation. Physically, it can cause cold sweats, shaking, an irregular heartbeat, and more. In extreme cases, it can cause seizures, coma, and death. DTs are a medical emergency and are not to be taken lightly. It is always advised that detox from any substance should be done in a medically supervised environment.
So, if you are wondering what is Xanax, there is some information. It is a pharmaceutical drug that can do great things for people who need it and take it only as prescribed. It can also be highly addictive and wreak havoc on the lives of people who abuse it. Always remember that you should never combine Xanax with other drugs or alcohol. If you or a loved one are addicted to Xanax, it is important to get help soon so that you don’t overdose as the situation continues to progress. No matter how bad the situation is, help is always available.