Abuse of prescription drugs like Xanax comes with a host of dangers. No matter how you ingest the drug, the risks of damage to physical health, overdose, mental health, and more are high when you abuse prescription medications like Xanax.
However, there are added risks that are specific to the method of ingestion. For those who choose to crush the pills and then snort the powder as if it were a line of cocaine, the risks include:
Snorting powders and other crushed substances into the nose is not a healthy choice. Irritation and inflammation can become an issue, as can chronic runny nose and lost sense of smell. Over time and with chronic snorting behaviors, erosion of the nasal cavity can occur. Some patients require surgery to fix the damage, and even surgery is not effective in rectifying the situation in some cases.
The reason for snorting Xanax as opposed to simply swallowing the pills is an attempt to get a stronger high more rapidly. This intensive response of the pleasure and reward system can cause abusers of Xanax to become psychologically dependent upon the high of drug use. This in turn can increase cravings for the drug and lead to compulsive drug use despite the negative consequences that occur as a result – like the physical issues caused by snorting substances.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax, sold generically as alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine – a medication that works by slowing down the central nervous system. Commonly prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders or panic attacks, it may also be prescribed to treat phobias, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and depression.
Xanax is classified as a Schedule IV drug with high abuse potential. It comes in 0.5 milligram to 2 milligram pills as well as an extended-release version. The extended-release versions may be more likely to be abused by crushing and snorting because users hope to experience the multiple doses designed to be released over time in one shot. Common street names include bricks, bars, benzos, and blues.
When taken as prescribed by a doctor, most patients will be able to use Xanax for a short period of time without developing an addiction or being at risk of overdose. However, those who abuse the drug are putting themselves at great risk for the development of a life-threatening addiction and/or overdose.
There are a number of different behaviors that define Xanax abuse. Any one of them is an abuse of the medication and can put the user at risk. These include:
- Taking Xanax without a prescription
- Combining Xanax with the use of other prescription drugs, illicit substances, or alcohol
- Crushing Xanax and snorting it
- Taking more Xanax than prescribed or taking it more often than prescribed
Because Xanax is often prescribed to patients who experience anxiety, they may be more likely to abuse their prescriptions when in a moment of crisis. Unfortunately, because Xanax slows down body systems to decrease the overactive excitement in the brain, too much of the drug can slow the systems down until they stop entirely.
Can Treatment Help?
Absolutely. Dependence upon prescription medications include Xanax can be effectively addressed at a treatment program that offers both medical detox and long-term psychotherapeutic intervention. Learn more about the treatment services that will help your loved one stop abusing Xanax when you contact us at Axis today.