Long-Term Health Problems From Xanax Addiction

In October of 2012, a man pointed a gun at pharmacy workers in Alabama and ordered them to hand over their supplies of Xanax and Valium. According to news reports, the man was not caught in an immediate search of the area, and as a result, it’s difficult to know what made the man choose to break the law in such a spectacular way. It’s quite possible that the man was harboring his own addiction. As people addicted to Xanax know all too well, the quest to obtain drugs can become all-consuming, allowing people to say and do things they might never do when they were sober. Xanax addictions can also do significant damage to a person’s physical health.

Persistent Brain Changes

People who take Xanax often report that they have been stricken with amnesia. While they’re under the influence of the drug, details about the things they’ve done and the people they’ve talked to seem to grow dim and fuzzy. It’s easy to blame the drug for these changes and assume that the problem will disappear when sobriety returns. Unfortunately, experts suggest that memory problems in Xanax addicts can persist long after the drug abuse ends. It’s not quite clear if the problem is permanent, but it is clear that the problem lasts after sobriety returns.

The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that people who take benzodiazepines like Xanax for more than one year may also develop difficulties with visuospatial ability. It’s important to note that this damage takes place in people who are taking therapeutic doses of the drug, or dosages that experts think is appropriate for the problem at hand. People who abuse Xanax, and who take extremely high doses as a result, might face even more significant damage.

Worsening of Symptoms

Xanax taps right into natural receptors in the brain, bringing about specific chemical changes and modifying the way the brain responds to particular types of signals. Over time, the brain begins to assume that this changed state of affairs is simply normal. The brain might be unable to function properly without access to the drugs it once used in abundance. When a person attempts to stop using Xanax, a variety of unpleasant symptoms can crop up, including:

These symptoms can be severe, and they can last for months. When faced with this kind of terrible pain, some people simply return to Xanax use, as they don’t feel as though they have any other option. Bouncing between sobriety and addiction can be dangerous, however, as the cells in the brain undergo tiny damage with each and every adjustment period. As a result, each time the person attempts to get sober, the symptoms the person experiences could be more severe. Eventually, the person could even develop seizures during the withdrawal period.

Improving With Care

Xanax can cause a variety of unpleasant changes, and those changes can make sobriety seem like an unreachable goal, no matter how much the person might want to attain it. While it’s true that recovering from this type of addiction can be difficult, therapy can make a big difference. Instead of dealing with symptoms alone, and feeling like relapse is inevitable, a person in treatment has access to an army of helpers, all working hard to ensure that a relapse simply doesn’t take place. With this help, a true recovery really is possible.

We’d like to help you overcome your Xanax addiction. Our medically supervised detox program can help you wean away from this drug without enduring negative side effects, and our rehab program can help you develop robust relapse prevention skills. Please call us today to find out more.