An addiction to a drug like Xanax can lead to several negative effects on a person’s health, relationships, occupation, and more. The best way to avoid these effects and overcome a Xanax addiction is with professional addiction treatment, starting with the detox clinic at Knoxville Recovery Center. Though many do not realize it, detoxing is one of the most important steps in combating an addiction of any kind but especially a Xanax addiction.
In order to understand the role of detox in treating a Xanax addiction, one must first understand what Xanax is and how it affects a user.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is one of many drugs that can be abused and, more importantly, be incredibly addictive. The primary ingredient in it is alprazolam, which is often found in drugs known as benzodiazepines. Like Xanax, drugs in this classification are used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax typically takes the form of a pill with its color dependent on its dosage.
How Does Xanax Affect a User?
Once consumed, Xanax affects an individual’s central nervous system. In doing so, it allows a calming effect to permeate the body and mind. Xanax does this by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Typically, when a person’s GABA levels are too low, they experience anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other mood disorders. By enhancing the effects of GABA in a person’s brain, they will feel more relaxed.
Short Term Side Effects of Xanax Use
Although the use of Xanax can be helpful for individuals with anxiety and panic disorders, they may experience one or more of the following mild side effects:
- Low energy
- Lack of concentration
- Dry mouth or increased salivation
- Changes in sex drive
- Change in appetite
- Weight fluctuation
- Difficulty urinating
- Joint pain
More serious short term side effects include:
- Shortness of breath
- Skin rash
- Issues speaking
- Lack of coordination and/or balance
Long Term Side Effects of Xanax Addiction
When used over prolonged periods of time, Xanax use and Xanax addiction can cause numerous negative effects. Some of the more minor effects include weight loss, binge eating, and irritability. However, there are more serious effects of long term Xanax use or addiction, such as mood swings, violent behavior, and a higher risk for seizures.
Xanax and the Brain
Xanax has a major effect on the brain when consumed. Unfortunately, this effect can cause some serious changes and restructuring to the brain over time. The first effect Xanax typically causes in the brain when consumed over a long stretch of time is dependence. Although it can be helpful for users at first, the brain eventually adapts to the consistent presence of the drug. In doing so, it can make it harder for the brain to operate when it is not receiving Xanax, creating the first steps toward an addiction.
Once a dependence on Xanax is created, it almost always leads to further risks and damage in the brain. Part of this means that the brain will be rewired for addictive behavior. Substances like Xanax damage the brain’s reward system. In doing so, an individual becomes more likely to constantly pursue other substances and activities that provide them with immediate pleasure.
Sadly, these are not the only detrimental effects a Xanax use may have on the brain. According to a study from BMJ, Xanax use may also lead to an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Although some Xanax use can be potentially beneficial for those living with anxiety or panic disorders, long term Xanax use, like a Xanax addiction, can have several negative impacts on a person’s health, wellbeing, and more. To avoid these effects, it is best for anyone with a Xanax addiction to seek professional addiction treatment, which always begins with a detox.
What is a Detox?
A detox is a process where a person eliminates the presence of toxic or unwanted substances – like the substance they are addicted to – from their body. This process is done naturally by the human body. However, because addiction makes a person dependent on a substance, the detox process can often be uncomfortable, painful, and even dangerous (when conducted without medical supervision).
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Detox
The detox process can be done in one of two ways: inpatient or outpatient. Inpatient detox requires an individual to check into a rehab facility or detox clinic and remain on site until their detox is complete or for the duration of their addiction treatment. This is typically what is recommended for individuals with severe or extremely long term addictions – since they will require the most amount of care and medical supervision.
If an individual prefers or does not have a severe addiction, they can instead opt for an outpatient detox. A detox of this kind simply requires that the individual check in at a rehab or detox clinic periodically. This means that they are free to detox at home or wherever else they may choose.
Why is Detoxing Necessary for a Xanax Addiction?
Detoxing from a Xanax addiction is necessary for a number of reasons. The most important is because it allows a person to overcome the physical aspect of their addiction. As noted above, Xanax can wreak havoc on the brain, creating dependence. Because of this, a person will not only crave Xanax mentally but physically as well. A detox forces a person to overcome and remove that physical craving by removing all traces of Xanax from the body. Once this is done, a person can completely commit themselves to focusing on the mental aspect of their addiction.
Put simply, a detox is necessary for overcoming a Xanax addiction because it is the first step in overcoming that addiction. If a person does not detox and Xanax remains in their system, they are still physically addicted. One must detox in order to recover.
Searching for a Detox Clinic in Knoxville?
If you or a loved one are living with a Xanax addiction and searching for a detox clinic in Knoxville, our team is ready to help! At Knoxville Recovery Center, our addiction specialists understand how harmful a Xanax addiction can be and offer several treatments and therapies to help a person overcome it, including inpatient and outpatient detox services. Contact us today to learn more!