What is Xanax?
Xanax is an antianxiety medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Xanax works by attaching to a receptor in your brain called the GABA-A (gamma-aminobutyric acid-A) receptor. When Xanax binds to this receptor, it has a calming effect in the brain. For anxiety disorders, Xanax is often prescribed because it can help relieve anxiety symptoms quickly.
Xanax does this by slowing down the movement of brain chemicals that may have become unbalanced, resulting in a reduction in nervous tension and anxiety. Xanax works by boosting the effects of a natural chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is made in the brain.
To ensure the safe and effective use of benzodiazepines, doctors will provide the following guidance to anyone with a Xanax prescription:
- People should inform their doctor about any alcohol consumption and any medications they are currently taking, including over-the-counter (OTC) medications. People generally should not consume alcohol while taking benzodiazepines.
- Doctors do not recommend Xanax for use in pregnancy. A person should inform their doctor if they are pregnant, are planning to have a child, or become pregnant while they are taking this medication.
- People should inform their doctor if they are breastfeeding.
- Until a person experiences how Xanax affects them, they should not drive a car or operate heavy or dangerous machinery.
- People should not increase the dosage of Xanax without speaking with a doctor, even if they think that the medication “does not work anymore.” Benzodiazepines, even if a person uses them as recommended, may produce emotional and physical dependence.
- People should not stop taking Xanax abruptly or decrease the dosage without consulting their doctor, as withdrawal symptoms can occur.
Xanax High and Misuse
Xanax is commonly abused due to its high addiction potential. Tolerance to Xanax develops quickly, requiring the user to take more of the drug to achieve the desired effects. Someone with a Xanax addiction may take up to 20 to 30 pills per day. If the user decides to stop taking Xanax, they may experience withdrawal effects, such as anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and tremors. The onset of withdrawal symptoms is a sign that a physical dependence has developed. The development of tolerance and withdrawal are indications of addiction.
Once a Xanax addiction has taken hold, daily responsibilities, such as school, work or family, are ignored as energy is redirected towards drug seeking behavior.
Other behavioral signs of Xanax addiction include:
- Continued use of Xanax even though it is contributing to personal difficulties
- Inability to stop using Xanax despite the desire to
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Obsessing about obtaining and using Xanax
- Loss of control over the amount of Xanax being consumed
- Legal problems that are the result of using Xanax
- Risk-taking behaviors, such as driving while under the influence of Xanax
If a user wishes to stop taking Xanax after dependence on the drug has formed, it is not recommended to quit “cold turkey” or without medical supervision. The symptoms of Xanax withdrawal are similar to those of alcohol or barbiturate withdrawal, and the severity of the symptoms can vary. If convulsions occur, withdrawal from Xanax can be deadly.
Normally, the withdrawal process involves slowly reducing the dosage of Xanax and eventually switching the user to a long-acting form of the drug for a period of time. The gradual taper of this drug helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Does Chewing Xanax Get You Higher?
Xanax is taken by mouth as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. Your dose may be gradually increased until the drug starts working well. Follow your doctor’s instructions closely to reduce the risk of side effects.
Xanax Tablets are usually administered once daily, preferably in the morning. Xanax should be taken intact; they should not be chewed, crushed, or broken the body absorbs Xanax quickly, so its effects come on rapidly. Within about 1–2 hours, the concentration of Xanax in the blood reaches its peak.The effects of the drug usually appear within 1 hour, with one small scale study finding an average onset time of 49 minutes with oral administration.
Xanax also leaves the body quickly. Its half-life is 11.2 hours in healthy adults, meaning that the body removes about half of the Xanax that it has absorbed in just over 11 hours.
In addition to health problems associated with ongoing Xanax use, the withdrawal that occurs when someone ceases long-term Xanax use can be dangerous. Some people may experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms, such as the following, according to Harvard Medical School:
- Sleep problems
- Blurry vision
- Racing heart
Long-term benzodiazepine use can also lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, such as hallucinations or seizures. Recent research suggests benzo withdrawal seizures can sometimes lead to coma or death, adding to the list of reasons why Xanax can be dangerous. ALSO READ:How Many Xanax Can You Bring Back From Mexico?