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What are the Stages of Xanax Addiction?

The prescription medication, alprazolam, also known as Xanax, is in a category of drugs known as benzodiazepines (commonly referred to as “benzos”). Benzos, and especially Xanax, are highly addictive when misused. These medications are usually prescribed for anxiety and panic disorders, but are widely abused by people from all walks of life. If taken over a prolonged period of time, or in high doses, its use can result in tolerance, addiction, and dependence. Xanax addiction is very serious, and even its withdrawal can be deadly. The six stages of Xanax addiction are as follows:

  1. Introduction – People who abuse Xanax are usually introduced to it through a prescription. If not received from a doctor, people may be introduced to it at a party or club, or from a friend through sheer curiosity.
  2. Experimentation – After having been introduced to Xanax, a person may try it in different scenarios, different dosages, and/or mixed with other drugs, such as alcohol.
  3. Regular Usage – Xanax may not be used daily, but it is predictable. For instance, an individual may take it every weekend, or begin taking it in response to boredom or stress.
  4. Problem Usage – Xanax starts causing problems in a person’s life, but use continues regardless of consequences. Problems involving work or school performance, relationship issues, and behavioral changes are all common symptoms of Xanax abuse.
  5. Dependence – This stage consists of three levels: tolerance, physical dependence, and psychological dependence. Tolerance requires more Xanax to achieve its high; physical dependence is marked by withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped; and psychological dependence consists of cravings, repeated use, and not being able to stop. These three levels of dependence create addiction.
  6. Substance Use Disorder – At this point, a person is fully addicted to Xanax, and cannot seem to function without it. Drug use continues, despite negative consequences and adverse effects, and the individual’s lifestyle and behavior have drastically changed. At this stage, medically-assisted detox is needed to safely taper the individual off the drug, as going cold turkey is extremely dangerous and can be fatal.

Xanax addiction is treatable. If you need help, call the Serenity Recovery Center and begin the first steps toward recovery today. Your safety is our top priority, and we will keep you as comfortable as possible throughout the withdrawal process. You can live a life free from Xanax—it is possible, and we can help. Give us a call, we are available 24/7 at 844-339-6964.