Xanax is a class of depressant drugs used to treat various mental and physical disorders, such as anxiety, panic disorders, insomnia, and seizures.
It is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in America, with an estimated 12% of the population having a prescription (that’s over 30 million people).
Additionally, Xanax is recognized as one of the most addictive prescription drugs available today.
Traditionally, this controlled medicine is recommended to be taken orally, but people who’ve developed an addiction to this substance often crush and snort it, which could potentially damage the user’s mucous membrane.
However, this is not the only risk associated when snorting Xanax.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about the inherent dangers of snorting Xanax, its effects, withdrawal symptoms, and how you can get back up from Xanax addiction.
Dangers Associated With Snorting Xanax
Damage to the Nostrils
Although there aren’t a lot of studies conducted to determine the side effects of snorting drugs, existing papers say it’s harmful. Snorting drugs, in general, harms the mucus lining of the nose, which could cause irritation and sensitivity.
Moreover, frequent snorting of drugs can narrow the blood vessels inside the nose, limiting blood flow. Over time, less blood flow will cause damage to the nostril tissues, creating issues such as infection, deviated septum, and even external damage like saddle-nose.
Lastly, snorting drugs increases your chance of catching serious diseases like Hep-C or HIV. Since paraphernalia used to snort drugs is shoved into a mucous membrane on your body, sharing dollar bills or other snorting apparatuses can result in exposure to blood-borne pathogens.
Increased Risk Of Abuse
To be blunt. If you are snorting Xanax, you are abusing the drug. Any method of consumption of a prescription drug other than how your doctor prescribed it to you can be labeled as abuse.
Additionally, according to a published study in PubMed, taking a drug through snorting has a higher bioavailability of 79% compared to smoking it, which only provides 67% bioavailability.
This means that 79% of the snorted dose of Xanax enters the blood circulation, which increases the chance of developing an addiction.
This also means a decrease in judgment and decision-making skills. More of the drug in your system heightens your risk of using other drugs and alcohol in combination with Xanax, creating a recipe for disaster.
Increased Risk Of Overdose
Thankfully, the risk of overdose from Xanax is actually quite low due to the drug’s extremely high LD50 (the lethal dose for 50% of the population).
However, most people who abuse Xanax either don’t have a prescription or will run out before they receive a refill.
Many will turn to drug dealers and street drugs to get their fix. This is extremely dangerous as most of the “Xanax” these dealers peddle is fraudulent. They have pill presses in which they add a cocktail of dangerous drugs to replicate the effects of Xanax.
One of these common cutting agents is known as Fentynal. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times more potent than heroin, meaning a minuscule amount the size of a grain of sand is enough to cause an overdose.
This is the real danger when it comes to Xanax abuse.
I have personally known multiple individuals who have passed away due to receiving Xanax cut with Fentanyl.
Please, never abuse this drug and never receive it from a source other than a medical professional. The consequences could be life threatening.
Effects of Xanax Addiction
The effects of Xanax addiction manifest even after short-term use and intensify as you continue using it. Here are some of the commonly observed short-term and long-term effects of Xanax addiction:
If you’ve been using Xanax for a while, you’d most likely experience the following short-term side effects:
- Sleepiness or lethargy
- Memory problems
- Blurred vision
- Blacking out
- Decrease in sex drive
- Slurred speech
If you’ve been using Xanax at a higher dose and more frequently than prescribed for a couple of months, you’d most likely experience the following long-term side effects:
- Suicidal thoughts or ideation
- Hostility or aggressive behavior
- Psychosis (departure from reality)
Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms
It’s not uncommon for many people experiencing addiction to realize their condition once they stop using the substance of abuse. The reaction these individuals feel is called a withdrawal symptom.
Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the abused substance and how long they have taken the drug. For Xanax addiction, here are the most commonly associated withdrawal symptoms:
- Irritability and aggressive conduct
- Tremors or seizures
- Flu-like symptoms and nausea
- Sleeping disorders and insomnia
- Worsening of depression and symptoms
- Increase in panic or anxiety attacks
- Suicidal ideation
- In most cases, withdrawal symptoms can last for months and make you feel worse than when you started using the substance. You could also experience the feeling of “craving” the drug and have difficulty controlling your impulses.
Dealing with withdrawal symptoms by yourself is not advised. Please, if you are looking to stop your usage of Xanax, contact a medical professional immediately. The withdrawal symptoms from Xanax can be potentially life-threatening.
Treatment Options for Xanax Addiction
Because of its potentially triggering and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, Xanax, or Benzodiazepine, addiction requires a medically supervised detoxification process.
The aim of the treatment should not only be to help you overcome addiction and control withdrawal symptoms, but also to provide alternative coping strategies and behavior modification therapies to address any underlying issues that could have led to substance abuse in the first place.
Here are some of the strategies often used to help people overcome their Xanax addiction:
Detoxification is the first step in the addiction recovery process and can be particularly challenging for those struggling with Xanax abuse. Detoxification from Xanax involves the safe and gradual removal of the drug from the body.
The process can be challenging as the body has become accustomed to the presence of the drug and may experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms during the detox process. However, with professional and compassionate care, detox can be a manageable and safe process.
At the Ohana Addiction Treatment Center, we take a human-centered approach to detoxification, recognizing the unique needs and experiences of each individual. Our team of medical professionals closely monitors clients throughout the detox process to ensure their safety and comfort. We also provide emotional support and a caring environment to help clients cope with the emotional and psychological effects of detoxification.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is an evidence-based approach used to help individuals struggling with Xanax addiction achieve and maintain their sobriety. MAT combines the use of medication with counseling and behavioral therapies to provide a comprehensive and individualized approach to addiction treatment.
The medication used in MAT for Xanax abuse is typically a long-acting benzodiazepine, such as diazepam, which is gradually tapered off over time to minimize withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of relapse. By providing a gradual reduction of the drug, MAT can help individuals avoid the severe withdrawal symptoms that can make it difficult to maintain sobriety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a highly effective form of therapy that can help individuals struggling with Xanax abuse to overcome their addiction.
CBT is a collaborative and evidence-based approach that aims to help individuals identify and change the negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to their addiction.
In a professional and compassionate manner, a therapist trained in CBT will work with the individual to identify triggers and negative thought patterns that lead to Xanax abuse, and then develop strategies to address these patterns and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Rehab is often the best option for those struggling with Xanax addiction as it provides a safe, supportive, and structured environment for individuals to overcome their addiction.
The Ohana Addiction Treatment Center is a highly respected facility that offers a variety of evidence-based treatment programs tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual.
With a team of experienced professionals, the Ohana Addiction Treatment Center provides a holistic approach to addiction recovery, addressing the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of addiction.
The center offers a range of services, including individual and group therapy, detoxification, relapse prevention, and aftercare support to help clients maintain their sobriety and achieve long-term success.
If you or someone you know needs help with Xanax addiction, the Ohana Addiction Treatment Center can provide the support and resources necessary to achieve lasting recovery.