How Do I Know if I Am Addicted to Xanax?

How Do I Know if I Am Addicted to Xanax?

Xanax, among the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines, is a potent sedative used to treat things like generalized anxiety disorder, insomnia, seizures, social phobia and panic disorder. Alprazolam, the generic name for the drug, isn’t just a regularly prescribed benzo, it’s the most prescribed psychotropic drug, period, in the United States. In 2013 alone there were 48 million prescriptions filled

As a central nervous system depressant, Xanax works by increasing the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical that inhibits brain activity. This action causes the drowsy and calming effects that make the medicine effective for anxiety and sleep disorders.

That’s the basic science, what makes it so addictive though?

Why Xanax Is Addictive

The sedation and calm that washes over a user is a powerful feeling. For someone struggling with panic or anxiety especially, an intense wave of comparative relaxation becomes hard to give up and the same goes for anyone taking Xanax recreationally.

Sedatives extremely swiftly create a sort of “new normal”, to the point that a person will quickly start to feel like they need Xanax to function. 

Aside from the high risk of addiction, Xanax presents other unique hazards. The dangers of mixing it with alcohol are profound as both are depressants and they amplify the effect of the other which means taking them together can have very real and very life-threatening consequences

Additionally, over 30% of overdoses involving opioids also involve benzos like Xanax according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Signs of a Xanax Addiction

For any user, when the use becomes problematic, the question becomes “how do I know if I am addicted to Xanax?”. 

When does using as directed or recreationally turn into something different? When does dependency transform and shift into a full-blown addiction?

The symptoms of an addiction to Xanax, or another benzo for that matter, can manifest in these ways:

  • Developing a tolerance and needing to take ever-larger doses to achieve the same feeling or high
  • Inability to control the amount or how often you take Xanax
  • Visiting multiple doctors to obtain additional prescriptions
  • Spending an inordinate amount of time getting, taking and recovering from Xanax
  • Purchasing it illegally on the street
  • Financial problems
  • Slurred speech
  • Memory problems
  • Borrowing or stealing Xanax from a friend or loved one
  • Unable to maintain responsibilities at work, home or school
  • Strained relationships
  • Avoiding or losing interest in activities, events or people you once enjoyed spending time with in order to take the drug
  • Continuing to use despite clear negative consequences
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking Xanax

The Best Way to Get Help With Addiction

After recognizing that you need help, the first step in overcoming an addiction is safely dealing with the withdrawal symptoms. With respect to Xanax and other central nervous system depressants, they can start within just a few hours after the last dose and as NIDA notes, “people addicted to prescription CNS depressants should not attempt to stop taking them on their own. Withdrawal symptoms from these drugs can be severe and—in the case of certain medications-potentially life-threatening”.

Given that, it’s critical to detox under the watchful supervision of medical professionals who can guide you through the entire process while mitigating discomfort as much as possible. 

After the physical addiction is broken, the important work on the mental side of addiction can truly get underway. Whether residential inpatient treatment or outpatient care is better for you is full dependent on the severity of your personal addiction to Xanax. At All American Detox, we offer both as well aftercare services because support doesn’t end when the rehab does.

The critical thing to know is that recovery is a process and a journey, not a destination. Reach out to us if you or a loved one is ready to start theirs.

The Health Benefits of Quitting Drinking Alcohol

Benefits of Quitting Drinking Alcohol

The phrase “game-changer” gets tossed around a lot and often it’s with gross exaggeration or hyperbole. Like guac at Chipotle is great but is it a game-changer? Maybe for your lunch it is but for your life, not so much.

Now quitting alcohol, on the other hand, is something that truly deserves the mantle of game-changer.

It’s the kind of all-around big deal that makes you look back at the hard and arduous work of getting to the promised land of sobriety and know it was completely worth the effort.

The benefits of quitting drinking alcohol are downright plentiful and touch everything, both physically and mentally, in your life. After getting through the process of withdrawal and detox and going through treatment, they add up fast.

What Are the Benefits of Quitting Drinking Alcohol for Your Physical Health?

Honestly, this list could on and on, but we’ll exercise some restraint and share a few of the highlights:

Feeling Better – Alcohol is essentially a toxin and it’s tough on the body so, on a sort of basic, all-encompassing level, you’ll feel better and have a higher level of energy to work with.

Weight Loss – Drinking isn’t exactly a calorie-free vice. Depending on what you drink, alcohol is loaded with carbs, sugars and empty calories that turn to fat. Often eating goes hand in hand with drinking. Without the drinks and the excess food, there’s a good chance you’ll slim down.

Better Skin and a More Youthful Look – Alcohol ages you. It pulls moisture from the skin and dehydrates the body which causes inflammation, flushed skin, puffiness, wrinkles. Simply put, if you want to look younger, drop the drink. Sobriety, quite literally, looks good on you.

Quality Sleep – When you pass out from drinking, you’re not actually getting good sleep. Alcohol interferes with your sleep-wake cycle and without it you’ll get deeper, more restful snoozing.

Benefits of Quitting Drinking Alcohol for Your Mental Health

As with the physical benefits, there are plenty of positives to quitting alcohol on your mental well-being as well:

Improved Mental Health – Alcoholism often co-occurs with other mental illnesses, working through a dual diagnosis in rehab allows you to tackle both substance abuse and the comorbidity which ultimately sets you up with significantly improved mental health and coping strategies.

Better Memory and Cognition – Blacking out obviously creates gaps in your memory but beyond that, excessive alcohol use can damage the hippocampus, a part of the brain crucial to memory and thinking. Quitting the drink helps restore that.

Emotional Stability – Alcohol changes your mood. Every night drinking can be a rollercoaster, what starts as a few drinks to lift the spirit or gain some confidence, can easily swing into anger, impulsiveness, violence and more. Without booze, you can operate on an even keel at all times.

Know Yourself Better – Without the crutch of alcohol, you’re forced to meet yourself again. Heavy alcohol use is related to all sorts of things, like avoidance of thoughts/feelings, a coping mechanism, something to calm the nerves, etc. What it’s not used for is understanding yourself and healthily dealing with issues. Quitting alcohol means you’re able to finally get comfortable in your own skin and feel like you’re fully in control of your own life again.

How All American Detox Can Help You With an Alcohol Problem

Alcohol problems aren’t easy to overcome on your own. The pull of the drink is just that strong and withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop, just that overpowering. So, you go back for more.

At All American Detox, we know that firsthand. With 30 plus years of treating substance abuse and a team of dedicated staff to motivate you to reach your goals, we understand what it takes to get you free from the hold of alcohol.

From detox to rehab to aftercare support, you can achieve the sobriety you long for at All American Detox. Get in touch with us today, take the weight of alcohol off your shoulders and live all the benefits of an alcohol-free life that you or a loved one so richly deserves.

Seeking Help With a Crystal Meth Addiction in Los Angeles

Crystal Meth Addiction in Los Angeles

Surrounding yourself with the right support system can make all the difference when you or a loved one is trying to break free from the chokehold of crystal meth.

Unshackling yourself from the grasp of addiction is a tough task even when getting the proper care and attention from licensed professionals and people who have been there before. Going it alone makes an already big hurdle even harder to clear.

Meth rehab centers in Los Angeles could be the gateway you’re looking for to getting clean. The City of Angels, with its warm sun and proximity to the Pacific, might just be the place you need to be to start your journey towards sobriety in earnest and the best place for you to build the groundwork for a lasting recovery.

What Is Crystal Meth?

A form of methamphetamine, crystal meth gets its name because it quite literally looks like crystals. Meth itself was actually used widely during World War II because of its stimulant effect and only became a controlled substance in the 1970s. 

Crystal meth is a powerful and highly addictive stimulant that affects the nervous system and goes by a whole host of street names so you may have heard it referenced as ice, speed, crystal, blue, tina, go-fast and many, many more.

The most frequent way it’s taken is by being smoked but it can also be snorted, swallowed or injected directly into a vein.

The effects on the brain are summed up succinctly by the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

“Methamphetamine increases the amount of the natural chemical dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is involved in body movement, motivation, and reinforcement of rewarding behaviors. The drug’s ability to rapidly release high levels of dopamine in reward areas of the brain strongly reinforces drug-taking behavior, making the user want to repeat the experience.”

That cycle of reinforcement creates bigtime cravings for the user and as long term use of crystal meth takes hold, the mental and physical consequences get worse. If injection is the main means of delivery, the longer you’re using the higher the risk of contracting diseases from inadvertently mixing fluids. In addition to that, extreme weight loss, sores, anxiety, confusion, paranoia and more accompany chronic use. Not to mention what is referred to as “meth mouth”, which is rampant tooth decay.

Do Meth Rehab Centers in Los Angeles Actually Help With Addiction?

Meth rehab centers in LA do help with addiction, yes! It’s all a matter of finding the right treatment center for your particular needs.

There are plenty of options in this city and pinpointing what works best for you is going to give you the best chance of success. In many cases, having a one-stop-shop is particularly beneficial for people. A facility that takes you through the whole process of getting you sober and setting you up for a lasting recovery.

That means starting with detox under the supervision of professionals to tackle the physical nature of addiction. Then moving into a residential inpatient facility where you work through the mental side and the root causes of your reliance on crystal meth through individual and group therapy. And finally transitioning to outpatient/aftercare where you’re back to living on your own or if that’s too overwhelming, into a sober living home first.

Get Help With Crystal Meth at All American Detox

At All American Detox, we’re the type of rehab that can guide you through every step of the recovery process. No need to bounce from detox in one place to inpatient care elsewhere and a whole other facility for aftercare. If that sounds like a comfortable fit for your loved one, reach out to us. We’d be happy to give you more info or advice on the next steps.