As more people turn to prescription medications for their various ailments, it can be all too easy to get confused over which medication is which. Unfortunately, not having all the facts about your medication can lead to unpleasant side effects and drug interactions. If you are wondering “is xanax an opioid?” the answer is no. However, if you’re wondering if “Xanax is addictive like an opioid?” the answer is yes.
Xanax is one of the strongest anxiety medications, or anxiolytics, on the market. Currently, the amount of people receiving the prescription drug is constantly increasing. Access to Xanax and other prescriptions can be incredibly beneficial to those battling various physical and mental health issues. However, these drugs can pose extremely dangerous risks to those who take them. If you take this medication, it is important to know exactly what kind of drug Xanax is and what to expect when taking it.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax is a brand-name prescription medication that assists in treating panic and anxiety disorders, as well as helping manage seizure disorders. The active ingredient in Xanax is alprazolam, placing it in the benzodiazepine drug class.
These work by calming the central nervous system, making Xanax an effective choice for relieving symptoms of anxiety and panic, such as:
- Nervousness, restlessness, and tension
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Muscle tension
- Heart palpitations
- Trouble breathing
- Stomach problems
- Trouble controlling worry
Due to the drug’s ability to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and worry, Xanax is also effective at relieving the symptoms of panic disorder. People suffering from panic disorder often experience sudden and unexpected attacks of intense fear and anxiety. This medication also provides relief from the physical symptoms of panic attacks such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, and sweating.
Most people who recieve Xanax prescriptions use it for a short period of time, such as for a few weeks or months. This is because Xanax has a high potential for abuse and addiction, so it is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor and never share it with others.
Is Xanax a Controlled Substance?
Currently, Xanax is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance by the DEA due to its high risk for abuse despite its various accepted medical uses. Medical professionals often prescribe the medication for the short-term management of anxiety and panic disorders. However, any medication containing a benzodiazepine is not intended for long-term use due to the potential for addiction.
Those who recieve Xanax, or its generic counterpart Alprazolam, recieve the drug in the form of a pill. This prescription benzodiazepine is orally ingested one to three times daily. Depending on the person, their dosage can range anywhere from 0.25 to 0.5 mg and will typically not exceed 4 mg per day.
Illicit abuse of Benzos or Downers can also include oral ingestions, however, many people who abuse Xanax crush the pill for nasal or intravenous use.
Is Xanax an Opioid?
If you are considering taking this medication, it is important to know that Xanax is not an opioid. Opioids are pain relievers derived from the opium poppy plant. Both opioids and opiates (man-made opioids) work by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, reducing pain and producing feelings of euphoria.
Xanax, however, is a benzodiazepine, which is a type of central nervous system depressant. It works by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain, which is a calming neurotransmitter. This is what gives this medication its sedative, anti-anxiety, and sleep-inducing effects.
Both opioids and benzodiazepines can be addictive, but they work in different ways and have different side effects. Opioids can cause respiratory depression, which can be fatal, while benzodiazepines can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and coordination problems.
It is important to know about the risks associated with both opioids and benzodiazepines. Likewise, is it vital to take these prescription medications as directed by your doctor. It is also important to note that taking benzodiazepines and opioids together can be dangerous and can increase the risk of overdose.
Unfortunately, this has become a common combination in recent years. In 2021 alone, nearly 14% of overdose deaths that involved opioids also involved benzodiazepines such as Xanax. As these numbers only continue to increase in the wake of the opioid epidemic, it is more important than ever to be aware of the risks that come with abusing either of these medications.
Can You Get Addicted to Xanax?
One of the biggest risks to be aware of when taking Xanax is that benzodiazepines are highly addictive, with this particular medication being one of the most addictive benzodiazepines on the market.
Xanax’s risk for abuse is so high that even people who are taking it as prescribed by their doctors can develop an addiction to it. This risk of addiction increases when people take Xanax in higher doses or more frequently than prescribed.
People who abuse Xanax by taking it recreationally or by mixing it with other drugs are also at a higher risk of addiction. This medication also carries a serious risk for overdose, characterized by extreme drowsiness, confusion, impaired coordination, respiratory depression, and various other symptoms that can be fatal.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Xanax Addiction?
Because of the dangerous side effects that can occur when taking this medication, it is important to know how to recognize the signs of abuse and addiction. Fortunately, there are several signs that you can look out for when recognizing this substance use disorder.
Xanax addiction results in psychological and physical dependence or a persistent need to use this medication despite it having negative side effects. Some of the signs and symptoms of Xanax addiction include:
- Taking Xanax more often or in higher doses than prescribed
- Having difficulty controlling your use of Xanax
- Spending a lot of time thinking about Xanax or obtaining it
- Needing more Xanax to achieve the same effects
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Xanax
- Developing a tolerance to Xanax, or needing to take more of the drug to achieve the same effects
If you or someone you know may be abusing Xanax, it is important to seek professional help. There are many effective treatments available for Xanax addiction.
Co-occurring Anxiety Treatment During Rehab at Royal Life Centers
At Royal Life Centers, we believe in treating the whole person, not just the addiction. When you seek treatment for Xanax addiction at one of our facility, you will have access to a full continuum of care, including a variety of intervention and treatment services such as:
- Medically managed detox, where we will help you safely withdraw from Xanax under the supervision of our medical professionals. Our detox program minimizes withdrawal symptoms, which can be severe and even life-threatening.
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) helps you taper off the drug and manage withdrawal symptoms, as well as reduce cravings and prevent relapse.
- Behavioral and holistic therapies help you understand and change the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that contribute to your addiction and reconnect with yourself.
- Support groups that can provide you with a safe and supportive environment to share your experiences and learn from others.
At Royal Life Detox in Prescott, Arizona, our detox facility provides a safe and comfortable environment to help those struggling with addiction begin their recovery. Our experienced staff provides each client with the personalized care they need to help them through the detoxification process. To do so, we offer individualized treatment plans that meet the needs of each person who comes through our doors.
Recover in Drug Detox and Addiction Treatment in Arizona
At Royal Life Detox, and all of the Royal Life Centers’ facilities, we understand that everyone’s journey is unique. That is why we strive to provide quality care for each individual. Our goal is to empower our clients with the knowledge and resources they need to live a healthy, substance-free life. Join us today and start your journey towards lasting sobriety.
Whether you detox, residential, PHP, IOP, or outpatient care, we can provide the support you deserve however you need it. Our treatment team will work with you to create an individualized recovery plan that tailors to your exact needs. Contact us to learn how you can start on the road to recovery today!