How Does Xanax Addiction Begin?

How Does Xanax Addiction Begin?According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a chronic brain disease that is marked by compulsively seeking and using drugs no matter the harmful consequences. It is a disease of the brain because drugs change its structure and function. These negative changes to the brain lead to harmful and destructive behaviors.

Factors That Play a Role in Forming an Addiction

Using Xanax does not always lead to addiction. Some people can use Xanax and never become addicted. Others struggle greatly with addiction after taking Xanax just once. The difference between these two people can be attributed to a number of different factors.

According to Psych Central several factors that play a role in the formulation of an addiction include the following:

  • Family environment
  • Social environment
  • Mental health and stability
  • Personal history including abuse
  • Family history of addiction
  • Genetic predisposition

In addition to these factors, new research is showing the power of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that is released to signal pleasure in the body. According to studies report in Psychology Today, dopamine released in the body signals an indication of pleasure. When a person takes drugs that cause pleasure, the brain is flooded with dopamine. However, addictive drugs release two to five times more dopamine than in a natural setting such as enjoying a sunset or riding a roller coaster. This release of dopamine explains how the pleasure associated with drugs leads to the repetitive behaviors that lead to addiction.

Indicators of Drug Use and Addiction

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, physical dependence on Xanax is not the same thing as addiction to the drug. Physical dependence occurs because the body naturally responds and adapts to the presence of Xanax in the body. When that chemical is removed from the body, withdrawal symptoms emerge while the body adjusts. This is not the same thing as psychological addiction.

Psychological addiction to Xanax develops over time. First a person may experiment with Xanax to feel good or to avoid a stressful emotion. That person may continue to take Xanax when stress becomes overwhelming. However, this does not mean that person will become an addict. A developing addiction will be evident with the presence of several signs or symptoms.

Patterns of behavior that indicate that Xanax addiction is developing include the following:

  • Increased drug use over time – Xanax addiction is developing when a person takes more of the drug than prescribed or takes it more often than prescribed. More Xanax becomes necessary to achieve the same level of relief.
  • Using drugs to meet needs – Most of the time Xanax use is intended as a short-term solution. For example taking a medication to deal with depression associated with childhood trauma is common. Once a person has processed through the trauma, use of medication will taper off or cease. However, if you need drugs to give you energy in the morning and another drug to make you go to sleep at night, that is another sign that addiction is developing because your body is designed to function without them.
  • Changes in relationships – A person developing an addiction will often take drugs secretly to avoid being caught. Over time that person will begin to avoid people altogether as drug use takes the place of human interaction. Using Xanax becomes more important that being with people.
  • Disregarding consequences – A person who is becoming addicted to Xanax will seek out and use those drugs despite the negative consequences. This may mean missing work, stealing from others, committing a crime, or even hurting other people. This pattern of behavior shows the formulation of an addiction.

Other symptoms of Xanax addiction include the following:

  • Uncontrollable anxiety when Xanax runs out
  • Loss of inhibitions
  • Mood swings
  • Taking a higher dosage of Xanax than prescribed
  • Taking the Xanax more often than prescribed
  • “Losing” the Xanax prescription so the doctor needs to write another one

These patterns will deepen and strengthen over time, but they can be reversed if a person decides to get help for their developing dependence. If you see these behavioral patterns in you or in someone you love, get help immediately. The earlier you break these destructive patterns, the sooner recovery is possible.

Dealing With a Developing Addiction

Avoiding problematic drug use can be accomplished by helping a person find alternative ways of dealing with the triggers that contribute to and perpetuate drug dependency. This learning process can be accomplished through an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug treatment will work regardless of a person’s stage of addiction. In fact earlier intervention may mean fewer complications and a better prognosis for long-term recovery.

Getting Help for Your Xanax Addiction

If you recognize any of these problematic drug patterns, do not give up. We can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day. You can talk with one of our addiction recovery specialists about your drug-using patterns, and they can determine the best treatment option for your unique situation. A developing drug abuse pattern can be reversed if you choose to get help. Take the first step by calling us today.

Are you ready to seek treatment?

If you are ready to beat a Xanax addiction and start a new life in recovery then we can help. We have admission counselors standing by 24 hours a day to take your email, live chat request, or phone call to get you in the addiction treatment center that best fits your unique & specific needs.