Effects of Xanax Abuse

The effects of Xanax abuse and other Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants are an overall slowing of the user's normal brain function. There are numerous CNS depressants like Xanax and most act on the brain by affecting the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that facilitate communication between brain cells. GABA works by decreasing brain activity. Although the different classes of CNS depressants work in unique ways, ultimately it is through their ability to increase GABA activity that they produce the drowsy and calming effects of Xanax abuse which is sought after by drug abusers.

Many are prescribed Xanax legitimately for anxiety and sleep disorders. However, despite Xanax's many beneficial effects, Xanax and other barbiturates and benzodiazepines have the potential for abuse and should be used only as prescribed. During the first few days of taking a prescribed CNS depressant, a person usually feels sleepy and uncoordinated, but as the body becomes accustomed to the effects of the drug, these feelings begin to disappear. If one uses these drugs long term, the body will develop tolerance for the drugs, and larger doses will be needed to achieve the same initial effects.

In addition, continued use can lead to physical dependence and - when use is reduced or stopped - withdrawal. Because all CNS depressants such as Xanax work by slowing the brain's activity, when an individual stops taking them, the brain's activity can rebound and race out of control, possibly leading to seizures and other harmful consequences. Although withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be problematic, it is rarely life threatening, whereas withdrawal from prolonged use of other CNS depressants can have life-threatening complications. Therefore, someone who is thinking about discontinuing CNS depressant therapy or who is suffering withdrawal from a CNS depressant should speak with a physician or seek medical treatment.

At high doses or when it is heavily abused, the effects of Xanax abuse can even cause unconsciousness and death. As a parent or individual, if you suspect someone of using this substance you can get a definitive answer by using a simple, private urine drug testing kit.

Common effects of Xanax abuse include:

  • Activity of central nervous system slowed down.
  • Small dose relieves tension; large dose produces staggering, blurred vision, impaired thinking, slurred speech, impaired perception of time and space, slowed reflexes and breathing, reduced sensitivity to pain.
  • Overdoses cause unconsciousness, coma and death. Many of the deaths due to drugs (excluding alcohol) are caused by barbiturates and barbiturate-like drugs. Accidental overdoses occur when children swallow pills or when adults with increased tolerance are unsure of how many to take.

CNS depressants such as Xanax should be used with other medications only under a physician's supervision. Typically, they should not be combined with any other medication or substance that causes CNS depression, including prescription pain medicines, some over-the-counter cold and allergy medications, or alcohol. Using CNS depressants with these other substances - particularly alcohol - can cause severe effects of Xanax abuse. These effects include slow breathing, or slow both the heart and respiration, and possibly lead to death. It is very important to get the use of this drug stopped. One of the ways to do that is to do regular urine drug testing of the person who is using this drug.

There are many dangerous effects of Xanax abuse: Anaemia, impairment of liver function, chronic intoxication (headache, impaired vision, slurred speech) and depression. Babies of chronic users may have difficulty in breathing and feeding, disturbed sleep patterns, sweating, irritability and fever.

Very significant levels of physiological dependence marked by both tolerance and withdrawal, can develop to Xanax. The timing and severity of the withdrawal syndrome will differ depending on the specific substance and its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (Pharmacokinetics may be simply defined as what the body does to the drug, as opposed to pharmacodynamics which may be defined as what the drug does to the body).

There are several ways to prevent the effects of Xanax abuse. When visiting the doctor, provide a complete medical history and a description of the reason for the visit to ensure that the doctor understands the complaint and can prescribe appropriate medication. If a doctor prescribes a pain medication, stimulant, or CNS depressant, follow the directions for use carefully and learn about the effects that the drug could have, especially during the first few days during which the body is adapting to the medication. Also be aware of potential interactions with other drugs by reading all information provided by the pharmacist. Do not increase or decrease doses or abruptly stop taking a prescription without consulting a health care provider first. For example, if you are taking a pain reliever for chronic pain and the medication no longer seems to be effectively controlling the pain, speak with your physician; do not increase the dose on your own. Finally, never use another person's prescription.





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