Fear and anxiety are an unavoidable part of life. These feelings help keep a person safe from potentially harmful situations. Sadly, many struggle with anxiety disorders, meaning that these feelings are present at times either when they are not necessary or are greatly exacerbated past a reasonable level. While drugs can be prescribed to manage these symptoms, addictive anxiety medications also present their own risks. Learn more with Banyan Treatment Centers Massachusetts.
Is Anxiety Medication Addictive?
Prolonged use or improper use of anxiety medication, specifically benzodiazepines, can result in addiction due to its capacity to intensify the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. The mechanism helps reduce anxiety by calming the nerves. Withdrawal symptoms become challenging to manage when there is a physical dependence on the medication. The adverse effects of benzodiazepines include memory problems, sedation, and impaired coordination, leading to an increased risk of falls and accidents. Healthcare providers should prescribe anxiety medication in adherence to the recommended dosage and duration to prevent adverse effects.
Types of Addictive Anti-Anxiety Meds
Anxiety medication, such as benzodiazepines or barbiturates, can be addictive when used improperly or for an extended period. These drugs work by enhancing the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which helps to calm the nerves and reduce anxiety. However, prolonged use of these drugs can lead to a physical dependence on them, making it difficult to stop taking them without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
- Xanax (alprazolam): Xanax is a fast-acting benzodiazepine that is widely prescribed for the short-term treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. Its potency can result in a rapid onset of action, leading to feelings of relaxation and euphoria, making it highly addictive. Additionally, the drug has a high potential for abuse and dependence, making it one of the most abused prescription medications. Withdrawal symptoms can also be severe, including tremors, seizures, and hallucinations, making a Xanax addiction that much more dangerous.
- Klonopin (clonazepam): Klonopin is a potent benzodiazepine that is often prescribed for the treatment of panic and seizure disorders. It has a longer duration of action than Xanax, and its effects can be more potent, making it more likely to cause addiction. Like Xanax, it has a high potential for abuse and dependence, and withdrawal symptoms can be severe, including seizures and other life-threatening complications.
- Ativan (lorazepam): This is another commonly prescribed medication used for anxiety and insomnia treatment. Ativan addiction is common due to its potency and rapid onset of action.
- Luminal (phenobarbital): This barbiturate acts on the central nervous system to produce sedative, hypnotic, and anticonvulsant effects. While still used today to treat seizures and other conditions, it can cause prolonged sedation and cognitive impairment. Like benzos, barbiturates enhance gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) activity in the brain to reduce anxiety and calm nerves.
While Barbiturates are not used commonly, they present comparable risks to users who abuse them, like benzos. Abusing these addictive anxiety medications can spell serious trouble, especially for those who face life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Luckily, our rehab in Massachusetts offers drug detox partnerships that can aid patients in overcoming said symptoms safely and efficiently.
Massachusetts Drug Addiction Help at Our Banyan Rehab
If you have found yourself amid addiction, take comfort in the fact that you do not have to face it alone. Our team of clinical and mental health professionals is dedicated to helping patients achieve their own sobriety. Through in-depth therapy sessions and other ancillary programs, we are confident that our facility is equipped to help those in need.