Xanax Addiction: Can you get addicted to .25 Xanax?

Soberlink Recovery Circle

Today, we are going to explore if a .25 dose of Xanax is addictive. To answer this question, we will take a look at Xanax: why it is prescribed, the symptoms of Xanax addiction, how Xanax addiction is treated, and wrap up with, can I overdose on Xanax?

Xanax .25 addictive sober speak

Why is Xanax Prescribed?

Xanax is the brand name for the generic drug alprazolam, which is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepine medication relieves anxiety and muscle spasms, has sedative effects, and reduces seizures. Other examples of these drugs are Valium®, Halcion®, Ativan®, and Klonopin®. These drugs are used to treat mental illness for both short-term and long-term use.

Xanax is usually prescribed to treat panic disorder, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, symptoms of anxiety, and a variety of other mental health conditions. According to drugs.com, Xanax is prescribed at a starting dose of 0.25 to .5 mg administered three times daily for immediate-release tablets. Xanax XR dosages start at .5 mg and do not come in .25 mg dosages. A healthcare provider will prescribe adults with .25mg of Xanax to help them cope with their feelings of anxiety. If this dosage is not effective, then the doctor may prescribe .5 mg Xanax three times daily.

Side effects are common, and there is a long list of side effects with benzodiazepine drugs. Below is a list of side effects for Xanax:

Common side effects of Xanax include:

  • Being forgetful
  • changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • difficulty with coordination
  • discouragement
  • drowsiness
  • feeling sad or empty
  • irritability
  • lack of appetite
  • lightheadedness
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • relaxed and calm
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • slurred speech
  • tiredness
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble in speaking
  • trouble performing routine tasks
  • trouble sleeping
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Source: Drugs.com

Less common

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • blurred vision
  • body aches or pain
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles, or tingling feelings
  • changes in behavior
  • chills
  • clay-colored stools
  • confusion about identity, place, and time
  • cough
  • dark urine
  • decrease in frequency of urination
  • decrease in urine volume
  • diarrhea
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • difficulty in moving
  • difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
  • difficulty with concentration
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • dry mouth
  • ear congestion
  • environment seems unreal
  • fainting
  • fear or nervousness
  • feeling of unreality
  • feeling warm
  • fever
  • a general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • hyperventilation
  • inability to move eyes
  • inability to sit still
  • increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid
  • irregular heartbeats
  • itching
  • joint pain
  • lack or loss of self-control
  • loss of bladder control
  • loss of coordination
  • loss of memory
  • loss of voice
  • mood or mental changes
  • muscle aching or cramping
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • muscle weakness
  • nasal congestion
  • nausea
  • need to keep moving
  • painful urination
  • problems with memory
  • rash
  • restlessness
  • runny nose
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • seizures
  • sense of detachment from self or body
  • shaking
  • shivering
  • shortness of breath
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • sticking out of the tongue
  • sweating
  • swollen joints
  • talkativeness
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble in breathing, speaking, or swallowing
  • trouble with balance
  • twitching, twisting, or uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
  • uncontrolled twisting movements of the neck, trunk, arms, or legs
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
  • unusual facial expressions
  • unusually deep sleep
  • unusually long duration of sleep
  • vomiting of blood
  • wheezing
  • yellow eyes or skin

Source: Drugs.com

Symptoms of Xanax Addiction

Our question in this post is: Is .25mg of Xanax addictive? Yes, it is. Xanax is an addictive drug because it causes physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms. No matter what dose a person takes, there is a risk of addiction.

anxiety xanax addiction

Xanax, like all benzodiazepine classes of medications, works on the brain’s reward center. Regular use of Xanax can lead to addiction because tolerance is built, and a person needs more to feel the medication work. This drug works quickly but can become habit-forming when taken over a long period.

Doctors do not take patients off Xanax cold turkey; they taper them off gradually to help reduce withdrawal symptoms. Xanax is a central nervous system depressant. Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, panic attacks, sleep problems, tremors, muscle spasms, loss of appetite, hyperventilation, sweating, hypersensitivity to light, sound, or touch, abnormal sensations, general discomfort, abnormal sensations, the sensation of being detached from your body, psychosis, including hallucinations, delusions, and delirium, and seizures. As you can see, there’s a long list of symptoms of withdrawal.

Those with drug addiction may have a higher risk of addiction to Xanax and risk of Xanax abuse. Xanax is used for recreational purposes along with psychotropic drugs such as heroin, LSD, cocaine, and amphetamines.

According to the Journal of Addiction Medicine, Alprazolam (Xanax) is not only the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine, but it is the most commonly prescribed psychotropic medication in the United States, accounting for more than 48 million prescriptions dispensed in 2013. This persists even though many prescribers consider Xanax to have high misuse liability, and it is shown to result in a more severe withdrawal syndrome than other benzodiazepines, even when tapered according to manufacturer guidelines. Based on national emergency department (ED) visit data, Xanax is the second most common prescription medication and the most common benzodiazepine to be involved in ED visits related to drug misuse.

How to Treat Xanax Addiction

Treatment programs for Xanax addiction are the same as the treatment programs for substance use disorder. When helping someone with a Xanax addiction, friends and family members need to keep in mind that it is best not to let their loved one stop Xanax cold turkey but rather get medical help from addiction specialists.

A medical professional will need to be present during the withdrawal process, and this would be best to do in a medical detox unit in a hospital under medical supervision. Xanax causes a heavy physical dependence, and a person addicted to it needs a safe environment to detox.

After the detox, there are many treatment options. These include 12-step programs or other support groups, outpatient and in-patient treatment centers, and admission to a residential center. Several interventions may be used. They may need prescription drugs such as anti-anxiety medications, but not any with physical dependence. Mental health services administration, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can be helpful along with substance abuse treatment

xanax support group drug

Significant changes are needed to maximize the chance of staying clean. A person with a fully-fledged substance abuse disorder has often burned many bridges and now needs to rebuild relationships with family members. Support is vital in becoming and staying recovered. Others will complete it and, at some point, relapse, letting the cycle of addiction continue. The relapse percentage is between 40 and 60 percent. Despite these figures, this is the stage of hope.

Can I Overdose on Xanax?

Xanax, even at low, recommended doses, has a risk of overdose and death, especially when combined with opiates like heroin or oxycodone, alcohol, street drugs, or other central nervous system depressants. This can lead to severe drowsiness, breathing problems (respiratory depression), coma, and death.

Signs of a Xanax overdose may include:

  • extreme sleepiness, somnolence, sedation
  • shallow or slowed breathing; breathing stops or uneven breathing
  • trouble with coordination, balance, walking
  • confusion
  • decreased use of reflexes
  • coma
xanax overdose senior center

Flumazenil is a benzodiazepine antagonist that can be given intravenously (IV) as an antidote in the emergency setting to help reverse the effects of a benzodiazepine overdose.

Source: Drugs.com

Summary

Xanax is a powerful prescription drug with serious side effects and can quickly become addictive. If you find yourself with mental health issues, and your doctor talks about prescribing Xanax, maybe talk it through with them and ask for an alternative. Even at lower doses, Xanax is addictive. In fact, according to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 4.7 million people aged 12 or older misused prescription benzodiazepines, and 3.4 million of those people misused Xanax in the past year.

If you or someone you know uses Xanax, get to know the short and long-term effects of Xanax, the dangers of overdose, and various treatment options.