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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Xanax

10/13/2004

Question:

Maybe spelled wrong. What can you tell me about this drug and the use or misuse of it by one other thatn the one one prescribed for? Is it addictive. A 26 year old man says taking it made him mean to his wife and now he says he just won`t take it anymore, Should she believe him?What are yje signs

Answer:

Xanax is an addictive sedative drug in the same class as Valium; it is a Benzodiazepine. It was released in 1985, and doctors were told it was not addictive. However, that proved to be a lie. It is rapid-acting and wears off fast which makes it highly addictive. If someone has been taking it daily or near daily for months or years, it must discontinued with a physician's help. If someone is a drug addict, it is best done in a drug/alcohol treatment center in a detox unit. At the same time, the patient can learn how to be in recovery from addiction.

A person should never take someone else's medication. There is great risk involved, especially when the medication is addictive or mood altering. It is also illegal to take a controlled substance(addictive) from someone else. Xanax has a relatively high street value because it does make people feel "high."  It has been likened to "freeze dried alcohol." Dishonesty is a part of addiction and often addicts will lie even to those they love the most to hide their addiction. Xanax can cause rapid mood fluctuations including increased irritability, depression, anxiety (when in withdrawal), sleep problems, lack of concern for others. Further information can be found at www.nida.nih.gov/. Look for Info Facts about prescription drugs or sedatives.

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Response by:

Edna M Jones, MD, MRO Edna M Jones, MD, MRO
Emeritus Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University