Xanax is a benzodiazepine that has been largely used in the US for the treatment of anxiety. As a schedule III substance with low potential for abuse, many do not understand that this drug can be very dangerous as it does create a physical and psychological dependence. In fact, benzodiazepine has been associated with an increase of benzo related overdoses. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, benzo related overdoses have risen from 1,135 in 1999 to 11,537 in 2017- that is a 916% increase.
Drugs like Xanax slow down and suppress the activity of crucial organs such as the lungs. When these drugs are abused or used in a different way than it was prescribed for, it can cause serious health complications and even death. Although it is possible to overdose on Benzodiazepines alone, prescription medications such as Xanax generally are associated with overdoses that were the result of mixing the drug with alcohol. Whether mixing the two substances (the benzo and the alcohol) accidentally or intentionally the dangers associated with this combination can be fatal. The reason is, Xanax and Alcohol are both central nervous system depressant and they both release GABA (a neurotransmitter that sends chemical messages through the brain and the nervous system), which decreases and slows the bodily and nerve functions. Slowing down bodily functions will lead to a drop in blood pressure and slowed breathing. In some cases, breathing can completely stop leading to a blackout and even death. Taking the drugs together may also lead to dangerous behaviors such as driving while intoxicated or taking other serious risks. Even though the accidental mixing of these drugs accounts for a number of overdoses every year, it is the intentional mixing of the drugs that has become a serious cause of concern. Many individuals struggling with anxiety try to self-medicate by mixing alcohol and benzos in the hopes of heightening the “positive” effects they experience, and by doing this they significantly heighten the negative and dangerous effects of each drug.
Dealing with alcohol or benzodiazepine addiction can be difficult and like any other addiction, it is imperative to find a treatment that addresses both the mental health issue and substance addiction. If you or someone you love has been impacted by an anxiety disorder and addiction and are looking for treatment options, please contact us today at Florida Center for Recovery. Our trained professionals are ready to help you with your treatment and recovery process.
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Florida Center for Recovery
Clinical Excellence & Compassionate Care in a Healing Environment
Providing Addiction & Mental Health Treatment Since 2002
Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.