Xanax Overdose

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The Most Common Benzodiazepine

As public health officials tackle opioid addiction and overdoses, another prescription drug has contributed to a growing number of deaths across the United States: Xanax.

Xanax is the most prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States.1 In 2014, it was prescribed 18 million times. In 2017, that number grew to over 25 million.2

The drug is highly addictive and can be fatal, especially when combined with alcohol or opioids.

Let’s take a look at the signs and symptoms of a Xanax overdose, as well as proper treatment for an overdose.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a benzodiazepine used to manage anxiety and panic disorders. It is also used to treat depression, PMS, and chronic pain.

When used as prescribed, it can be very beneficial. However, because of its effects, it is misused in some cases to achieve a high.

Xanax is especially dangerous when used with other drugs that slow breathing, such as alcohol and opioids. In combination, the substances can cause sleepiness due to slowed breathing, which dangerously turns to never waking up again.

How Much Xanax Does It Take to Overdose?

The prescribed amount of Xanax ranges between 0.25 and 0.5 milligrams per day. In some cases, doctors may prescribe as much as 10 milligrams per day.

The amount of Xanax that can lead to an overdose varies from person to person, depending on factors such as:

  • Weight and age
  • How their body metabolizes the medication
  • Whether there are any preexisting conditions
  • Whether the drug was taken in combination with other substances

Signs of Xanax Overdose

Some of the most common signs of Xanax overdose include:

Symptoms of Xanax Overdose

If overdosing from Xanax is occurring, the following symptoms may appear:

Xanax Overdose Deaths

The most common type of overdose is accidental overdose. When Xanax is used in conjunction with other drugs, particularly opiates or alcohol, there is most risk of a fatal overdose occurring.

Researchers report the number of overdose deaths in women aged 30 to 64 involving benzodiazepines rose from 0.54 per 100,000 in 1999 to 5.02 per 100,000 in 2017.3

In 2016, there were 10,684 overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines. In 1999, that number grew to 1,135.4

Medical Treatment for Xanax Overdose

Doctors treat Xanax overdose with gastric lavage (stomach pumping) and intravenous fluids to flush the toxic chemicals from the body. In severe cases, doctors may give a flumazenil injection, which is a benzodiazepine antidote, to treat the overdose.

Treatment for Xanax Addiction

A severe Xanax addiction means there is an increased risk of accidental overdose. Professional mental health or drug rehabilitation treatment can help with recovery from addiction. There are several options when it comes to treatment for Xanax addiction, including:

Inpatient Treatment

This type of treatment involves living at a drug rehab center and attending a range of activities, including one-on-one therapy sessions, group meetings, holistic therapy, and more. It is intended for severe cases of addiction.

Outpatient Treatment

This treatment involves living off-site but attending activities at the facility 1 to 2 times per week. It is more suitable for mild cases of addiction.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment

This is a more intense form of Outpatient Treatment. It involves attending one-on-one and group meetings 3 to 4 times per week.

Individual Counseling

This type of treatment involves seeing a substance abuse counselor for one-on-one sessions to discuss the road to recovery, mental health, setbacks, and more.

Group Therapy

This type of treatment includes attending group sessions run by a substance abuse counselor or self-help groups such as 12-step programs.

Partial Hospitalization

This is a type of outpatient treatment program that is geared towards a higher level of care than standard outpatient care. This type of care involves treatment 3-5 days a week for about 4-6 hours each day but not overnight at the facility.

This information should not replace a visit to a doctor or treatment center. If you are concerned that you or a loved one might be suffering from a Xanax addiction, ask for professional help today.

Resources

If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at
(888) 744-9969 and our team at Blueprints For Recovery in Arizona will help.

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