People who struggle with schizophrenia often end up battling substance use disorders after trying to self-medicate the complicated symptoms that they live with on a daily basis. In some cases, schizophrenia and Xanax abuse go hand-in-hand.
Xanax is a powerful benzodiazepine drug that is prescribed to treat anxiety and some seizure disorders. This drug is addictive and people may build a tolerance to it very quickly.
Early-stage schizophrenia often begins with increasing amounts of anxiety, and some people begin a dependence on Xanax and other benzodiazepines under the well-meaning prescription of a healthcare provider. In other cases, people begin using this drug on a recreational or experimental basis, but all of these paths can lead to addiction, especially when it is combined with an illness like schizophrenia.
Common Symptoms Associated With Schizophrenia
Symptoms of schizophrenia include the following:
- Auditory and/or visual hallucinations
- Disconnected or confused speech
- Unusual behavior
- Fluctuating moods
- Lack of personal care
- Slowed movements
- Diminished ability to feel pleasure or motivation
Some of these symptoms are also present when a person takes too much Xanax, especially diminished emotions, slowed movements, and mood changes. Xanax withdrawal symptoms may create sudden flares of anxiety which resemble schizophrenia, but these are usually only temporary and pass once the drug has completely left the user’s system.
Why Schizophrenic Individuals May Abuse Xanax
Individuals who suffer from schizophrenia sometimes abuse Xanax, as they hope it can provide some reprieve from their persistent mental distress. The problem with using Xanax for such purposes is that its effects diminish over time.
Addiction to Xanax may produce unpleasant effects in the user’s body and mind such as the following:
- Changes in blood pressure and heart function
- Respiratory depression
- Ear ringing
- Dry mouth
- Attention deficit issues
- Insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping too much)
Stabilization and recovery for schizophrenia and a co-occurring Xanax addiction will work better with specialized, evidence-based integrated treatment. In a quality rehab program, your treatment team will work together to help you detox from benzodiazepines and other drugs in a safe, comfortable environment.
Medication assistance and stabilization, nutrition therapy, group therapy, emotional counseling, family sessions, physical training, and medically supervised detoxification are all components of the recovery process. A better life is possible.
Xanax Addiction Recovery Services
It is possible to overcome Xanax dependence while stabilizing symptoms of schizophrenia, and when it comes to treatment, you and your family have a number of options. We can connect you to a number of treatment programs to fit your goals, your budget, and your family. We can even help you find an experienced interventionist if you want to help someone you love. Contact us at 844-675-1221 to learn more today.
David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.
Reviewed by: Kim Chin and Marian Newton