How Do I Know if I’m Dependent on My Anxiety Meds?

How Do I Know if I’m Dependent on My Anxiety Meds?Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety, often in response to events such as job interviews or deadlines for projects. Normal levels of anxiety are manageable, but some people suffer from severe anxiety—which may occur in high levels or for a long period of time—so they have trouble functioning. For people with severe anxiety, it may feel impossible to fulfil normal responsibilities and obligations, especially if these patients develops generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder.

Anti-anxiety medications (including Xanax, Valium, Klonopin and Ambien) can alleviate symptoms of anxiety, but these drugs are not cures for anxiety. When used for a prolonged period of time, anti-anxiety medications may lead to addiction, so they are only prescribed for short-term use. When these drugs are prescribed, physicians and their patients should plan to discontinue usage as soon as symptoms subside. Furthermore, these medications temporarily relieve, but do not address the underlying causes of anxiety disorders, so people who take these drugs also need professional treatment to address the problems that lead to stress in the first place.

Signs of Addiction to an Anti-Anxiety Medication

If you fear that you or someone you know is addicted to an anti-anxiety medication, look out the following signs:

  • Tolerance, which is the need for higher doses to achieve the same level of relief
  • Having withdrawal symptoms between instances of use
  • Continuing to use the drug despite negative consequences
  • Prioritizing drug use above responsibilities, such as work, school and family
  • Physical and psychological cravings for the drug
  • Inability to stop using the drug, even at the advice of a doctor

If someone has three or more of the symptoms listed above, she is dependent upon an anti-anxiety medication.

What Happens in Treatment for Addiction to Anxiety Meds?

People need integrated treatment if they have an anxiety disorder while addicted to an anti-anxiety medication, because this treatment combines rehab with psychiatric care. In integrated treatment, counseling and education helps patients resolve the issues that initiated anxiety problems. Also, as patients understand the causes of their anxiety, they can explore the causes of their addiction. Treatment teaches patients healthy ways to manage both anxiety and drug abuse to enable long-term recovery.

Find Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction

If you or someone you know is dependent upon an anxiety medication, please allow us to help. Call our toll-free helpline to reach one of our admissions coordinators about quality addiction treatment. Our staff are available 24 hours a day to take your call and to connect you with the treatment options that can lead you to a full recovery. Please don’t hesitate to call us.