11 Little-Known Side Effects Of Occasionally Taking Anxiety Medication

If you have anxiety, there’s a chance you’ve taken a medication like Xanax or Klonopin at some point, in order to better manage your symptoms. And that’s fine. These drugs, which are classified as benzodiazepines, can help relieve symptoms of anxiety by suppressing your nervous system, so that you can calm down and go about your day.

It is important to keep in mind, though, that Xanax and other drugs have side effects— even if you just take them occasionally. The thing is, many people get a prescription and keep a bottle in their pocket for moments when they feel too anxious. But even if you just take a pill “every now and again,” you can still experience side effects. And, in many cases, it’s all too easy to become carried away, take too many, and even become dependent on the drug over time.

If you’re going to take drugs like Xanax, it’s important to do so carefully and mindfully — and supplement your anxiety treatment with other things like therapy, healthy amounts of exercise, and plenty of sleep. “The best way to use these medications is definitely under the supervision of your doctor, and being honest with all of your doctors about your prescriptions,” Erin Parisi, LMHC, CAP, a licensed mental health counselor and certified addictions professional, tells Bustle. That way, they can plan ahead and make sure you aren’t mixing things that shouldn’t be mixed.  more

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Teen Xanax abuse is surging

Teen drug use during the summer often goes unnoticed. It’s when school starts and students nod off in class, exchange pills in the hallways and fail tests that the truth becomes apparent.

This school year, addiction specialists say they’re expecting an onslaught of teens addicted to Xanax and other sedatives in a class of anti-anxiety drugs known as benzodiazepines, or “benzos.” Many teens view Xanax as a safer and more plentiful alternative to prescription opioids and heroin — with similar euphoric effects.

But addiction experts warn that the pills kids are taking, often found in their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets, can be just as deadly as opioids, especially when taken in combination with other drugs or alcohol. And it’s much harder to kick the habit.  more

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‘Benzo Crisis’ Keeps Not Happening

The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry has found that the misuse and abuse of benzodiazepine is relatively rare, even though the drug is sometimes hyped as the next overdose crisis in healthcare.
Benzodiazepines – often called “benzos” — are a class of sedative that includes Valium and Xanax. The medications are usually prescribed to treat anxiety and insomnia.

Data on over 100,000 adults in the 2015-16 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health was analyzed by researchers, who found that benzodiazepines were used by 12.5% of American adults. Of those, about 17% “misused” the drug at least once, but only 2% had what was diagnosed as a benzodiazepine use disorder.

The study found several risk factors for benzo misuse, including younger age, male gender, lower levels of education, lack of health insurance or employment, and lower income levels — factors often associated with other substance use disorders.  more

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Korn’s Jonathan Davis On Xanax Addiction: ‘Benzos Are The Devil’

Just a fee months ago, Jonathan Davis released his debut full-length solo album, Black Labyrinth. Since the nineties, Davis has fronted Korn, a band whose raw aggression popularized heavy music as the world broke into the new millennium. 

The work draws influence and imagery from the Ganzfeld Experiment, a parapsychology phenomenon that Davis is quite fond of. Fundamentally, it’s a simple form of sensory deprivation.The participant enters isolation in a room with red light, covers his or her eyes, and listens to white-noise

Davis has battled his demons in many ways. After giving up recreational drugs and alcohol almost 20 years ago, he’s continued to struggle with chronic and debilitating anxiety and depression — and consequently a reliance on prescription drugs.

I’ve dealt with anxiety for a long-ass time. I got prescribed Xanax, benzodiazepine, a long time ago. Benzos are the f***ing devil. They’re horrible drugs. They feel good at the moment and are a quick fix to get you out of a panic attack, but they’re not designed to be taken long-term — especially Xanax. I started taking it for anxiety. I’d take a piece in the morning and a piece at night, then go to bed. You start to build up a resistance. Two years later and I was trying to kick it. The song is about me dealing with common regrets, that I need this pill to be happy or stay sane. Anxiety is debilitating. I don’t wish it on my worst enemy. You can’t even function. After I did that song was the first time I kicked it. It was my first of three times. It was very intense.  more

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What Really Happens When You Drink While on Psych Meds?

When people combine stimulants with alcohol, Karpyak says, the rush of energy and seeming invincibility leads them to consume significant amounts of alcohol—much larger than they’re used to or normally capable of, which leads to “miscalculations.” But of greater concern than alcohol and stimulants is actually alcohol and sedatives, or a combination of sedatives with each other.

You’ve probably heard that combining alcohol and Ambien can make you act weird—loopy, irrational, generally embarrassing—because people are always getting kicked off airplanes after trying too hard to relax. (Occasionally a nun will consume a glass of altar wine and then try to fall asleep before waking up in a different state with no recollection of how she got there or how she managed to crash a car into a building.) Benzodiazepines, the popular class of medication for anxiety, are also frequently prescribed for insomnia. These include Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, and, of course, America’s long-standing psychiatric favorite, Xanax.   more

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