As mothers, we face endless challenges every day. From juggling multiple kids and managing a household to maintaining our own mental health, the demands on us can be overwhelming. It's no wonder that many women turn to prescription medications to help them cope. One such medication is Xanax, a potent and addictive drug that has become all too prevalent in our society.
Xanax is a benzodiazepine medication that is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders. While it can be an effective treatment for those conditions, Xanax also has a dark side. It is highly addictive and can lead to physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and even overdose.
'MOTHER'S LITTLE HELPER'
One of the most concerning aspects of Xanax use is how it has been marketed to women over the years. In the 70s and 80s, Xanax was commonly referred to as the "housewife drug." Women were encouraged to take Xanax to help them deal with the stresses of homemaking and childcare. This marketing campaign had lasting effects on society, leading to a widespread belief that taking medication to cope with daily life was acceptable and even necessary.
Prescription drug addiction is a topic that hits close to home for me. My own mother struggled with addiction to prescription drugs for most of my life. She was prescribed antidepressants and Xanax in the early 70s, around the time I was born. Although she has been clean a couple of times, she continues to use prescription drugs to this day, which has sadly ended our relationship. It's heartbreaking to see the devastating impact addiction can have on a loved one and their relationships.
I recently watched the Netflix documentary 'TAKE YOUR PILLS-XANAX' and it sadly made me one not feel so alone any longer but two realize just how bad the addiction to this drug really is for our loved ones.
How to Spot the Signs of Xanax Addiction in Yourself or a Loved One
If you or someone you know is taking Xanax, it's important to be aware of the signs of addiction. These can include:
- Drowsiness or confusion
- Slurred speech
- Lack of coordination
- Mood swings or irritability
- Memory problems
- Neglecting responsibilities or hobbies
- Continuing to use Xanax despite negative consequences
If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, it's important to seek help. Addiction is a treatable illness, but it requires professional treatment and support.
As mothers, we all have moments when we feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. But it's crucial that we approach our mental health in a responsible and safe way. While Xanax can be an effective medication for treating anxiety and panic disorders, it's important to remember that it is highly addictive and should only be taken under the guidance of a medical professional.
Long-term use of Xanax can have several potential dangers, including:
- Physical dependence: When used over a long period, the body can become dependent on Xanax. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms if the drug is stopped abruptly, including tremors, seizures, and even hallucinations.
- Cognitive impairment: Long-term use of Xanax has been linked to memory problems, confusion, and difficulty concentrating.
- Increased risk of accidents: Because Xanax can cause drowsiness and impaired motor coordination, long-term use can increase the risk of accidents and falls.
- Overdose: Taking high doses of Xanax or using it with other medications or alcohol can increase the risk of overdose, which can be life-threatening.
- Worsening mental health: While Xanax can be effective in treating anxiety and panic disorders in the short term, long-term use can actually worsen symptoms and lead to the development of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.
Resources for Getting Help and Support
If you're struggling with Xanax addiction, or if you know someone who is, there are resources available to help. These can include:
- SAMHSA National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Locator: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): https://www.nami.org/About-NAMI
Remember that addiction is a disease, and it requires professional treatment and support to overcome. There are many resources available, including therapy, support groups, and medication-assisted treatment, that can help you or a loved one recover from addiction.
Sadly, we were not able to get our mother to seek the right type of help, and her addiction to prescription drugs has continued to impact our family. But I urge you to keep fighting for your loved ones and raising awareness about the dangers of Xanax and other overly prescribed drugs.
If you need help or have questions about Xanax addiction or treatment options, please reach out to a healthcare professional, addiction specialist, or support group in your area. Together, we can work towards a healthier future for all moms.
As someone who has seen the impact of addiction firsthand, I want to emphasize how important it is to seek help and support for yourself or a loved one who may be struggling. It's never too late to start on the path towards recovery, and I encourage anyone who is dealing with addiction to take that first step towards a better life.