Anxiety disorders are likely the most common mental health afflictions in the country. Approximately 40% of Americans have an anxiety disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or panic disorder. But is Xanax bad for your liver?
Doctors nationwide prescribe benzodiazepine at more than 66 million appointments each year to help ease anxiety symptoms. Benzodiazepine activates the neurotransmitters in the brain that produce calm and relaxation. It’s no surprise that benzodiazepine drugs (such as the popular Xanax) have become one of the most prescribed drugs across the country.
While benzodiazepines like Xanax have been able to help millions of people with anxiety disorders, they are also among some of the most addictive and abused substances. Abusing benzodiazepines such as Xanax has several adverse side effects.
Details On Xanax
As previously mentioned, Xanax is a favored benzodiazepine medication used to treat specific anxiety disorders such as panic and generalized anxiety disorders. Xanax can work as a sleep aid. Interestingly, Xanax is also used by treatment centers to prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms under close medical supervision.
Xanax tablets are small, oval-shaped white, peach, or blue pills. Some common slang names for Xanax include Benzos, Xannies/Zannies, Z-bars, and footballs (due to the shape).
Xanax is typically only prescribed for short-term use since it can be habit-forming. There are other medications more effective for long-term anxiety treatments. However, when used as prescribed short-term, Xanax can help those with anxiety issues by helping even out the GABA activity in the brain.
GABA, short for gammoaminobuytric acid, is a neurotransmitter that helps to block activity in the nervous system, such as anxiety. Low GABA activity and anxiety disorders are closely linked, so benzodiazepines such as Xanax work well. They help increase the brain’s GABA activity so the individual will experience calm instead of stress.
When taken as prescribed by a professional healthcare provider, those taking Xanax do not have to be too concerned about nasty side effects or worry, “Is Xanax bad for my liver?” Used short-term, Xanax is deemed safe for the liver. However, the risk of suffering liver problems increases significantly for those who abuse Xanax (or other benzodiazepines).
Effects of Xanax Abuse
People who take Xanax as prescribed do not exhibit symptoms of being under the influence. Conversely, those who do abuse benzodiazepines such as Xanax will experience symptoms typical of being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, such as:
- Slurred speech
- Detachment from surroundings
- Blurred vision
- Dozing off
With Xanax abuse, there is often more going on than what meets the eye. While the obvious effects of how Xanax affects the body is being under the influence or the “high”, however, someone who is abusing Xanax is likely battling other issues as well, such as:
- Strained interpersonal relationships
- Financial problems as a result of buying more Xanax
- Neglecting responsibilities at home, school, or work
- Anger, increased anxiety, and unpredictable mood swings
- Disorientation, no sense of direction, unsure of one’s whereabouts
- Amnesia, blackouts, no memory of large chunks of time
- Changes in hygiene (not bathing/showering, wearing sloppy clothing)
- Changes in sleep patterns (too much/too little sleep or sleeping at odd times)
- Changes in diet (overeating, too little, or bad food choices)
- Attempting to cut down or stop using Xanax but being unable to do so
- Continuing to use Xanax even if it has caused negative consequences
- Taking risks and making bad decisions that would usually be out of character
- Legal challenges as a result of driving under the influence, improper acquisition of prescription medication, or other charges related to one’s Xanax abuse
When the issues noted above become apparent, it signals that Xanax abuse has become a much bigger problem. While some of the effects of Xanax abuse may be obvious on the outside, the damage happening on the inside may not be as noticeable.
One common question often asked is whether Xanax is bad for the liver. How Xanax affects the body, particularly the liver, is a legitimate concern.
How Xanax Effects The Liver
The liver is one of the body’s most essential organs. It serves as a filter for blood, food, drink, and anything else that may get put into the body. The liver is responsible for bile production and excretion, metabolism of fats, carbs, and proteins, and activates enzymes. Without the liver, a person cannot survive.
So, is Xanax bad for the liver? The short answer to that question is yes, it can be. However, there are several factors to consider regarding whether or not Xanax will harm the liver. For example, how much Xanax is consumed, how often it is used, and if other substances are abused.
The more the liver is exposed to Xanax, the greater the chances of liver damage. Specifically, Xanax can cause damage to the nerve tissue in the liver. The damage can lead to liver inflammation which can cause jaundice, diarrhea, abdominal swelling, joint pain, and fever.
A liver that is inflamed but left untreated can quickly begin to deteriorate. Then, the onset of end-stage liver disease and liver failure can set in. Both conditions are fatal.
At this point, understanding the detox process and taking the necessary steps to get off Xanax once and for all is crucial.
Xanax Addiction Treatment in Nashville
Living with a Xanax addiction affects your health and quality of life on many levels. If you are struggling with Xanax or any other substance, we are here to help. Our compassionate, experienced teams will help you get started on the road to recovery and walk with you through every step of the detox process. At Detox Nashville, we’re dedicated to your recovery and well-being. We’ll set you up for a successful recovery and a lifetime of sobriety. We are the fresh start you’ve been dreaming of to get your life back.
It’s time to get clean and stay clean. Don’t wait any longer to begin your recovery journey. Contact us today to learn more about our programs!