Is Xanax an Opioid?

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Answer: Xanax is not an opioid. Xanax and opioids belong to different drug classes and have distinct effects on the body.

What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines (benzos) are a class of psychoactive drugs that are commonly indicated for their anti-anxiety, sedative, and hypnotic properties. They are prescribed to treat various medical conditions, including anxiety disorders, panic disorders, insomnia, seizures, and muscle spasms.

Benzodiazepines work by enhancing the effects of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), an inhibitory neurotransmitter or chemical messenger in the brain. By increasing GABA activity, benzodiazepines help to reduce the overall activity of certain brain regions, resulting in a calming and sedating effect. This can alleviate symptoms of anxiety, promote relaxation, induce sleep, and reduce seizure activity.

Frequently prescribed benzos include Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), and Klonopin (clonazepam). These medications are typically intended for short-term use due to the potential for tolerance, physical dependence, and withdrawal symptoms associated with long-term or excessive use.

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What are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of drugs that are primarily used for pain management. Opioids act on mu-opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the body to reduce the perception of pain. 

Opioids can be naturally derived from the opium poppy plant (opiates like morphine, codeine, and heroin), semi-synthetic (prescription painkillers like hydrocodone and oxycodone), or fully synthetic (man-made drugs like fentanyl and methadone).

In addition to their pain-relieving properties, opioids can induce feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and sedation, which can make them highly addictive and prone to misuse. Due to their potential for abuse and addiction, opioids are classified as Schedule II controlled substances and are strictly regulated.

Note: Opioids and benzodiazepines have different mechanisms of action and effects on the body. While opioids primarily target pain relief, benzodiazepines like Xanax focus on reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. As such, it is imperative to use Xanax and opioids under proper medical supervision and adhere to prescribed dosages to minimize the risk of adverse effects and dependency. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance regarding medication use.

Xanax FAQs  

Is Xanax a narcotic?

No, Xanax is not classified as a narcotic (opioid). It is a prescription medication that belongs to the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines.

Is Xanax a benzodiazepine?

Yes, Xanax is a benzodiazepine medication. It is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders.

What is Xanax classified as?

Xanax is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance in the United States. It is recognized for its potential for abuse and dependence. The medication is only available with a Xanax prescription.

Is Xanax a depressant?

Yes, Xanax is classified as a CNS depressant. It acts on the central nervous system to reduce anxiety, induce relaxation, and produce sedative effects.

Is Xanax a painkiller?

No, Xanax is not primarily used as a painkiller. It is mainly prescribed for its anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties and is not typically used to alleviate pain.

Is Xanax a sedative?

Yes, Xanax is considered a sedative. It works by enhancing the activity of a neurotransmitter in the brain called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which has a calming and sedative effect.

What type of drug is Xanax?

Xanax is a prescription medication that falls under the category of benzodiazepines. It is used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks by affecting the chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in individuals with these conditions.

Xanax Withdrawal and Addiction

While Xanax can be an effective treatment for anxiety and other conditions when used as prescribed, it also carries the risk of withdrawal and addiction if misused in the form of illicit Xan pills or taken for an extended period.

Xanax addiction occurs when an individual becomes physically and psychologically dependent on the drug. Prolonged use of Xanax can trigger the development of tolerance, meaning that higher doses are needed to achieve the desired effects. This can increase the risk of dependence and addiction.

When someone who is physically dependent on Xanax abruptly stops taking the medication or significantly reduces their dosage, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Xanax withdrawal can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous if not managed properly.

Common symptoms of Xanax withdrawal include anxiety, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, sweating, tremors, muscle aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, and seizures in severe cases. The severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on factors such as the dosage, duration of use, and individual physiology.

To minimize the risk of Xanax withdrawal, follow the prescribed dosage and duration of treatment recommended by a healthcare professional. Gradual tapering under medical supervision is often necessary to safely discontinue Xanax and manage withdrawal symptoms effectively.

If you or someone you know is struggling with Xanax addiction or experiencing withdrawal symptoms, it is essential to seek professional help. A healthcare provider or addiction specialist can provide guidance and support through the detoxification process and help develop a comprehensive treatment plan for long-term recovery.

Addiction is a treatable condition, and with the right support and interventions, individuals can overcome Xanax addiction and regain control of their lives.

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Get Treatment for Xanax Addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers

At Ohio Recovery Centers, we specialize in the outpatient treatment of drug addictions. Research indicates that mild or moderate Xanax addictions respond just as well to intensive outpatient treatment as inpatient rehab. Outpatient treatment is also more affordable and flexible without impacting the quality of care you receive. Choose from these Xanax addiction treatment programs at our Cincinnati rehab:

All Ohio Recovery Centers treatment programs utilize a combination of medications, behavioral therapies, and holistic interventions for a science-based approach to Xanax addiction recovery. All treatment programs include a robust aftercare component. Contact admissions today by calling 877-679-2132 for immediate assistance.

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn