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  • Alprazolam (Xanax): what you need to know

    Let’s talk about Xanax characteristics, its interaction with various psychoactive substances and other important things.

    Alprazolam is a tranquilizer drug from the group of benzodiazepine derivatives (triazolobenzodiazepine). According to the pharmacological classification, it is an anxiolytic (related to anxiety). The main area of its use is a treatment of anxiety, including conditions caused by depression, neurosis, panic disorders and phobias. Xanax is also used as a sedative, anticonvulsant, hypnotic medication.

    Alprazolam was synthesized in the 1960s and approved in 1981 by FDA (Food and Drug Administration, USA). Xanax is the name of the most popular brand which distributes this drug; so many people just call Alprazolam by the name Xanax.

    The medication is widely distributed in the United States.

    WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE AND WHAT IT IS

    Alprazolam is available in tablets of 0.25, 0.5, 1 or 2 mg, gelatin capsules of 0.5, 1, 2 or 3 g or as a 0.1% solution for oral consumption.

    For recreational purposes it’s also taken orally. Alprazolam is very quickly absorbed and distributed in the body. The bioavailability of the drug is 90%. The first effects are felt in 5-10 minutes; the maximum concentration in the blood is fixed in 1-2 hours, the effects last up to 6 hours.

    The half-life is 12-15 hours. With repeated use and until complete excretion Alprazolam may accumulate in the body. It’s important to understand in this context that with a significant accumulation of the substance in the body, an overdose is possible.

    DOSAGE AND EFFECTS

    WARNING! Such factors as individual perception, body weight, metabolism, psychological state are always important to consider when using psychoactive substances! Start with a small dose, especially if you are an inexperienced user.

    • Light dose: 0.25-0.5 mg
    • Common dose: 0.5-1.5 mg
    • Strong dose: 1.5-2 mg

    People who use Xanax for recreational purposes do so because of its calming and relaxing effect. The main interest of these users is not euphoria or influx of energy, but relaxation.

    The higher dose leads to stronger effects. Taking a common dose can cause several hours of deep sleep. Taking large doses is dangerous because of possible memory loss and even loss of consciousness. Overdose (taking a very large dose) can cause respiratory arrest, in the worst case - death.

    In general, alprazolam is characterized by the following effects:

    • sedative effect
    • reduced anxiety
    • muscle relaxation
    • memory problems, amnesia
    • impaired muscle coordination (ataxia)
    • impaired motor skills
    • hiccups
    • disruption of the perception of time
    • possible nausea, vomiting, dry mouth or salivation
    • possible decrease in blood pressure

    Possible negative side effects with long-term use:

    • decreased or increased appetite
    • increased fatigue, general weakness, drowsiness
    • anxiety or slowing down
    • decreased concentration
    • inhibition of mental and motor reactions
    • memory impairment
    • headaches, dizziness
    • mood swings, irritability, aggression, depression
    • possible tremor
    • possible visual disturbances, uncontrolled eye movements

    Xanax is addictive, both physiologically and psychologically. People with increased risk lof addiction are those who are emotionally unstable, depressed, with other mental health problems. So if you have such troubles, it’s better not to experiment with this drug.

    Withdrawal syndrome is severe. Symptoms appear a few (2-7) days after the last dose, and can last up to 8 weeks. Signs of dependence are:

    • sleep problems and insomnia
    • constant anxiety and worry, nervousness
    • aggression
    • problems with concentration
    • panic attacks
    • depression

    If you notice such signs, immediately stop taking the drug. If necessary, consult a doctor. Free anonymous consultation is via the link: https://drugstore.org.ua/consultants

    MIXING WITH OTHER PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES

    Mixing psychoactive substances is always more dangerous than using only one substance!

    Xanax is a depressant. Never mix it with other depressants, neither with psychoactive substances, nor with medicine!

    Xanax + alcohol: highly dangerous mix!

    Both alcohol and Xanax are depressants, but they work through slightly different mechanisms. Xanax works on a receptor called the benzodiazepine-GABA binding site that inhibits activity in the nervous system, which is why it so effectively decreases anxiety. Alcohol inhibits excitation processes and blocks NMDA receptors in the brain, causing depression of the central nervous system and altering the excitability of nerve cells, leading to euphoria and loss of inhibition.

    Both substances affect the same GABA receptor. But by mixing these substances you can get not relaxation, but disorientation in space and time. Some people have bouts of anger and irritability.

    In addition, alcohol reduces the activity of liver enzymes that break down alprazolam, so the substance accumulates in the body and increases its length of stay. Xanax, in turn, affects the liver's ability to break down alcohol, so taking them at the same time is like taking very high doses of each substance.

    Oral contraceptives also interfere with Xanax metabolism, so the effects of alcohol with Xanax may be increased if you take birthcontrol pills.

    • After taking Xanax, you shouldn’t drink alcohol for at least 12 hours.
    • After drinking alcohol, wait at least 8 hours to take Xanax.

    Xanax + GHB/GBL: highly dangerous mix!

    Substances enhance each other's effects; there’s a high risk that the person will vomit and lose consciousness. There is a serious danger of suffocation from vomit, if you do not put the person in the correct position (turn him or her to the side; under the back you can put a pillow or clothes to avoid suffocation).

    Xanax + opioids: dangerous mix!

    Substances enhance each other's effects; the effects are unpredictable. The substances suppress the activity of the central nervous system and respiratory functions. There is also a high risk of loss of consciousness and vomiting in an unconscious state. Memory loss is possible.

    Xanax + ketamine, MXE: substances enhance each other's effects. As with the substances mentioned above, there is a serious danger of suffocation from vomit, if you do not put the person in the correct position (turn him or her to the side; under the back you can put a pillow or clothes to avoid suffocation).

    Never use Alprazolam with other anxiolytics. With combined consumption of antipsychotic (neuroleptic), antiepileptic and hypnotic drugs, there is a mutual strengthening of effects.

    REDUCING RISKS

    1. Do not mix Xanax with other depressants (alcohol, GHB/GBL, opioids, benzodiazepines, tramadol, sleeping pills).

    2. Never use Xanax while driving or in another situation requiring concentration and attention!

    3. Start with a small dose, especially if you are a beginner.

    4. Be especially careful if you take oral contraceptives. They slow down the metabolism of Xanax, when mixing Xanax, alcohol and contraceptive pills the effects may be enhanced.

    5. Some fruit juices (grapefruit, orange, pomelo) slow down the digestion of Xanax because they need liver enzymes to process compounds called furanocoumarins. The situation is further complicated with the addition of alcohol. Therefore, such combinations should be avoided.

    6. Do not use Xanax constantly, as it may lead to increased tolerance. The first sign of tolerance is that the sedative effects start later and pass faster. If you notice such symptoms, stop taking the drug for at least 2-4 weeks, depending on the severity of symptoms.

    7. People with such problems as emotional instability and depression should avoid taking Xanax.

    8. Research information about the effects of the substance and possible unpleasant consequences. Remember about all the factors that may affect the experience: dose, exposure to other substances, general health state (both physical and psychological).

    HELP IN CASE OF AN OVERDOSE

    @OverdoseHelpBot is available on Telegram. There you can find information about what an overdose by various substances looks like and how to provide first aid to a person in such a situation.

    The main symptoms of Xanax overdose (one or few of the following):

    • severe dizziness
    • drowsiness, up to loss of consciousness
    • confusion of consciousness
    • memory impairment or loss
    • breathing problems
    • difficulty speaking
    • problems with control of body movements
    • muscle cramps
    • rapid heart rate
    • vision problems

    In case of Xanax overdose, a fatal outcome is possible as a result of respiratory failure!

    Don’t be afraid to call an ambulance – somebody’s life may depend on it. If, for some reason, you are very afraid to call an ambulance, call the parents or relatives of the overdosed person.

    You can call a free ambulance via the phone numbers 103 or 112.

    There is no criminal liability for calling an ambulance in case of an overdose. Contrary to popular belief, ambulance doctors are not required to report to the police about the cases of drug use. Police is called only if the ambulance crew has witnessed a criminal offense involving drug use.

    Before the ambulance arrives:

    • Free the injured person’s neck and chest from tight clothing.
    • Talk to the person: be in contact with him or her, ask questions in a loud voice, keep him or her conscious.
    • In case of consciousness loss, check if there is a pulse in the neck and breathing (put your hand on the chest). Watch for breathing and heart rate; be ready to provide first aid if they stop.
    • If there is a pulse and breathing, loudly call the person by name, shake his or her shoulders, pinch, twist the lobe of the person’s ear.
    • In case of breathing stop and/or pulse stop, star cardiopulmonary resuscitation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wrdcnuBTBw
    • If vomiting begins, turn the person to the side, under the back you can put a pillow or clothes to avoid suffocation by vomit.

    When the ambulance arrives, tell the doctors what the person has used or could have used. This will help more accurately provide special medical care.

    REFERENCES

    https://knowdrugs.app/substances/ketamine

    https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-k-hole-21861

    https://bit.ly/3wstqvJ

    #xanax #alprazolam

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    IULA PAN
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