As the holidays have come to a close and the new year begun, many people are finally easing back into the routine of their daily lives. Oftentimes the holidays are filled with work parties, family parties, frantically running around to different stores collecting presents, cooking, cleaning and traveling. Experiencing varying levels of anxiety is normal, however some people rely heavily on prescription drugs to ease some of this anxiety. The danger of doing this is that anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax and Klonopin can also be very addictive.
In addition to the potential of abuse, there are other side effects of the drugs to watch out for. Even though the holidays are over, there are many people who now are doing a lot of traveling for work again and still find themselves in stressful situations.
“Travel and holiday stress have a lot to do with expectations. So keeping your expectations realistic is important. It is ok to say no to people when you think you have taken on too much to make sure you don’t go crazy trying to make sure all the decorations are perfect or all the presents you bought are perfect, that everything in your home looks perfect. It is really a time to slow everything down and try to remember that most people don’t really care about that stuff,” explained John Tsilimparis, MFT.
Experts also warn that people who rely on anxiety medication like Xanax may be using too much and once the holidays are over they develop a tendency to keep taking more often, resulting in a dependency. Addiction to these types of drugs, called benzodiazepinnes, oftentimes requires severe medical intervention because the medication is so harmful to the body, especially when there is an abrupt cessation of the drug. People going through benzo withdrawal can experience hallucinations, insomnia, extreme anxiety, cravings, mood swings and seizures.
Those who take benzodiazepines to travel may accidently take too much and suffer from lapse in consciousness and/or judgment, experts warn. The drugs have the potential to cause people to act in ways that they never would otherwise, and any type of behavior or mood swings while traveling can be dangerous for the individual as well as others around them.
These drugs should be reserved for people who have more severe problems, and many advocates recommend other ways to reduce stress from things such as the holidays, travel, work and family obligations. These can include practicing mindfulness techniques, breathing exercises, meditation and other calming activities.
If you have a loved one who is in need of help for abusing anti-anxiety medications or any other types of drugs, contact us today to find out more about successful treatment options.