Why Club Drugs Are Dangerous

Substance abuse and the proliferation of club drugs are an epidemic among all age groups; adolescents, teens, adults, and even the older generations are struggling with addiction at higher rates than before.

Among the many reasons for this are the social factors related to the underground culture of recreational drug users. Genetic factors also make some individuals especially susceptible to alcohol and drug addiction.

What’s more, nobody begins experimenting with mind-altering substances with the intent of becoming addicted. Rather, the addiction occurs as the individual loses control of his or her substance abuse habit, requiring more of the substance of choice more frequently until he or she develops a physical and emotional dependency.

By the time they realize they are no longer in control of their recreational substance abuse, it’s too late for them to simply stop using.

Many avenues lead to addiction. The slippery slope toward developing an alcohol use disorder or addiction is especially worrisome among contemporary youths for many reasons.

For one thing, many adolescents and teens will partake in whatever activities that are considered trendy or fashionable among members of their social group. This is why it’s more common for teens and young adults to use substances in groups rather than on a solitary basis.

Additionally, many teens seem to be intrigued by contemporary drug culture in which individuals combine recreational drug abuse and intoxication with a social experience. This can take the form of parties where adolescents, teens, and young adults drink to excess and participate in the consumption of drugs like marijuana and cocaine.

However, these days, it’s increasingly popular for young people to abuse particular substances while attending wild parties, clubs, dance bars, raves, and the like. This is a dangerous trend because recreational substance abuse is encouraged and almost expected among youths.

They’re often exposed to and combine a variety of substances at a single event that produces adverse and life-threatening reactions, and many of the drugs that circulate at these events—often casually and loosely referred to as “club drugs”—impair users to such a degree as to make them susceptible to being raped, mugged, abducted, or killed.

As such, it’s crucial to increase public awareness about these so-called club drugs if we’re to encourage today’s younger generations to abstain from participating in this very dark aspect of the drug culture.

What Are Club Drugs?

In short, club drugs are mind-altering substances that are commonly and popularly used at night clubs, bars, raves, festivals, parties, and other such events. Unlike “opiates,” which are defined as the drugs derived from the opium poppy,club drugs are considered to be categorized by convenience as many of the substances considered to be club drugs are very different.

Today, the most common club drugs include ecstasy (Molly) and other popular phenethylamines, inhalants such as nitrous oxide (“poppers”), stimulants such as cocaine and crystal meth, hallucinogens like psilocybin mushrooms (“magic shrooms”), and more.

As you can see, there is quite a bit of variation among the substances considered club drugs, which are often combined in a variety of ways to heighten or achieve different effects.

Club drugs are typically consumed for the purpose of enhancing the user’s experience of these particular events, which has been a common practice as far back as the 1970s when patrons of the clubs and discothèques would consume cocaine, quaaludes, and amyl nitrate in combination with alcohol. 

During the 1980s, club drugs flourished as an aspect of club culture. They were a common part of the experience of attending raves, parties, and night clubs. Depending on the drug or combination of drugs consumed, users would experience either an increase in energy that would allow them to dance longer, decreased inhibition, and a variety of other sensory effects related to how individuals perceived the loud music and lights at these events.

Most people are familiar with drugs like ecstasy, cocaine, and hallucinogens like LSD. These drugs have been popular among those who participate in the club culture for some years now. However, some of the other drugs might be less familiar to many and could pose an even greater risk. GHB and Rohypnol have become incredibly popular as club drugs despite the high risk involved with their use.

They amplify the effects of alcohol and other drugs, making an individual feel much more intoxicated than they would be.

However, both of these substances are sedatives and are known to prevent individuals from remembering events that occurred while under the influence.

Worst of all, they tend to be odorless, colorless, and tasteless, making them commonly used by perpetrators of sexual assaults. Ketamine—more commonly known by the name Special K—is a powerful anesthetic used in veterinary medicine and, when snorted or injected intramuscularly, causes dissociative effects much like those of the drug PCP.

Users who abuse ketamine typically enjoy the bizarre visual and auditory distortions it causes while inducing a dream-like, delirious state.

Why Club Drugs Are Incredibly Dangerous

There are many reasons why club drugs are incredibly dangerous. Being most popular among adolescents, teens, and young adults, and in the LGBTQ+ scene, club drugs are typically consumed in layers with users often consuming multiple different drugs at a single event. As such, the drugs can often cause conflicting effects that can be very dangerous for users.

What’s more, in the event that an individual was to overdose while in a club or rave, it’s possible that the situation could go unnoticed by others in attendance since most others are under the influence of drugs as well,  and oblivious to what’s happening around them. It’s also common for individuals to provide or be given club drugs while they’re at a particular event.

The chaos these kinds of events incur make it almost impossible to determine what club drug has been given. It’s also dangerous to dose in such circumstances as it’s difficult to determine exactly how much an individual is consuming in a given dose which can make it very easy to overdose.

If you or someone you love is addicted to club drugs or has become physically dependent on any substance of abuse, Pathway to Hope can help people find relief from physical dependency. Our caring recovery specialists are available to help those in need find the right program to rehabilitate and become healthy, sober, and fulfilled once again.

 

Tips to Stay Sober Through New Year’s and Beyond

Developing an addiction to alcohol or drugs is easy. It’s getting sober again that’s the hard part. Although there are countless resources available, part of the complex nature of addiction is that recovery requires so many different components, and even after receiving treatment it takes ongoing conviction to stay sober. However, it’s not actually as bleak or hopeless as it may sound.

Like any new lifestyle or habit, it simply takes time to adjust and become reacquainted with oneself while free from alcohol and drugs as well as strategies in place to safeguard one’s sobriety during those occasional times when it may be tested.

Sober Holiday Celebrations Are Achievable

Most people associate the holidays with indulgence and jovial celebrations. While it can still be that way for those in recovery, it also goes without saying that it’s a much different type of indulgence and celebration when you’ve had an addiction and gotten your sobriety back through the hard-won journey of recovery.

Therefore, it’s important for anyone in recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction to know what to do when holiday festivities put them in tempting situations. Staying sober through New Year’s requires thought and planning. Here are tips for enjoying an alcohol- and drug-free holiday season.

1. Limit Time Spent with Non-Sober Friends

Anyone who has gone through the recovery process can verify that there are many people who are supportive of newfound sobriety and, inevitably, some who don’t understand it. Those who don’t understand tend to have the least experience with addiction, which means they can’t fathom how a person could be unable to control his or her alcohol consumption or drug use.

This can be frustrating, but there’s not much to do in such a situation except to avoid time spent with those who aren’t understanding of your being in recovery. It doesn’t mean you can’t spend plenty of time with them, but it’s obviously going to be best to gracefully bow out of accompanying them to any events that involve more than one kind of Christmas spirit.

2. Arrive Early, Leave Early

If you’ve ever been a college student or enthusiastic substance abuser, you’ll know that whether you’re hitting the bars or going to parties, it tends to be that things get increasingly more exciting as the evening matures. The main reason for this is quite simple: when it gets to be later, it means that everyone is already pretty inebriated because they have been imbibing for a while already.

If your intent is to protect your sobriety, it’s a good idea to plan to arrive early and leave before the drinking or drug use commences. You might miss all the “excitement,” but it’s also likely to be the kind of excitement that requires a near-comatose level of intoxication to enjoy.

3. Be Prepared to Make a Quick Exit if Necessary

Try as we might, there’s just no possible way to be prepared for every possible outcome in every given situation. It’s inevitable in life that we’re going to find ourselves in situations we would never have expected, and this applies as much to people in addiction recovery as anyone else; perhaps even more so.

You may think you’ve strategically planned your holiday festivities in such a way as to prevent yourself from encountering any sticky situations, but you should always have an exit strategy for the remote chance that you would come face to face, so to speak, with the substance to which you were previously addicted. So do yourself a favor and, especially when you’re attending holiday gatherings, be prepared to make a swift exit if it comes to that. As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

4. Create New, Sober-Friendly Traditions

While it’s good to have an exit strategy and to plan to attend holiday festivities before the booze is brought out, there’s also the possibility of ruling out the possibility of unexpected temptation altogether by hosting your own holiday event or events. There are seemingly limitless possibilities as to what your event might entail. For instance, you could invite friends over for a night of baking ten different types of cookies or have an open ice cream bar for everyone to make their own sundaes, or have the family come over to help you decorate your tree. Who knows? You might even start a new, sober tradition.

5. Drive Separately

Here’s a tip that you may not think about, but it’s extremely helpful. Driving separately rather than riding with others will mean that you could very well get stuck in a place where, for sobriety’s sake, you really shouldn’t be. Instead of being at the mercy of someone else’s schedule, you can choose to leave any time you please, which could even be the difference between saving your sobriety and having a relapse.

6. Say “No, Thank You”

If you’re someone of an extremely strong will, who has absolutely no problem resisting the temptation that comes with being offered the substance of your previous addiction, saying, “No, thank you,” is another potential solution. Granted, even with an ironclad will it’s still a gamble, but it’s a good one to keep in your back pocket just in case.

7. BYOA (Bring Your Own Alternatives)

Mixed drinks. They’re incredibly popular and bring an insane amount of variety to alcohol consumption. Some are simple, containing only a couple ingredients and perhaps a garnish while others have more than a handful of different liquors in very specific ratios.

If you’re someone who’s in recovery and can’t drink alcohol, there’s actually a way for you to enjoy the same mixed drinks as everyone else: Simply bring your own alternatives or B.Y.O.A. Obviously, these alternatives are non-alcoholic such as tonic water, club soda, or even something like Sprite.

While this strategy will allow you to continue participating, it’s obviously a bit more difficult at events where the other partygoers are drinking significantly more than a cocktail or two.

8. Donate Your Party Time by Volunteering

Here’s another option that’s infrequently considered: Ditch the booze-laden holiday festivities altogether and do something selfless such as volunteering. There are always many opportunities for volunteering, especially around the holidays. Whether it’s at a soup kitchen, wrapping gifts for Toys for Tots, or organizing a food drive, the feeling of helping others in need is a high in and of itself.

9. Plan Ahead

Executing most of the tips to stay sober through New Year’s and the rest of the year will require varying levels of foresight, so that makes planning ahead important by default. For instance, you can’t bring your own alternatives if you didn’t plan ahead by picking up some club soda to take to your company’s Christmas party. Planning is an essential part of recovery and is essential to retain your sobriety throughout the holidays.

10. Hit Some Extra Meetings

Last but certainly not least, attending some extra meetings as you head into the holiday season is always a great idea. In fact, this is a great idea year-round, but it’s especially beneficial in times when you feel your hold on sobriety is especially tenuous, including during any times of stress, worry, and during the holidays. Be sure to get some rest.

Call Us and Start Your Journey to Sobriety Today

If you or someone you love would benefit from a free consultation with one of our recovery specialists, call Pathway to Hope at 844-311-5781. Whether it’s day or night, we’re always available to help you or your loved one get back to a life of happiness, health, and fulfillment.

 

Why Synthetic Heroin Is More Deadly Than Heroin

We all take our chances when we use any drug—legal or illegal, over-the-counter, or prescription. But one of the real risks of taking street drugs is not knowing exactly what you’re getting or how powerful it is. It is not always known how pure the street substance is or isn’t. And that’s definitely the case with synthetic heroin.

What Is Synthetic Heroin?

Synthetic heroin can be several things, but none of it is real heroin, the illegal opiate drug made from morphine that is taken from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Synthetic heroin is a man-made opioid drug. It contains no opium, which is one way it differs from real heroin. So, in other words, real heroin, which comes from a plant, is replaced by man-made analogs that are more addictive, deadly, and harder to track down.

The term synthetic heroin could refer to a combination of natural heroin that’s been mixed with fentanyl, an opioid that is similar to morphine but 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. When fentanyl is prescribed to relieve pain in safe dosages, it can be effective. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 700-plus fentanyl-related overdoses that occurred between 2013 and 2015 is mostly linked to fentanyl that was not produced by a pharmaceutical company.

Synthetic heroin also can refer to a substance that is mislabeled as “heroin” but is entirely made up of nothing but fentanyl, or the animal sedative carfentanil, a derivative of fentanyl. The list of opioids that also could fall under the synthetic heroin label include:

  • Hydromorphone (brand name Dilaudid)
  • Methadone
  • Tramadol
  • Pethidine

Fentanyl-Laced Drugs Cause Spikes in Overdose Deaths

According to the DEA’s 2016 report on the heroin threat in the United States, several states started to report spikes in overdose deaths due to fentanyl and its analog acetyl-fentanyl in late 2013. It writes in the report, “Fentanyl is much stronger than heroin and can cause even experienced users to overdose. Between 2013 and 2014, there was a 79 percent increase in deaths related to synthetic opioids, the category under which fentanyl falls. There were 5,544 synthetic-opioid-related deaths in 2014, and the true number is most likely higher because of non-standardized reporting and because many coroners’ offices and state crime laboratories initially did not test for fentanyl or its analogs unless given a specific reason to do so.”

Why Do People Use Synthetic Drugs?

As dangerous as they are, there are several reasons why synthetic drug use is popular. The most common one is that people seek these potent substances because they’re potent and the highs last longer. According to JustThinkTwice.gov, more than 200 synthetic drug compounds have been identified. Many of them are made abroad in other countries and then smuggled inside the United States. The site lists anxiety, aggressive behavior, paranoia, seizures, loss of consciousness, nausea, vomiting, coma, and death as effects that result from synthetic drug use.

Brookings explains in its April 2018 article titled, “How Synthetic Opioids Can Radically Change Global Illegal Drug Markets and Foreign Policy,” why the synthetic opioid trade appeals to the people who participate in it. Making synthetic opioids requires a smaller labor force, it reports, and it takes far less work than cultivating the poppy plant and collecting its resin for heroin. Brookings also writes that because less labor is required, it also means the benefits of production are lower in poor areas. Synthetic drugs also can be produced just about anywhere, meaning any place is ripe for opportunity.

In a March 2018 press release, the CDC reported that drug overdoses killed 63,632 Americans in 2016. “Nearly two-thirds of these deaths (66 percent) involved a prescription or illicit opioid,” it said.

According to its analysis of 2016 U.S. drug overdose data, “The recent increases in drug overdose deaths are driven by continued sharp increases in deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, such as illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF).”

The synthetic class of drugs, which are also known as designer drugs, includes:

Synthetic marijuana. This is not real marijuana and it is also known as cannabinoids. It is known on the streets as K2 and Spice. JustThinkTwice.gov reports that there are about 90 different synthetic marijuana chemical compounds.

Synthetic LSD. This drug, a phenethylamine, is said to mimic the effects of actual LSD and causes hallucinations and paranoia. Street names for it include “N-Bomb” and “Smiles.”

Synthetic stimulants. These are popularly known as “bath salts” or “Molly.” They are also called cathinones and mimic the effects of MDMA or ecstasy.

Synthetic PCP. This synthetic compound, known as MXE or Methoxamine, mimics the effects of PCP (phencyclidine). Delusions, a sense of detachment, and psychosis are effects of using this drug.

When it comes to synthetic heroin, there are a few more things to know.

It Is Hard to Tell Synthetic Heroin From Real Heroin

The appearance of synthetic heroin makes it tricky to identify, which is why so many people are not aware that they have used it. A powder that looks like heroin could have been cut or laced with fentanyl or another synthetic opioid. A person buying prescription pills off the streets with a certain label actually could be buying another substance entirely.

The practice of cutting synthetic heroin with fentanyl and other harmful substances increases profits for sellers in the illicit market because it increases their drug supply. But for users who get ahold of these cut batches of drugs only increase their chance of overdosing. The substance is in part stronger because some dealers may not have the equipment to measure out levels of the drug that could result in an overdose. Illegally made fentanyl also can be unpredictable as the pharmaceutical version of it.

Synthetic Heroin Is More Addictive Than Heroin

Natural heroin is a strong, addictive drug in its own right. The substance can be eaten, smoked, snorted, or injected for the highs it brings. Users report feeling an immediate, intense, and pleasurable rush as the drug enters the brain and returns to its morphine state. Regular heroin use is quickly habit-forming, and chronic heroin use results in addiction for most people. However, an addiction to synthetic heroin, which, again, might not be heroin at all, presents a different set of challenges. It’s already difficult to end addiction to heroin. But synthetic heroin is another battle altogether and a person can have an even tougher time ending their dependence on that drug.

Synthetic Heroin May Not Respond Well to Overdose-Reversal Drugs

Synthetic heroin and other synthetic opioid drugs are stronger than natural heroin, which means life-saving overdose agents like naloxone aren’t as effective. Multiple doses may be required to bring around a person who has overdosed, and as an August 2017 Bloomberg article notes, multiple applications of overdose-reversal agents can drain health care resources.

“Hospitals and emergency-services agencies across the U.S. are confronting higher bills for the chemical compound that can block the effects of painkillers and heroin, as super-strong synthetic opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil grow increasingly popular,” the article says. “Not only are more doses of the remedy often required, prices for some brands of naloxone have been ticking up.”

According to the report, the National Association of EMS Physicians says the number of people who receive more than one dose of naloxone has grown more than 25 percent since 2012.

The fact that these overdose-reversal medications may not work as well, if at all, makes synthetic heroin more lethal and dangerous. If one does overdose on a substance that has been passed off as heroin but isn’t, the person could die. They also can have a harder time ending their addiction.

About China White

The name “China White” emerges when synthetic heroin comes up. The designer drug China White, a fat-soluble pain reliever, is said to be stronger than morphine, heroin, or fentanyl. It also is said to last much longer than any of these drugs.

China White has been described as a heroin-like drug that actually is a derivative of fentanyl. But Dr. Wilfredo Lopez-Ojeda, a biomedical sciences professor at the University of Central Florida, told RollingStone.com that the substance popularly known as China White doesn’t exist. He explained, “What gave rise to China White is a mixture of the original fentanyl with perhaps some residues of heroin and maybe some cocaine, then they started referring to it as a more pure product. But the truth is such a thing doesn’t exist.”

Despite this, China White’s side effects are reported to be deadlier and harder to identify. “People high on the drug who enter emergency room may seem like they’re overdosing on heroin or another opioid, but the symptoms are more complicated because fentanyl derivatives are far more powerful,” the publication reports.

Battling a Synthetic Heroin Addiction? Let Us Help

Whether it’s heroin, synthetic heroin, or any other addictive substance, dependence on a drug jeopardizes everything—health, relationships, income, well-being, and more. Battling addiction can be difficult without professional help from trained addiction specialists, but that’s what Pathway to Hope is here for. We can help you.

Pathway to Hope, a Delphi Behavioral Health Group facility, specializes in helping people who are battling substance addiction, whether that substance is legal or illegal. We focus on the roots of your addiction and mental health condition and help you or your loved one start healing from substance abuse and give you the tools to leave it behind for good.

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug abuse, call Pathway to Hope at 844-557-8575 today or contact us online, so we can help you find the right treatment program. Don’t delay. If you need addiction treatment, now is the time to make that important step for your health and your life.

Why Xanax and Driving Don’t Mix

“Driving under the influence” is often synonymous with impaired motorists who’ve had too much alcohol to drink. But a person who operates a motor vehicle under the influence of prescription medication can be just as dangerous behind the wheel as someone who’s thrown back too many beers or cocktails.

This probably happens more than we realize, but as the Governors Highway Safety Association (GSHA) notes in a 2017 report on Drug-Impaired Driving, the public is not as aware of drugged driving or how dangerous it is because it isn’t viewed in the same way that alcohol-impaired driving is.

According to the GHSA, tracking down drug-impaired driving is more complex than tracking down alcohol-impaired driving because:

  • Hundreds of different drugs can impair drivers.
  • Some drugs that can impair driving are illegal to use, some are legal to use under certain conditions, and some are freely available over-the-counter.
  • For many drugs, the relations between a drug’s presence in the body, its effect on driving, and its effects on crash risk are complex, not understood well, and vary from driver to driver.
  • Data on drug presence in crash-involved drivers are incomplete in most jurisdictions, inconsistent from state to state, and sometimes inconsistent across jurisdictions within states.
  • It’s more difficult for law enforcement to detect drug impairment at the roadside than alcohol impairment.
  • Laws regarding driving while under the influence of drugs (DUID) vary across the states.
  • It’s more difficult to prosecute and convict a driver for DUID than for alcohol-impaired driving (DUI).

The report also highlights the complexity of different drugs and the complicated issues they involve when compared to those involving alcohol. Among those reasons are:

  • Data on use by drivers and in crashes are limited for drugs but abundant for alcohol
  • Trends involving driver drug use is increasing while alcohol consumption has been decreasing, according to the report
  • Driving skill impairment varies by drug type, but it’s well-documented for alcohol
  • Driver believes that some drugs don’t impair driving and that there’s low arrest risk, but alcohol does impair drivers
  • Societal attitudes. There are no strong attitudes on drugs and driving, according to the report, but drinking and driving is socially unacceptable for many, and that having a designated driver is the norm

Like Other Drugs, Xanax Use Can Impair Drivers

Potent pain relievers, such as Percocet and OxyContin, and anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax and Ativan, can put drivers—and everyone around them—in a dangerous situation. Even over-the-counter cold medications and antihistamines can cause driver impairment.

Other medications that can impair driving are:

  • Some antidepressants
  • Narcotic pain pills
  • Sleep medications
  • Tranquilizers

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at Xanax and how using it while driving is probably not a good idea.

What Is Xanax?

Xanax, generically known as alprazolam, is a powerful, fast-acting sedative that is prescribed to treat anxiety associated with panic disorders and different kinds of phobias. The medication is a short-acting benzodiazepine, which means it is quickly effective and peaks quickly in the bloodstream. It can be obtained legally only through a prescription issued by a medical professional. Xanax is among the most prescribed medications in the United States. Data show that the number of benzodiazepine prescriptions written increased 67 percent to 13.5 million per year in 2013 from 8.1 million in 1999, states National Public Radio in its report about the medications.

Xanax works by suppressing the central nervous system. Once the drug binds to certain areas of the brain’s gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, nerve cell activity slows and users begin to feel calm and relaxed. Relief is usually felt within 15 minutes to an hour after taking it, and this feeling can last for a few hours. MentalHealthDaily.com writes, “The general consensus among researchers is that the onset of Xanax’s action falls within a range of 15 to 60 minutes. Evidence suggests that approximately 90 percent of the peak effect derived from Xanax should be attained [by most users] within the first hour of its administration.

“Moreover, on average, the maximal peak effect of Xanax will be attained within 0.7 and 1.8 hours after its administration; the compressed tablet (CT) usually kicks in slightly quicker than the extended-release (XR) formula.”

The site also explains that Xanax has a rapid onset of cation because “when [it’s] ingested, it is efficiently absorbed, metabolized, distributed throughout the body tissue, and uptaken with the brain.”

This highly addictive medication is intended for short-term use. If it is taken longer than prescribed or abused, users are at risk of developing a physical and psychological dependence on it. The best way to tell if dependence has occurred is the way one feels when they no longer take the medication or reduce the dosage. If there are noticeable changes, then those are withdrawal symptoms, and users may need to address their Xanax dependence with professional drug treatment.

It is important to note that not all dependence on benzodiazepines such as Xanax happens as a result of misuse, abuse or addiction.

Harris Stratyner, co-chairman of the medical scientific subcommittee of the nonprofit group National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence told Fox News in 2014, “Frequently, it’s not because they’ve been abusing the drugs; it can be caused by following the prescription their doctor gave them.”

Common Concerns About Xanax and Driving

In short, Xanax and driving are not a good mix. That’s likely obvious on the surface, but let’s look at some reasons why.

Xanax Can Slow Your Reaction Time While Driving

HuffPost has reported that Xanax has been called “alcohol in a pill” because of its similarities to the substance, and the publication has listed the anti-anxiety drug as one of six medications that a person should never take when driving. The drug’s tranquilizing effects can affect the reaction time when behind the wheel and it also can impair judgment, which we all need when we’re driving.

Xanax’s powerful effects don’t start to kick in till after a certain window of time, so until they do, users may feel in control of their bodies and faculties. However, after the medication hits peak plasma levels in the blood, the body’s central nervous system starts to respond to the medicine, and that’s when users typically feel drowsiness, lethargy, dizziness, slowed breathing, and/or muscle weakness. They also may have a diminished ability to concentrate and slurred speech, which also happens when someone has alcohol intoxication. While the level of impairment varies by the person, all of these are incompatible with driving or any activity that requires one to be alert.

But here’s another aspect of drugged driving that is kind of alarming. It is possible to take Xanax and not be aware of whether it’s working or not.

When the medication is taken as medically directed by a person who’s healthy, the medication should always work in less than 60 minutes, according to MentalHealthDaily.com. But that’s not true for everyone.

“Despite the fact that Xanax should always take effect within an hour of administration, not all users will be cognizant of its action. Persons who aren’t consciously aware that they’re under the influence of Xanax within one-two hours of administration may wonder whether the drug is actually working,” the site says.

If a person takes Xanax and doesn’t feel it working in that one-hour window, then it’s possible the dosage is too low or the person may have a high tolerance for it.

Driving and Xanax Combo Increases Risks of Car Crashes

Because Xanax impairs judgment and reaction times, people who take the medication are at increased risk of causing an accident. A 2011 study in which researchers examined the link between psychoactive drugs and the risk of traffic accidents found “Benzodiazepine use was associated with a significant increase in the risk of traffic accidents and responsibility of drivers for accidents. The association was more pronounced in the younger drivers. The accident risk was markedly increased by co-ingestion of alcohol.”

Polydrug use is common among people who misuse or abuse substances, and people commonly pair alcohol with benzos like Xanax to either enhance the effects of both drugs for a stronger high or avoid withdrawal effects from drug use. Combining the two is an unsafe practice, and using them together increases the toxicity of alcohol and the chances of having a fatal overdose.

According to ResearchGate.net, which featured studies examining the relationship between benzodiazepine use and traffic accidents, “more research has to be done to elucidate the relationship between benzodiazepine use and injury severity.”

Still, as research continues, “many drivers do not understand how various drugs can affect driving ability and increase crash risk,” GHSA reports.

Xanax and Driving Can Land You In Legal Hot Water

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, known as DUID, is illegal in every state and in the same way that driving while impaired by alcohol, or DUI is illegal, writes GHSA. It goes on to explain, “DUID has two requirements: the driver must exhibit signs of impairment through behavior observed by a law enforcement officer and the impairment must be linked to a drug.”

It also explains that there are three types of state laws regarding DUID.

  • Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID): Illegal to drive while impaired by any drug
  • Zero Tolerance: Illegal to drive with any amount of specified drugs in the body
  • Per se: Illegal to drive with amounts of specified drugs in the body exceeding set limits

PensacolaDefenseLawyer.com writes, “For many people, the realization that a prescribed medication is impairing their driving only comes after a roadside stop by law enforcement.”

So, What Can Xanax Users Do?

People who take prescription Xanax and need transportation are advised to talk about the medication’s potential side effects with their doctor. A medical professional can provide insight into how best to navigate Xanax use when it comes to driving. The doctor may suggest adjusting the prescribed Xanax dose taken or another medication may be used altogether. Another mode of transportation may also be required, such as a bus, train, cab, or ride-share service.

Start Xanax Addiction Recovery Today

Pathway to Hope, a Delphi Behavioral Health Group facility, specializes in helping people who are battling an addiction to Xanax or any substance, whether it’s legal or illegal. We focus on the roots of your addiction and mental health condition and help you or your loved one start healing from substance abuse and give you the tools to leave it behind for good.

If you or someone you know is struggling with Xanax prescription dependence, whether physical or psychological, call Pathway to Hope at 844-557-8575 today or reach out to us online, so we can help you find the right treatment program. Don’t delay. If you need addiction treatment, now is the time to make that important step for your health and your life.