Benzodiazepines have a well-deserved reputation for being extremely addictive. In fact, even those who are prescribed benzodiazepines like Xanax and etizolam can become addicted or dependent on the drug, even if they use their prescription exactly as followed. The body gets used to these types of drugs quickly, meaning that the dose will need to be increased frequently to keep up with the growing tolerance. 

By doing this, it can become difficult for patients to stop using the drugs. When the doctor eventually stops prescribing the medication, patients can experience withdrawals. When withdrawals occur, patients may be tempted to find benzodiazepines on the street or start using other drugs to calm their side effects. 

If you’re about to start etizolam or Xanax and you’re worried about the dangers of the two drugs, or if you’re struggling with an addiction, this information may help. To learn more about the difference between these two different types of drugs, keep reading. 

What is Etizolam?

Etizolam also called Etizola, Etilaam, or Sedkopan is a benzodiazepine that falls under the thienodiazepine umbrella. This means that its genetic makeup is slightly different than more typical benzos, like alprazolam, diazepam, and more. Etizolam is most frequently prescribed as a short-term treatment option for anxiety disorders, specifically obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 

In the United State, etizolam isn’t prescribed frequently. It’s used much more often in easter countries, like Japan. This drug is listed as a Schedule I substance in many states. Etizolam, like Xanax, is addictive and can cause withdrawal when stopped abruptly. 

What is Xanax?

Xanax (generic name: alprazolam), is also a benzodiazepine, but it’s prescribed much more frequently in the United States and accounts for a lot of cases of substance use disorder (SUD), because of its highly addictive nature. 

Xanax is often prescribed for anxiety disorders like general anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and panic disorder. Xanax is prescribed because it helps patients feel more relaxed, preventing a panic attack or stopping one that’s already in motion. 

This drug can help people live a normal life without having to deal with the side effects of severe anxiety. Unfortunately, it’s not a long-term solution, and often causes further problems (like dependence or addiction) later on down the road. 

To prevent withdrawal side effects, patients who have been on Xanax for a long period of time should be weaned off of this medication. This will help to prevent any withdrawal side effects from occurring. Without weaning, these side effects can be dangerous or even life-threatening. Serious, but rare side effects include seizures, rapid heartbeat, and sudden death. 

While doctors are aware of these side effects and how they can affect people, there’s a lot of medical negligence that occurs surrounding these types of prescriptions. Doctors may not effectively explain the risks to their patients, or they may cease prescribing the drug at the drop of a hat. If this occurs, patients may turn to other drugs as a way to cope with the withdrawal symptoms they’re experiencing. 

The Differences Between Etizolam and Xanax

Both Xanax and etizolam have their risks. Some say that etizolam is more dangerous than Xanax, which is why its no longer prescribed in the United States. Unfortunately, some still import this drug from overseas and use it recreationally or to treat their own anxiety disorders without help from a physician. 

The only real difference between these two drugs is that one isn’t available in the United States and one is frequently prescribed here. Because of that, they’re both seen as dangerous for their own reasons. Etizolam is dangerous because it’s hard to get ahold of, and therefore hard to take consistently. They’re both dangerous because of their potential withdrawal symptoms and how easy it is to become dependent on the drugs. 

Like opioids, Xanax is over-prescribed in the United States, and patients are undereducated. This often leads to over-use of the drug and dependence, making it hard to quit. Even patients who wean off the drug slowly may have a hard time quitting completely because they feel that they need Xanax or etizolam in order to function. 

Signs of Drug Abuse

Because etizolam and Xanax are both benzodiazepines, the signs of drug abuse or addiction are similar. If you’re worried that a loved one has an addiction or you’re monitoring your own benzo use, here are some warning signs that you should be on the lookout for. 

  • Weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Poor judgment 
  • Poor critical thinking skills
  • Doctor shopping or hopping
  • Asking friends/family for their benzos 
  • Wanting to cut back but not being able to 
  • Using benzos and alcohol together
  • Risk-taking behavior 
  • Missing school or work 
  • Mood or behavioral changes

If you’re taking benzos and you’re worried about becoming addicted, try to use them for emergencies only. By avoiding taking them every day, you can avoid becoming dependent on them. Most people who become addicted to benzos take them multiple times per day for an extended period of time. Successful benzo use (without addiction) comes from safe, inconsistent use. 

Benzodiazepines Can Easily Cause Addiction 

Unfortunately, it can be hard to predict whether or not you’ll become addicted to Xanax etizolam, or any other benzos. As stated previously, addiction and dependence are most common amongst patients who take benzos every single day for an extended period of time. Those who take benzos as needed or infrequently are less likely to become addicted, although the risk is still there. 

If you’re worried about becoming addicted to benzodiazepines, they might not be right for you. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and work with them to find a drug that works best for your needs. It’s important to remember that benzo abuse doesn’t always start with a prescription, but can also start with recreational use. 

Seek Treatment for Drug Abuse

If you or someone you love is addicted to benzodiazepines, it’s time to start looking at treatment options. To learn more about our treatment programs, call Asheville Recovery Center today to speak with a specialist.

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