Meth and Xanax: A Dangerous Combination
Methamphetamine is a powerful and illicit stimulant that invokes increased energy and feelings of euphoria. Xanax is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and insomnia – a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Combining Meth and Xanax is dangerous (and sometimes deadly) because one drug works to increase heart rate and blood pressure (meth) while the other (Xanas) has opposite effect.
Moreover, the resulting reaction is a product of two contradictory drugs. They put the body under severe stress and this can lead to highly unpredictable health risks and complications. For one, this duo can put undue strain on the heart and may directly contribute to a heart attack or stroke.
Meth itself is commonly mixed with other substances to enhance a high or mitigate manic symptoms. Users sometimes report consuming too much meth and then turning Xanax or other CNS depressants to calm nerves and retain a higher level of functionality.
They may erroneously believe that they are indeed back to normal, but in reality, they are still impaired. – and driving or engaging in social behavior outside the home can lead to injury or death to the user or other people they encounter in their path.
Recent data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) revealed that in one year, nearly two-thirds of emergency department visits involving meth were also related to another substance – and more than 10% involved benzodiazepines such as Xanax.
For example, polydrug use (the consumption of one or more illicit drug, alcohol, or prescription medication used recreationally) often results in overdose deaths because when these substances are combined, effects are unpredictable and often far greater than any single substance alone.
Overdose and Death
Mixing meth and Xanax can increase the risk of dangerous and deadly side effects. The following symptoms may manifest following this combination:
- Excessive sleepiness
- Cardiac arrest
- Feeling light-headed
- Slow/impaired breathing
Using meth and Xanax can also lead to an overdose that has the potential to be fatal. Benzodiazepines contribute to thousands of deaths every year and is highly addictive. If used regularly to bring down an intense and uncomfortable meth high, both dependence and tolerance (increasing amounts of the substance is needed to achieve a satisfying result) can occur and the risk of overdose rapidly increases.
Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms
Meth, like Xanax, is extremely addictive. Just a short duration of use can result in the need to repeat consumption long-term. The method of ingestion is usually smoking, but some people snort or inject to invoke a more powerful and faster high.
When addiction occurs, cessation of meth can be extremely challenging due to the very unpleasant and disturbing effects of withdrawal. Symptoms may include severe depression, lethargy and fatigue, and also insomnia, feelings of anger, irritability, nervousness, paranoia, and intense cravings.
Over time, consuming increasing amounts of Xanax can result in physical dependence, especially when more than the prescribed amount is used. Abrupt cessation of Xanax can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, and these effects may increase when other substances are consumed simultaneously.
Meth, in addition to increasing energy and activity, can result in anxiety along with euphoria. When users begin experiencing a “comedown” from Xanax, they may ingest downers such as benzos, sleep aids, muscle relaxers, and alcohol to relieve unpleasant stimulant effects. Taking depressants such as these can take the edge off, both slowing down brain activity and inducing sedation.
For all of these reasons, healthcare and addiction professionals strongly recommend that users seek a clinical, professionally monitored detox to prevent relapse, overdose, and death.
Using Xanax to Prevent Tweaking
The consumption of meth may lead to a phase known as “tweaking.” This refers to the immediate aftermath of an intense rush, often following a binge, in which the user experiences feelings of apathy, paranoia, and intense cravings. Insomnia may occur, and they may also suffer from psychosis and hallucinations.
To reduce or avoid the effects of tweaking, users may consume Xanax as a means to counteract the effects of meth. However, there may be unpredictable effects from mixing these two opposite-reacting substances.
If a person uses both drugs simultaneously, the resulting effects can be very disturbing and unexpected. They may switch back and forth from feeling energetic to excessively sedated. These polarizing effects can lead to more anxiety and additional drug abuse.
Meth and Xanax: Recommended Treatment
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is among the most common, most studied, and effective form of treatment. CBT works to change a person’s attitudes, thoughts, and feelings toward drugs and other stressors or trauma they have experienced.
It also teaches coping skills and fosters a patient’s ability to deal with triggers.
If the patient is addicted to Xanax, the therapist/psychiatrist/physician may recommend a tapering schedule in which the person is gradually weaned off the drug via decreasing dosages to lessen dependence and mitigate withdrawal symptoms.
Get Help Today
If you or someone you love is abusing substances, please seek treatment as soon as possible. There are many resources available to help you or your loved one.
Please call us today at 877-497-6180 for a free consultation.
~ Natalee G. Serrels, M.A., Psychology