Xanax Addiction

Xanax is the brand name of the drug alprazolam, often used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks. It belongs to one of the most highly abused drug classes, benzodiazepines. Unfortunately, those who begin to abuse Xanax frequently and in high doses can become addicted.

Xanax addiction requires treatment in a professional rehab program. If you or someone you love has been misusing Xanax, it is important to seek help right away. Call 800-654-0987 to find the best treatment options for your individualized recovery needs.

Understanding Xanax Abuse

According to the National Library of Medicine, Xanax works by “decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.” However, when this drug is taken in large doses, it can cause sedation and euphoria, two symptoms that are highly sought after by those who abuse prescription drugs. Taking Xanax can make a person feel very good. As a result, the drug is often misused by those who are originally prescribed it and by those who never have a prescription in the first place.

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In a study from 2010, 345,691 cases of emergency department visits were reported to be associated with benzodiazepines. 124,902 of them, and by far the most, were associated with alprazolam (Drug Enforcement Administration). Not only does this drug cause dangerous side effects when abused, it also creates a severe addiction syndrome, one that makes individuals continue to abuse the drug even after it begins to cause severe problems in their lives.

Signs and Symptoms of Xanax Abuse

It can be easy to recognize when someone is abusing Xanax, as the drug causes a number of physical and psychological effects. According to the DEA, “Benzodiazepines slow down the central nervous system and may cause sleepiness.” Many people who take the drug in large doses attempt to fight this symptom, therefore creating the high. Other signs and symptoms of Xanax abuse include:


Abusing Xanax can cause sedation and euphoria.

  • Confusion
  • Light-headedness
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Talkativeness
  • Difficulty concentration
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased salivation
  • Changes in sex drive or ability
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight changes
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Joint pain

These are all normal side effects of Xanax, but when the drug is abused, they become much more likely to occur as well as more severe. When a person takes a large dose of the drug, they are also putting themselves in grave danger. A Xanax overdose can create respiratory depression, which can lead to coma and death. In addition, benzodiazepines cause some of the most severe withdrawal effects, which are likely to occur in those who become addicted to the drug. According to the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, these can include:

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  • Depersonalization
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Physical tremors
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis

Xanax Addiction

Those who become addicted to Xanax will not be able to stop taking the drug on their own, even if they want to. This is because addiction takes away a person’s power to control their actions. Cravings for the drug will begin to occur, and one’s tolerance will increase so higher and higher doses will need to be taken in order for the individual to experience the same effects. If you or someone you love has experienced these issues, addiction has likely already set in.

Xanax Addiction Treatment

Treatment for Xanax addiction often begins with a slow tapering of the drug or another benzodiazepine so the individual will not experience severe withdrawal effects. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Withdrawal symptoms from these drugs can be problematic and… potentially life-threatening,” which is why they must be dealt with early on.

Then, patients usually start their behavioral therapy sessions in order to change the way they think about their substance abuse and to reduce chances for relapse. Any co-occurring mental disorders (especially those for which the medication itself may have been prescribed in the first place) must be assessed and treated along with the addiction.

Seek Treatment Today

Xanax is a beneficial medication for those who take it as prescribed. But once you start to abuse your prescription, the drug can cause a number of seriously dangerous results. If you or someone you love has been abusing Xanax, now is the time to make a change. Call 800-654-0987, and let us match you with the best rehab program for your safe and effective recovery from Xanax addiction.

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