Xanax Addiction Symptoms, Signs, & Side Effects January 5th, 2022 The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake
Xanax Addiction & Abuse in Colorado Xanax Addiction Symptoms, Signs, & Side Effects

Xanax Addiction Symptoms, Signs, & Side Effects

Xanax is the brand name of alprazolam, a Schedule VI drug used to treat anxiety and other mental health disorders. Xanax is a benzodiazepine and can, unfortunately, be an addictive drug. 

Xanax can cause side effects that will vary based on the dose taken and the individual taking Xanax. As side effects are more intense at higher doses, someone misusing Xanax will be more likely to experience severe side effects.

Side effects of Xanax use may be mild, causing only a slight amount of discomfort or inconvenience. These effects can also be severe, causing significant distress and substantially impacting the person’s life. Using too much Xanax may even cause side effects that could be fatal.

Table of Contents

Xanax Side Effects

Many common Xanax side effects occur as a result of how it behaves in the brain and body. Considering Xanax is primarily prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders, it has a calming and sedative effect.

For people with panic or anxiety disorders, Xanax’s short-term effects can be highly beneficial, but side effects can occur even when someone has a prescription for the drug.

Minor Xanax Side Effects

Short-term side effects of Xanax can include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Constricted pupils
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

Major Xanax Side Effects

For people who take high doses or are more susceptible to the effects of Xanax, side effects may be even more pronounced and can include:

  • Cognitive problems
  • Profound confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Impaired memory

Major Xanax side effects may also include signs of an overdose after someone has used high amounts of Xanax. Signs of an overdose include slow breathing and unresponsiveness.

Xanax Abuse & Addiction Signs

Because Xanax is absorbed quickly and its pleasurable effects are relatively short-lived, Xanax has a high addiction potential. However, Xanax abuse and Xanax addiction are different from one another. 

Signs of Xanax Abuse

Xanax abuse is characterized by misusing Xanax. Some examples include:

  • Obtaining and using Xanax without a prescription
  • Using prescribed Xanax other than how it has been prescribed
  • Taking Xanax in a different way than intended, such as grinding a tablet and snorting it

Ultimately, if Xanax is being used in a way that was not prescribed by your doctor, it is being abused.

Signs of Xanax Addiction

When someone is addicted to Xanax, they have progressed beyond misuse. They may have a psychological and physical need for it.

Signs of Xanax addiction are related either to someone being intoxicated with Xanax, which can be detected by certain side effects, or can include general signs of addiction:

  • Being fixated on Xanax
  • Engaging in secretive and dishonest behaviors
  • Poor performance at home, work or school
  • Behavioral changes
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in habits or sleep patterns
  • Neglecting appearance or hygiene
  • Becoming social withdrawn
  • Purchasing the drug illegally
  • Unsuccessfully trying to stop using the drug

Someone with a Xanax use disorder may continue to use the drug even when they understand the negative consequences involved.

Effects of Xanax Addiction & Abuse

Xanax addiction can negatively affect much more than your health. Xanax’s impact extends into relationships, finances, future opportunities and can even lead to legal problems.

Short-Term Effects of Xanax

Short-term risks of Xanax misuse or addiction include the risk of injury or overdose. Injuries can occur due to impaired coordination and judgment. Xanax instructions may advise avoiding the operation of heavy machinery while using it, including driving a car. 

Xanax can also be fatal if an overdose occurs. Someone who misuses Xanax may accidentally take too much, causing an overdose. Addiction can make it more likely that someone doesn’t pay attention to the amount of Xanax they take, and the short-term risks of Xanax increase substantially when combined with other substances.

Long-Term Effects of Xanax

When it comes to Xanax side effects, there’s a lot of discussion in regards to short-term effects, but what if you’re a long-term user of Xanax? There are many long-term effects of Xanax use that should be concerning to anyone who misuses the drug.

Long-term Xanax misuse can lead to multiple problems affecting mood and mental state:

  • Depression
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Aggression
  • Problems in cognition
  • Memory impairment
  • Weight gain
  • Psychological addiction
  • Physical dependence

When someone is physically dependent on Xanax, withdrawal symptoms will occur if they suddenly stop using the drug. Xanax withdrawal symptoms can range from mildly uncomfortable to severe, and it’s recommended to undergo this detox process with the assistance of medical professionals.

If you or a loved one have a Xanax use disorder, it’s important to seek help, whether that’s at The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake, serving people in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, statewide and nationwide, or at an out-of-state facility.

Xanax Overdose Symptoms

Xanax overdose is a very real concern for those misusing Xanax. This risk substantially increases when Xanax is combined with other substances, especially alcohol. An overdose can cause the body to become so relaxed and inhibit the brain to such an extent that someone stops breathing.

Signs of a Xanax overdose include extreme drowsiness, coordination problems, confusion, slurred speech and breathing problems. An overdose can suppress breathing to a lethal extent. A Xanax overdose is considered a medical emergency. 

Drug overdose can be fatal. If you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose, call 911 immediately. Do NOT be afraid to seek help. If you do not have access to a phone, contact Colorado Poison Center for online assistance.

Xanax High Symptoms

When someone takes more Xanax than prescribed or if they misuse the drug, they may achieve a high. A high is possible when using Xanax as prescribed, but it’s not as common.

Some Xanax high symptoms can present as drowsiness and being in an incredibly relaxed state. Symptoms of a Xanax high are not the same as those of a stimulant drug like cocaine since the drug’s properties and effects are different.

Finding Help for Xanax Abuse or Addiction

Getting help for a Xanax addiction can seem impossible, but there are treatment options that are right for you. Finding help for Xanax abuse or addiction will be different for everyone, but Xanax addiction treatment can start with reaching out to a trusted family member or friend, talking with your doctor or even speaking to an addiction professional.

The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake has extensive experience in helping those with Xanax addiction achieve lasting freedom and recovery. We encourage you to reach out to one of our caring, professional team members to learn how to begin your journey to Xanax addiction recovery.

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The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.