By: Eric Moore
October 26, 2017

Xanax Addiction: Signs & Symptoms

Table of Contents

Xanax (alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine, also known as Xannies/Zannies, Handlebars/Bars, Blue footballs, Benzos and Niravam (a variation that dissolves on the tongue rather than needing to be swallowed with water).

Xanax is medically used to treat anxiety/panic disorders and anxiety caused by depression. The medication works by interacting with a receptor in the brain that in turn increases inhibitory brain activity, thus tempering any problematic excitement related to anxiety. As a fast-acting drug, most of the benefits are established within an hour after use (depending on how it is used), with the total duration of the effect being at least 6 hours (depending on the amount taken, how it was taken and the persons’ tolerance level). Xanax is commonly abused by those seeking it for its sedative effects.

Anyone Can Become Addicted to Xanax, It’s Highly Addictive

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Xanax use can result in tolerance, addiction, and dependence if taken in large quantities or used for a prolonged period. Even people who take the medication exactly as prescribed can become addicted to it without realizing it.

Symptoms and signs of Xanax abuse can be both physical and mental.

Physical symptoms of Xanax Abuse may include:

  • Feelings of elation
  • Lethargy
  • Sleeping for extended periods of time
  • Light-headedness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Problems with memory
  • Sluggishness
  • Nausea
  • Headache

Mental and Social Signs and Symptoms may include:

  • Strained relationships (friends and family)
  • Professional issues (absence due to withdrawal symptoms)
  • Financial Problems (spending increased amounts of money)
  • Appearance of Lethargy (lacking the motivation to engage in normal activities of daily life
  • Higher tolerance (more substance needed to achieve a similar effect)

The Effects of Xanax Abuse on the Body & Mind

Using Xanax, especially for a prolonged period, can have numerous negative effects on your body. The medication is a central nervous system depressant, which means that it slows down aspects of your mental and physical health. The most common effects of Xanax use include:

  • Lack of coordination.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Confusion.
  • Disorientation.
  • Glazed eyes, or a greyish tint.

Xanax is known to slow down respiratory rates of people that abuse the substance. Alone, this can be dangerous as your breathing slows, but the situation becomes more troubling when the substance is mixed with alcohol. Since they are both depressants, their combined effect could lead to serious injury, coma, or death. Some people develop memory impairment, which typically only affects the short-term memory. Sedation is also a concern for Xanax users. People who take the medication in large doses might experience severe sedation that can last for 3-4 days

What are the Treatment Options for Xanax Addiction?

People dealing with tolerance, addiction, and dependence to Xanax must always seek professional treatment to safely end use of the drug. Sudden unsupervised cessation of Xanax use is related to many unpleasant if not dangerous withdrawal effects—including seizures. Depending on the level of your dependence, the duration of the addiction, and your general physical health, will determine your suggested level of care.

We at Multi Concept Recovery understand addiction and have years of experience helping addicts find recovery, adding purpose to their life.

Call us at (818)433-9500