Xanax Addiction and Abuse

Xanax is a prescription drug, and it is prescribed by doctors, but may you not realize that is it is extremely addictive and easy to abuse. Are you one of the people accepting a share of the 50 million Xanax prescriptions written each year? In 2015, the American hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper, tweeted, “Xanax the new Heroin. Don’t let em fool u.”

But what is Xanax?

Xanax goes a list of names, but medically, it is also known as Alprazolam. On the street, the benzodiazepine is referred to as Xannies (Zannies), Xanbars, planks, Z-bars, and bars. Since Xanax is a benzo, it has many dangers. Xanax, and other “benzos,“ are known to have vicious withdrawal effects.

Xanax Addiction and Abuse

Xanax is in the drug classification of benzodiazepines that work on the central nervous system to bring about a calming effect. This drug is used by thousands of people who could not otherwise lead a normal life. Some have phobias about walking out their front door while others cannot walk into a super market or restaurant. Their phobias are so great that their worlds become smaller and smaller and they never leave their homes. Neighbors may call them a recluse, but this untreated person is most likely a victim of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Xanax can give them their lives back.

A patient who really needs the medication will tell you there is no pleasure in the way they feel without Xanax. A panic attack can make a person feel like they are having a heart attack and are ready to die at any minute. The fight or flight response is activated and the patient begins to breath hard and may even hyperventilate. It feels to the person that they have been struck by lightning and every hair on the body is standing on end.

There are those who use it to help with insomnia as well as generalized anxiety disorders. Some authorities say that only 1% of the patients for whom Xanax is prescribed are the people who abuse it or are addicted to it. It is the person who takes it for recreational use – for the feeling of euphoria that becomes addicted.

Xanax is not a bad drug. It has helped thousands of people cope with unusually high levels of anxiety and fears. It has given patients back their ability to go shopping, dining, dating and enjoying a ‘normal’ life. Most people who are helped by Xanax are not addicted. It is the person who uses this as a recreational drug day after day that is the addict.

If a patient takes a Xanax only occasionally when a panic attack strikes, generally the drug goes to work quickly. Relief comes within an hour, although some sufferers say they feel the effects within 30 minutes. Each drug has what is called a “half-life.” That is the amount of time for the drug to completely leave your system. For the occasional user, the half-life can be anywhere between 6-20 hours, depending on that person’s metabolism. For the everyday user there is the possibility of the body building resistance or a tolerance for the original dose. The patient who takes it upon himself to double or triple the dose is on the road to drug abuse.

The addict is an altogether different type of user. He or she has never seen a doctor who prescribed the drug for them. The addict buys Xanax on the street or, worse case scenario, buys it on the Internet from dubious sources. When intercepted by authorities, these nonprescribed drugs are often found to be fakes and containing some very dangerous ingredients. The addict takes the drug because of the way it makes them feel in the absence of a treatable disease or phobia. It is not taken to prevent discomfort; it is taken to give pleasure.

Xanax Abuse Signs

Falling victim to a Xanax addiction isn’t difficult. It’s an addictive drug, and many people, just like you, have fallen to its vices. If you think you or a loved one is addicted, you should look at the following symptoms of Xanax addiction. If you find someone fulfilling them, you should try and get help immediately. They are:

  • Hostility
  • Euphoria or mania
  • Misses work or other engagements
  • Memory problems
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Depressed
  • Restlessness
  • Xanax tolerance

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Side Effects of Xanax

Short-term effects of Xanax

If you’re exhibiting some of the symptoms above from your Xanax abuse, it’s important to look at other symptoms and effects of Xanax abuse. You will have some short- and long-term effects of Xanax on your body and brain. For example, in the short-term you might feel or experience:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Weight changes
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Shortness of breath
  • Memory problems
  • Mood changes

Long-term effects of Xanax

In the long-term, you might feel some of the short-term effects , but more severely. You’re also at risk of developing or experiencing:

  • Memory impairment
  • Delirious states
  • Depression
  • Psychotic experiences
  • Aggressive and impulsive behavior
  • Cognitive deficits

Overdose Symptoms of Xanax

If you use and abuse Xanax every day, there is a real chance you could overdose. An overdose happens when you put an excessive and dangerous amount of Xanax in your system. If you see someone experiencing these symptoms, you should call 911 immediately and get them help. Xanax overdose symptoms are:

  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma

Xanax overdosing often happens when it’s combined with other depressants. Alcohol is a common substance to use with Xanax.

If you are ever with someone who is experiencing these symptoms you should call 911 immediately.

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Xanax Withdrawal and Detox

To kick your Xanax addiction for good, you will likely have to experience detox and treatment at a rehab center. Have you ever been unable to get Xanax? You might have felt like garbage, this is because Xanax is a benzodiazepine, a drug class known to be hard to quit. This is considered withdrawal and it’s an extremely important part of the drug detox and treatment process. During detox, you’re likely to deal with withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Blurred vision
  • Anxiety
  • Weight loss
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal thoughts

These may sound terrifying, but they only last a short amount of time (a week or two). If you find the right rehab center for your Xanax addiction, they will be particularly good at adapting to your situation and treatment. They can make any pain more manageable. This is what separates the good detox centers from the bad ones.

Xanax Treatment and Rehab

Are you ready to quit Xanax for good?  Give us a Call and we can start you on the path or the Rehab Treatment Process

 Rehab Treatment Process

  • Step 1: Intake – When you arrive at your facility you will be assessed by the medical professionals to determine your treatment through detox, as well as your rehabilitation program.
  • Step 2: Detox – After your assessment or intake you will be taken to your room where you can rest and be monitored while you go through the withdrawal of your drug use. Detox can range from 1 day to a week, depending on the drug of choice and the user.
  • Step 3: Rehab – After you finish detox you will be ready to begin your addiction treatment, which can range from a variety of different options. This is when you will be able to meet others, attend lectures, participate in group or individual counseling, and learn the tools you need to stay clean.
  • Step 4: Aftercare – When your time at the facility is over, you will have to go back to your life. This can be a challenge for a lot of people, but part of your treatment includes aftercare. This is usually outpatient counseling in a group or individualized setting, where you are slowly introduced back to your life and responsibilities.

Addressing Xanax  Addiction

Coming to Terms with your Xanax Addiction

Facing the possibility of an addiction can be absolutely terrifying. It’s difficult admitting that you have wronged yourself those you love. If you want to beat your addiction, admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. If you get into a Xanax rehab center, you will learn all the tools to have a successful recovery. Rehab centers can be magical places for those who apply themselves and work to get better.

Helping a Friend or Family Member Address their Xanax Addiction

Helping a loved one beat their Xanax addiction is one of the bravest things you could do. If someone is fighting an addiction, they likely aren’t thinking clearly all the time. It’s up to you to show them you care about them and what happens to them.

If you want to help a loved one kick an addiction, an intervention is one of the most effective means of doing so. Interventions are a personal way to showcase drug addiction negative effects and how it impacts you and others in your family. It’s important to have a few others with you to share their experience. It’s also up to you to help them locate an adequate rehabilitation facility.

There are wrong ways to do interventions. Don’t cover for the Xanax abuser, they need to see the consequences of their actions immediately. If you have to make promises to get help for your loved one, make sure to follow everything you said to a “t.” Relationships built on mutual trust go a long way during emotional times.

Interventions aren’t supposed to be miracles. It’s not like Santa is coming through the chimney and dragging your loved one to rehab. It’s an agreement for the Xanax addict to get help. It doesn’t mean they have to be happy with it. But if they agree, show your happiness and compassion to help warm them up to the idea.


  • Let them know you are aware of their problem
  • Let them know that you care, and want to help
  • Tell them that there are treatment options for them
  • Tell them that you love them and will be there


  • Bring this up when they are under the influence
  • Make them feel like they are failures
  • Let them convince you they don’t need treatments
  • Bring up too many hurtful reminders of their addiction at once

The Bottom Line: You Can Beat Xanax Addiction

If you’ve reached this point it is hard to deny the fact that you’re serious about beating your Xanax addiction, and that is something to have pride in. Your life matters and there is no reason why you should allow a drug to dictate the rest of your life when help is available. Remember, choosing to go into a Xanax rehab treatment center for Xanax abuse will help you rid yourself of the horrible side effects you’ve had to endure, extend your life span, and most importantly place you on track towards regaining you own life. So don’t fight addiction alone. Instead allow us to help you live the life you deserve to have.

Payment Options for Xanax Treatment

If you want help for your Xanax addiction, you’re in the right place. If you’re worried about how you will pay for your Xanax treatment, know that your insurance provider can help cover your rehab visit. We will call your insurance, find out your benefits and give you a free quote.

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Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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