Xanax Addiction and Abuse

Siobhan Morse, Executive Director of The National Institute for Holistic Addiction Studies discusses Xanax addiction and abuse.

What is Xanax?

Xanax, the chemical compound alprazolam, is part of the class of drugs called benzodiazepines, more commonly referred to as “benzos.”

Xanax is a depressant used primarily for the short-term relief of mild to moderate anxiety, nervous tension, acute stress, and panic attacks.


Xanax Addiction and Abuse

Xanax and other benzos are depressants. They are sometimes referred to as tranquilizers. The effect on the mind is very similar to that of alcohol.

It is important to note that when tranquilizers are combined with each other or with other central nervous system depressants such as barbiturates, antidepressants, lithium, or alcohol, the effect can be fatal.

Xanax symptoms and behaviors

Xanax addiction symptoms and behaviors include: feeling that you have to use the drug regularly, this can be daily or even several times a day, failing in the attempts to stop using, making certain that one maintains a supply of the drug, spending money on the drug even when you can’t afford it, doing things to obtain Xanax that you normally wouldn’t do, feeling that you need Xanax to deal with your problems, driving under the influence or engaging in other risky activities, and focusing more and more time and energy on getting and using the drug.

What is Xanax addiction and abuse?

Xanax is a very addictive drug. The greater the dose taken, the faster one may become dependent.

If one uses or abuses Xanax long-term, the body will develop tolerance for the drug and larger doses will be needed to achieve the same initial effects.

In addition, continued use of Xanax can lead to physical dependence and when use is reduced or stopped, the body will go through withdrawals.

What are the withdrawal symptoms from Xanax?

The withdrawal symptoms from benzos can last for up to a year and include: personality changes, sensitivity to light and sound, panic attacks, fever and headaches, anxiety, depression, insomnia, restlessness or irritability, confusion, sweating, and may include seizures.

Seizures are the most dangerous possible withdrawal symptoms. They are most likely to occur if Xanax is stopped suddenly or cold turkey, but they are also possible even if the drug is not stopped slowly enough.

Even forgetting a single dose of Xanax has led to withdrawal symptoms. As your body gets used to the medication, you may even begin to experience withdrawal symptoms between your usual Xanax doses.


Xanax Addiction and Abuse

Xanax Addiction and Abuse



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