Chances are you’ve heard of a medication called Xanax. Xanax is a well-known brand and has become something of a household name. It would not be too difficult to find Xanax tucked away in many people’s medicine cabinets. It’s also referenced a lot in numerous TV shows and movies.
This famous name is the brand name for a drug called alprazolam, a substance that is classified as a benzodiazepine. Commonly prescribed to help people who struggle with anxiety and panic disorders, Xanax has helped many people.
Unfortunately, Xanax can also be misused, which can lead to addiction and serious health consequences. Individuals might find themselves suddenly realizing that they are struggling with Xanax addiction, but this obstacle can be managed through a proper addiction treatment program.
At Denver Recovery Center, we specialize in holistic and evidence-based treatment to deliver high-quality individualized treatment. Our clients are more than just an addiction, and we are passionate about treating each client as the dynamic individual they are.
Nobody begins using Xanax desiring an addiction, but some people may find themselves suddenly dealing with the consequences of substance misuse. Continue reading to learn more about Xanax, its side effects, addiction, and what a Xanax-free future could look like.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax is a famous name, but it’s actually just the well-recognized brand name for a substance called alprazolam. This is a sedative medication that is often used to treat anxiety, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, insomnia, and a whole host of phobias.
This drug is short-acting, meaning most of its effects can be felt and then dissipate within the span of several hours. As a benzodiazepine, the substance is very potent and in general is prescribed to individuals on a short-term basis. Taking Xanax regularly can cause someone to build up a tolerance to it. When someone is misusing Xanax, a tolerance requires them to continue to up the dosage in order to continue to experience euphoric, pleasurable effects from the drug.
When Xanax is used recreationally, the risk of becoming addicted is higher than a patient following the prescription instructions and being monitored by a medical professional. Those who use Xanax recreationally do not benefit from guidance from a doctor and often take larger, more frequent doses of the drug than is recommended in order to continue experiencing pleasurable effects.
Since sometimes even patients who carefully follow their doctor’s instructions regarding Xanax can experience a tolerance to this strong drug, it’s even more difficult to taper off a drug when used recreationally. Patients have the benefit of being tapered off the drug when needed through experienced medical guidance. People who misuse Xanax can find that a combination of increasing tolerance to the benzo and a growing dependence on its euphoric effects can make quitting the drug a difficult challenge.
Side Effects of Xanax
It’s common to experience some side effects when taking Xanax. Some of these side effects include
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Trouble with memory
- Poor coordination
- Slurred speech
- Trouble concentrating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurry vision
- Muscle weakness
- Dry mouth
- Swelling of feet and hands
What Are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are a specific class of drug. Many drugs that are classified as benzos are tranquilizers or sedatives. Like Xanax, these substances are commonly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and panic disorder. Other kinds of benzos are also used for muscle relaxation or to induce amnesia for uncomfortable surgical procedures. Valium is another benzo that is an example of a household name alongside Xanax.
Although Xanax and Valium are some of the most well-known benzos, there are many others that are also misused. In fact, benzo misuse is rather common, and this phenomenon is a two-fold problem. First, benzos are commonly prescribed, making them highly available to many people. Second, they can cause intensive effects quickly, making them convenient and simple for individuals wanting to experience a quick, intensive high.
Recreational use of benzos can also lead to overdose and death. Although it’s not quite as common to see overdoses just due to benzo misuse, benzos are often mixed with other drugs and alcohol. Mixing benzos and alcohol can be an extremely dangerous and even deadly cocktail.
Sadly, in some circumstances, benzos have also been used as a date rape drug, used to sedate and impair an individual, making it more difficult to resist unwanted advances and assault. When added to a drink in a powder or liquid form, some benzos can be difficult to taste, making it simpler for the perpetrator to drug an unsuspecting individual.
How Does Xanax Work?
Xanax, like many other benzos, is known to be a central nervous system depressant. The central nervous system in our bodies is responsible for managing a variety of things such as breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. As a depressant, Xanax slows these systems down. That means individuals taking the drug can notice slowed breathing and lower reaction speeds.
Xanax has been compared to a pill form of alcohol, since many of its effects are the same: sleepiness, impaired movement, and slow reaction speeds. Taking the drug might make someone feel like they do when they drink too much.
The medication is a quick-acting drug that aims to relax and minimize tension in those who take it. Increased brain activity is common when you’re faced with stress, but an increase in particular chemical signals can make it difficult to calm down amidst feelings of anxiety or fear.
Xanax works to impact a particular chemical in our brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This chemical naturally occurs in the brain and is a natural tranquilizer. Some 80% of the brain’s nerve connections contain a trace of GABA, making it fairly common. When you feel stressed, your brain will release this chemical to try and balance out the anxiety. Xanax binds to those receptors and helps to stimulate these signals, helping individuals who struggle with panic and anxiety disorders.
If you struggle from an anxiety or panic disorder, you know that these conditions can make daily life challenging. This medication can help a great deal of people manage their daily activities and return to a more normal routine.
Unfortunately, Xanax can also produce some intense high effects. Some people may experience just a slight euphoria. Others might feel more numb and enjoy that feeling, or lack thereof.
The Dangers of Xanax Misuse
As previously mentioned, it’s not too common to see overdoses or serious illnesses from Xanax alone. Instead, it’s much more common to see these harsh consequences as a result of mixing Xanax with other substances.
Xanax is often mixed with alcohol or opioids. Together, these substances can create a deadly combination for an individual. In fact, benzos and opioids are two of the most common drug classes that are involved in overdose fatalities. Mixing Xanax with alcohol or opioids can increase the sedative effects of the potent depressant. That means that a lot of the original side effects from Xanax will be amplified.
This can lead to consequences such as dangerously slowed breathing. Lots of other effects will also be amplified as well, leading to excessive sedation, accidents, cardiac trouble, delirium, seizures, and loss of consciousness.
Long-term Xanax use is also inadvisable due to highly impactful consequences such as memory impairment. Besides memory impairment, a growing addiction to the drug can also manifest as a result of continued misuse.
Identifying a Xanax Addiction
Usually, Xanax is only prescribed for a period of anywhere from 2-6 weeks at a time. Because the drug is so potent and can induce pleasurable effects, it is easy to build up a tolerance to Xanax. Under proper medical supervision, a doctor can prescribe Xanax when helpful to the patient, monitor the patient’s reaction to the drug, and taper the patient off of it when needed.
When used recreationally, however, Xanax use can quickly become a problem that slowly grows more out of the control of the individual misusing it. Besides recreational use, some individuals may also find themselves growing increasingly dependent on the drug as a quick fix to more minor stressful situations.
Some people may rely on Xanax to help them through situational anxiety as a way to avoid having to invest time, money, and effort into seeking more long-term sustainable options such as therapy.
Becoming addicted to Xanax can happen unwittingly and can seriously affect your health and life circumstances.
Do any of these signs of Xanax addiction sound familiar?
- Lack of coordination
- Tolerance (requiring more of the drug to achieve a similar effect)
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms (such as cravings)
- Manic moods (abnormally elevated mood and energy)
- Trouble concentrating
- Memory problems
- Lack of motivation
- Loss of interest in usual hobbies and activities
- Strong cravings for Xanax
- Avoiding tasks that require prolonged concentration
- Troubled relationships with family and friends
- Spending more time using or stockpiling the drug
- Financial trouble due to excessive spending on Xanax
Overcome an Addiction to Xanax High Effects through Rehab
Addiction to Xanax happens more frequently than you might think. Additionally, it’s easy for the drug to create a psychological dependency in those who continue to use it solely for its effects.
Addiction to Xanax might have you feeling as though you’re trapped in an endless cycle. One day you look around at what your relationship with your family looks like and what you look like and decide you’re going to quit. Except it’s not that easy.
You fail and get discouraged after a day or two. A month later, you decide this time for sure is the time I quit forever. A couple days later, you’re back to your old habits.
It’s true that Xanax addiction can have a very negative impact on your life. But it’s also true that Xanax addiction can be overcome! Finding a good-quality rehab center that puts your care and recovery at the center of your treatment is key.
Here at Denver Recovery Center, we’re committed to treating all of our clients with dignity and compassion. We’re here to help you break free from Xanax addiction and start living a new chapter of your life, one where you don’t have to rely on substance misuse anymore.
All of our clients will undergo an assessment to see if they are well-suited for dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment is highly beneficial in addressing many facets of a client’s needs.
Benefits of dual diagnosis include:
- Care for co-occurring mental health illnesses and substance use
- Addressing all of a client’s conditions in order to set a solid foundation for treatment
- Better long-term outcomes in recovery
Good-quality rehab can help you and make a difference in your life. Our commitment to learning more about our client during our initial assessment helps shape our treatment plan and offers more individualized treatment for each client.
In order to offer customizations to our treatment programs, we offer a variety of programs that reflect different perspectives and approaches to treatment. We know that addiction treatment isn’t a one size fits all experience. Our program variety ensures that clients can participate in activities that work well for them. Some of our different programs include:
- Holistic psychotherapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Family therapy
- Outdoor therapy
- Individual talk therapy
Quit Xanax Today!
Addiction to Xanax can seem hopeless. No matter which way you turn, there are cravings or temptations to continue misuse. Maybe there’s more to your problem. If you’re dealing with poly-substance use, getting off the medication can seem particularly daunting. However, with the help of caring therapists, it’s possible.
Clients have excellent success kicking the habit with help. Targeted therapeutic approaches make it possible to overcome the dependency while you’re living at home. You might do so via a partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient treatment program.
Are you struggling with addiction right now? Do the effects of a Xanax high make it difficult to stop using and make a new beginning seem impossible? At Denver Recovery, addiction treatment experts can help you experience quality Xanax addiction treatment. Call (833) 201-4938 today and set up your first appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a Xanax high last?
Xanax is a relatively short-acting drug. The effects can be felt about an hour after taking it and can last up to five or six hours, depending on the individual and dose.
How much Xanax does it take to get high?
This amount will depend on a number of factors including age, dose, metabolism, and existing tolerance to the drug. Individuals with a built-up tolerance to Xanax will need to continue taking higher amounts of the substance in order to experience the same effects.
Taking increasingly larger doses is dangerous and can lead to overdose, especially if combined with other substances like alcohol or opioids.