Xanax (alprazolam) is included in the benzodiazepines class of drugs, collectively referred to as “benzos”. Xanax works by suppressing the central nervous system, creating intense relaxation, lowering the heart rate and breathing. Healthcare providers prescribe it to help in the management of anxiety and panic disorders. But it is also a commonly abused drug that goes by many names: Zanbars, Zanies, Bricks, Z-bars, just to name a few.
It is very addictive, even when people take it as ordered because the body quickly builds up a tolerance and “needs” more to experience the same effects. So even if your loved one would not normally use “street drugs”, they could develop an addiction that needs treatment. Signs of Xanax addiction include the following, which we’ll discuss in detail:
- Behavioral signs
- Physical signs
- Polysubstance Use and Xanax Abuse
- Preoccupation with Xanax
- Legal Problems or Trouble at Work/School
1. Behavioral Signs
If you’re living with someone taking Xanax by prescription, you may notice subtle signs that tell you that they are no longer in full control of their use. They may seem tired and move slowly a lot of the time. They may have no energy and appear disinterested in living and family activities. You might also see them procrastinating when it’s time to get up and on with their day. As the addiction progresses, they may get to the point where they don’t do much of anything.
Additionally, be on the lookout for these behavioral signs of Xanax addiction that are probably out of character:
- Sudden mood changes
- Easy annoyance with silly things
- Stressed over things that wouldn’t normally stress people
- Trouble with memory, frequently forgetting about conversations, events, or appointments
- Excessive gabbing, which is due to euphoric feelings that can come and go
2. Physical Signs
Xanax abuse has lots of behavioral signs that loved ones should look out for. But as someone who cares about this individual, you may also either see physical signs yourself or hear your loved one complaining about them. Some of these physical signs of Xanax addiction include:
- Looking drowsing
- Feeling light-headed
- Excessive saliva
- Dry mouth
- Lowered sexual libido
- Inability to have sex
Begin Recovery Now
3. Polysubstance Use and Xanax Abuse
One of the first things a medical professional tells a patient when they start taking Xanax is not to drink alcohol. That’s because this can be a hazardous combination. If someone you love is drinking alcohol while on Xanax, then they may be developing a problem. The two together create a heightened euphoria. But drinking alcohol with Xanax speeds up the development of tolerance. It can also cause a dangerous brain reaction that can lead to an inability to breathe, dangerous heart rates, or death.
If your loved one has developed an addiction, then eventually, the prescription will not be enough to maintain the addiction. So they may turn to Xanax available on the street. When Xanax is not available, they may buy other drugs to fill the void. This may lead to them using several drugs together or separately. This is called polysubstance use.
4. Preoccupation with Xanax
A person addicted to Xanax may obsess about when they can fill their next prescription or worry about where they can get some more Xanax. This preoccupation often comes before a person is fully addicted and should be seen as an early warning sign that you can recognize as a loved one to get this person help.
Xanax isn’t a long-term solution for managing anxiety, so a medical professional will typically prescribe Xanax while also completing therapy to manage their anxiety naturally. After that, the provider slowly lowers the prescription. But if a person has developed a dependency and/or did not get the therapy they needed, they may continue to seek Xanax after their provider cuts them off.
5. Legal Problems or Trouble at Work/School
Everyone’s experience will be different. They may begin to struggle to get up in the morning, so work or school suffers. The stress of work gets harder to deal with, so they may use Xanax more to cope with increased anxiety levels.
If they have begun to purchase Xanax illegally, then they are at risk of getting arrested for possession or theft to pay for drugs. Even if they are not purchasing illegally, Xanax abuse could lead to driving under the influence, which could also invite legal problems or, worse, injury or death. Xanax abuse by a parent is also tough on children and could lead to child neglect or custody issues.
Xanax (alprazolam) Addiction Treatment at Riverside Recovery of Tampa
It doesn’t matter how your loved one started taking Xanax. If they’re showing signs of Xanax addiction, then they need to seek treatment. And you can support them in this. Let them know you’re here for them and want the best for them. Please encourage them to get help. If they choose not to, consider an addiction intervention. Contact our admissions team to learn more about planning an intervention.
Effective treatments are available to treat Xanax addiction and help your loved one experience sustainable recovery. Common treatments for Xanax abuse include:
- Medication-Assisted Therapies – This form of therapy is a combination of medication and behavioral therapy
- Medically Supervised Detox – A safe and supervised place to become free of the substance’s immediate hold on body and mind so that whole body-mind-emotional healing can take place
- Inpatient/Residential Treatment – A safe and supportive environment to begin doing the personal work to overcome addiction and learn how to experience lasting recovery.
If you or a loved one suffers from Xanax abuse or addiction, please don’t try to do this alone. Treatment works, and we can help. Contact us 24/7 to get the help you or your loved one deserves today.