Xanax Addiction and Abuse

Learn About Xanax Addiction, Its Effects, and Signs of Abuse

Xanax is a depressant that, when ingested, makes its way to the central nervous system (CNS). Once in the CNS, it interferes with certain brain processes, reducing anxiety and panic in those experiencing such disorders. It also sees occasional use in chemotherapy as a nausea combatant.

Xanax usually appears as a standard pill or extended release tablet. It can only be consumed orally.

Though highly addictive in nature, it still attracts millions of users in the US. According to DrugAbuse.com, there were an estimated 47,792,000 Xanax prescriptions in the United States in 2011 alone.

Effects of Xanax Abuse

Along with the anxiety and panic relief, a Xanax user will experience the following common effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty of Concentration
  • Memory Impairment
  • Early Morning Anxiousness
  • Coordination Decline

The severity and length of time a user experiences these symptoms will largely be determined by the quantity and length of intake.

As with many prescribed drugs, prolonged abuse has extremely damaging side effects on the body. Prolonged Xanax abuse may cause jaundice, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, seizures, or trouble urinating.

Xanax Overdose

When taken in high doses, a user can overstimulate the body and brain to a lethal level, resulting in depression of the central nervous system. Although potentially habitable with proper and timely medical treatment, Xanax overdose often leads to the onset of a coma and/or death.

Recognizing Xanax Addiction

Xanax addiction markers are like those of other abused substances, though they may be difficult to distinguish at times. Among these are:

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  • An excessive buildup of empty pill bottles around the home or office
  • Increased frequency of doctor visits
  • Visiting multiple doctors for the same purpose
  • Impaired concentration abilities and memory
  • Placing more value on the medication than their friends, family, and hobbies

Xanax addiction contains both physiological and psychological elements. Frequent Xanax abusers will develop a dependency, and require the drug to feel normal. Once a user is dependent on the drug, it will become difficult for them to stop, due to the unpleasant effects of Xanax withdrawal, which become increasingly severe with extended use. Xanax withdrawal symptoms include:

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  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Physical and Mental Weakness
  • General Discomfort

The History of Xanax

Since Xanax wasn’t crafted until the final quarter of the 20th century, its history is not robust in length or complexity. The drug was successfully synthesized by popular pharmaceutical company Upjohn in 1981. In the two years following the initial launch, the medication exploded with regards to prescription and overall consumption in the U.S.

Despite a growth in tolerance building and potent addiction in users, the drug was classified under Schedule IV by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Controlled Substances Act.

Xanax Statistics

  • There were an estimated 23,493 active abusers of Xanax in 2013
  • The amount of young adult (age 18-25) Xanax abusers is double the amount of adults.
  • According to the Addiction Center, 124.9 thousand individuals were admitted into the emergency room due to Xanax abuse.

Xanax Addiction Treatment

Xanax is an incredibly difficult drug to quit, but with proper treatment, it can be overcome and you or your loved one can enjoy a healthy and drug-free lifestyle. Treatment options vary depending on the patient’s location, resources, health, and circumstances, but there are a variety of programs available to accommodate patients of all kinds.


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