Xanax, a popular brand name of alprazolam, is one of the most-abused prescription drugs available today.
It is usually prescribed for various anxiety disorders, but healthcare providers recognize it as potentially addictive.
In addition to being anti-anxiety medication, benzos are also prescribed as muscle relaxants, sleep aids, and to treat seizures and alcohol withdrawal.
If someone is abusing Xanax, it is very important to get them professional help quickly, as both a Xanax overdose and Xanax withdrawal can be fatal in different circumstances.
It is important to be able to recognize the signs of Xanax abuse if you are worried about someone you know.
Among other effects, misuse of Xanax can lead to a high, or a feeling of euphoria and deep relaxation.
Do Benzodiazepines Like Xanax Lead To A High?
People who use Xanax report that it gives them a feeling of euphoria, likely due to the dopamine rush that is caused by the drug.
Xanax is part of a group of medications called benzodiazepines. Other types of benzos include diazepam (brand name Valium), lorazepam (brand name Ativan), and clonazepam (brand name Klonopin).
Xanax and other benzos are also known to make a person feel relaxed, calm, and pleasantly tired.
When Xanax is taken in high doses, it has a sedative effect that is very similar to Ambien. Thus, taking higher doses will not make a person high, but will very likely make them fall asleep.
So, Xanax produces a ‘high’ that results in calm euphoria and a deeply relaxed state.
What Does Xanax Feel Like?
Xanax can provide someone with almost immediate relief if they are experiencing anxiety or panic, as the drug is fast-acting and can provide a much-needed sense of calm.
A Xanax high, however, produced by misuse of the prescription drug, can lead to a number of adverse effects, such as the following.
Xanax has a lot of negative effects on the central nervous system and misuse of it can cause cognitive dysfunction, drowsiness, and memory impairment.
Some people even report blacking out during a Xanax high and remembering very little to nothing from the experience.
Xanax is effective in treating generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder, as well as individual episodes of anxiety.
This is because it has an almost immediate calming and relaxing effect, with its effects being felt in as little as 30 minutes.
The relationship between Xanax and depression is complex, as it is shown to both help depression in some people and make it worse in others.
In many cases, it can help in the short term but cause harm in the long term.
Heavy Xanax abuse can result in a condition called benzodiazepine-induced psychosis, in which a person experiences delirium and hallucinations. During this state, they may see or hear things that are not really happening.
When used in the long term, Xanax can cause severe mood swings that can result in violent or aggressive behavior.
This happens more in people who have become dependent on the drug and have begun to experience benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms in between doses.
How To Know If Someone Is Abusing Xanax
When someone is abusing Xanax, they will likely go through extreme fluctuations in their mood and behavior, depending on how recent their last dose was.
During Xanax use they may appear sleepy, relaxed, and content. In between doses they may instead appear irritable, hostile, and aggressive as they experience Xanax withdrawal.
Physical Side Effects
Some effects of Xanax on the body include:
- motor impairment
- slurred speech
- mood swings
- dry mouth
- weight fluctuations
- panic attacks
- withdrawal symptoms
- risky or uncharacteristic behavior
Other Effects Of Xanax
An addiction to Xanax not only affects a person’s physical and mental health, but can end up drastically affecting other areas of their life as well.
Some effects of Xanax abuse include:
- financial difficulties
- lying and/or stealing
- legal troubles
- obsessive thoughts and actions
- stashes of Xanax pills
- losing track of time and events
- mixing with other substances
- suicidal thoughts
Xanax can become particularly dangerous when it is mixed with other substances, like alcohol or opioids.
Both Xanax and opioids slow down a person’s heart rate and blood pressure, and the combination can increase the risk for a Xanax overdose.
Treatment Programs For Xanax Addiction
If you or a loved one is facing an addiction to Xanax, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible and to never attempt to quit cold turkey or without medical advice.
Withdrawal from Xanax can be lethal, and it is never recommended that a person attempt to detox from Xanax on their own.
Medically monitored detox can allow a person to detox comfortably and safely under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
When treating Xanax addiction, it is also very important to treat a person’s mental health and any co-occurring disorders. Otherwise, relapse may be likely if the underlying causes for Xanax abuse are not addressed.
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Bedrock Recovery Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.