Xanax Addiction and Abuse

Author: NP Addiction Clinic
Published: March 17, 2022

Across the United States, Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines. Despite its common use among the general population, it’s still extremely addictive. With a high tolerance level and instant calming effect, Xanax abuse is becoming more widespread.

Easily reachable online or via prescription, Xanax has become a quick way to self-medicate in times of stress or worry. You might think that one hit won’t do much, but it’s still taking a gamble. Everybody is different, so you’ll never know whether you’ll become addicted or not, and it’s all too easy to slip down the path of drug abuse.

If you've been prescribed Xanax or have been taking Xanax without a prescription, it's important that you take the time to understand the signs of addiction and abuse.

What Is Xanax?

Each year, 49 million doctors prescribe Xanax to help treat various mood disorders, specifically anxiety disorders and panic disorders. Belonging to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, Xanax comes in pill form and can help bring about a sedative effect.

This sedative effect is brought on by binding different gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors together in the brain and central nervous system, triggering a low level of brain activity. As a central nervous system depressant, Xanax effectively slows down nerve cells in the brain - these combinations produce a calming and tranquilizing effect.

Xanax's sedative effect is also one of the reasons Xanax substance abuse is so common. Once a user develops a physical dependency on the drug and its calming effects, it can be difficult to break the cycle.

Overall, Xanax abuse is more common among young adults (18 to 25) than among those over 30. Like many other drugs, Xanax can have severe negative consequences.

Why Is Xanax So Addictive?

Classed as a Schedule IV controlled substance, Xanax can be highly addictive. Within a few weeks or months, users can become hooked on the drug due to its effect on the central nervous system.

As noted above, Xanax slows down nerve cell activity in the brain, which naturally creates a calming and tranquilizing effect. However, this doesn’t last long, and users soon find themselves having to up their dosage. Unfortunately, physical and psychological dependence can arise when more significant amounts of Xanax are consistently used.

This physical and psychological dependence on Xanax makes addiction so difficult to break out of. But treatment is available. By seeking professional treatment and support, you can go on to live a fulfilling life.

What Are the Signs of Xanax Addiction?

Though every individual experiences Xanax addiction differently, there are a few common signs and symptoms to look out for if you suspect you or someone you know is battling substance abuse.

Behavioral signs can include:

  • Engaging in risk-taking behaviors
  • Withdrawal from social activities or hobbies once found enjoyable
  • Trying to quit but failing
  • Secretive and suspicious behavior
  • Poor performance at work or school
  • Financial problems

Physical symptoms of benzodiazepine abuse can also include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia and sleeping problems
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Slurred speech and delayed motor responses
  • Headaches and migraines

Psychological symptoms of Xanax abuse can include:

  • Increased severity of anxiety disorders and depression
  • Lack of self-esteem and low self-worth
  • Poor hygiene and lack of self-care
  • Paranoia
  • Mood swings and abrupt changes to personality

The signs of Xanax abuse are easily noticeable once you know what to look out for. Despite this, it can be difficult to determine if you or someone else is abusing the drug.

However, if any of the symptoms above are experienced, an addiction may be present. In this instance, Xanax addiction and abuse treatment is recommended.

What Are the Long-Term Side Effects of Xanax Abuse?

When you abuse Xanax for an extended period, physical or psychological problems may gradually develop. While everybody’s experience with Xanax abuse is different, some of the most common long-term side effects of drug abuse can include:

  • Increased severity of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression
  • Memory loss
  • Abrupt mood swings
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Brain malfunctions including damage to brain cells and the early onset of dementia
  • Overdosing, which can sometimes be life-threatening

Though these side effects are daunting, it’s possible to change your fate if you acquire addiction treatment. The sooner you obtain therapy and go through medical detox, the sooner you can begin your recovery journey.

What Are the Risk Factors for Developing Xanax Addiction?

All benzodiazepines like Xanax carry the risk of addiction, but a few factors can make it more likely. Some of these risk factors include:

  • Genetic history of Xanax use or substance use disorder
  • A genetic history or prevalence of mental illness
  • A history of drug abuse
  • Mixing Xanax with other drugs, other benzodiazepines, or other medications
  • Having a co-occurring mental health disorder like anxiety or depression
  • Being between the ages of 16 and 25 (young adults are more likely to develop an addiction to Xanax)
  • Long-term Xanax use over a sustained period

Treatment for Xanax Addiction at NP Addiction Clinic

Despite all the hardships and struggles you might have suffered at the hands of addiction, recovery is entirely possible, and that’s what we’re here for. Located in Port St. Lucie, Florida, NP Addiction Clinic is dedicated to giving you the tools, resources, and support needed to overcome addiction.

We provide a range of addiction treatment options for those suffering from Xanax abuse at our treatment center. Our addiction treatment includes therapy (to ease your mental health), medicated-assisted treatment, and medical detox. We also provide a range of group therapy options for family members and friends, so you can start repairing your relationships.

With well-being at the forefront of our approach, we also provide addiction treatment for a range of co-occurring mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Vetted health professionals run all our treatment facilities, so you can rest assured you’re in the best care possible.

Medical Evaluation

As soon as you enter our clinic, our doctors will assess your medical history and mental health. This ensures that we’re able to craft up a personalized treatment plan to suit your needs.


During this stage, we’ll slowly wean you off drugs through medical detox. You’ll experience Xanax withdrawal as soon as your body is freed from toxins. This detox period can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Withdrawal and Medication

The withdrawal process can be scary for those who don’t understand it. Some of the most common Xanax withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, insomnia, muscle aches, body pains, heart palpitations, and increased panic and anxiety. Though daunting, it’s important to remember that these withdrawal effects are just your body’s natural reaction to coming off drugs.

During the entire process, you’ll be under 24/7 medical supervision and care. We’ll also give you medication to help alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal and make your recovery journey smoother.


Once you’ve completed withdrawal and detox, we’ll continue to support you. We believe aftercare is just as important as treatment, so if you need a little bit of time to adjust, we’re more than happy to help.

Begin Your Journey to Recovery Today

Are you ready to begin your journey to recovery? At NPAC, we know just how big of a step seeking help is - that’s why we’ve created such a welcoming and holistic approach to addiction treatment. During your stay with us, you’ll be surrounded by caring and compassionate healthcare professionals and addiction specialists who will guide you through the recovery process.

We treat a range of mental health and substance use disorders, including everything from Xanax addiction and cocaine addiction to depression and anxiety.

If you have a Xanax addiction and would like to discuss treatment, please get in touch with our admin team. They’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have and walk through the admissions process.

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