10 Signs Your Loved One is Addicted to Xanax

Effects of Xanax Addiction

10 Signs Your Loved One is Addicted to XanaxDo you have friends or family members who are addicted to Xanax? Xanax addiction is becoming more prevalent in today’s world, with increasing instances of panic and anxiety disorder. A controlled substance, Xanax is the type of drug that has a high potential for abuse and addiction, which are different problems. Xanax (generic name alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine (benzo), and it is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Xanax is the most common of the prescription drugs used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax works as a sleep aid, but the Xanax side effects can be serious. Interestingly, Xanax is often used by treatment centers to prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms or delirium tremens.

What Are Some Common Slang Names for Xanax?

  • Z-Bars/Zanbars/Xanbars
  • Xannies/Zannies
  • Handlebars
  • Footballs (due to the shape of the tablets)
  • Blue footballs
  • School bus
  • Bicycle parts
  • Totem poles
  • Yellow/white boys
  • White girls
  • Bars
  • Planks
  • Upjohns (referring to the company name)
  • Benzos (referring to benzodiazepine)

What Does Xanax Look Like?

Xanax Pills GateHouseForms and dosages of Xanax include:

  • white, oval, scored tablets labeled “XANAX 0.25”
  • peach, oval, scored tablets labeled “XANAX 0.5”
  • blue, oval, scored tablets labeled “XANAX 0.25”
  • white, oblong (Xanax bar), scored with three lines labeled “XANAX” on one side and “2” on the reverse

It’s Easy to Become Addicted to Xanax

Surprisingly, a common question most people don’t know the answer to is, “Can you get addicted to Xanax?

Even when Xanax is taken as prescribed, anyone can become addicted to Xanax. Dependence happens rapidly with benzos. Since Xanax addiction, or physical dependence, can occur quickly, it is crucial to recognize the effects of Xanax and the symptoms of Xanax addiction. It’s also important to know the difference between Xanax abuse and long-term Xanax addiction. The country’s treatment centers have seen many long-time Xanax users with depressive symptoms.

Xanax Abuse and Xanax Addiction: What’s the Difference?

Although the signs and symptoms of Xanax abuse and Xanax addiction are the same, there is a difference between being addicted to Xanax and abusing Xanax. When someone is abusing Xanax, they are often taking it during a specific period of time, perhaps during a stressful situation or for a specific occasion. When someone is abusing Xanax, they can likely stop at any time. When someone is addicted to Xanax, they can’t control their intake of Xanax, and they have a compulsion to take it regardless of the consequences. An addict needs Xanax to function normally and cannot manage daily life without it. Needing Xanax to function is when the line from substance abuse crosses into substance use disorder.

When someone addicted to Xanax stops taking it without medical supervision, they can go into life-threatening drug withdrawal. There is a treatment program near you for Xanax addiction.

Behavioral Signs of Xanax Abuse and Xanax Addiction

When Xanax is abused, it can cause strange behaviors. Some of the most common behavioral signs of Xanax abuse are stealing, slurred speech, disorientation and memory problems.

  1. Stealing – Many people impulsively steal when they are high on Xanax. If you notice your loved one going through random spurts of acquiring things they usually wouldn’t have, they may be abusing Xanax.
  2. Slurred Speech– When someone is abusing Xanax, it has a strong effect on them. Since Xanax is a depressant, it can cause slurring of speech like alcohol. When someone is addicted, the side effects of Xanax won’t be as noticeable because their body is now used to them.
  3. Disorientation and Memory Problems – Disorientation and memory loss are common signs of Xanax abuse. Xanax is used to treat anxiety by slowing down nerve cell activity in the brain; this can cause disorientation in the user. It can cause short-term amnesia or Xanax blackouts in those who are abusing Xanax. If someone is addicted to Xanax, they can end up missing large chunks of time and have no memory of what they’ve done for up to weeks at a time

If you think that your loved one is exhibiting any of these behavioral signs, they may be abusing Xanax or addicted to Xanax. If someone is abusing or addicted to Xanax, they cannot abruptly stop taking the medication. Xanax withdrawal is one of the only drug withdrawals that can be deadly, so it’s important that an addict is seen at an appropriate treatment facility before attempting to stop taking it.

Effects of Xanax on Mood

Xanax Effects GateHouse

As with any drug, the user’s mood is one of the most obvious effects of Xanax on the addict or drug abuser. Some of the most common mental health symptoms of Xanax addiction or abuse are anxiety, anger and mood swings, including depressive symptoms.

  1. Anxiety – Although Xanax is a medication commonly prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, abusing Xanax can make someone more anxious. They become anxious when they cannot get more Xanax or if they are running low. When someone is abusing or is addicted to Xanax, anxiety arises if they are questioned about their Xanax intake or faced with the possibility of having to stop.
  2. Anger– When abusing Xanax, some people tend to get angry. Extreme anger can also happen when someone is addicted to Xanax. The reaction to Xanax is different depending on the person and if they have any other drugs present in their system. As with anxiety related to Xanax abuse, if someone is being confronted about their Xanax addiction, they tend to get angry.
  3. Mood swings – Mood swings in someone abusing Xanax are extremely common. One of the main effects of Xanax is that it can leave you extremely inebriated. Xanax abuse and addiction can lead to unpredictable mood swings, and anger is often a part of the mood swings. Depressive symptoms are also common.

When someone has unpredictable moods and increased anxiety, despite being prescribed Xanax by a doctor, they may be abusing their prescription drugs or struggling with various substance use disorders. People may also be addicted to Xanax if they do not have a prescription and are getting Xanax illegally.

10 Signs and Symptoms of Xanax Addiction or Abuse

What are the side effects of Xanax? The physical symptoms of Xanax addiction or abuse mimic extreme drunkenness and can also be similar to some of the physical signs of opiate abuse. Some of the most common physical symptoms of Xanax addiction or abuse are:

  1. Drowsiness/lack of coordination
  2. Slurred speech
  3. Headaches
  4. Dizziness
  5. Dry mouth
  6. Nausea/constipation/diarrhea
  7. Sweating
  8. Seizures
  9. Swelling in hands and feet
  10. Fluctuations in weight

While these are common physical signs of substance abuse, Xanax symptoms in an abuser may be similar to those common to alcohol abuse and opiate abuse. Although Xanax can be abused by itself, many addicts will combine multiple drugs to create a more intense high. Benzos such as Xanax have been a significant factor in overdose deaths in the past few years. Mixing other drugs or alcohol with Xanax, especially in high doses, is extremely dangerous and potentially fatal.

Xanax Is Frequently Mixed With Other Drugs

Polydrug use involving Xanax is a popular way to experience a different type of high than Xanax alone provides. Stimulants are often used with Xanax to counter the depressant effects leaving a relaxing sensation while feeling alert and awake.

Here are some combinations:

  • Xanax and hallucinogens (LSD)
  • Xanax and cocaine
  • Xanax and meth (crystal methamphetamine)
  • Xanax and opioids (heroin, morphine, methadone, codeine, OxyContin, Vicodin, etc.)
  • Xanax and alcohol
  • Xanax and barbiturates (Seconal, Nembutal)
  • Xanax and Ambien (zolpidem)

How to Deal With Someone on Xanax

  • Assure the long-time Xanax addict that you understand they are suffering from a disease and not a lack of will.
  • Approach the person individually instead of in a group, which may be intimidating.
  • Blame the Xanax, not the person.
  • Tell the long-term Xanax user how the drug has affected their life and yours.
  • Ask the person if they are willing to accept help and possibly medical attention.
  • Remain calm and don’t yell or become angry or frustrated. You can’t force someone to accept the idea of going to a treatment center.
  • Seek professional guidance to prepare for this critical conversation.

Xanax Addiction Treatment

If the symptoms of Xanax addiction described above are all too familiar and you need help, please contact us today at (855) 448-3706. It is possible to live a life without Xanax. We can show you how. Learn more about Xanax Addiction Treatment

GateHouse Treatment Editorial Staff
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