Xanax Addiction and Withdrawal

You may have been prescribed Xanax (alprazolam) to treat your anxiety, depression or panic disorder or to help some types of pain. Many people get Xanax without a prescription from family members, friends or illegally off the streets. But you can get addicted to Xanax even if you take it as prescribed.

Our intake specialists have personal experience recovering from addiction. Call today and let us help you into detox and treatment. Call 866-812-8231. We understand addiction. Calls are confidential.

What is Xanax?


Xanax Tablets


Alprazolam, or Xanax, as you likely know it, is a benzodiazepine (benzo) which is a psychoactive drug used for treating disorders such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Agoraphobia

Benzodiazepines, i.e., Xanax, effect the central nervous system, producing sedation and muscle relaxation which often lowers anxiety levels.

Xanax Addiction & Co-Occuring Disorders

Individuals struggling with addiction can often suffer from mental health issues, also known as Co-Occurring Disorders. Addiction to Xanax rarely occurs in the absence of other mental illnesses. Co-Occurring Disorders and substance abuse can frequently go hand in hand.  Prescriptions for Xanax are often used to combat Co-Occurring Disorders, which can lead to abuse and possible chronic addiction to this drug.

Xanax Abuse Statistics

In 2013, more than half of the benzodiazepine prescriptions written in the U.S. were for Xanax. Between 2004 and 2008, the number of trips to emergency rooms in the U.S. involving Xanax rose 170%. Just two years later in 2010, Xanax-related emergency room visits doubled, surpassing Klonopin related visits, another benzodiazepine. Unlike most antidepressants which generally take 2 to 3 weeks for patients to start feeling the effects, Xanax works quicker, enabling patients to feel the effects sooner. The amount of time for a drug to be cleared from the body which is known as the half-life is about 10 hours for Xanax, as compared to the 60-hour half-life of Klonopin. With less time in the body, people tend to consume more frequently in order to maintain the effects longer.

Causes of Addiction to Xanax

By definition, addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her. Some people with a genetic history of addiction may have an increased risk of becoming addicted.  Over 30 years of evidence-based research have strongly correlated environmental factors to increased alcohol and drug dependence. Some of these environmental factors include:

  • Unemployment
  • Peer pressure
  • Low socioeconomic status

Poor engagement with family and social support

Symptoms of Xanax Addiction

People taking normal doses of Xanax will sometimes experience dizziness or drowsiness, but high doses of Xanax can lead to acute toxicity or overdose and can produce more serious side effects including:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coma

Though symptoms of Xanax abuse can vary from person to person, the manufacturer of Xanax suggests that you ask yourself the following questions if you feel like you may be addicted:

  • Do you want to hurt yourself?
  • Are you feeling depressed?
  • Do you take risks that are unusual?
  • Are you hallucinating?
  • Are you feeling lightheaded?
  • Are you having trouble urinating?


  • Are you agitated or feeling enraged?
  • Is your skin swollen and/or peeling?
  • Do you feel dizzy or tired?
  • Are you having trouble sleeping?
  • Has your appetite changed?
  • Is your skin tingling or dry?


If you answered YES to the majority of these questions, we urge you to click the following link to begin a private LIVE CHAT with one of our Xanax addiction specialists. If you’re currently experiencing any of the serious above symptoms or you feel that you or someone you know has taken an overdose of Xanax, please contact your physician or call 911 immediately.

Effects of Xanax Abuse

Xanax abuse affects more than just the abuser’s body. It takes a toll on their entire life and can also affect their relationships with friends and loved ones. Some of the most common side effects of Xanax abuse include:

  • Social isolation
  • Short-term memory impairment
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Job loss
  • Legal problems


  • Depression
  • Incarceration
  • Lack of focus
  • Stomach problems – nausea or vomiting
  • Lack of coordination


Effects of Xanax Withdrawal

The withdrawal symptoms of Xanax can be difficult to distinguish from anxiety. Symptoms usually develop at 3-4 days from last use, although they can appear earlier with shorter-acting varieties. Withdrawal from Xanax is something that should be done under the supervision of a physician due to the serious consequences that come along with Xanax withdrawal. The safest way to eliminate Xanax from your body is to seek treatment from a medically supervised detox facility that has the expertise in administering safe non-intoxicating medications for benzodiazepine detox and withdrawal.

Xanax is highly addictive and is a very powerful drug that if stopped abruptly can be serious and potentially life threatening. Some of the physical symptoms of unsupervised withdrawal can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle pain
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic attacks
  • Seizures

Safe, medically monitored detox is the first and most important step to recovery from Xanax addiction. Equally important is finding a drug rehab program that address not only your medical detox needs but a place that will teach and support you in overcoming cravings, identify coping strategies and building a healthy support system that can prevent relapse.

Getting Help for Xanax Addiction

Whether you started taking Xanax by prescription or you take it by other means, the fact remains if your Xanax use is compromising your quality of life, relationships with family and friends or your ability work, we invite you to seek help immediately.  Take the first step by calling Recovery Connection at 866-812-8231  and speak with one of our Xanax addiction specialists.

  • Every call is free and confidential
  • We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • We will answer your questions about getting help for your addiction
  • We know firsthand about Xanax addiction, withdrawal and detox