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The Effects of Xanax Use

  1. Article Quick LinksPrint
  2. Short-Term Effects of Xanax
  3. Side Effects
  4. Long-Term Effects of Xanax
  5. Xanax Dependency
  6. Xanax Withdrawal Treatment

Doctors prescribe Xanax to treat anxiety and panic disorders. The medication comes in tablet form or an extended-release capsule.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Xanax can become addictive if the mediation is used in large quantities or for a prolonged period of time.

The medication also has various side effects that can occur. If you're struggling with an addiction to Xanax and need help finding a treatment center in your area, call (800) 943-0566.
Xanax Effects question 1

What is Xanax?

Xanax (alprazolam) is a powerful benzodiazepine drug first introduced in 1976. (source) It has strong anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant, muscle relaxant, and sedative effects, (source) (source 2) and is often prescribed for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. As an intermediate-acting drug, it takes effect in 30-90 minutes. (source) Like most benzodiazepines, it has a great potential for addiction and abuse when used long-term. (source)

Short-Term Effects of Xanax

You don't have to use Xanax for a long time to experience some of the effects of the medication. Some people have trouble with cognitive skills and find it difficult to produce words properly. This is a common short-term effect of Xanax abuse. Sometimes, people using Xanax tend to sound like they are drunk when they talk. When you use Xanax in larger quantities, your speech becomes even more slurred. Some people also become confused or disoriented when they take the medication.

Physical and mental effects of Xanax

Benzodiazepines such as Xanax are used for:

  • Sedation
  • Inducing sleep
  • Relieving anxiety
  • Treating muscle spasms
  • Prevention of seizures

Xanax Effects question 2

Side Effects

All prescription medications have side effects, including Xanax. The medication has multiple side effects, but some are more serious than others. The common side effects of Xanax include drowsiness, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, dry mouth, changes in sex drive, inability to perform sexually, increased salvation, weight changes, difficulty urinating and constipation.

Side effects that are more serious include skin rashes, seizures, depression, shortness of breath, memory problems and unusual changes in your mood. If you have any of these side effects when you take Xanax, it's important to seek medical attention and assessment.

Xanax Effects question 3

To get more information on the side effects of Xanax, call (800) 943-0566.

Side effects of Xanax

  • drowsiness
  • light-headedness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • nausea
  • headache

Lasting health effects of Xanax

Chronic use or abuse of sedatives such as Xanax is associated with:

Xanax Effects question 4

Long-Term Effects of Xanax

People who use Xanax for an extended period of time can experience long-term side effects. One of the common long-term side effects of Xanax is memory impairment. While the impairment is mild and it mostly affects your short-term memory, it has a lasting effect. Another long-term effect of Xanax is sedation. It's possible that people who use Xanax may experience periods of sedation that last for three or four days. Sedation can also occur by mixing Xanax with alcohol, so it isn't recommended.

Effects of Xanax overdose

Effects of benzodiazepine overdose can include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma

Xanax-related emergency room visits due to nonmedical use

United States

Xanax-related emergency room visits by people seeking detox services

United States

Xanax Effects question 5

Xanax Dependency

Some people begin using Xanax just to see what the Xanax high is like. When you take Xanax, it relaxes your entire body and helps you sleep better. People who take Xanax for an extended amount of time may build up a tolerance for the drug. When this occurs, your body requires a larger dose of Xanax to achieve the same effect that the pill had on you when you began taking it. If you continually use Xanax, especially in larger quantities, you can develop a chemical dependency to the medication. When this happens, your body doesn't function properly without it. You can also experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using Xanax. Some people continue to get high on Xanax so that the withdrawal symptoms never affect them. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction occurs when a chemical dependency is combined with a strong desire to consume the substance. To help a Xanax addict, call our helpline at 1-800-943-0566 for more information.

Effects of Xanax withdrawal

  • Muscle tension
  • Digestive upset
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Tingling, pins and needles, or numbness in extremities

If you think you have an addiction to Xanax and need help finding a rehab program that's right for you, call (800) 943-0566.

Xanax Effects question 6

Xanax Withdrawal Treatment

When you first arrive at a Xanax detox center, you begin the detoxification process. It takes about a week for your body to detox from Xanax, and during this time, you might experience withdrawal symptoms. Rehab centers have trained medical staff on hand to help you cope with your withdrawal symptoms. If your symptoms are persistent, the staff can administer medication to help the symptoms subside.

Once the detoxification process is over you begin regular treatment program. Outpatient treatment programs offer more flexibility than inpatient programs. However, some people need the additional structure that an inpatient program provides. It's important that you review all of your options and choose a program that's right for you.

Outpatient treatment programs allow you to work and spend the evening with your family. The two types of treatment programs include daily check-in programs and day treatment programs. If you choose a daily check-in program, you are required to meet with your drug abuse counselor every day. Checking in with your counselor every day helps keep you focused on your recovery. Day treatment programs require you to stay at the facility for eight hours per day.

Treatment facility admissions for Xanax

United States, admissions for treatment, age 12+

Inpatient treatment programs require you to live at the facility for the duration of your treatment-typically 30, 60 or 90 days. During your stay, your days focus entirely on your recovery. A typical day at a treatment facility could include group therapy sessions, individual therapy sessions, recreational activities designed to help you learn how to have fun without drugs, book study groups and optional church services.

If you're ready to start your Xanax addiction treatment, call (800) 943-0566 today.

Need Help Understanding Your Addiction Treatment Options? Call 1-888-747-7155.