Xanax addiction results in short-term and long-term side effects. These effects must be addressed sooner rather than later. The earlier that you can detect symptoms of addiction, the sooner you can begin the road to recovery. Keep reading to learn more about the effects of Xanax addiction and how we can help you today.

Xanax: Short-Term Effects, Long-Term Effects, and the Path to Sobriety 

Xanax addiction is a serious disease in which an individual grows a severe dependency on the drug. Addiction has painful consequences that can even have fatal results. Using Xanax means that there will also be short-term and long-term effects.

These effects range from fatigue to depression to deadly seizures. It is Xanax-Side-Effectsimportant to become aware of what Xanax does to the body and mind. If you or a loved one is going through a Xanax addiction, recovery is possible. 

Long-term sobriety is achievable and we want to help you get there. No matter what point you’re at, progress can be made. Progress starts with becoming aware of what exactly a Xanax addiction is.

What Is Xanax?

Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam. Xanax is categorized as a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepine is a type of medication that produces a calming effect on the brain and central nervous system. Benzodiazepines function by stimulating the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) chemical signal in your brain. 

In other words, this sends a message to your brain telling it to relax. This makes Xanax a relaxant, which is useful for anxiety treatment and preventing convulsions. It acts quickly in the body, making it attractive to those who abuse it, despite the dangerous Xanax short and long term side effects.

Although it can be useful, many people abuse it instead. When Xanax is abused, it poses several dangerous side effects. It’s important to be aware of the consequences if Xanax is abused.

What is Xanax Addiction?

Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is a serious illness. An addict will continue to use a drug for its pleasurable effects despite negative consequences. Consequences can be financial, occupational and/or interpersonal.

Xanax addiction means that the individual has grown a dependency on the drug. Xanax dependence triggers an addiction that can be difficult to identify. When a person is dependent upon a drug, they cannot stop using it without experiencing withdrawal. They also cannot function normally without the drug. 

Xanax addiction can take over one’s life to the point that they can’t remember how to live without it. The short and long term effects of Xanax are dangerous and even deadly. Learning about the problem at hand is the first step in the recovery process.

Short-Term Xanax Effects

Xanax users will experience short-term effects when using the drug. These effects can last from hours to even days. It is dependent upon the amount used, as well as how often. Becoming aware of the effects is the first step in treating Xanax addiction.

What Does Xanax Feel Like?

Those who use Xanax as a recreational drug or without a prescription, describe the feeling as sedating or calming. Compared to a drug like cocaine, Xanax produces completely different feelings. Rather than experiencing euphoria or a “high”, Xanax users describe feeling more relaxed, quiet, and tired. 

In other instances, users have also reported memory loss or blacking out. Depending on the dosage, the intensity of the effects will vary. 

Short-Term Effects of Xanax Use

Xanax, like other drugs in its class, works well for the treatment of anxiety, panic disorders, and sleep problems. However, Xanax is one of the faster-acting versions of these drugs. People who take these pills usually feel the effects within an hour. Although it works quickly, Xanax provides effects for at least six hours.

Using Xanax as the doctor advises can be very helpful if you suffer from any of the issues above. People with anxiety almost immediately feel less tense, restless and uneasy when they use the drug properly. However, some short-term effects of Xanax are uncomfortable.

Side effects common to Xanax include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Changes to sex drive
  • Slurred speech
  • A feeling and appearance of being slightly intoxicated
  • Disorientation

Chronic use of Xanax can result in several serious issues. One of these issues includes physical dependence. Also, a return of the symptoms that the person was originally taking the drug to relieve can be a result of Xanax use.

Long-Term Effects of Xanax Use

If you overuse Xanax, you may even suffer long-lasting health problems. Some of those include problems with thinking and memory, delirium, depression, psychotic episodes, aggressive behavior, and impulse control problems. People who have used Xanax also report periods of sedation for as many as four days. Drinking alcohol can worsen this condition.

Long-term use of Xanax can also lead to dependency. Using large amounts of Xanax at a time will result in a built-up tolerance. This chemical dependency on the drug means that your body will struggle to function without it. This even happens to people who use it as their doctors prescribe.

A Xanax addiction will also result in side effects such as withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms are deeply unpleasant. Withdrawal symptoms are generally, anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, tremors, and sweating.

Long term side effects include, but are not limited to:

  • Cognitive problems. Issues with attention span and memory are serious long-term side effects when using Xanax. 
  • Aggression. Using Xanax, in the long run, leads to aggressive behavior. This can often worsen over time.
  • Impaired motor skills. This is another consequential long-term side effect that comes with a Xanax addiction. It worsens motor skills. This makes driving and using heavy equipment unsafe. 
  • Liver damage. Even when Xanax is used as a prescription drug to treat anxiety, liver injury can be a common long-term side effect. Xanax is metabolized through the liver which increases plasma levels. On the bright side, studies show that once the drug is stopped the liver can begin to repair itself. 
  • Seizures. Research has shown that benzodiazepine use is associated with seizures. Prolonged use of Xanax results in serious long-term side effects. 

Getting Treatment for Xanax Addiction

Detox is the first step of treating a Xanax addiction. It is a crucial part of the process and allows your body to cleanse itself of toxins. Detox cannot be done without medical supervision.

This is due to the way your body reacts when removing something that it becomes dependent on. A good treatment plan must include around-the-clock care and attention to the side effects of Xanax addiction. 

Inpatient Xanax Rehab

Inpatient treatment is usually an addict’s best bet. This is an immersive approach to treatment in which the patient resides at the facility. A medically supervised Xanax rehab is equipped with professional staff who are knowledgeable about benzodiazepine detoxification.

Withdrawal symptoms for Xanax include both mental and physical side effects that can be very severe. In the controlled environment of an inpatient rehabilitation center, they are more easily managed.

Intensive Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient programs are a great option for those who cannot fully commit to inpatient rehab. Intensive outpatient treatment allows patients to essentially create their schedule. Whether it’s work, school or home obligations, outpatient treatment can help you get the treatment you need.

Intensive outpatient Xanax addiction treatment may not be rigidly structured, but the program has to be followed. Xanax results in short and long-term side effects that must be addressed. Outpatient rehab is one form of treatment that makes this possible.

Sober Living and Aftercare

Detoxification, counseling, and aftercare are generally a part of all Xanax recovery plans. Physical and psychological problems occur from prolonged Xanax use. Counseling targets the emotional and mental strain addiction causes.

Aftercare programs are put in place to help patients return to their day-to-day life after treatment. Aftercare programs generally include counseling and support groups. This provides a strong sense of encouragement and support.

During aftercare, there should be a way of monitoring patients to ensure that they are following the program. This accountability is crucial to encourage patients to stay on the path of sobriety.

Recovering addicts should also be involved in case management. Case management means keeping frequent contact with one’s assigned counselors. The counselor’s role is to monitor and motivate recovering patients. Many Xanax experts say that the quality of a treatment program is largely determined by the quality and frequency of this contact.

Ending the Cycle of Side Effects

Are you stuck in the seemingly never-ending cycle of Xanax addiction? Do you suffer its side effects when you try to stop taking the drug? If you answer yes to these questions, you need the help of a quality rehab program.

In Pompano Beach, Florida, 1st Step Behavioral Health provides residential treatment programs, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment. Through the program that’s right for you and by engaging in therapies and other aspects of treatment, you can end your addiction.

Call Us Today

You can gain a fresh start with freedom from Xanax. Short-term and long-term effects of Xanax can become deadly if not treated. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With proper treatment and care, you can get better.

Call us at (866) 319-6126 to learn more about available programs at 1st Step Behavioral Health.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12093599/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4635822/

About the Author: Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.