8 Warning Xanax Addictions Signs: What You Should Look Out For

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

In 2012, 6 million people used Xanax or a drug like it non-medicinally. 

Addiction can be a slippery slope, but the sooner it’s caught, the easier it is to treat.

Worried that your loved one has a Xanax addiction? Here are eight Xanax addiction signs you should keep an eye out for in your struggling loved one.

1. Social and Behavioral Changes

If your loved one has a Xanax addiction, they may start to exhibit behavioral or social changes.

The drug will start to take over their thoughts and behaviors. 

If someone is abusing Xanax, they will start to have erratic mood swings. Their emotions will be all over the place, and it will be difficult for them to control them. However, you should also be aware that mood swings can also be a sign of something else.

If they start skipping work or school more often than not, this may also be a red flag. If you want to make sure that it’s related to drug use, then you will need to see if their performance starts to slip as well. Also, keep an eye out for if they stop socializing and stop returning your texts and calls.

Someone addicted to Xanax will also have problems remembering things.

2. Being Secretive

If you noticed that your loved one is being secretive, this could be another one of the Xanax addiction signs.

Everyone has their secrets, but when someone starts to make sure that you don’t go in their room or get defensive or aggressive if you are close to finding something out, this is abnormal.

This could manifest in different ways, like having secret hiding places, always shutting doors, and locking the bathroom door even when they’re not using the toilet or taking a shower. 

You may notice that your friend or family member starts hanging out with other people rather than you. When you ask them who they’re going to see, they don’t want to tell you. They could be hanging out with other Xanax users or meeting with drug dealers.

They may also not be hanging out with other people; they could be spending more time with themselves and keeping those secrets.

3. Having Drug Paraphernalia 

Perhaps you do manage to get inside their room or house. 

If they weren’t expecting you, they could have left drug paraphernalia laying around. This would be a pretty obvious sign. 

You may find things like:

  • Pestle and mortar
  • Old credit cards
  • Razor blades
  • Rolled up or loose dollar bills
  • Rolled papers
  • Straws
  • Empty pill bottles

If you see a combination of some of these items, you may want to consider staging an intervention for your loved one. 

4. Legal Trouble

Because Xanax is a prescription medication, the user may start to get into legal trouble if they are abusing it.

They may have started taking it as a prescription, but once their prescription ran out they may have found other illegal ways to get it. 

They may even start dealing Xanax or doing illegal favors to just make sure that they get their dose of Xanax. The legal trouble may start with small offenses and then it may escalate. 

5. Physical Signs

A person abusing Xanax will also start to exhibit physical signs as well. They may start to show signs such as:

  • Slurred speech
  • No coordination
  • Lower sex drive
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Light-headed
  • Dry mouth or more salivation
  • Constipation/diarrhea 

If someone starts showing some of these physical signs or even others, you shouldn’t try and get them to stop using the drug immediately.

Doing this can actually cause severe withdrawal symptoms. If you notice any withdrawal symptoms, this is also a clear sign that they are abusing a drug.

These symptoms may include things such as trembling, sweating, headaches, vomiting, changes in your heartbeat, and pain or stiffness in their muscles. 

6. Psychological Signs

As we mentioned above in the first point, the abuser may also exhibit psychological signs that they are abusing a drug.

Xanax is a benzodiazepine, which can cause many psychological symptoms if it’s misused. 

In addition to their memories being affected, they may also experience symptoms such as:

  • Being easily annoyed
  • Mood swings
  • Easily confused
  • Manic moods
  • Irritable
  • Tiredness
  • No enthusiasm 
  • Lethargy 

Xanax affects the central nervous system and the brain, so it makes sense that it would cause psychological effects. 

7. Financial Difficulties

If you notice that your loved one has started having financial troubles, they may be having problems with Xanax.

Once their prescription runs out, they will need to find other, illegal ways of obtaining the drug, and it’s not cheap. They may have some money saved up to pay for it in the beginning, but as time goes on, the money will run out.

If they have stopped going to work, they may not be getting paid anymore either. They may stop paying their bills or even go into debt to make sure that they can pay for their fix of Xanax.

8. Being in Denial

If you think your loved one has a problem with Xanax and you confront them about it, they may become aggressive or defensive.

They may not even realize that they have a problem, and they may think that there is nothing wrong with their actions. If you bring it up to them and they deny that it is a thing, you may need to think about staging an intervention or seeking professional help or advice. 

Keep An Eye Out for Xanax Addiction Signs

If your loved one starts exhibiting some of these Xanax addiction signs, it may be time to seek help.

If they are in denial about it, they most likely won’t do it on their own. Thankfully, there are places where you can get help.

To get help for your loved one, reach out to us today.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by 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.