Xanax Abuse: Effects, Signs & Symptoms

Xanax Abuse: Effects, Signs & SymptomsXanax abuse can have a major negative impact on your life. If you or your loved ones are affected by these problems, guidance from a well-informed source can help you chart the most effective path to a lasting recovery. From topics such as the signs and symptoms of addiction to the best options for treatment, knowledge is crucial. With the right information in hand, you’ll feel much better prepared to seek help and make decisions that support your well-being.

Symptoms and Side Effects of Xanax Abuse

All people affected by Xanax (alprazolam)1 addiction have diagnosable symptoms of an officially defined condition called sedative, hypnotic and anxiolytic (SHA) use disorder. The terms of this disorder include the addicted use of sedative, hypnotic and anxiety-reducing medications (sometimes known as tranquilizers), as well damaging, non-addicted medication abuse. The SHA-use disorder diagnosis includes both types of substance problems because overlapping symptoms of addiction and abuse are not uncommon.

Doctors checking for an addiction to Xanax  look for core symptoms such as:
  • Loss of control over how much of the medication you take at any one time
  • Loss of control over how often you take Xanax
  • An inability to quit using Xanax or decrease your consumption despite multiple attempts
  • The need to take larger and larger doses of the medication to feel any effect
  • A switch to Xanax use as a preferred or favored activity
  • The experience of strong cravings for the medication during the course of daily life
  • An inability to change your pattern of Xanax intake after developing significant personal problems related to its use

Doctors making an SHA-use disorder diagnosis also look for indicators of non-addicted abuse that include recurring intake of the medication in situations capable of producing physical harm to society or to yourself, continued misuse of the medication after Xanax-related conflicts with loved ones and a pattern of intake that reduces your ability to meet major obligations.

People who misuse Xanax may also develop other problems that point to addiction or serious non-addicted abuse. The list of potential issues includes3:

  • Confused thinking
  • Impaired thinking
  • Unusual mental disorientation
  • Problems making or recalling memories
  • Unusual decreases in your muscle tone or strength
  • A declining ability to coordinate your muscle movements
  • A declining ability make rational decisions or judgments

Even when used at doctor-sanctioned doses, Xanax can trigger changes in your brain that lead to a state of physical dependence. Dependent people feel compelled to take the medication in order to feel “normal.” However, unlike people addicted to the medication, they maintain control over their intake and (with the help of a doctor) avoid exposure to negative changes in their social lives and physical and mental health.

Reach Out For Help

We provide holistic care and treatment using an individualized approach specifically tailored to your needs. Our goal is to help you lead a healthy, substance-free life so that you develop adaptive coping and problem-solving skills. Contact us today for more information on our certified staff of professionals and first-rate facilities.

  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine – MedlinePlus: Alprazolam
  2. University of Maryland – Center for Substance Abuse Research: Benzodiazepines
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