Xanax: Addiction Treatment & Rehab

Xanax (alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine medication used for treating anxiety and panic disorders. It is normally prescribed for short-term use and is known to elicit notable withdrawal effects even after being used for a short time. Due to its effect on the body, the use of this type of medication comes with certain risks.

Why Is Xanax Addictive?

Benzodiazepines are an incredibly addictive medication. This is because Xanax alters the brain’s chemistry. In the short term usage, it prevents panic attacks and other symptoms of anxiety. However, long-term usage makes the body rely on its presence and begin to malfunction without it. 

As a central nervous system depressant, Xanax slows down bodily functions like heart rate and blood pressure and regulates body temperature. After a while, the brain and body become physically dependent on Xanax, as it produces sedative effects. Xanax releases dopamine and influences the pleasure center of the brain, which is the foundation of addiction.

In situations like this, it is recommended that Xanax dosage is slowly tapered off,  to avoid uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.


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Short-Term Effects Of Xanax Addiction

The short-term effects of Xanax apply to both chronic and recreational abusers. Because the effects can be felt in just a few minutes after ingestion, the short-term is mostly obvious. The more hazardous method is the abuse of Xanax when snorted or ingested, as it increases the potency and speed of the effect from the onset. 

They can also show up after eating the drug and they commonly stop after the drug use is discontinued. Immediate aspect results of Xanax can include:

  • Drowsiness, fatigue, and the unexpected need to sleep.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • A calming feeling.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Memory problems.
  • Loss of sex drive.
  • Confusion, disorientation, or euphoria.
  • Becoming quickly agitated.
  • Changes in eating or appetite.

When you haven’t built up your tolerance to Xanax, you might often feel these effects much stronger. Though it takes some time before Xanax brain damage occurs, drugs abused in large doses do have debilitating effects. Even long-term Xanax abusers can encounter these symptoms with higher doses, making it possible for withdrawal to be quite severe.

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Long-Term Effects Of Xanax Addiction

Though the long-term effects of Xanax may take time to develop, the timeline is usually short. In about 6-8 weeks, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) production will be totally different. While recovering from addiction, participation in individual therapy is quite helpful. 

Learning to cope without the use of drugs is very important in the maintenance of sobriety. The presence of the long-term effects of Xanax in a patient can cause serious problems to their health, and the results of long-term abuse of Xanax can result in:

  • Loss of memory or impairment and lowered IQ.
  • Deterioration of vision or difficulty determining spatial orientation.
  • Difficulty with problem solving and concentration.
  • Loss of vocal skills and difficulty in learning new ones.
  • Slower response time to physical and mental stimuli.

The rate at which tolerance builds up, and the frequency of the doses taken, often lead to the long-term effects of Xanax. Like every other substance with the capacity for dependency, after a while, the body will adjust. Now, needing more doses of the drugs to feel anything is much more desired by the body.



Xanax Addiction Treatment

When treating Xanax addiction, steering clear from its consumption is usually the goal. This means discontinuing the drug is very important. Steering clear of it can be just as difficult as discontinuing any other hard drug but it is the first and best step toward a perfect treatment. The process of achieving abstinence may include detoxification and behavioral therapy. 

In some cases, alternative approaches like harm reduction strategies may be considered, especially for people who find abstinence difficult. Treatment can be delivered on an outpatient basis, but it also requires a period of inpatient care in a treatment facility. Since Xanax addiction is most times associated with abuse of other harmful substances, undergoing rehabilitation for alcohol or opioid addiction will also be needed.


Detox is a process whereby a person stops the intake of a harmful drug. The process can be gradual or rapid, depending on the drug.

With Xanax, the effects of withdrawal may be severe or dangerous, so detox is often a gradual process, particularly if it has been used in high doses and for a long period of time. 

For example, to curtail the risk of seizures, the Xanax dose may be slowly decreased over weeks under medical supervision.

During the detoxification process, you will be constantly monitored by medical personnel for signs of withdrawal, as you will need to receive enough treatment to prevent harmful complications.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is a very important component of drug addiction recovery. While detox medications focus on avoiding the negative effects of withdrawal, behavioral therapy is a procedure that focuses on maintaining recovery.

You may need to continue to meet with your therapist for months after the completion of your detox. The objective of therapy is for you to recognize your addiction and to be in control so you can avoid misusing other drugs in the future. 

Treatments and remedies you want from a quality, approved Xanax dependency program are:

  • Multiple stages of rehab care
  • Dual analysis treatment
  • Individual counseling, team remedy, and household therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral remedy and trauma therapy
  • Addiction and intellectual sickness education
  • Individual care plans

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Ben Fisher

Ben is a content creator with multiple years in recovery. Ben has been writing content and managing instagram and facebook pages that provide hope and healing information to individuals seeking help for substance use disorder. In addition to his work in behavioral health, Ben loves to play guitar and hangout with his kids.

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Find Help For Xanax Addiction

Conquering an addiction to Xanax isn’t easy, but it is possible. Medical detox and treatment programs are very helpful when dealing with Xanax addiction. Contact our treatment centers to get help for you, or your loved one today.