How to Know If You’re Addicted to Xanax

How to Know If You're Addicted to Xanax

Written By: Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.
Cite This Article
Lighthouse Editorial Team. "How to Know If You’re Addicted to Xanax." Lighthouse Recovery Institute., Last updated Nov 17, 2020 at 12:25PM | Published on Nov 17, 2020,


Last updated Nov 17, 2020 at 12:25PM | Published on Nov 17, 2020 | Benzodiazepine Addiction, Drug Addiction

Out of all addictive substances out there, Xanax is the one that seems to creep on most people. College students, moms, young adults, and professionals are all part of the 50 million people receiving a Xanax prescription in the United States alone. Since 2008, Xanax prescription rates have increased steadily at a nine percent year over year. So, how to know if you’re addicted to Xanax? Keep reading to see some hidden and apparent signs that your prescription medication has led you to addiction.

Quick Fact About Xanax

Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a drug prescribed to treat anxiety disorder, stress, and panic disorders. It belongs to the benzodiazepines family and can be highly addictive. Xanax is a central nervous system depressant, which slows down nerve cell activity in the brain, resulting in a calm and relaxed feeling. Because it’s so widely prescribed, Xanax is commonly abused among those with mental health struggles.

Dependence vs. Addiction

The problem with substances like Xanax is that they create dependence. Over time, your body develops a physical dependence on the drug. When someone becomes dependent on a substance, they need more and more of the substance to achieve the same effect. At this stage, they’ll experience some mental and physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug. 

However, once this dependence becomes an addiction, that person won’t stop taking the drug. Addiction can happen with or without dependence, although in most cases, physical dependence happens in addictions. 

How to Know If You’re Addicted to Xanax

Despite being the most prescribed psychiatric drug in the United States, Xanax is frequently abused due to its short-acting, intense effects. If you’re taking Xanax, it can be challenging to spot the signs of addictions, mostly because, overall, you feel fantastic while taking the drug. However, try to self-analyze your behaviors and see if you notice any of these warning signs of Xanax abuse:

  • An increased dose to feel the same effects.
  • Maintaining a supply of the drug on hand. 
  • Develop dangerous behaviors to obtain the prescription, including stealing or getting it from the streets. 
  • Risky behavior, such as unprotected sex or driving while under the influence. 
  • Withdrawal symptoms every time you try to stop using the drug.

How to Know If a Loved One Is Addicted to Xanax

Someone struggling with a substance use disorder will go to great lengths to hide their addiction. Depending on what’s happening in your loved one’s life, you might think the changes have to do with something else. However, there are some signs of addiction you can notice:

  • Mood changes: they may seem irritable or experience anxiety despite taking the medication.
  • Behavioral changes: suddenly, they start acting more secretive, aggressive, or have drastic behavioral changes.
  • Physical changes: it’s common for addicts to gain or lose weight. 
  • Health issues: they may have trouble sleeping, have nausea, vomiting, headaches, or sleep a lot.
  • Performance changes: suddenly, they have a lack of interest in their activities, don’t worry about work or school attendance, and overall start lacking in their performance.
  • Financial difficulties: they may have trouble paying bills or have other money issues without a logical reason or forget to pay bills on time. 

Getting Help

It’s common for Xanax addicts to create a social group of people who also abuse substances. So, they might not realize they have a problem, to begin with. However, whether you’re struggling with an addiction or a loved one is, letting go of misconceptions about addiction is the first place to start. 

For Yourself

If you recognize some of the warning signs above in your own behaviors, it might be time to seek help. Even if you feel you’re not ready for treatment, consider reaching out to a supportive friend or family member for support. 

You can start by making a doctor’s appointment to assess your overall health. They can also help you answer any questions about your substance abuse problem, and when you’re ready, refer you to a treatment center. It often helps to speak with different treatment centers to understand more about treatment programs and options available. Also, consider speaking with a mental health professional who can help you understand the root cause of your addiction.

For a Loved One

It can be challenging to realize a loved one is struggling with addiction. First, do your best to learn more about substance use disorders, including the signs of overdose. Educate yourself about the different treatment plans and facilities near you if your loved one is ready to seek treatment. 

Another option could be to stage an intervention. However, make sure you’re following the right steps to stage a successful intervention, as these can often have adverse effects. Avoid confrontation-style interventions that can lead to your loved one withdrawing from seeking help.

Finding Xanax Addiction Treatment Near Me

When looking for Xanax addiction treatments, you’ll find a plethora of options out there. However, for the best outcomes, it’s essential to seek treatment facilities that offer comprehensive treatment programs that include:

  • Xanax Medical Detox: In this clinically supervised detox process, we ensure the patient’s safety and make the withdrawal phase as comfortable as possible by minimizing withdrawal symptoms and using medication-assisted treatment services to guarantee a complete detoxification process. 
  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Unlike other benzos, most people don’t mix Xanax with other substances. However, long-term use of Xanax can lead to mental impairments, including paranoia and depression. Dual diagnosis programs can help treat co-occurring conditions as well. 
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs: When patients are looking to seek addiction treatment while maintaining daily obligations like work, school, or caregiving, IOPs are a more flexible option that still gives people access to the help they need. 
  • Long-term Recovery Programs: With long-term recovery assistance, patients can have the ongoing support they need to maintain long-lasting sobriety. Recovery programs are crucial to relapse prevention. 

If you’re ready to learn more about our addiction programs, don’t hesitate to call us. We offer unique and personalized treatment plans because we believe no two addictions are alike. The journey towards recovery is a long one, but together and with your family and friends’ support, we’re sure you’ll make it. If you have questions for yourself or a loved one, our admissions specialists will be more than happy to answer all your doubts. Start your addiction treatment journey today.

Written By: Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.

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