Xanax Drug Facts | A Center for Addiction Recovery

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Information provided below is courtesy of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Xanax (Alprazolam) Overview

Xanax Addiction TreatmentAlprazolam (Xanax) belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. It works by slowing down the movement of chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced. This results in a reduction in nervous tension (anxiety). Alprazolam is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression. After opiates, Alprazolam is one of the most popular drugs of abuse. Because one's body builds up a tolerance to this drug, those who are addicted can reach extraordinary levels of Alprazolam consumption. For example, a CNN report on Michael Jackson's death stated that before he died, he was taking ten Alprazolam a night. Stopping Alprazolam (Xanax) abruptly can produce a range of withdrawal symptoms, depending on factors such as duration of use and the amount of the drug consumed. However, not all withdrawal effects are evidence of true dependence or withdrawal. All people, especially individuals with a history of seizures, should not abruptly discontinue taking Alprazolam (Xanax) due to the possible severity of withdrawal symptoms. All patients on Alprazolam (Xanax) who require a dosage reduction should be gradually tapered off the drug under close supervision.

Xanax Signs of Abuse

  • Recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school or home
  • Recurrent substance use in situations which place the user at risk of harming himself or herself
  • Recurrent substance-related legal problems
  • Continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems

Effects of Xanax Abuse

  • Drowsiness
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Changes in appetite

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness and/or anxiety
  • Irritability and mood instability
  • A rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hallucinations
  • Heart palpitations

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