Xanax: what is it and what happens when it is used?


What is Xanax?

Xanax is prescription benzodiazepine which depresses the nervous system in a way similar to alcohol.

How is Xanax used?

Xanax when abused is taken orally, chewed, crushed (to be snorted like cocaine), or crushed (then dissolved in water and injected like heroin).

What are the effects of Xanax addiction?

Xanax has depressant effects on brain areas that regulate wakefulness and alertness, very similar in effect to alcohol and sedative barbiturates. They enhance the action of receptors that inhibit central nervous system stimulation, and conversely, inhibit the action of receptors that stimulate the nervous system. In other words, if the nervous system were a car, these drugs help press down the brakes but make it harder to press down on the gas.

  • difficulty concentrating
  • “floating” or disconnected sensation
  • depressed heartbeat
  • depressed breathing
  • excessive sleep and sleepiness
  • mental confusion and memory loss
  • addiction

What are the symptoms of withdrawal?

Essentially, withdrawal symptoms for the tranquilizers feel like the opposite of the therapeutic effects. The short-acting benzodiazapines (Xanax, Halcion, Restoril, Ativan, and Serax) can produce especially severe withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms, that are similar to those in alcohol withdrawal, include jittery, shaky feelings and any of the following:

  • rapid heartbeat
  • shaky hands
  • insomnia or disturbed sleep
  • sweating
  • irritability
  • anxiety and agitation
  • grand mal seizures

What is Xanax addiction?

The tranquilizer, which was introduced in 1973, can become psychologically and physically addictive if taken in high doses for longer than eight weeks. Therefore, it should be – and usually is – prescribed as a temporary solution for people with stress and anxiety disorders, doctors say. But while addiction is Xanax’s primary risk, there’s another breed of abuser out there. Like other pharmaceuticals such as OxyContin and Ritalin, Xanax has found its way from pharmacies to drug dealers, and is being abused by young, healthy people who want to get high. These club-hopping, twentysomething, casual “Xannie poppers” are using the drug in combination with other stimulants, from booze to cocaine.

How often is Xanax over-used?

It is estimated that in 1999, 4 million people were currently using prescription drugs non-medically. Nearly 5 million people have at one point taken Xanax or a similar anti-anxiety medication for nonmedicinal reasons, according to a 2000 survey conducted by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Possession of a prescription drug without proof of a prescription is a felony. More than 22,000 Xanax-related emergency-room visits were reported in the United States in 2000, up from 16,000 seven years before, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

What have you behaviors have you seen associated with a loved one’s Xanax use?

What has been helpful in overcoming a loved one’s dependence upon Xanax use?


My wife has struggled with numerous drugs over the years and honestly xanax has been the worst and strangest. Behavior ranges from strange to insane. The worst part she will remember 0 the next day. Note: the abuse im talking about is like a script of 90 gone in 4 days. Also for some reason she becomes a klepto but not in the way you would think. Obsessively picking things up and putting them down. Arrested for shoplifting 3 or 4 times for dollar aisle items when she had 200 in her purse. Once pulled up to a kmart took the plants they left outside overnight loaded into the car and then swept the entire sidewalk like she worked there. Once blackout level hits there’s no telling could be passed out or flying around like a maniac theres no telling. Afterwards the withdrawal is awful to watch and absolutely can be fatal.