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Am I Addicted to Xanax?

Did you know that Xanax was invented as early as 1981? Since then, this medication has often been prescribed to people suffering from anxiety and panic disorders. While Xanax, also known as alprazolam, can be very helpful for some people, it can lead other people to ask themselves the important question: Am I addicted to Xanax?

There is, indeed, a chance that people can develop a Xanax addiction, especially if an individual abuses this drug. But what makes a person addicted to Xanax and what might happen to someone who is addicted to this medication?

As with any kind of substance abuse, becoming addicted to Xanax can quickly bring harm to one’s physical and mental health.

In some cases, depending on how long a person is addicted to Xanax, the damage may be irreversible.

Fortunately, if you catch the addiction early, you can prevent serious damage from occurring. To learn more about Xanax and Xanax addiction, keep reading below.


What Is Xanax Used For?

Xanax is a benzodiazepine that works in a similar way as barbiturates. However, benzodiazepines affect the body and the brain in a different way. Even so, the medication is able to produce many of the same results.

The main function of Xanax is to get people to calm down. Doctors usually prescribe this medication to those who suffer from anxiety or who have panic disorders. Common symptoms of anxiety can include heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, shakiness, and dizziness.

Anxiety can also make people unwilling to do certain things because they have a certain fear or because the action or event will make them too uncomfortable. For example, a person might have anxiety about giving a speech in front of people. If the anxiety is severe enough, the person may suffer a panic attack.

A panic attack is an acute onset of anxiety that can cause severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fainting, heart pain, and difficulty breathing. Some people even experience a feeling of impending doom or hopelessness.

Because the symptoms of anxiety can be so severe and can become severe in various cases, Xanax is able to calm down these symptoms so the person in question can be more relaxed. Those who suffer from anxiety are able to function better in their daily lives when they take Xanax.

This is obviously a good thing, but not everyone takes Xanax the way they are supposed to. More than that, some people may find that they are unable to function without Xanax. This could be the beginning of dependence and addiction to the medication.

But where is the line between taking Xanax normally and taking Xanax as the result of addiction? How does Xanax affect the brain in an addictive way?


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   How Does Xanax Affect the Brain?

The brain works via the interaction of many different hormones, chemicals, and neurotransmitters. If these neurotransmitters fall out of balance or change somehow, the behavior in a person can change. Sometimes the change is drastic and sometimes the change is minimal.

Whatever the case, Xanax works by interfering with some of the neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically one called GABA, also known as gamma-aminobutyric acid. GABA is considered an inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning that it is able to inhibit the function of the nervous system to a certain extent.

This is important for preventing (and treating) anxiety. Anxiety, after all, is a state of excitement in the nervous system. The excitement can sometimes be so great that it can sometimes prevent people with anxiety from doing things or it might cause a panic attack.

People with anxiety may have abnormal levels of GABA in their brains. If there is not enough of this chemical, the brain will become more excited than it should be and the symptoms of anxiety and panic may result. On the other hand, if you restore normal levels of GABA to the brain, the excitement in the nervous system will decrease and the individual in question will become more relaxed.

The Dangers of Xanax Addiction

Can you get addicted to Xanax? The short answer is: yes. Xanax becomes dangerous once you start to notice the Xanax addiction signs and symptoms. The symptoms often start out slowly, so if you are becoming addicted to Xanax, you might not even realize it at first.

However, it is important to know if you are becoming addicted to Xanax because it can cause serious damage to your body and brain. This is especially true if you use Xanax for a long period of time. The thing about Xanax is that it was never designed to be used for long periods.

Rather, it is designed to calm the occasional bout of panic or anxiety. Taking Xanax once in a while for this purpose would likely not cause any harm to the body or brain. But if you find yourself taking Xanax every day and even multiple times every day, there may be a problem.

The short-term dangers of Xanax are usually temporary and will go away on their own. They include changes in mood and memory. They also may make the individual very tired which can inhibit the person’s ability to work or drive a vehicle.

The long-term effects and dangers of Xanax, on the other hand, tend to be much more serious and sometimes even long-lasting. That’s because how Xanax stimulates GABA in the brain. The brain is supposed to produce GABA without any help.

However, when you use Xanax to supplement the brain with GABA, the brain becomes used to relying on the medication to create GABA. When you stop taking Xanax, your brain will have a hard time creating more GABA. This is why people may go through withdrawals when stopping Xanax, especially if they relied on it for a long time.


Spotting the Warning Signs of Addiction

In this episode, "Spotting the Warning Signs of Addiction," Steven provides valuable insights and practical advice to help listeners recognize addiction in their loved ones.

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The Symptoms of Xanax Addiction

The Xanax addiction symptoms can vary depending on how severe the addiction is. If you are only just becoming addicted to Xanax, you might not notice much at first. You might even feel especially good at first because your brain is full of GABA which will extinguish any anxious thoughts or feelings you may have.

But keep in mind that this nice feeling won’t last forever. If you continue to use Xanax, you may eventually start to exhibit signs of dependence. For example, you may try to go a day or two without using the drug but end up using it anyway.

This is because you might feel that you are unable to function in your daily life without it. You may even begin to obsess over the drug and you may worry that you might not have enough. In some cases, the obsession with the drug may become so severe that you may no longer care about other aspects of your life such as work, school, or your family.
One of the dangers of using

Xanax for a long period of time is that a person will need to keep taking more Xanax to get the same result. This is because, over time, the brain will become used to the presence of Xanax and it will require a higher dose to produce the same calming result.

This can be especially dangerous because it can lead to an accidental overdose. But these are not all of the symptoms of a Xanax addiction.

If a person is unable to get the desired effect from taking Xanax normally, the person may start abusing the drug. This may lead to the person crushing, snorting, and even injecting the drug in order to get high. This is also dangerous and can lead to an overdose.

Xanax Addiction Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are plenty of options available when it comes to Xanax addiction treatment. If you think you may be beginning to develop an addiction to Xanax, the best thing you can do is stop taking the medication at once. This may be difficult, especially if you rely on the medication to reduce your symptoms of panic and anxiety.

However, the dangers of using Xanax in the long term often outweigh the symptoms of anxiety. If you have already been using Xanax for a long period of time, you may find it more difficult to quit the drug. This is because you may go through withdrawal symptoms which can be very unpleasant.

The withdrawal symptoms occur due to the brain’s inability to make enough GABA. Depending on how long you’ve been addicted to the drug, the length of the withdrawal may vary. It may also vary in its intensity.

Going to a drug rehab center is ideal if you have been dealing with Xanax addiction for a long time. It will be able to provide everything you need to recover from your addiction. The rehab will also provide you with the tools you may need to keep from sinking back into your addiction again.

Am I Addicted to Xanax?

“Am I addicted to Xanax?” can be a difficult question to ask yourself. Many people may not even realize that they are addicted to Xanax until it is too late. By identifying the symptoms of a Xanax addiction, you will be able to keep it from getting any worse.

A drug rehab center will be able to help you recover if you are having trouble recovering from your addiction. To learn more, contact us here.

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Schedule a call

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Steven T. Ginsburg

Steven T. Ginsburg is a successful businessman who has been actively involved in the commercial real estate and hospitality field for over 31 years. He has also been in and around recovery and sobriety since 1988. Today Steven is a champion for change and a success story for sobriety. He coaches business leaders, educators, and families to healthier habits and rewarding results. He is currently one of the founding partners and principals at Restore Detox Center, a 24-hour treatment facility in southern California., that provides detoxification services and residential treatment for people seeking to restore their lives.  In addition, Steven speaks regularly sharing his story to raise awareness with children, parents, and business leaders regarding the early signs that lead to addiction. Steven was born and raised in Highland Park, Illinois, and currently resides in North County San Diego, California, with his wife, Nicole, and their two children.


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  3. Pugle, M. (n.d.). GABA: What it is, functions, and disorders. Verywell Health. Retrieved April 13, 2022, from
  4. George TT, Tripp J. Alprazolam. [Updated 2021 Jul 19]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:
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