Xanax is a prescription drug belonging to the benzodiazepine class of substances, like Klonpoin or Ativan. Xanax is typically prescribed to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic attacks, and insomnia. It is extremely addictive when used long-term, making Xanax addiction and abuse a serious concern. Xanax is prescribed, but it can also be obtained illegally.

  • Xanax is the number one prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States.
  • 70% of teens with a Xanax addiction get the drug from their family’s medicine cabinet.


Xanax is typically abused because of the sense of calm and relaxation it causes in the user. Some people abuse Xanax by taking it in higher doses or combining it with other drugs or alcohol in order to achieve the desired high. 

Taking more than the prescribed dosage or using Xanax without a prescription is considered abuse of the drug. However, even those who follow a prescription can fall victim to Xanax abuse and addiction. Some of the symptoms of Xanax abuse include:

  • slurred speech
  • lack of focus
  • confusion
  • memory loss
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • lowered libido


If a user wishes to stop taking Xanax after dependence on the drug has formed, it is not recommended to quit “cold turkey” or without medical supervision. The severity of the symptoms can vary, but if convulsions occur, withdrawal from Xanax can be deadly. Some of the symptoms include:

  • headaches
  • blurred vision
  • tremors
  • diarrhea
  • numb fingers
  • sensitivity to light and sound
  • insomnia
  • panic
  • paranoia
  • seizures

Normally, the withdrawal process involves slowly reducing the dosage of Xanax and eventually switching the user to a long-acting form of the drug for a period of time. The gradual taper of this drug helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms.


Overcoming an addiction to Xanax isn’t easy, but people do it every day. Medical detox and  residential treatment programs like the ones offered at Profound can be helpful when treating a Xanax addiction. We offer programs for every step of recovery, and our clinical team can help craft a treatment plan that best suits your needs.



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