Drug and alcohol addictions are difficult to recover from.  Due to the many addictive substances available today, many people struggle with this disease. Fortunately, recovery from addiction is possible. Depending on the drug that had been abused, different treatments may be required. 

Dangers of Xanax Addiction

 As a prescription drug, Xanax poses little risk when prescription guidelines are followed; however, abuse of this benzodiazepine often leads to serious health concerns. Having a high potential for abuse, Xanax stimulates the brain’s GABA receptors which are responsible for producing a sense of calm. After prolonged or excessive use, the brain becomes dependent on the substance to continue GABA functioning. Because of this dependence, seizures and other serious withdrawal symptoms may occur with abrupt Xanax discontinuance. 

Xanax abuse can cause many adverse reactions when abused on its own, but combining this benzodiazepine with other substances is extremely dangerous and one of the most common causes of overdose. When combined with alcohol, heart and breathing rates plummet, resulting in cardiac or respiratory suppression or arrest.  According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association, the estimated number of Xanax-related emergency department visits doubled from 57,419 visits in 2005 to 124,902 visits in 2010 with 19 percent involving Xanax only and 39 percent involving a combination with another drug, most commonly alcohol.  

Signs of Xanax Addiction

Xanax has a profound impact on an individual’s life and health. These signs are unique to Xanax abuse. The following side effects are indicators that Xanax use has become an addiction. 

Increased Anxiety

As a prescription medication often used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, it is surprising to learn that Xanax abuse can actually worsen these disorders. Because Xanax affects GABA neurotransmitters, the brain eventually becomes unable to naturally manage GABA without the presence of Xanax. If Xanax use is stopped or minimized, anxiety will reemerge, and possibly be more intense. 


One of the most dangerous side effects of Xanax addiction is the risk of seizure. If an individual has been taking this prescription drug for over four weeks and then abruptly stops using, they may experience life-threatening seizures. This occurs when the absence of Xanax causes brain synapses to fire off since the chemical presence the brain had become dependent on is no longer present. 

Mood Disturbances

Due to the chemical effects, Xanax has on the brain, extreme mood swings and mood imbalance are common indicators that Xanax is being abused. By minimizing the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA, Xanax promotes a sense of calm. However, prolonged or excessive use can cause bouts of violence, agitation, extreme risk-taking, or thoughts of suicide. 

How to Recover from a Xanax Addiction 

If an individual begins exhibiting signs of addiction, such as a desperate need to continue use, change in appearance, or extreme mood swings, professional treatment is crucial. In many cases, the first step in treating Xanax addiction is withdrawing from the substance. Because of the health complications that may arise during the withdrawal process, it is highly recommended that the individual seeks medical assistance during this stage. Clinically-supervised detox can guarantee that the individual can be safe during the withdrawal process. 

Once an individual has successfully shed all residual traces of Xanax, it is important to seek additional care. Research has shown that behavioral therapies are very effective in treating addiction. Professional addiction therapists work with clients to develop healthy decision making and coping skills to fight future temptations. Treatment within professional addiction treatment centers also reinforces sobriety by providing a support system among like minded individuals.  

Due to Adderall being a highly addictive stimulant, addiction treatment within a qualified center increases the likelihood of maintaining sobriety significantly. Upon graduating from one of these programs, continued support within a 12-step group or aftercare program is very beneficial to maintaining life in recovery. These services help individuals gradually transition into independent, drug-free living. 

We’re Here for You

Xanax is a highly addictive benzo that inflicts irreversible damage when abuse is left untreated.. It is important to seek help immediately if you or a loved one is struggling with this addiction. At Asheville Recovery Center, treatment specialists have developed a unique, hybrid model of treatment which combines a traditional 12-step program with holistic rehabilitation. A multitude of services, programs, and therapies are offered, including the Partial Hospitalization Program, Residential-style treatment, outpatient rehabilitation, and more. 

The founders of Asheville Recovery Center, as well as many of our addiction therapists, have struggled with addiction and now enjoy life in recovery. They understand the struggles of addiction and how difficult it is to overcome alone. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call (828)518-6996 and speak with an addiction expert today so you can take the first step towards a rewarding life of sobriety.

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