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Xanax Abuse, Addiction, and Treatment

Xanax (alprazolam) is a potentially addictive prescription medication people take to manage anxiety and panic disorders. Misusing Xanax may lead to physical dependence or addiction, which often requires professional treatment to overcome.

While doctors may prescribe this medication, people must use caution while taking Xanax and pay attention to any signs of dependence or addiction. If you or someone you love has signs of Xanax addiction, contact Mandala Healing Center today to learn about your treatment options.





What is Xanax (Alprazolam)?

Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a prescription benzodiazepine medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax works by enhancing the activity of a neurotransmitter in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps to reduce the activity of the brain and nervous system, which can have a calming effect.

Xanax is primarily used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety associated with depression.[1] People who take Xanax may experience side effects, including drowsiness and lightheadedness. Those who abuse the drug may also experience euphoria.

Some people may experience more serious side effects that require medical attention, such as:[2]

  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Feeling faint
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Risk-taking behaviors
  • Racing thoughts
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Increased energy
  • Agitation
  • Fast-talking
  • Double vision
  • Jaundice

People may misuse Xanax by taking it for a longer period, more frequently, or in higher doses than prescribed. Xanax abuse may cause your body to become dependent on the drug and result in addiction. Xanax addiction can significantly affect your mental and physical health and prevent you from functioning in your daily life.

Recognizing Xanax Abuse and Addiction

While some risk factors, such as age, family history of substance abuse, and environment, can make it more likely that a person will develop a drug addiction, anyone who uses Xanax could misuse it. It’s important to recognize the signs of Xanax abuse and addiction and seek treatment as soon as possible.

Signs of Xanax Abuse

People who abuse Xanax may often have changes in their appearance, mood, and behaviors. Some signs of Xanax abuse include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Hallucinations

Someone who abuses Xanax may spend a lot of time and energy getting more of the drug. They may begin “doctor shopping,” meaning they visit multiple doctors to get more Xanax. Xanax abuse can keep people from going to work or school, taking care of their responsibilities at home, and taking basic care of themselves.

Signs of Xanax addiction

Addiction is defined as the loss of control over your substance use. People who develop an addiction to Xanax often experience extreme changes in their ability to function. Symptoms of Xanax addiction include:

  • Intense cravings for Xanax
  • Developing tolerance, meaning you need to take more of the drug to get the desired effects
  • Taking the drug differently than prescribed–taking it for a longer period, more frequently, or in higher doses
  • Using Xanax without a prescription
  • Taking Xanax in risky situations, such as when driving
  • Wanting to stop taking Xanax but being unable to do so
  • Spending a significant amount of time obtaining, using, and recovering from using the drug
  • Neglecting hobbies, relationships, and responsibilities
  • Facing legal or financial issues due to your Xanax use
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it
  • Continuing to use Xanax despite harmful consequences to your health, relationships, and other aspects of your life

Xanax addiction is a severe and complex condition that requires compassionate, comprehensive Xanax addiction treatment.

Xanax Addiction Treatment

Xanax addiction treatment is offered in various settings and levels of care. The level of care you need depends on the severity of your addiction, your overall health, and other factors. Treatment typically involves:


The assessment contains questions about your substance use, treatment history, and mental health, as well as a physical exam and lab tests. It allows your treatment team to tailor a treatment plan to meet your needs.

Xanax Detox

People who misuse Xanax may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it.[3]

Symptoms include:

  • Muscles aches
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Breathing trouble
  • Paranoia
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Panic attacks
  • Seizures

Xanax withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, so you should never attempt to detox from Xanax at home. The best way to detox is to do so under medical supervision.

During a Xanax detox program, medical practitioners and support staff provide the treatment people need to manage withdrawal and achieve a complete detox. Treatment includes medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms, emotional support, and holistic therapies for comfort.

The standard treatment regimen for Xanax withdrawal is a taper. Your doctor may prescribe a long-acting benzodiazepine like Valium (diazepam) and gradually reduce your dose over a period of days or weeks. Tapering off benzodiazepines can prevent severe withdrawal symptoms such as panic attacks and seizures.


The goal of any Xanax addiction treatment program is to help people stop using Xanax and avoid relapse in the future. Treatment combines evidence-based and holistic therapies to help people address their addiction’s physical, emotional, and behavioral aspects.

Treatment plans include:

  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Relapse prevention planning
  • Medications
  • Mental health treatment
  • Holistic therapies like exercise, mindfulness, nutrition support, acupuncture, and massage
  • Aftercare planning

Xanax rehab can occur on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Inpatient Xanax rehab programs require clients to live at the treatment facility for the duration of their stay, during which they benefit from 24-hour support, supervision, and structure. Outpatient programs, on the other hand, offer a more flexible and less intensive treatment option for those with mild substance use disorders.

By speaking with a qualified admissions counselor, you can find out whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is right for you.


Addiction can’t be cured, but people can learn how to manage it and avoid relapses for the rest of their lives. Xanax addiction treatment plans often include aftercare planning, where people develop strategies to stay engaged in recovery when they leave rehab. An aftercare plan may include attending 12-step or support groups, living in a sober community, or continuing individual therapy.

Start Xanax Addiction Treatment in West Palm Beach, FL Today

At Mandala Healing Center, we inspire healing in our patients through compassionate care. Going beyond the conventional approach of Xanax detoxification, patients at our facility are inspired to fully heal in an environment designed to nourish their entire being.

Clients are taken on a journey of healing through complete immersion into evidence-based clinical modalities, multifaceted alternative therapies, and expert medical management, allowing them to fully detox and recover from Xanax addiction. Through a program of care designed to encourage change, a foundation is created that allows clients to find their higher purpose and reclaim their lives.

If you or a loved one are suffering from Xanax addiction or would like to learn more about your rehab options, please reach out to our dedicated admissions counselors today.


  1. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Xanax Alprazolam Tablets, Retrieved May 2023 from
  2. National Library of Medicine: Alprazolam, Retrieved May 2023 from
  3. National Library of Medicine: A Review of Alprazolam Use, Misuse, and Withdrawal, Retrieved May 2023 from