Xanax Addiction: Symptoms, Signs and Side Effects
Xanax is a brand-name prescription medication, classified as a benzodiazepine. Xanax is most often prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorder and in some cases, it might be prescribed as a short-term treatment for insomnia. When someone uses Xanax, it affects a naturally-occurring brain neurotransmitter called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA).
Symptoms of Xanax
Xanax increases the effect that GABA has on brain activity and creates a sense of calm or relaxation. In addition to the sedative effects of Xanax, some people can experience high or pleasurable feelings of euphoria when they use it. Because of its effects, Xanax is considered an addictive substance.
To reduce the risk of someone becoming addicted to Xanax, it should only be prescribed for short-term use. For most people, this means Xanax shouldn’t be used more than two to four weeks. The longer someone misuses Xanax, the more likely they are to develop an addiction.
Xanax side effects include drowsiness and loss of energy. Someone who is misusing Xanax may seem sleepy at odd times or may even fall asleep. They may not appear to have much motivation to engage in daily activities. Other symptoms of Xanax abuse can include:
- Sleeping for long periods of time
- Memory or cognitive impairment
- Slurred speech
- Impaired coordination
Xanax abuse refers to any situation where someone is not using the drug as prescribed by a physician. For example, if someone takes Xanax from a family member or uses it for longer than prescribed, it’s considered abuse. The higher the dose someone uses, the more apparent the physical signs of Xanax abuse are likely to be.