Tree House Recovery Colorado

Xanax Abuse and Addiction

Xanax Abuse and Addiction

Xanax is a prescription Benzodiazepine typically used to treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), insomnia, and panic disorders. It is extremely addictive when used long-term and should only be used under the supervision of a psychiatrist.

What is Xanx?

Xanax is a prescription medication that belongs to the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. It is typically used to treat anxiety, insomnia and panic disorders, and it can also be used to manage anxiety associated with depression. Xanax works by effecting a neurotransmitter called GABA in the brain, which helps to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Although it can be effective for short-term use, Xanax is highly addictive and can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms. It is important to use this medication only as directed by a psychiatrist and to seek medical assistance if you experience any adverse effects or signs of addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling with Xanax addiction, call us for support and guidance. (720) 640-0202

Xanax and other benzodiazepines are classified as Schedule IV controlled substances by the US Drug Enforcement Administration. This means that they have legitimate medical uses and are available with a prescription, but they also have a potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction. It’s important to use them as directed by a healthcare provider and be careful since misuse can cause serious health problems. Seek professional help if struggling with benzodiazepine abuse or addiction.


Narcotic: Psychoactive Depressant (Sedative and Hypnotic).

The origin of Xanax (Alprazolam)

Xanax, also known by its generic name alprazolam, was first synthesized and developed by a pharmaceutical company named Upjohn (now part of Pfizer) in the late 1960s. The drug was created as a successor to the earlier benzodiazepine, Librium, with the aim of producing a more potent and effective drug for treating the symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders. Upjohn researchers sought to enhance the anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties of benzodiazepines, and through their efforts, alprazolam was formulated.

Xanax was approved in 1981 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is one of the most widely prescribed and abused medications in the benzodiazepine class. Its popularity in reducing the symptoms of anxiety have made it a commonly prescribed medication around the world. However, taking this drug requires careful monitoring due to its high potential for abuse and addiction.

Xanax Video on Benzo Abuse

Tree House addiction counselor Rob Mo explains the signs and symptoms of Xanax and Benzodiazepine abuse, withdrawal symptoms. He also talks about what to expect when entering addiction treatment for Xanax.

If you are struggling with an addiction to Xanax, call now.

All call are 100% confidential (720) 640-0202

What Does Xanax Look Like?

Xanax, the brand name for the medication alprazolam, is available in various forms and dosages. The most common forms of Xanax are tablets and extended-release tablets. The tablets are typically rectangular in shape and come in different colors depending on the dosage. The 0.25 mg tablets are white, the 0.5 mg tablets are peach, the 1 mg tablets are blue, and the 2 mg tablets are white, green, or yellow. Xanax tablets may have the letters “XANAX” imprinted on one side, with the dosage strength indicated on the other side. It’s important to note that Xanax can also be prescribed as an orally disintegrating tablet or as a liquid solution.

Counterfeit Xanax, on the other hand, can vary in appearance and may be visually different from genuine Xanax tablets. Counterfeit versions may have irregular shapes, inconsistent colors, or poor-quality imprints. The markings on counterfeit pills can be blurry, smudged, or misspelled. Additionally, the taste and texture of counterfeit Xanax can differ from the genuine product. It is crucial to be cautious of fake Xanax as it is often mixed with fentanyl to increase euphoric potency. Fentanyl can be lethal with just one dose.

Image of various Xanax pills

Images of Xanax

If you find a strange pill and suspect it may be Xanax, look at this chart above.

How Is Xanax Used?

Xanax and other benzodiazepines, when prescribed by a doctor, are typically taken in two ways. The most common method is orally, where the medication is ingested in pill or tablet form. This allows for the medication to be gradually absorbed into the body. In rare cases of severe anxiety and panic attacks, some benzodiazepines may be administered through injection for an immediate effect.

However, when benzodiazepines are used recreationally, they can be crushed and snorted through the nose. This method provides a faster onset of effects compared to oral ingestion. It is important to note that using benzodiazepines in this manner is not safe and can lead to serious health risks.

Illicit use of benzodiazepines often involves mixing them with alcohol or other substances such as opioids or methamphetamines. These combinations are highly dangerous. When benzodiazepines are combined with alcohol or downers like opioids, it significantly increases the risk of overdose. Similarly, if taken with stimulants like meth, the two drugs can counteract each other, allowing individuals to use larger quantities of each. However, once one substance wears off, it can result in a delayed overdose from the remaining drug in the system.

Dangers of Xanax:

Xanax, a benzodiazepine, has significant risks associated with its misuse and addiction. As a central nervous system depressant, there is a potential danger of overdose when taking high doses or consuming consecutive doses before the effects of the previous dose have fully diminished. However, it is important to note that the majority of individuals who experience benzodiazepine overdose are using multiple substances in combination.

Xanax/Benzodiazepine Overdose Rates:

Benzodiazepines, including Xanax, rank as the 5th leading cause of narcotic overdose cases in the United States as of 2019. Between 2013 and 2019, the number of yearly benzodiazepine overdose cases increased by nearly 7,000. It is concerning that a significant portion of benzodiazepine overdoses involve opioids, resulting in an additional 10,000 people experiencing overdose annually. Now counterfeit Xanax bought on the street is being mix with fentanyl with deadly results. Read more about this dangerous combination: Fentanyl and Xanax

For more information on Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepine Overdose Graph:

Signs of Xanax Abuse

If you suspect that someone you know may be struggling with Xanax abuse, it is important to be aware of certain signs and symptoms. Pay attention to any physical indications and behavioral changes that may suggest benzodiazepine misuse. Understanding the effects of Xanax can also help in recognizing the warning signs and determining when to seek assistance. Additionally, watch for withdrawal symptoms and listen for the use of street names associated with Xanax.

If you or someone you know is facing difficulties breaking free from Xanax addiction, our specialized benzo addiction treatment program in Denver, Colorado is available to provide support and make a positive impact on individuals seeking to overcome this substance use disorder.

Physical Signs of Xanax Misuse:

Xanax and other benzodiazepines are classified as hypnotic sedatives designed to reduce brain activity to address conditions such as panic attacks, anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. However, when misused, these drugs can lead to several physical manifestations, including:

  1. Physical weakness
  2. Weight loss due to anorexia
  3. Confusion
  4. Blurred vision
  5. Clumsiness and lack of coordination
  6. Dizziness
  7. Drowsiness
  8. Difficulty breathing
  9. Shaking
  10. Headaches

Changes in Behavior

Xanax and other benzodiazepines are prescribed to reduce brain activity, inducing a sedative and calming effect to manage specific conditions. However, when individuals misuse Xanax, they may consume excessive amounts, leading to negative behavioral side effects associated with decreased brain activity. Additionally, behavioral changes can occur as withdrawal symptoms manifest once the effects of Xanax wear off. Some common behavioral changes associated with Xanax misuse include:

  1. Impaired decision-making abilities
  2. Slurred speech
  3. Anorexia (loss of appetite)
  4. Insomnia
  5. Disturbed sleeping patterns
  6. Forgetfulness
  7. Engaging in doctor shopping (visiting multiple doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions)

Side Effects of Xanax

Benzodiazepines, including Xanax, can be a beneficial treatment option for conditions such as panic, anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal when used appropriately under medical guidance. When taken correctly, they can help individuals manage these conditions and lead normal lives. However, misuse of benzodiazepines can result in additional side effects. If you suspect someone is abusing Xanax, watch for the following potential side effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Calm
  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Memory problems
  • Trouble thinking
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of concentration
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of coordination
  • Vision impairment

Common Street Names for Xanax

Xanax, a commonly abused benzodiazepine, has acquired several street names that are often used in informal settings. These street names can vary regionally and may change over time due to evolving slang. Some of the commonly known street names for Xanax include “Xannies,” “Bars,” “Zanies,” “Handlebars,” “School Bus,” and “Football.” These street names are frequently used in informal conversations or discussions related to the illicit use or acquisition of Xanax. It is important to be aware of these terms when recognizing or addressing Xanax misuse and seeking appropriate help and support for individuals affected by its abuse.

Xanax Overdose Symptoms

If you suspect that someone may be experiencing an overdose from benzodiazepines, it is crucial to immediately call 911 for emergency assistance. Failing to act promptly can have life-threatening consequences. Emergency medical responders can administer Flumazenil, which reverses the sedative effects of benzodiazepines, restoring normal central nervous system function. Symptoms indicating a possible Xanax overdose include:

  1. Dizziness
  2. Confusion
  3. Drowsiness
  4. Blurred vision
  5. Slurred speech
  6. Difficulty breathing
  7. Bluish fingernails or lips
  8. Loss of coordination
  9. Tremors
  10. Unresponsiveness and coma

Recognizing these overdose symptoms and seeking immediate medical help is vital to ensuring the best chances of recovery and minimizing the risks associated with Xanax overdose.

Treating Xanax Addiction Effectively:

Treating Xanax addiction typically involves three essential phases. The first phase is medical detoxification, where individuals undergo a supervised process to safely manage withdrawal symptoms and rid the body of the drug. This phase ensures a stable and comfortable transition into the recovery journey.

The second phase entails participation in an addiction treatment program. This program can involve various therapeutic approaches, such as counseling, behavioral therapies, and support groups, to address the underlying causes of addiction, develop coping mechanisms, and foster long-term recovery.

The final phase is aftercare, which focuses on maintaining sobriety and preventing relapse. Aftercare typically involves ongoing support and an individualized maintenance plan tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of each person. This phase may include continued therapy, support group involvement, and strategies to manage triggers and stressors in daily life.

By following these three phases, individuals can receive comprehensive treatment for Xanax addiction, increasing their chances of achieving sustainable recovery and improving overall well-being. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Xanax, call us today. (720) 640-0202

Picture of Author


Robert Funk: Addiction Writer

It's Lifestyle Recovery

There is a Better Way to Overcome Addiction – A Health-Centered Program.

  • MIND
  • BODY