Xanax Addiction Symptoms: How To Tell If You’re Hooked

Xanax addiction is no joke. At first it’s just for a little anxiety, to help take the edge off. But it doesn’t take long for that “once in a while” to turn into a daily habit. Before you know it, you’re taking Xanax three or four times a day, and it seems you need more and more pills to help you stay calm and relaxed. But what are some Xanax addiction symptoms you should look out for?

You’re not alone. Nearly 50 million prescriptions of Xanax are written a year in the U.S. to treat such aliments as anxiety and panic disorders. And Xanax addiction has quickly become a problem.

Xanax are from the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines and are designed to be a short term treatment for anxiety and panic attacks. They have a rapid onset, typically 20 minutes or less, and because of how they interact with the brain and limbic system, they have a very high potential for abuse.

Even though Xanax (often called Xannies on the street) is meant for short term use, many doctors prescribe them to be taken daily without warning patients of its addictive qualities. Too many people have Xanax addiction stories, many who have found themselves dependent on the drug even though they were taking the medication as prescribed. Here’s what writer Kelly McMillan experienced when she ran out of her benzos while on vacation in Telluride:

“That night, my brain felt like a bundle of frayed electric wires shooting sparks across my skull, I was overwhelmed by self-loathing, and I couldn’t sleep, despite the fact that I was exhausted after a day on the slopes and that I’d dosed myself with Tylenol PM. The next morning, I cut my trip short and drove home. What I didn’t understand then was that I was in benzo withdrawal.”

How do you know if you’re addicted? Here are some of the most common Xanax addiction symptoms to help you recognize if you may have a problem.

Xanax Addiction Symptoms

  • Changes to your mood. Some of the earliest Xanax addiction symptoms involve changes in your mood. You may notice you feel anxious or depressed or feel like you’re be suffering from constant agitation and mood swings. Your spouse and family may feel like you are constantly on edge and always irritable.
  • Changes to sleep patterns. Xanax addiction can impact your sleeping pattern, too. It can make you feel drowsy, even to the point you find yourself “nodding off” when you’re trying to watch TV. You may also notice you have extreme difficulty falling asleep without Xanax.
  • It’s not enough. One of the most common Xanax addiction symptoms is building a tolerance to the medication. You may have started out at .25 mg twice a day, but after a year, you’re taking 1 mg every four hours. Building a tolerance is one of the things that make Xanax so addictive. To get the same effect, you need to keep increasing your dosage. If you find that your prescription is not lasting the whole month or you keep asking friends for a few to “get you through,” your Xanax usage is becoming an issue.
  • Neglecting your responsibilities. The thing about addiction is that it becomes the center of a person’s life. You think about it more than anything else and it’s always on your mind. When you get close to running out, you become panicked and nothing is more important than finding more. This leads to neglecting other responsibilities in your life. Work, home, family: these things are still important, but they take a backseat to your Xanax addiction
  • Psychological addiction symptoms. You may start to suffer from psychological Xanax addiction symptoms. Although these come in many forms, some of the most common include short-term memory loss, especially when you take high doses of Xanax, isolating yourself from others, and having suicidal ideations. You may start to show lack of coordination and have slurred speech.

Now What?

If you are starting to show Xanax addiction symptoms, and are fearful your use is problematic, you should seek medical assistance. Xanax addiction causes serious withdrawal, which can be fatal, and you should not stop cold turkey. With any benzodiazepine, it is best to tapper down usage to wean off. Talk to your doctor or contact your local drug and alcohol agency to see how you can find medical supervision to help you stop using. Let your Xanax addiction story be one of success.

[Ed – ArticleCats is not a source for medical advice. If you think you may have a substance abuse problem, please contact your primary car physician.]



Molly Carter
Molly Carter
Molly is a freelance writer who talks about everything and anything from addiction, to sex. to skinning a deer. You can find her at MollyCarterWriter.com, or Facebook.