Xanax Addiction: Are You Addicted? - PAX Riverbend

Are You Addicted to Xanax? Here are 5 Ways to Tell

Xanax is a highly addictive prescription medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. This benzodiazepine causes chemical changed to occur in the brain and, when used on a daily basis, may result in physical and mental dependence. People who take Xanax regularly, even as prescribed, are at a high risk of developing Xanax addiction. Over time, a person builds a tolerance to the medication meaning they need to take more and more of it to get the same effect. When someone who has chronically been taking the drug suddenly stops, they begin to experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Being aware of the signs and symptoms of Xanax addiction helps people to spot an issue early on and start treatment as soon as possible. Here are 5 signs that you are addicted to Xanax.

5 Signs You Are Addicted to Xanax

Addiction looks different in everyone. However, there are some basic signs and symptoms you can look out for, including:

  • Xanax withdrawal symptoms
  • Behavioral changes
  • Increasing tolerance
  • Physical changes
  • Mood changes

Physical Withdrawal from Xanax

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms of Xanax

If you are taking Xanax on a regular basis and experience any of the above symptoms if you stop taking it, that is a sign that you are addicted to Xanax. Because of the serious withdrawal symptoms associated with Xanax abuse, a person will need to taper off of the medication over a period of days to weeks. Xanax withdrawal should be monitored at a medical detox when they can administer medications to help reduce symptoms and observe for any potential complications.

Changes in Behavior

People suffering from Xanax addiction engage in behaviors that are not considered normal for them. For example, they are more prone to engaging in dangerous behaviors to obtain more money or drugs. This may include actions such as lying and stealing to get the drug illegally. In many cases, people will go doctor shopping to find prescribers who are willing to legally give them more Xanax.

A person seeming more withdrawn than usual is also a sign of a Xanax addiction. They will most likely get defensive if anyone attempts to discuss their drug use with them and try to make excuses for their increased use. People who are struggling with Xanax addiction also exhibit obsessive tendencies towards the drug. They are preoccupied with thoughts of getting and taking Xanax.

Needing to Take Higher Doses of Xanax

Another sign that you are addicted to Xanax is needing to take increasing amounts of the drug in order to get high. When someone is abusing Xanax, their body eventually gets used to it and the effects are not as noticeable. This leads people to need more and more Xanax to get the same feelings of relaxation and wellbeing. The more Xanax that someone needs to take, the higher the likelihood they will become addicted.

Physical Changes Due to Xanax Abuse

People who are abusing Xanax show some clear physical signs as well. These are due to the side effects of taking too much Xanax. Someone suffering from Xanax addiction will display one or more of the physical manifestations. These side effects include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Lethargy
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Unsteady gait
  • Irritability [3]

Mood Changes Due to Xanax Abuse

When Xanax is taken for prolonged periods of time and at high doses, it may actually worsen the symptoms they are trying to treat. Studies have shown that people chronically taking high doses of Xanax experience something known as rebound anxiety. This is anxiety that occurs when the drug begins to wear off and is typically more severe than the initial anxiety that the medication is being used to treat.[3]

People abusing Xanax are also at a higher risk of developing depression. They will also exhibit mood swings such as excitement and irritability or aggression. Many people taking Xanax will attempt to self-medicate these mood changes with more Xanax or other substances, further fueling the addiction.

Getting Help for Someone Who is Addicted to Xanax

Xanax addiction is incredibly difficult to deal with and will wreak havoc on someone’s life. If you are taking Xanax and exhibiting signs of addiction, it is important to get help as soon as possible. Treatment includes inpatient rehabilitation programs and outpatient programs. Our accredited treatment center in Jeffersonville, IN offers all the resources you need to recover.

Our team of addiction counselors will work diligently to tailor a treatment plan to your unique needs. Treatments plans will include cognitive and behavioral therapy. We also offer medication therapy to make the process as easy as possible. Don’t wait any longer, get help today.

  1. https://www.rxlist.com/benzodiazepines/drug-class.htm
  2. https://www.goodrx.com/blog/taking-xanax-what-to-know/#:~:text=Benzodiazepines%20like%20Xanax%20work%20by,help%20relieve%20anxiety%20symptoms%20quickly.
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5846112/

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.