Xanax How It Starts Xanax is a benzodiazepine, prescribed to treat panic and anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (or GAD). In fact, Xanax is very effective at treating these–and it rapidly slows and relaxes the mind, alleviating anxiety and panic nearly instantly. Largely for that reason, Xanax is very often prescribed to sufferers of anxiety–in fact, it’s one of the most prescribed medications in America. Unfortunately, Xanax is also one of the most commonly abused prescription pills. The feelings of calmness and pleasure lead many to use the drug recreationally, which can quickly develop into a dangerous Xanax addiction. People take it at parties, sometimes with alcohol or other drugs–and the effects are exacerbated. Some Xanax patients find themselves taking more and more of the drug to achieve the same effects, which can lead to psychological dependency–and the dissipation of life as you know it. Xanax Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and Effects Beyond its therapeutic effects, which mostly involve alleviating panic attacks or anxiety, Xanax may also have several side effects, including drowsiness, slurred speech, dizziness or balance problems, and increased difficulty with memory and concentration. These effects are similar to those of alcohol, and taking alcohol with Xanax increases them. When Xanax is abused or taken in large quantities, you may find yourself acting erratically and blacking out, or forgetting the experience altogether. This is one of the most frightening aspects of Xanax addiction. Xanax Withdrawal The addictive effects of Xanax are more psychological than physical, but that doesn’t make them any less harmful or worrisome for sufferers of Xanax addiction. In fact, if you or your loved one has developed psychological dependence on Xanax, you may find that stopping the drug results in a frightening, confusing mental state. It may be difficult to explain the psychological symptoms of Xanax withdrawal to others, and significant support or counseling will help. Psychological components of withdrawal include increased anxiety, depression, and irritability. In addition, withdrawing too quickly from a serious Xanax addiction can cause physical problems, including tremors, seizures, and in some cases even death. For that reason, gradual withdrawal and professional help are essential. Recoverying from Xanax If you or your loved one is caught in the throes of a Xanax addiction, escape may seem impossible. As the drug’s effects increase and the addiction takes hold, the hope and resilience necessary to defeat the substance becomes harder and harder to find. This is when it’s most important for users to understand that they’re not alone, and that recovery is possible. Help is out there, including professional substance abuse treatment. If you or your loved one is struggling with a Xanax addiction, there will never be a better time to take the first step toward recovery.