9 Xanax Addiction Symptoms: What to Look for When You Suspect Xanax Abuse

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Suspect a loved one is abusing Xanax but don’t want to confront them until you’re certain? Here are 9 Xanax addiction symptoms to keep an eye out for.

Xanax abuse often begins innocently.

People struggling with anxiety and depression seek help from their doctors who prescribe the drug for short-term use.

Xanax provides rapid-relief for anxiety and panic disorders, but over time, your body needs more of the drug to feel the same effects. Taking the drug in large doses can produce euphoric effects, which is why some people begin to abuse the medication.

Keep reading to learn what to look for if you suspect someone you love is displaying Xanax addiction symptoms.

Nine Xanax Addiction Symptoms

When someone starts taking Xanax in large doses outside of a doctor’s care, they start to exhibit signs of addition.

Xanax does not always make users look or act “high,” but they may exhibit other, less familiar symptoms.

  1. Slurred Speech

Because Xanax affects the central nervous system, it can make someone who takes more than the recommended amount slur their speech. This symptom is alarming, as continued slurred speech could mean someone is having an overdose.

  1. Drowsiness

While Xanax helps you feel less anxious, it also can leave you drowsy. Long-term Xanax users usually need to up their dosage over time to calm their anxiety, which is why insomnia is a common withdrawal symptom.

  1. Confusion

Drowsiness comes with a loss of focus. Some Xanax abusers experience confusion about identity, place, and time.

  1. Poor Motor Skills

When abused, Xanax can cause a lack of muscle control, which results in poor motor coordination. This can be extremely dangerous—especially when driving or operating machinery. 

  1. Doctor Shopping

If a doctor suspects a Xanax addiction, they may lessen the patient’s dosage or attempt to wean them off of the drug altogether. In response, addicts will hop from doctor to doctor to get the prescription they think they need.

  1. Memory Loss

Some people experience memory loss after long-term use of Xanax. Depending on the individual, these cognitive gaps can be life-long.

  1. Risky Behavior

Xanax affects how your brain produces GABA. GABA is the neurotransmitter naturally produced by the brain that is believed to control the negative effects of anxiety and fear when neurons are over-excited.

When high on Xanax, some people may behave recklessly, as they’re numb to the fear that is usually associated with this type of behavior. They might engage in unsafe sex or drive in a dangerous manner.

  1. Loss of Sex Drive

In contrast, when high on Xanax, you might also experience a decreased interest in sex. This can cause men to have trouble getting or maintaining an erection.

  1. Swollen Hands or Feet

Xanax in high doses can cause water retention in the hands, feet, and extremities. The swelling may not be immediately obvious.


A person who is exhibiting signs of being addicted to Xanax will likely need rehabilitation to quit abusing the medication. They will also need to find new ways to cope with their mental health.

But the struggles are not over once your loved stops taking Xanax as withdrawal symptoms begin 24 hours after the drug leaves the body. Depending on how long they took the drug and what dosage they were using, withdrawal symptoms vary in intensity.

After they stop taking Xanax, they may be angry, anxious, or have mood swings. They may start to have trouble sleeping or experience nightmares or other sleep disturbances.

Some people experience weakness, tingling in their extremities and face, and have hypersensitivity and cold or flu-like symptoms during withdrawal.

What to Do Next

Do you have a loved one struggling with Xanax addiction symptoms? Maybe you have tips or words of encouragement for others dealing with the same situation? 

Like, comment, or share this post to increase awareness or help a loved one who is struggling today.

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