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Learn How to Tell If Someone Is on Xanax

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD By April 23, 2019
how to tell if someone is on xanax

Chances are, you’ve heard of Xanax. But how much do you know about it?

In addition to being a prescription medication, Xanax is also an extremely potent narcotic. It can also be habit forming and addictive.

If you or a loved one is using Xanax, it could get out of hand and turn into a full-blown addiction. This article describes how to tell if someone is on Xanax and what possible steps you can take.

What Is Xanax?

Xanax belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. These kinds of drugs are prescribed to treat anxiety disorder or insomnia. It also has some other uses; for example, it can be used to prevent seizures in people who are going through alcohol withdrawal or to sedate someone who’s going through a manic episode.

Xanax generally comes in pill form. Sometimes, it comes in the form of a “bar.” In this form, you can break the pill into smaller pieces to take smaller doses.

What Does Being on Xanax Feel Like?

When people are on Xanax, they tend to feel very relaxed. Any anxiety the person has will quickly start to go away as the drug takes effect.

At higher doses, Xanax has a sedative-like effect comparable to sleeping pills such as Ambien. If you take too much of Xanax, you might experience blackouts in which you aren’t aware of where you’ve been or what you’ve done.

Why Is Xanax Dangerous?

Xanax is a drug that relieves anxiety, so it also relieves you of your inhibitions. This can lead to some odd and risky behavior. For example, many people decide to get behind the wheel and drive while they’re on a large dose of Xanax.

Because of its anxiety-relieving properties, it can have a strange effect on people’s personalities. Someone who might not normally do something as risky as driving under the influence might do it without thinking twice when taking Xanax.

Combining Xanax with alcohol can have very dangerous and unpredictable effects. You might take Xanax with no intention of drinking, only to start doing shots of whiskey once the drug takes effect. When combined with alcohol, the personality-altering effects of Xanax become significantly worse.

This drug is also incredibly addictive. Like alcohol, it can be very dangerous to withdraw from Xanax.

If you or a loved one wants to get off Xanax, you should only do so with the supervision of a medical professional. Quitting Xanax cold turkey can have some unpleasant side effects.

How to Tell If Someone Is on Xanax

Many people with Xanax problems started off being legitimately prescribed the drug. If your loved one has anxiety or panic attacks, they might be prescribed Xanax from their physician.

You won’t necessarily notice any extreme effects if someone’s using Xanax at prescribed doses. It’s possible to take Xanax and remain functional. Many people take it and continue to work jobs and look after their families.

In some cases, people can start to abuse the drug. This is when the symptoms of Xanax use become a lot more apparent.

Someone who’s on a high dose on Xanax may act fairly similar to someone who has consumed a lot of alcohol. They might slur their words and appear like they’re “dead behind the eyes.”

Obvious Strange Behavior

They’ll try to act like they’re not intoxicated, despite how obvious it is. Also, they might struggle to keep up with conversations and make nonsensical statements. For example, they might give you an answer to a question that you asked 15 minutes ago.

You might also notice strange behavior that’s not in line with your loved one’s normal personality. Some people who abuse Xanax go on online shopping sprees in the middle of a blackout and then they’re shocked when things start arriving. Sometimes, people might send nonsensical text messages or voicemails.

Serious Signs of Addiction

It won’t take long for Xanax abuse to spiral into full-blown addiction. As Xanax addiction takes over, your loved one might experience thoughts of suicide or self-harm. They might also become aggressive towards you, even if this isn’t in line with their normal behavior.

If someone’s overdosed on Xanax, they might experience seizures, involuntary movements, and even hallucinations. If you suspect someone’s overdosed, dial 911 immediately. In this country, you can’t be prosecuted for drug possession if you call 911 for an ambulance, so don’t worry about getting into trouble by calling.

Black Market Pills

If someone started taking Xanax legitimately but then started to abuse it, they might need to turn to the black market to acquire the drug. You might notice a Xanax abuser starting to associate with different types of people.

Sometimes, Xanax addicts might order the drug in the mail. Xanax is already dangerous, but it’s even more so when you’re getting it illegally.

Much of the illegal Xanax on the street is not pharmaceutical grade. Often, it’s been manufactured by illegal chemists who don’t necessarily know what they’re doing.

In some cases, Xanax bars can actually contain another substance altogether. This adds a whole new element of danger to Xanax addiction.

Get Help Today

So now you know how to tell if someone is on Xanax. When someone’s addicted to the drug, they stand the best chance of regaining their sobriety if they go to a rehab center.

The best way to treat a Xanax addiction is through inpatient rehab. When you go to inpatient rehab, you live in a medical facility throughout the course of your treatment.

Your condition will be monitored by healthcare professionals 24 hours a day. This is good for Xanax addicts, as the withdrawal symptoms for Xanax can be incredibly unpleasant and even dangerous. When you attend inpatient rehab, you’ll receive all the help you need to manage the withdrawal symptoms.

Do you need to speak to someone about drug rehab? Then get in touch with us now.

Article Reviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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