Xanax Side Effects Long-Term

Learn more about Xanax uses and benefits, Xanax side effects long-term, and Xanax addiction treatment here.

Xanax Overview

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, Xanax is the most common benzodiazepine prescribed in the US. It has also been found in the illegal market. Xanax is generally beneficial for treating anxiety and regulating the central nervous system. This article will address the dangers of Xanax use in the long term, even when used as prescribed. You will also learn how to identify the Xanax side effects long-term and how to find the proper medical assistance.1

Xanax Side Effects long-term

What is Xanax?

Xanax is the brand name for Alprazolam, a benzodiazepine depressant generally prescribed for treating anxiety and panic disorders. It has been highly beneficial in treating different mental health conditions. However, it can be misused and lead to a wide range of Xanax side effects long-term.

Unfortunately, Xanax comes with a significant addiction risk. According to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 3.4 million people aged 12 or older misused Xanax in that year.2

Xanax Uses and Benefits

Xanax or Alprazolam is an FDA-approved psychotropic medication. It belongs to a class of benzodiazepine medications that slows down the Central Nervous System (CNS). In the U.S., Xanax is commonly prescribed to treat different symptoms of anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, insomnia, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and dizziness.

How It Works In the Brain

Like most CNS depressants, Xanax enhances the effects of a natural brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA, the primary neurotransmitter in the brain, aids in calming functions, muscle relaxation, and reduced brain activity and sleep regulation. It helps decrease the brain’s excitement levels to provide a lasting calming effect.

It also provides sedating effects, benefiting people with insomnia and sleep disorders. The downside, however, is that Xanax poses a huge risk of addiction and potential misuse.

Moreso, it is a fast-acting drug which means that it works quickly and stops working just as quickly, increasing the craving for more. Additionally, there are various Xanax side effects long-term that may occur even after using it as directed.

How Does Xanax Addiction Impact Wellness?

Xanax is a psychotropic medication that has a calming effect on the body and mind. However, research has shown that Xanax is a potent medication that can be abused easily. Some people take Xanax to create a “euphoric high,” which can eventually become lethal.

The risk of Xanax addiction increases when it is mixed with other substances like alcohol and opioids. Unfortunately, addiction impacts wellness and can lead to severe, unpleasant Xanax side effects long-term. It can significantly affect mood and perception resulting in mood swings, hallucinations, and depression. In addition, Xanax side effects long-term can also become fatal and result in death.

Short-Term Side Effects of Xanax

Xanax has proven to be an effective medication in managing anxiety and panic by calming the mind and body overall. However, many people have reported experiencing temporary side effects, including:

  • Dizziness 
  • Irritability 
  • Nausea
  • Dry Mouth 
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sore Muscle
  • Drowsiness
  • Lethargy

These Xanax short-term side effects may also occur after mixing the drug with other psychotropic substances. Some people also experience Xanax side effects long-term as a result of overdosing. However, these Xanax side effects vary and depend on the individual’s overall health status.

Long-Term Side Effects of Xanax

Studies have shown that people who take Xanax frequently are likely to become dependent on the drug and may also experience Xanax side effects long-term. People who have used Xanax for an extended period tend to experience severe mental and physical health problems. Experts believe that long-lasting Xanax use can lead to permanent cognitive impairment.3

Memory and Attention Span Issues

A 2017 meta-analysis of 13 studies found that long-term benzodiazepine users had memory problems and issues with attention span. They also suffered other cognitive impairments such as motor control, problem-solving, and general intelligence. This can cause difficulty driving and make it unsafe to use heavy-duty tools.4

Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s

Another study has suggested that long-term benzodiazepine use may raise the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, research is inconclusive on whether or not the type of drugs, age, and medical history may be linked to Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Some people also experience seizures as Xanax side effects long-term, but there is little evidence to support this claim.5

Liver Damage

Additionally, mixing Xanax with other drugs or taking higher doses than prescribed can lead to severe liver damage. Clinically, there have been few cases where Xanax side effects long-term have resulted in acute liver damage. It may damage the nerve tissue in the liver resulting in inflammation and pain.6

Permanent and Severe Damage

Unfortunately, Xanax side effects long-term can result in more permanent fatalities like death or coma. This could result from addiction, unsafe combinations, and prolonged drug use, leading to severe health damage. Therefore, it is important to get help if you or your loved one is experiencing Xanax side effects long-term.

xanax side effects long term

What Should You Do If You Experience Xanax Addiction?

Many people fall victim to Xanax addiction even after using only the prescribed dosage. People with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues are also prone to Xanax addiction. However, you can help to save a life by recognizing the signs of Xanax side effects long-term and knowing the right treatment options for Xanax addiction.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

Xanax addiction creates both a mental and physical dependency on the drug, which can result in the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion
  • Slowed Speech
  • Blurred vision
  • Motor impairment
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations

Seeking Help and Treatment Options

Perhaps you can recognize the signs of Xanax side effects long-term in yourself or your loved ones. It is important to get professional assistance to prevent any event likely to result in death. Many states have Good Samaritan laws, meaning you can contact emergency services without getting charged with a crime.     

What Should You Do If You Experience Xanax Addiction?

Researchers have confirmed that Xanax is one of the most toxic benzodiazepines and can be harmful for long-term use. People with substance dependence try to conceal it from their loved ones, and you may be unable to tell immediately. Nevertheless, if you notice any of the Xanax side effects long-term above, then you can get the right medical care.

Treatment Opportunities

At Essence Healthcare, we offer various treatment options to help end Xanax addiction and ensure wellness. Some of our programs include:

  • Detoxification
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Support groups and 12-Step programs
  • Alternative treatment options
  • Aftercare services

Contact Essence Healthcare Today

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to Xanax, you don’t have to do it alone. The road to recovery is long, but we are here to ensure it goes smoothly. Contact us to get the proper Xanax addiction treatment today. We’ll be here every step of the way.

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Questions About Treatment?

We are a patient-first substance abuse and mental health treatment facility located in Los Angeles, California. At Essence Healthcare, we provide different levels of care from detoxification to drug rehab aftercare. Our team is standing by to address your questions. Your call is confidential and no obligation is required.