May 24, 2013 | By Tim Stoddart

Xanax Addiction – Right or Wrong for Your Anxiety?

Xanax Addiction


Xanax is a benzodiazepine that’s prescribed to treat anxiety disorders. During an episode of panic or an anxiety attack, a person can take Xanax for fast relief of their symptoms. Xanax acts as a tranquilizer, and it calms a person’s mind and body. For people who suffer from anxiety that significantly interferes with their lives, Xanax can be a great help.

On the other hand, Xanax is also a highly addictive substance. People can become physically addicted to benzodiazepines after using them for a very short time, which can lead to all the problems that are associated with drug addiction. If you have anxiety, how do you weigh the pros and cons of treating it with Xanax? There are lots of things to consider before you and your doctor decide if it’s right for you.


When a person becomes addicted to Xanax, they have cravings for it, and they can begin to take it without regard to any negative consequences it could be having in their life. For example, the life of a person who is addicted to Xanax revolves around taking the drug. One of the reasons Xanax is highly addictive is the way it builds up in your system. A person can develop a tolerance to their prescribed dose of Xanax fairly quickly, and at that point they’ll need to take more Xanax in order to get the same relief from their anxiety they had in the beginning. If a person suddenly stops taking Xanax, they’ll feel withdrawal symptoms that can be mild, moderate, or severe. Severe symptoms include seizure, and Xanax withdrawal can be fatal.

Anxiety Treatment

While Xanax can be risky, it can also have life-changing benefits for people who have anxiety or panic disorders, especially when those disorders are severe. Anxiety and panic attacks are physically, mentally, and emotionally debilitating, and Xanax can help to instantly calm a person during an attack and allow them to live a happier and more productive life.

Extended-release Xanax (Xanax XR) is also an option, and it is taken once per day. If a person has a history of addiction, they should not take Xanax. If a person does not have a history of addiction but is concerned about the addictive properties of Xanax, Xanax XR can be a better choice, but while Xanax XR is works slightly differently, it is still an addictive benzodiazepine.

Xanax is meant to be a short-term solution to anxiety, but doctors often prescribe it for the long-term, sometimes without adequately discussing the risk of addiction and withdrawal with their patients. There are also non-benzodiazepine alternatives to Xanax. The biggest concern with taking Xanax is that a person can come to rely on the drug for dealing with anxiety and panic, and they won’t develop healthier coping skills. Xanax can mask the need for them to work on cognitive-behavioral solutions to anxiety and panic, which is more effective in the long-term.

As mentioned above, the decision to take Xanax for anxiety or any other type of anti-anxiety medication is an individual one that should be made with a doctor. The question isn’t whether Xanax is a bad drug or a good drug; the question is whether or not it’s right for you.

5 responses to “Xanax Addiction – Right or Wrong for Your Anxiety?

  • David Self

    9 years ago

    Great article that could save one life, did you know 1xanex without a doctrs prescription will get you up to 4 yrs in prison and 10,000 fine. I hope you read this and pass it on .

  • Cindy thetford

    8 years ago

    Had open heart surgery in May tried several meds. Reading on.Web MD a lady had exactly same situation the team of doctors came together and the patient had also read an article to take low dose of xanax. 025 and heart slowed down no trouble since and they only took. 25 once a day 7 months later my every test is normal! yeah now doctor does not want to prescribe notes normal medicine for heart. Beurcratic nonsense this could help so many people! But no I am going to my enteral specialist next week I will continue this med. My body low dose provides a slow calm and after almost dieing emergency open heart surgeries complications for 6 months and this helps watch me. Listen to me lived it scared me to death controlled it why not! Thanks for time to read!

  • Гриша

    8 years ago

    Although I agree with everything you said I could also say that Xanax, for me, is like a lifeline. I’m a recovering Heroin addict and after getting clean cold turkey at home anxiety was a HUGE issue for me. Weeks after my withdrawal symptoms I still couldn’t sleep a regular schedule and eat or sustain some form of a diet in order to gain back some weight. Xanax solved all 3. I sleep better and get a full 8-9 hours, plus my appetite on xanax is great. I can eat 3-4 full meals a day and just in the last month have gained 10 pounds. Now here’s the thing, a loop hole in a way.. I’m 100% for sobriety and although I take two 0.25mg pills a day and am very 420 friendly I still am very much in recovery. The thing with the 12 step program.. in my opinion is that it’s flawed. The belief that a person should stop EVERY substance is ridiculous. The goal here (for me) is to keep a needle out of my arm. If I smoke tree to better my life (eating, sleeping, zero anxiety, etc.) and progress forward in the right direction why can’t I? Why can’t anyone for that matter? It’s a silly belief if you ask me, but at the same time if that’s what works for you than more power to you. I’m only speaking as it refers to me. Point is, I agree that Xanax may not be for everyone, it is for me. The pot doesn’t add anything negative either. I’ve never been a drinker so I don’t drink and this just works for me. I can definately see how people can become addicted/dependent on Xanax and recommend caution along with a good, honest doctor.
    Serenity to all 🙂

  • I was addicted to xanax for 20 long years. Took alot of time to admit I needed help. That and almost dying. I’ve been clean now 17 months. If you have an addictive personality I would not recommend them for anxiety. Find coping skills and breathing teqniches. Don’t let these pilles ruin and rule your life!

  • A family member has been on Xanax for several years, but is now making rash decisions, putting her husband in a nursing home, signing him over to dhs without her children’s knowledge. She’s selling everything and planning on marrying an old beau. She has turned her back on her children and lying about them. The children begged her to let them take care of their dad but she refused. Is she being influenced by xanax? She is an emotional basket case, crying at the drop of a hat, speaking incoherently alot of the time and just flat out bat crazy.

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