Skip to main content

5 Alarming Xanax Facts that will Make You Think Twice about Popping Any Pills

Xanax is one of the world’s most popular prescription pills and so many different kinds of people are taking them. Xanax is is cherished for its ability to ease stress and produce a smooth chill high among all kinds of people including fast-paced professionals, moms & dads at home, high school kids, LA icons, celebrities, internet rappers, grandparents, chic New Yorkers,  and of course the genuinely mentally ill people who need help with crippling anxiety. For every type of person, there’s a different reason to seek out a bottle of “chill pills,” but the end result is pretty much the same for everybody; dangerous dependence.

The active ingredient in Xanax is Alprazolam which is a member of the chemical family of Benzodiazepines, AKA benzos.  Xanax is by far the most popular and widely recognized of this class of medication, but they all function very similarly. The other drugs in the benzo family which you may have heard of include:

  • Lorazepam: Ativan
  • Clonazepam: Klonopin
  • Diazepam: Valium
  • Zolpidem: Ambien
    • This medication is not exactly a benzodiazepine but it shares many of the same characteristics and potential for abuse.

For the purpose of this article, we’re going to talk about all benzos as a group.

1. Tolerance to Xanax and other Benzos develops FAST, especially for people with sleep problems.

One of the most common reasons that benzodiazepines are prescribed is for insomnia. When people can’t fall asleep for whatever reason, they may get a Xanax or Ambien prescription. However, according to Psychiatrist Dr. Stewart Shipko, this is a risky solution. In an interview with the Huffington Post he explains:

“Already by the end of the first week, they’re no longer getting that quality. So the dose begins to rise, say, from .5 mg, which is easily stopped, to 2 mg, which is not.”

In other words, dangerous levels of tolerance can start in just ONE week of use. This makes Xanax HIGHLY addictive since users will have to quickly start upping their doses just to get the same effect as when they originally started taking the medication as prescribed.

2. When combined with alcohol, Benzos have an ADDITIVE effect

This means that 1+1 does not equal 2 when pills are mixed with an alcoholic drink. When mixing benzos and alcohol, you will find yourself much more inebriated than intended which can lead to a dangerous situation. Young people often don’t realize how strong the combination of alcohol and benzos can be, and may find themselves getting sick and blacking out much more quickly. This not only increases the risk of overdose and accidents but can also put young people at high risk for sexual assault. While not the same as the date rape drug, Rohypnol, Xanax can be used by sexual predators to sedate targets and suppress memory in the same exact way.

3. The Xanax you get from a drug dealer is often impure

In this Vice special, Hannah Ewans took an in-depth look at the fake Xanax that is increasingly popular among teenagers. Hannah met with teens who are using fake Xanax and took some samples to the lab for testing. The researchers found that one particular type of fake Xanax, the supposedly stronger “Red Devils” contained a blend of caffeine, 2 times the regular dosage of Alprazolam (Xanax), and Diclazepam which is not even approved for use as a medication. It is strictly sold and used illegally.

Taking these home-made blends of powerful sedatives combined with caffeine is very dangerous because users are exposed to untested combinations of drugs with a stimulant, thus making accidental overdose much more likely.

4. Coming off Xanax is harder than coming off of Heroin

Xanax and other benzodiazepines lead to one of the only two kinds of withdrawal syndromes that can actually kill you. The only other potentially lethal kind of withdrawal happens with severe alcohol addiction. Heroin withdrawal, while extremely uncomfortable and torturous, will not kill you, but Xanax withdrawal can.

As a nervous system depressant, Xanax leads to functional and chemical changes in the brain with long-term use. The brain has to produce extra stimulating neurotransmitters to balance out the depressants. When the depressants are suddenly taken away, the brain is flushed with those excitatory neurotransmitters which leads to a potentially deadly, hyper-adrenergic state. When this happens, recovering Xanax addicts will experience seizures, an inability to control body temperature, hallucinations, chest pain, inability to sleep, and various other serious symptoms.

If you are struggling with a benzo addiction and you would like to detox, Do Not Go It Alone! Seek out a medically supervised detox facility where you can receive life-saving treatment if things go wrong. Coming off of Xanax requires carefully planned tapering doses of benzos along with other medical support for dangerous symptoms that may come up.

5. Xanax poses serious Overdose Risk

According to the Chicago Tribune, Xanax and other benzos are related to about a third of all prescription medication overdose deaths. This drug is widely prescribed and with its high potential for abuse, people frequently take a much higher dose than their bodies can handle.

Other addictive prescription drugs like Oxycodone and Fentanyl are also widely prescribed which means many people end up combining their pain-killers with their anti-anxiety meds.  Unfortunately though, when these opioids are mixed with Xanax, they can dramatically increase the risk for overdose. That’s because all of these medications, the different classes of benzos and opiates, are respiratory depressants. This means they will all work together to suppress breathing, which is one of the main reasons people die from overdose.

Xanax, while very addictive, does have the power to help some people manage severe anxiety. It is also a highly effective aid for anesthesiologists preparing especially frightened patients for surgery.  For these reasons, we’re not going to see it disappear from the pharmacy anytime soon, which means we have to be more mindful of how we’re using it, and who is getting prescriptions. If we’re not careful with this powerful anti-anxiety drug, we will see more and more people getting addicted and falling into harm’s way because of it.

Now is time to take action

If you or someone you love is addicted to Xanax or similar drugs know that you don’t need to fight this battle by yourself. We are here to help you in this process.

It’s completely possible to find and maintain recovery. All you have to do is hit the “Get Help Now” button and we will call you ASAP to provide the support you need.

Get Help Now

The Top 10 Most Addictive things on the Planet! [List]

People can become addicted to pretty much anything, depending on their unique conditions and personality. Food, shopping, drugs… There are so many different addictive things out there in the world, and some are clearly worse than others. Have you ever wondered how they compare?

We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most addictive things out there. However, I didn’t just come up with all of these rankings (well, maybe I did come up with 2 of them..), they are based on research conducted by a group of psychiatrists, chemists, and other addiction specialists. They have come up with “addictiveness” values for each of the following substances on a scale of 0-3, 3 being the most possibly addictive.

10. Amphetamines (1.95)

Amphetamines are a class of drug related to the infamous Methamphetamine. They are usually pharmaceutical grade drugs in the form of a pill, that are then resold without a prescription illegally. Ritalin and Adderall are two common forms of amphetamines.

Although amphetamines are the least addictive substance on our list, they provide additional benefits that discourage users from ever wanting to quit. They can cause weight loss, boosted mood and confidence, and elevated energy. Unfortunately, the longer we use these medications the harder it is to quit, and we develop more and more complications over time.

9. Cocaine (2.13)

Cocaine is derived from the coca plant, native to South America. The coca leaf is a sacred plant among Andean cultures located in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Colombia, and Ecuador. However, when the coca leaf is mixed with hydrochloric acid, the result is powder cocaine. The effects of cocaine are stimulating, which means it gives us euphoria, energy and extra confidence.

8. Peanut Butter (2.13**)

BRB readers!

Excuse me, I had to run to the pantry for some more PB.

Equally as addictive as cocaine, peanut butter sinks its hooks into everyone who tries it. Experts agree that here in the USA, we’re currently experiencing a PB-addiction epidemic! Everyone is eating it!!

However, considering peanut butter is awesome, full of protein, and vegan, I think it’s just fine to have a little PB-addiction 😉

**OK, maybe I made this one up, no psychiatrists actually rated PB as a 2.13 in addictiveness.

7. Alcohol (2.13)

Since alcohol is a legal substance, and it’s socially acceptable for us to drink together and celebrate with alcohol, we forget that its also incredibly addictive. Also, we are less likely to notice or take action when an addiction is developing since alcohol is so socially acceptable.

Of all addictive substance on this list, alcohol has the most severe and dangerous withdrawal conditions. Some people with especially severe addiction to alcohol develop a potentially lethal condition called Delirium Tremens if they try to quit drinking cold turkey.

6. Methamphetamine (2.24)

Also known as just Meth, this drug functions as an upper and is highly addictive. It’s usually cooked in less-than-ideal conditions by non-chemists using makeshift equipment. This means that meth is often impure, contaminated, and sometimes adulterated with other dangerous substances to increase the bulk.

Meth is a dangerous drug because it destroys our teeth, skin, mental abilities, cardiovascular system, and more. Longterm use can even cause death.

5. Methadone (2.62)

Ironically, methadone is a prescription medication used to help heroin addicts transition as they work on getting sober. Ironically however, methadone is addictive in itself and now people are using it recreationally when heroin or pain pills aren’t available. Methadone is in the same class of drugs as morphine and heroine, so it produces similar sensations.

In the year 2012, nearly 4.5 thousand deaths resulted from methadone use.

4. Nicotine (2.82)

Cigarettes, cigars, spliffs, hookah, chewing tobacco: the addictive alkaloid nicotine shows up in all of these different tobacco products. At this point, it’s pretty much common knowledge that nicotine is addictive, but did you know that it’s equally addictive as crack cocaine?

How many people do you know who smoke cigarettes, and admit that they wish they could quit? Quite a few, I’m sure. Tobacco gets us hooked chemically, because of the nicotine content, and also emotionally. Many of us grow accustomed to smoking while drinking or socializing. This makes it hard to go out and have fun without also craving a smoke.

3. Crack Cocaine (2.82)

This drug is made by mixing and heating powder cocaine with a base (high pH substance) like baking soda, and water. This process yields the purest form of cocaine possible. Because of this, crack produces a more intense and fast-acting high than powder cocaine. The effects usually last for less than a few minutes. For this reason, users will often take multiple hits, and use the drug over and over again to maintain their high.

2. LOVE (2.87**)

Have you ever heard the saying that love is a drug? Well it’s not actually, but it is an emotional state that can surely become addictive!

Love is a beautiful thing that helps us to boost our mood, forget our problems, and feel more confident. It’s supposed to make us feel good, but it only works when the love is true and sincere. When we’re compulsively seeking out new lovers and getting into iffy relationships because of it, love can actually make us feel worse in the long run.

Brad Lamm, CIP explains:

Love addiction is characterized by compulsive or obsessive patterns in romance, sexuality and relationships that have harmful consequences for the addict and their partners. The love addict pursues romance and the high of new love without ever developing genuine intimacy and connection. Love becomes a source of an emotional rush that distorts reality. The subsequent terror and fear of abandonment that follows is too much to bear.

** I made up this numerical value, but scientists and mental health experts all agree that love can certainly be very addictive!

1. Heroin (2.89)

The #1 most addictive substance, Heroin, is a form of opioid painkiller like methadone and morphine. Unlike methadone which me mentioned earlier, heroin is not available by prescription; it must be purchased illegally. Therefore, it’s more dangerous than other opioids because it’s often impure, contaminated, or cut down.

What makes heroin unique, is that it rapidly breaks down the brain’s built-in reward system composed of dopamine and endorphins. Over time, heroin addicts find it impossible to experience any pleasure outside of using the drug. This is why they keep coming back despite all of the harm.

Do you or someone you care about struggle with one or more items on the list?

Sometimes it may be hard to tell if you are addicted to a certain substance or not. Especially when you know people that are facing a far worse situation than you. But that doesn’t mean you’re not addicted and that you don’t need help.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with any substance on this list, please, do not hesitate to ask for help. We are here to provide the assistance you need!

All you have to do is click the button below and we’ll take the next steps together.

Get Help Now