As a prescription medication, Xanax addiction can be easily concealed, making the disease both dangerous and insidious. According to a recent study, approximately 4 percent of Americans met the criteria for a substance use disorder within the past year, with approximately 10 percent reporting a substance use disorder at some time in their lives. While most indicators of abuse are evident in the advanced stages of addiction, knowing what to look for may help stop a Xanax addiction early on. 

Classified as a benzodiazepine, Xanax abuse produces specific side effects. Because of the potential harm that Xanax addiction causes, it is important to understand the common indicators of substance addiction in general, as well as the unique signs of Xanax abuse. By understanding these symptoms, you will be equipped to discern if you or a loved one is battling a Xanax addiction. 

Universal Signs of Addiction

Many signs of addiction are universal. These indicators may be applied to any substance addiction, from Xanax, to opioids and alcohol. They include:

Neglecting Responsibilities

Neglecting family, employment, or other fundamental responsibilities is a strong indicator of substance abuse. Once addiction has developed, the only remaining responsibility in the mind of the user is obtaining more of their drug of choice. 

Financial and Legal Troubles

Those struggling with a substance addiction are frequently involved in legal issues, such as arrests or receiving citations. Due to the cost of maintaining a supply of their drug of choice, financial stress is another common indicator of abuse. 

Change in Appearance

If an individual has lost or gained significant weight, it is often a sign that a substance addiction has developed. Being indifferent towards personal hygiene or grooming is also common among those battling addiction.

Loss of Interest 

Once an addiction has fully formed, individuals often lose interest in hobbies and relationships they once enjoyed. The addiction eventually becomes the sole interest of the individual.

Signs of Xanax Addiction

Xanax has a lasting impact on an individual’s life and health. Along with the previously listed common indicators, the following side effects are indicators that Xanax use has become an addiction. 


One of the most dangerous side effects of Xanax addiction is the risk of seizure. If an individual has been taking this prescription drug for over four weeks and then abruptly stops using, they may experience life-threatening seizures. This occurs when the absence of Xanax causes brain synapses to fire off since the chemical presence the brain had become dependent on is no longer present. 

Mood Disturbances

Due to the chemical effects, Xanax has on the brain, extreme mood swings and mood imbalance are common indicators that Xanax is being abused. By minimizing the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA, Xanax promotes a sense of calm. However, prolonged or excessive use can cause bouts of violence, agitation, extreme risk-taking, or thoughts of suicide. 

Increased Anxiety

As a prescription medication often used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, it is surprising to learn that Xanax abuse can actually worsen these disorders. Because Xanax affects GABA neurotransmitters, the brain eventually becomes unable to naturally manage GABA without the presence of Xanax. If Xanax use is stopped or minimized, anxiety will reemerge, and possibly be more intense. 

Knoxville Recovery Center Can Help 

Being a highly addictive substance, Xanax abuse is life-threatening if left untreated. Fortunately, help is available for those battling this addiction. Depending on the stage of an individual’s addiction, they may require detox, an intensive treatment program, or both. Fortunately, Knoxville Recovery Center offers various services to those struggling with this addiction. 

Services offered: 

Detox – Our on-site detox clinic accommodates and supports clients as the body sheds all residual traces of Xanax. Clients are under medical supervision during the detox process to ensure that they remain safe and comfortable. 

Addiction Treatment –  During our addiction treatment program, clients will engage in introductory therapies and exercises that work to prepare them for continued, more intensive treatment outside of our facility. The goal of our addiction treatment track is to stabilize clients so that they are treatment-ready. 

Mental Health Treatment – Our mental health treatment program introduces behavioral therapies rooted in self-expression and holistic exercise. Art therapy, music therapy, and yoga are just a few forms of therapy we offer at the center. Our goal is to help the client reclaim their voice and expose them to treatment within a professional facility. 

Aftercare Planning – Aftercare is designed for individuals who have benefitted from our introductory addiction services and are transitioning into a more intensive addiction treatment program. Once a client is stabilized, they will be encouraged to pursue continued addiction treatment. Our experienced case managers will then work with our clients to place them in a program that addresses their specific wants and needs.

Addiction is difficult to overcome alone. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with Xanax abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call Knoxville Recovery Center and speak with an addiction expert today. 

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