Xanax interacts with other drugs and substances in different ways. For example, did you know that if you are taking Xanax, you should avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice? This is because grapefruit contains a chemical that can affect how your liver metabolizes Xanax.
You should also avoid alcohol if you are taking Xanax as they both have sedative effects which can result in a fatal overdose. Unfortunately, mixing Xanax and alcohol is popular among people wanting to feel an intense high, but you should never misuse drugs, whether prescribed to you or otherwise.
If your doctor has given you a prescription for Xanax and you find yourself unable to control your drinking, inform them immediately. If you think you might have an addiction to Xanax or alcohol, talk to someone about addiction treatment. American addiction centers, such as our own, can provide treatment and help you overcome your struggles with substances.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax, also known as Alprazolam, is a powerful drug belonging to the benzodiazepine family. As central nervous system (CNS) depressant, benzodiazepines are a form of sedative. A controlled schedule IV drug, benzodiazepines have a high potential for abuse and addiction.
Xanax is a prescription medication primarily used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It is also sometimes used to ease insomnia and seizures. Like other prescription drugs, Xanax is only prescribed for short periods because of the risk of addiction.
When taken, Xanax works by increasing the effects of a chemical called gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, causing a calming sensation. Taking Xanax has rapid onset effects and typically leaves you feeling relaxed and sleepy.
Common effects of taking Xanax include:
- Decreased feelings of panic
Additional side effects of taking Xanax include:
- Memory problems
- Sleep problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Reduced mood
- Impaired coordination
If you are concerned about the side effects of Xanax, you may feel inclined to stop taking them. However, this could be dangerous. Instead, please speak with your doctor for guidance.
Why Does an Addiction to Xanax Happen?
Xanax addiction can occur through prolonged use. As noted above, a prescription of Xanax should only last a few weeks as it is an addictive substance. If you have recently completed a course of treatment and think you need ongoing medication for existing symptoms, talk to your doctor about an alternative solution.
Some people misuse Xanax by self-medicating with the drug. However, this is not recommended, even if you believe doing so helps your anxiety. Others misuse Xanax by taking it when it is not prescribed to them. Sadly, prescription medications can pose a severe risk when not issued by a licensed medical professional.
Misuse also occurs when Xanax is taken for its euphoric high. It is additionally common for people to misuse drugs due to peer pressure or curiosity. However, using drugs recreationally is risky, and if you buy them on the street or from a stranger, they may not be what they say they are.
Drug abuse can cause adverse short and long-term health effects. It can be hard to quit drugs once you have developed a physical dependence, but it is possible with appropriate care and support.
What Are the Signs of Xanax Addiction?
Like many other people, you may not realize that you live with an addiction. You may also hide your addiction from those around you due to shame, stigma, or a fear of being called out on your actions. But there is no shame in addiction, and you are not alone. Understanding the signs of addiction can be a wake-up call to get the help you need.
Symptoms of a Xanax addiction include:
- Continuing to use Xanax despite any adverse effects
- Losing interest in things you once enjoyed
- Mood swings
- Sleeping for long periods of time
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Secretive behavior and lying
- An obsession with obtaining Xanax at all costs
- Risky behavior
- Legal or financial difficulty due to spending money on Xanax
- A desire to quit but being unable to
If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is essential to seek professional addiction treatment at one of the many American addiction centers located across the country. In doing so, you will have the opportunity to complete a personalized detox program and receive additional treatments, such as therapy.
What Happens When You Mix Alcohol and Xanax?
Upon mixing Xanax and alcohol, there is a significant potential for addiction and other damaging effects. This occurs mostly through misuse and prolonged use. Although your doctor will have probably discussed this with you, it is important to only take Xanax as prescribed and never with alcohol.
Although many people mix alcohol and Xanax for a euphoric high, this can result in dangerous and life-threatening consequences.
Unfortunately, upon mixing Xanax and alcohol, you may exhibit behavioral effects such as rage and aggression. You may also experience other side effects, such as:
- Low blood pressure
- Slurred speech
- Loss of muscle control
- Loss of coordination
- Gastrointestinal issues, such as vomiting or diarrhea
- Blurred vision
- Extreme drowsiness
- Memory impairment
Mixing Xanax and alcohol intensifies the effects of both substances. Both alcohol and Xanax are CNS depressants, and they have a sedative effect on the brain and body. When taken together, Xanax and alcohol interaction can cause a sedative overdose, resulting in respiratory depression, respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, seizure, brain injury, coma, or even death.
If you or someone you know has taken a combined dose of alcohol and Xanax, it is a medical emergency, and you should call 911.
How Do I Get Help for Addiction?
Addiction to any substance or even two substances at a time is called a substance use disorder (SUD). In the United States and the wider world, SUDs are sadly common.
As a disease, addiction requires professional medical help. If you mix alcohol and Xanax, you will be able to receive treatment for a co-occurring addiction via treatment centers, such as our own.
When it comes to alcohol and Xanax addiction treatment, the first stage is detoxification. Detox is the process of clearing your body of all substance traces. You should always consult a medical professional or seek advice before detoxing, as you may find yourself experiencing mild discomfort or potentially dangerous symptoms.
Sometimes it is possible to detox from alcohol and Xanax at home. Usually, this will need to be approved by a medical professional first. You may wish to detox from alcohol and Xanax with medical help at an inpatient treatment center for your safety and comfort.
Withdrawal symptoms may arise when you begin to detox from alcohol and Xanax. These usually include:
- Heart palpitations
- High blood pressure
- Tingling in arms and legs
- Blurred vision
- Delirium tremens (DTs)
DTs is a severe condition that can be life-threatening. As you detox at an inpatient center, treatment will be available to help you remain comfortable. Upon experiencing potentially dangerous symptoms, you may also be prescribed medication to reduce the effects of withdrawal.
The detox process is brief, sometimes lasting a little more than one week. But effort must then be made to unpick why you began abusing alcohol and Xanax. By replacing bad habits and unhealthy coping mechanisms with healthy ones, you have the best chance of long-term recovery. With ongoing care and support, a sober, healthier life is just around the corner.