What Does A Xanax High Feel Like?

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Xanax (alprazolam) is a central nervous system depressant that is most often used to treat anxiety disorders. People who use Xanax typically experience a sedative effect that many people feel is relaxing. When it is abused, Xanax can also cause euphoria.

Alprazolam, the brand name for Xanax, can produce a high that produces a calming and relaxed feeling when abused. 

Xanax is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant which affects the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. This benzodiazepine prescription drug is used to help treat panic attacks for those suffering from panic disorder.

Symptoms of certain anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) may also be treated with Xanax.

Excessive Xanax use may lead to physical dependence, and the drug has a half-life of 11 hours. When a person participates in Xanax abuse by taking too much of the drug at the same time or within a certain time frame, life-threatening health problems can occur.

Short-Term Side Effects Of A Xanax High

In addition to the high a person can experience when taking Xanax, they may also feel various side effects.

Some of the short-term side effects of Xanax use may include:

  • drowsiness
  • coordination impairment
  • lightheadedness
  • dry mouth
  • fatigue
  • decreased concentration

Long-Term Side Effects Of Xanax Abuse

If a person abuses Xanax for a long period of time, more serious side effects can develop.

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

Abusing Xanax may lead to a benzodiazepine withdrawal. Those who abruptly stop taking the drug may experience a number of severe side effects.

Xanax withdrawal symptoms may cause a person to experience a number of mental health problems that may include:

  • suicidal thoughts
  • anxiety
  • delirium
  • psychosis
  • depression
  • hallucinations
  • mania
  • panic attacks

In addition to this, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a person may also experience insomnia, seizures, and twitching.

Xanax Overdose

When a person continues to take higher doses of Xanax, they may experience an overdose. High doses of this strong benzodiazepine may lead to the following side effects:

  • impaired coordination
  • coma
  • severe sleepiness or unresponsiveness
  • respiratory depression
  • confusion
  • death

Polydrug Abuse

If a person abusing Xanax turns to other benzodiazepines, the combination can also increase the risk of an overdose. Combining CNS depressants with Xanax can lead to respiratory depression or loss of consciousness.

Other benzodiazepines include diazepam (Valium), clonazepam (Klonopin), and lorazepam (Ativan). Sometimes referred to as “benzos,” these drugs can create similar effects.

Medications to avoid include certain antidepressants such as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Opioids such as methadone, as well as stimulants, should also be avoided.

Before combining any medications, consult the medical advice of a healthcare provider who can assist you.

Xanax Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you love struggles with substance abuse, several Xanax addiction treatment options are available. 

Many treatment plans are likely to begin with medically supervised detox, which allows your body to rid itself of any unwanted toxins caused by drug abuse. Healthcare professionals will monitor your symptoms as you experience withdrawal.

After detox, you can access evidence-based treatment programs in an inpatient or outpatient treatment center. At Ohio Recovery Center, we offer inpatient treatment options that include detox, behavioral therapy, aftercare, and more.

To learn more about our substance use disorder treatment programs, please contact us today.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Benzodiazepenes-2020_1.pdf
  2. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/018276s052lbl.pdf
  3. Journal of Addiction Medicine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5846112/
  4. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Alprazolam-(Xanax)
  5. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a684001.html

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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