Benzos and Alcohol

Benzos and alcohol are a deadly combination.

Benzos and Alcohol

The combining of benzos and alcohol is more common than you might imagine. Each of these substances can be dangerous on its own. However, they are even more hazardous when taking them together. People who have an alcohol and benzo addiction are at greater risk of dying from respiratory arrest than someone who uses only one or the other. The main reason for this is because both these substances depress the central nervous system and in combination they amplify each others effects. This makes accidental overdose far more likely because the results can be unpredictable.

Whether you are the person mixing these substances or it is someone you care about. Dependence on both alcohol and benzos is a behavior that must not be ignored.


Defining Benzodiazepines

Doctors often prescribe benzodiazepines to treat mental health conditions such as PTSD or anxiety. Sometimes, doctors prescribe them for physical conditions such as cerebral palsy or seizures, as well.

There are several different benzodiazepines that people abuse. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Valium
  • Klonopin
  • Ativan
  • Xanax

If someone takes these medications exactly as their doctor prescribes them, they should be safe as long as they are never combined with alcohol. However, if someone abuses benzos, a dangerous addiction could develop quickly.

Adding alcohol to the mix can make things even worse. The damage to the body and mind can be severe, so it is crucial to get into a treatment program if you are abusing these substances.


Side Effects of Benzos and Alcohol

The combination of two powerful depressants like benzos and alcohol amplifies the effect. The impact can be unpredictable and sadly overdoses where the user simply stops breathing are more common than you think.

Most of the time, even if someone is only abusing one of these, they can still have severe consequences. Some side effects of mixing alcohol and benzodiazepines include:

  • Slower breathing
  • Depression of the immune system
  • Impaired cognition
  • Organ failure
  • Losing consciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

These are some of the more severe side effects. By the time these happen it may be too late. Get treatment before things get worse.


Other Dangers of Alcohol and Benzo Addiction

Some people have fatal consequences due to an alcohol and benzo addiction. The truth is that no one can control the side effects they get from medications. The effects from each of these substances on their own can be harmful enough. Mixing them amplifies the impact and can lead to the following:

  • Self-destructive behaviors
  • Bodily harm
  • Hurting others
  • Losing coordination
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Stroke
  • Permanent brain damage

Alcohol and benzos damage the immune system, central nervous system and many organs in the body. Depending on how much of these substances you use and how often you use them, organ failure can happen in a few years. If you take too many benzos with alcohol, you could have a fatal overdose. Even if you don’t consider the risk of death, the harm done to the body is very serious. Stopping benzos and alcohol abruptly without a medical detox can also lead to deadly seizures. You should never attempt to quit alcohol or benzos “cold turkey”. It can be incredibly dangerous.

In addition to these consequences, if you mix alcohol and benzodiazepines, your inhibitions will be lower. Lower inhibitions mean you will be more likely to engage in riskier behaviors. If you take part in risky behaviors, that could damage your relationships with friends and family members. It could also put you in a dangerous situation, such as driving while under the influence.

Getting Treatment for Alcohol and Benzo Abuse

It is dangerous to mix alcohol and benzos. The dangers don’t just extend to you. You could be putting others at risk due to your actions while under the influence. You are more likely to act without inhibition. This can lead to serious injuries or reckless sexual behavior that results in an STD, rape or unwanted pregnancy.

If you or someone that you know is abusing these substances, now is the time to stop. It takes courage and dedication to quit any addiction. However, we are here for you.

We want to note again, that it could be hazardous to detox on your own at home. Some of the withdrawal symptoms can be not just highly uncomfortable but fatal. In addition, many people who try to detox at home often relapse. They crave drugs or alcohol so badly that when they use again, they take a lot. The increased amount is one reason why so many people have a fatal overdose.

Willpower is vital for recovery from benzos and alcohol, but it isn’t enough by itself for most people. However, it is helpful to have people by your side helping you through the detox and recovery process. Rehab center professionals know all about substance use disorders and the treatment for them. They will look at your case and create an individualized treatment plan for you.

With the treatment program at Recovery by the Sea, you will get the compassionate, understanding and helpful recovery services you need to move through to the path of healing.


Contact Recovery by the Sea today to start the detox process from benzos and alcohol.


Is It Safe to Mix Xanax and Weed?

Is It Safe to Mix Xanax and Weed?

Xanax (alprazolam) and weed (marijuana, cannabis) are two substances that are frequently used and sometimes abuse, and there may be interactions and dangers of using both drugs concurrently. Although the possible interactions and risks of mixing Xanax and weed aren’t well-established, many health professionals believe that combining the two could result in amplified side effects, such as profound drowsiness and poor judgment.

Such effects can be hazardous because a person who is high on weed and using Xanax may put themselves in dangerous situations such as driving. Their combined impact may be unpredictable, and different people will experience different effects, some of which may be unwanted.

Also, marijuana in and of itself can cause distress and anxiety in some people, so for these individuals, marijuana should be avoided, especially when using Xanax. It could undermine the medication’s ability to work effectively.

What Is Xanax?

Xanax is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety, panic disorders, seizures, and, occasionally, insomnia. Xanax is a powerful depressant and works by reducing activity in the central nervous system, which result in a person feeling more relaxed. However, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion may also occur, and Xanax is considered to have the potential for dependence and addiction.

For this reason, Xanax is only intended to be used for short-term treatment, and it’s important that people only use it with a legitimate prescription and precisely as directed.

What Is Weed?

Weed is a slang name for marijuana, which is an herb derived from the Cannabis plant. In the last few years, many states and municipalities have decriminalized its use or made it legal to use for either medical or recreational purposes.

In light of this, the stigma of marijuana use has further been reduced, particularly as researchers have found that it may have some therapeutic value in many cases. However, marijuana remains illegal in many states, and despite public outcry, the Drug Enforcement Agency has thus far refused to re-classify it, and it remains a Schedule I controlled substance.

When a person ingests marijuana, the active chemical THC binds to certain brain receptors and can induce feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and, in some people, anxiety, and paranoia. Side effects may also include drowsiness, dizziness, or cognition or memory impairments.

Interactions and Dangers of Mixing Xanax and Weed

Although mixing Xanax and weed isn’t as hazardous as mixing Xanax with some other substances, such as opioids or alcohol, potential users are urged to exercise caution. Doing this can amplify the effects of both substances, and result in severe drowsiness, confusion, and profoundly impaired judgment.

Impaired judgment is especially concerning because a person may not be able to make sound decisions that will prevent them from injuring themselves or others. Coordination may also be impaired, making walking and performing regular daily takes challenging or impossible and result in falls or injury.

There is unlikely to be a direct, life-threatening interaction from using Xanax and weed, but complications can occur, such as those aforementioned as well as suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

Is It Safe to Mix Xanax and Weed?

Getting Treatment for Drug Dependency

By offering a variety of evidence-based treatment options, Recovery By The Sea effectively approaches addiction from multiple angles, which can increase the effectiveness of each element of treatment.

Some of our therapeutic options are as follows:

Group Therapy – Group therapy addresses interpersonal, family, and social struggles and fosters communication and the learning of relationship skills. It also nurtures a shared identity by promoting an allegiance of understanding and loving peers, as well as encourages appropriate attitudes and behaviors.

Individual Therapy – During individual therapy, people will benefit from one-on-one engagement with a licensed, trained therapist in a private, non-judgmental environment. Behavioral therapies are employed, which seek to identify negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and find ways to replace them with ones that are healthy and positive. During therapy, patients are encouraged to explore the connection between their thoughts and behaviors in an effort to gain insight into the root causes of their addiction and understand themselves better. They will be encouraged to work through challenging and negative memories and experiences thoroughly.

Experiential Activities – Experiential activities can provide patients with an alternative way to express their feelings, as well as develop leisure and relaxation skills. These activities promote goal-directed thinking and problem-solving skills. Popular options include art, music, and adventure therapy.

A Comprehensive Approach Is Important for a Long-Term Recovery

Together, the above-mentioned therapies and services can enhance the effects of each other and make the overall treatment plan exponentially more effective than the sum of its parts.

By using a customized, multi-dimensional approach, clients learn better-coping skills to deal with cravings and triggers, prevent relapse, and manage co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety.

If you are suffering from anxiety, other mental health problems, and drug dependence, we urge you to contact us today! Discover how we help people escape the prison of addiction and remain happy and healthy for life!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Snorting Xanax

Snorting Xanax

Snorting Xanax | Recovery by the Sea

Last updated on August 12, 2019 – Snorting Xanax – (Alprazolam) is a short-acting benzodiazepine (benzo) medication prescribed to manage symptoms of panic disorder, general anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Xanax has anxiolytic effects, meaning it is a minor tranquilizer. As a benzo, Xanax carries a high risk of habit formation and abuse.

Xanax addiction occurs because of its potent effects on the reward center of the brain. A special brain chemical called GABA is responsible for inhibition of the nerves, producing feelings of mental and muscular relaxation and well-being when active. Ingesting Xanax increases GABA concentrations in the brain.

Can You Snort Xanax?

The answer is yes – when prescribed by a physician, Xanax is most often administered orally in tablet form and is, therefore, the most common method of abuse. Nevertheless, another method of abuse consists of Xanax being crushed into a fine powder then snorted intranasally.

After inhalation, Xanax is rapidly absorbed through mucous membranes lining the nasal passages into the intracranial bloodstream next to the brain. Whereas oral ingestion requires digestion first, snorting is a more direct, expedient route.

Snorting Xanax accelerates the onset of its anxiolytic effects on the nervous system, making it ideal for users who want a faster high. Since snorting delivers the most rapid high, the habit of snorting can quickly result in dependency and addiction.

While addiction itself a critical health concern, snorting Xanax also significantly increases the risk of developing nasal infections and can result in damage to the septum, neighboring nasal tissues, sinuses, and lungs.

Xanax Tolerance and Dependence

Long-term use of Xanax can lead to the development of tolerance when the chemical pathways of the brain become increasingly desensitized to higher and higher concentrations of the drug. This results in the need for ever-increasing dosages to achieve and maintain a desired high. Moreover, persistent Xanax use may produce dependence.

As dependency develops, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms ensue if the user attempts to cut back or quit altogether. Withdrawal symptoms reveal that the user’s nervous system has become incapable of normal function in the absence of Xanax. These symptoms may be endured for several days following the last dose, compelling the user into dangerous cycles of consumption to escape the adverse effects.

Withdrawal symptoms from Xanax include the following:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Rebound anxiety
  • Agitation and aggression
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Impaired sense of smell
  • Increased perspiration
  • Diminished concentration
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Seizures

Increasing tolerance in combination with dependency often leads to an addiction and, in many cases, life-threatening complications.

Snorting Xanax and Overdose

Snorting Xanax | Recovery By The Sea

Benzos are not easy to overdose as a stand-alone drug, but can easily prove fatal when used with other psychoactive substances, particularly other central nervous system depressant drugs or alcohol. This is known as combined drug intoxication (CDI).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, there were more than 63,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S., and more than10,000 involved the use of a benzodiazepine such as Xanax. Many deaths involving benzos also included the use of an opioid, either prescription (e.g., oxycodone) or illicit (e.g., heroin.)

An overdose of Xanax, especially when used with other drugs or alcohol, is a medical emergency. If you or someone you know is currently using or abusing Xanax and exhibiting the following symptoms, please call 911 immediately.

  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Weakness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Depressed respiration
  • Unconsciousness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Stupor
  • Coma

Treatment for Xanax Addiction

Snorting Xanax | Recovery by the Sea

Treatment for Xanax abuse or addiction typically begins with a medical detox or a process in which the patient is monitored 24/7 by professional staff for several days until withdrawal symptoms abate and the risk of complications has diminished.

Following detox, patients are urged to participate in an inpatient rehab program of 30 days or longer at our center. During a residential stay, patients are treated using comprehensive, evidence-based approaches such as behavioral therapy, individual and group therapy, counseling, 12-step programs and holistic activities such as yoga and music and art therapy.

After residential treatment has been completed, many patients choose to engage in intensive outpatient treatment (IOP), which provides many of the same services as residential treatment. However, IOP patients are allowed to live off-site of the center while they continue to participate in therapy and counseling several times per week. The objective of IOP is to ensure that patients receive ongoing treatment and support while transitioning back to the outside world.

Following intensive treatment, patients can benefit from our aftercare planning services, which help would-be graduates of our program locate mental health and supportive service outside of the center to help sustain lasting recovery. Former patients can also participate in alumni activities and enjoy the benefits of long-term peer support and fellowship.

Want to learn more about about getting help for substance abuse? We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Contact us today.

How Long Does Xanax Last?

How Long Does Xanax Last? | Recovery By The Sea

The effects last for only about 4 hours. While the average half-life of Xanax is around 12 hours, the drug is no longer effective in the system after 4 hours. For this reason, people who use Xanax may have to take it several times per day, depending on the prescription and severity of symptoms.

Many factors can influence how long Xanax stays in a person’s system, including the following:

  • Age
  • Height and weight
  • Genetics
  • Liver and kidney function
  • Metabolic rate
  • Urinary pH
  • Presence of other substances
  • Dosage
  • Frequency of use

Uses for Xanax

Xanax (alprazolam) is a prescription benzodiazepine and central nervous system (CNS) depressant. It is most often prescribed to treat anxiety, panic disorders, insomnia, and seizures. Xanax is specifically approved for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder, though it may be used off-label to treat other conditions.

GAD is characterized by persistent and excessive concern about everyday life, the anticipation of adverse outcomes, uneasiness, and sleep difficulties. Panic disorder is associated with anxiety and occurs when a person encounters sudden panic attacks.

Panic attacks are typically accompanied by several terrifying symptoms, including the following:

  • Changes in heart rate
  • Nervousness
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Derealization
  • Depersonalization
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Fear of losing control or dying

How Long Does Xanax Last? | Recovery By The Sea

Effects of Xanax

Xanax, like all benzodiazepines, works by improving the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA, a neurotransmitter, works to reduce nerve impulses throughout the body, and, in doing so, induces sedation, relaxation, and relief from anxiety. Xanax becomes effective quickly, often producing the desired effects within minutes.

Why People Misuse Xanax

Xanax has been a popular choice for people with substance use disorders or those seeking to self-medicate for emotional problems. Xanax can induce many pleasant and desirable effects, including feelings of deep relaxation and euphoria, detachment from reality, and sound sleep.

These effects compel some people to experiment with Xanax for non-medical purposes for the pleasurable feelings it can provide. And because Xanax also achieves peak blood concentration in 1-2 hours and has a short half-life, this may encourage potential abusers to take doses repeatedly in rapid succession.

Xanax Use Disorders

As with many substance abuse disorders, people who use Xanax often do so either out of curiosity or via recommendation from someone else. To obtain it, those without legitimate prescriptions must have access to someone who does or buy it on the black market.

More than half (55%) of recreational users received prescription drugs such as Xanax for free from a friend or relative, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, 17% abused medications that were prescribed by their own physician, 11% bought them from a friend or relative, 5% stole them outright from a friend or relative, and only 4% obtained them from an actual dealer.

Of note, if used chronically, even those with legitimate prescriptions can become dependent on Xanax. For this reason, long-term regular use of Xanax is not usually advised.

Signs of a Xanax use disorder may include the following:

  • Obsession with acquiring and using the drug
  • Using medication faster than prescriptions are ready to be refilled
  • Taking higher doses of Xanax than directed
  • Taking Xanax non-orally, such as by crushing pills and snorting the powder

Xanax Dependence

Dependence on Xanax can manifest in just two weeks, but more often, it will take between 30-60 days. Chemical dependence occurs when the body has adapted to having a certain amount of a drug in the system. Regarding Xanax, the body will stop producing its own GABA in normal amounts, thus relying only on the presence of Xanax for feelings of relaxation and calm.

Dependence is also characterized by the development of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation. These symptoms can include rebound anxiety and sleep disturbances, and in severe cases, life-threatening seizures.

Adverse Side Effects

Side effects of Xanax use, misuse, or abuse may include the following:

  • Memory impairments
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of pleasure
  • Impaired coordination
  • Appetite changes
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Lack of inhibition
  • Depression
  • Apathy

Also, according to research from Harvard Medical School, people who had taken a benzodiazepine such as Xanax for three to six months raised the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 32% and taking it for more than six months increased the risk by 84%.

Severe interactions with other intoxicating substances can also occur, including those related to alcohol, other sedatives and hypnotics, antihistamines, and painkillers, among others.

Overdoses and fatalities are rare while using Xanax by itself, but the drug is commonly involved in other overdose deaths. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that the total number of overdose fatalities in the U.S. involving benzodiazepines rose significantly between 1999-2017, reflecting a ten-fold jump from 1,100 deaths to over 11,000.

How Long Does Xanax Last? | Recovery By The Sea

Why People Are Tested for Xanax Use

People are most often tested for Xanax use as part of a compliance program for those with substance use disorders. Testing may also be conducted if an overdose is suspected or confirmed.

Urine tests are the most commonly used, as they can test for all prescription and illegal drugs. Blood tests can identify everything that urine tests can, but they are more expensive and, thus, less common. Hair testing can be performed for all illicit drugs and some prescription medications—a form of testing mainly used only by the criminal justice system to identify long-term drug use.

Treatment for Xanax Addiction

Detox from Xanax should occur gradually using a tapering schedule as directed by a doctor or addiction specialist. Abrupt cessation of prolonged Xanax use can lead to a life-threatening syndrome comparable to alcohol withdrawal, so it should not be attempted without medical help.

Recovery By The Sea offers comprehensive treatment programs for substance abuse that include behavioral therapy, individual counseling, peer group support, medication-assisted treatment, and aftercare planning. Our services are offered in partial-hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient formats.

We employ a team of highly-skilled addiction specialists who render services to clients with compassion and expertise. We are committed to ensuring that every client receives the resources and support they need to be successful at recovery and enjoy long-lasting sobriety and wellness.

If you or a loved one is dependent on Xanax, other drugs, or alcohol, give us a call now. Find out how we guide people toward an addiction-free life. You are not alone—we can help!

Is Xanax a Barbiturate?

Is Xanax a Barbiturate? | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Is Xanax a Barbiturate? – Xanax (alprazolam) is not classified as a barbiturate. Rather, Xanax is in a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines (benzos). Benzodiazepines and barbiturates are similar-acting central nervous system (CNS) depressants—they both induce drowsiness and are used to treat insomnia and seizures.

Both medications affect gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that nerves use to communicate with one another. GABA works to control the stress response and reduce activity in the CNS.

Benzodiazepines vs. Barbiturates

In addition to insomnia and seizures, benzos are also used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, nervousness, muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal, and as sedation during surgery. Barbiturates are also sometimes used to treat headaches.

Common benzos include alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and clonazepam (Klonopin). Common barbiturates include secobarbital (Seconal), thiopental (Pentothal), and pentobarbital (Nembutal).

Side effects unique to benzos may include changes in appetite, constipation, unplanned weight gain, dry mouth, decreased libido, and fatigue. Side effects unique to barbiturates may include dizziness, headache, and abdominal pain. Side effects shared by both benzos and barbiturates include confusion, lightheadedness, drowsiness, impaired coordination, impaired memory, nausea, and vomiting.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can onset when a person abruptly stops using benzodiazepines or barbiturates.

Common withdrawal symptoms for benzos may include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain and stiffness

Common withdrawal symptoms for barbiturates may include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Tremors and weakness
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Substances That Interact with Benzos and Barbiturates

Combining alcohol with a benzo or barbiturate is very dangerous. People who consumed alcohol while taking these medications will feel the effects of alcohol more rapidly.

Moreover, it’s never safe to drink alcohol or take other depressant drugs that have similar effects on the CNS in conjunction with benzos or barbiturates. This is because these substances can amplify the effects of one another and result in profound, possibly life-threatening respiratory depression.

Opioids, such as heroin, fentanyl, morphine, and oxycodone, produce depressant effects that can increase the risk of severe respiratory depression when combined with benzos or barbiturates. Respiratory depression can lead to slow, shallow, or labored breathing that is inadequate for supplying oxygen to the brain and body—this can result in death. Other sedatives that intensify the effects of other depressants include sleep aids, such as zolpidem (Ambien) and eszopiclone (Lunesta).

Is Xanax a Barbiturate?: Overdose

Is Xanax a Barbiturate? | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Death from overdose is among the highest risk associated with the use of barbiturates or benzos.

Symptoms of an overdose can include:

  • Impaired coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty thinking
  • Impaired judgment
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Shallow breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

The risk of overdose is generally considered to be higher for barbiturates than for benzos, but excessive use of either type of drug, especially when combined with other CNS depressants, can result in serious complications which can be life-threatening.

Is Xanax a Barbiturate?: Addiction

Both benzos and barbiturates are habit-forming and have the potential for abuse and addiction. If these drugs are used for a prolonged period, tolerance can develop. As tolerance develops, the person will need increasingly higher doses of their drug of choice to treat the targeted health condition or achieve the desired effects.

Often, people abuse drugs such as Xanax to experience a “high.” They are commonly abused by teenagers and young adults who do so by crushing the pills and snorting the powder. Benzos are sometimes abused by older adults who are more likely to receive a legitimate prescription and develop dependence over time.

Abuse of these medications may result in sleep disturbances and nightmares, fatigue, irritability, hostility, and memory impairment. Signs of addiction might also include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, and bone and muscle aches.

It is very difficult to recover from an addiction to benzos, such as Xanax, or barbiturates because these drugs alter brain chemistry. Quitting abruptly, or “cold turkey,” is not recommended as it can induce life-threatening withdrawal symptoms similar to those of alcohol.

Doctors or health providers who treat addiction can design a tapering schedule to wean a person off the medication slowly. Likewise, they can mitigate the severity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings during treatment.

Treatment for Addiction to Benzos or Barbiturates

Although barbiturates are not as readily accessible and abused as they were a few decades ago, addiction is still possible. Benzos abuse and dependence are nevertheless much more common because these drugs can be habit-forming even after a relatively short period of use.

Recovery By The Sea is a specialized recovery center that offers a comprehensive approach to drug and alcohol abuse. We employ a variety of clinically-proven treatments, including behavioral therapy, psychoeducation, counseling, peer group support, and medication-assisted treatment. Our compassionate, highly-skilled staff are dedicated to providing each client with the knowledge, tools, and support they need to recover and sustain long-lasting sobriety and wellness.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction to Xanax, other benzos, or barbiturates, contact us today! We help people free themselves from the cycle of addiction so they can reclaim the healthy and fulfilling lives they deserve!

Related: Snorting Xanax

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms | Recovery by the Sea

Xanax (alprazolam) is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines (commonly referred to as benzos) which are most often used to treat anxiety, panic disorder, and insomnia.

Benzos have a high potential for dependency, meaning that cessation of use can result in the following Xanax withdrawal symptoms:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Confusion or paranoia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Irritability or agitation
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Memory loss
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Sore, stiff muscles
  • Muscle spasms or twitches
  • Headache
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Insomnia or restless sleep
  • Heart palpitations (tachycardia)

Dependency is caused by the brain’s propensity to adjust to the presence of certain drugs and become less able to function per usual without them. Xanax dependency is characterized by its depressive effects, and when a user attempts to quit or cut back, this often results in an overreaction of the central nervous system (Xanax withdrawal symptoms) including feelings of nervousness, anxiety, and insomnia.

How Does Xanax Work?

Benzos work by boosting the effect of a brain neurochemical gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA’s mechanism of action is to mitigate activity in the central nervous system, resulting in relaxation and a reduction of anxiety.

Like many prescription drugs, Xanax use can result in a host of adverse effects, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • Drowsiness and lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Memory problems
  • Poor balance or coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Diarrhea or Constipation
  • Increased perspiration
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Swelling in hands or feet
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dry mouth
  • Stuffy nose
  • A decrease in libido (reduced interest in sex)
  • Dependence and addiction

What is Tolerance?

Tolerance is a condition that occurs over time after the continued use of a substance. Moreover, the brain tends to reduce the response of a drug, simply described as “repeated exposure = diminished response.” When response decreases, the user feels compelled to consume more of the drug in an effort to achieve the desired effects he or she previously enjoyed.


Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms | Recovery by the Sea

Benzodiazepines are not easy to fatally overdose on in of themselves, but can easily prove deadly when used with other psychoactive substances, particularly other depressant drugs or alcohol. This is known as combined drug intoxication (CDI).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, there were more than 63,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States, and more than 10,000 of these (about 1 in 6) involved the use of a benzodiazepine such as Xanax. Most fatalities related to benzos also included the use of some opioid, either prescription (e.g., oxycodone) or illicit (e.g., heroin or fentanyl.)

Overdoses of Xanax can range from mild to severe depending on the amount consumed and if other drugs are taken in combination. Overdose symptoms due to Xanax abuse or CDI may include the following:

  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Shallow breathing (hypoventilation)
  • Cyanosis – bluish or purple fingernails and lips
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Uncoordinated muscle movements and weakness
  • Impaired motor functions, balance, and reflexes
  • Noticeably altered mental status
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Profound central nervous system depression
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Unconsciousness/unresponsiveness
  • Coma
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Death

An overdose due to CDI, which may or may not include benzos such as Xanax, is a medical emergency. If you or someone you know is experiencing the aforementioned symptoms, please call 911 immediately.

Treatment for Addiction to Xanax

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms | Recovery by the Sea

Treatment for Xanax abuse or addiction typically begins with a medically-assisted detox, a process in which the patient is supervised 24/7 for several days until withdrawal symptoms subside and the risk of serious complications has diminished. In some cases, patients are put on a tapering or weaning schedule that continues for some time – a strategy used to minimize withdrawal effects when cessation does occur.

Following detox, patients are encouraged to participate in a residential treatment program of 30 days or longer in our center. During an inpatient stay, persons are treated using comprehensive, evidence-based approaches such as individual and group therapy, family counseling, 12-step programs and holistic activities such as yoga and music and art therapy.

After residential treatment, many patients choose to participate in intensive outpatient treatment (IOP), which offers many of the same services as residential, but patients are allowed to live off-side of the center while they continue to engage in therapy and counseling sessions several times per week. The goal of IOP is to ensure that patients receiving ongoing treatment and support while transitioning back to the outside world.

Following intensive treatment, patients can benefit from our aftercare planning services, receive referrals to sober living facilities, and participate in alumni activities that offer long-term peer support throughout recovery.

Want to learn more about about getting help for substance abuse? We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Contact us today.

Klonopin Vs. Xanax Addiction

Klonopin Vs Xanax Addiction | Recovery by the Sea

Klonopin vs. Xanax Addiction – Klonopin (clonazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam) are prescription medications that belong to the drug class benzodiazepines, commonly known as benzos. Benzos work by triggering or boosting the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. GABA is an inhibitory chemical that slows down or depresses the central nervous system, resulting in sedation.

For this reason, benzos, such as Klonopin and Xanax, are mild tranquilizers. On the street, benzodiazepines are known as benzos, downers, or tranks. Benzos are indicated for the treatment of the following disorders:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Insomnia/sleep disturbances
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures


Klonopin is a benzo usually prescribed for the treatment of panic disorders, epilepsy and other seizures and movement disorders. However, Klonopin has several known “off-label uses” – medically unapproved uses, such as altering dosage or method of administration. Such uses are nevertheless known to be effective at relieving certain symptoms or producing other desired effects.

Klonopin has seen successful off-label use to treat the following:

  • Social anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Acute mania
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
  • Trigeminal neuralgia (a chronic pain disorder)
  • Acute psychosis-induced aggression
  • Bruxism (excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching)


Klonopin Vs. Xanax Addiction | Recovery by the Sea

In recent years, Xanax has consistently been among the most widely prescribed psychiatric medications in the U.S. Xanax, like Klonopin, is a benzo typically prescribed for the treatment of severe anxiety.

Xanax has also shown to be effective in the treatment of the following off-label uses:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Tinnitus (ringing ears)
  • Tremors
  • Cancer-related pain
  • Agoraphobia (fear of public spaces)
  • Moderate to severe symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

What’s the Difference?

Although Klonopin and Xanax are similar in their core effects, there are a few significant differences between them. Klonopin and Xanax, while belonging to the same drug class, are nonetheless different chemicals. Because of this, the effects they produce are not wholly identical.

After consuming a drug, the body naturally rids itself of the chemicals over time. Different chemicals require different lengths of time to be eliminated. This required length of time by the body to reduce the concentration of a chemical by one-half is known as the “half-life.” The half-life of Klonopin is roughly 30-40 hours, compared to that of Xanax, which is only about 11-12 hours.

The difference in half-life between these two drugs essentially means that Klonopin is significantly longer-acting than Xanax. Concerning prescribed use, this longer half-life provides the patient with the advantage of having to use Klonopin less often than Xanax to produce or maintain similar effects.

Furthermore, depending on the person, the effects of Xanax are usually experienced much faster with peak concentrations occurring around 1-2 hours after ingestion versus Klonopin, which takes between 1-4 hours.

Considering this, the potential for abuse is more significant for Xanax because it proves easier to achieve a high. Users describe the high of Klonopin as a euphoric drowsiness. A Xanax high is similar to that of Klonopin, albeit much stronger, and thus, contributing to its addictiveness.

Xanax cycles in and out of the body rapidly, while Klonopin does so at a much slower pace. This fact, in combination with the strength of Xanax, accelerates the onset of dependence from repeated use when compared with Klonopin. Still, Klonopin combines a long-acting, potent high with a moderate-high risk of dependence and a rather long duration of withdrawal symptoms.

Because of this, long-term use of Klonopin can make independence from it a profound challenge, even more so than Xanax. Regardless, withdrawal symptoms of both drugs are markedly similar and include the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Tremors
  • Shakiness in hands
  • Memory loss
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Sore, stiff muscles
  • Muscle spasms or twitches
  • Headache
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Insomnia or restless sleep
  • Heart palpitations
  • Paranoia and fear
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks

Benzo Overdose

Klonopin Vs. Xanax Addiction | Recovery by the Sea

Abuse of either substance can lead to life-threatening overdose, and the effects of both are similar.

Due to their properties than depress the central nervous system (CNS) they should never be used in conjunction with other CNS depressants.

Overdose symptoms include the following:

  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Weakness
  • Profoundly altered mental status
  • Bluish fingernails and lips
  • Unconsciousness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coma
  • Death

Treatment for Addiction to Klonopin Vs. Xanax

Treatment for Klonopin or Xanax abuse begins with a medically-assisted detox. In many cases, patients are put on a tapering schedule to minimize withdrawal effects. Following detox, patients are urged to participate in a treatment program of 30 days or longer in our center, which offers both inpatients and intensive outpatient formats.

We offer comprehensive, evidence-based therapy that includes individual and group therapy, family counseling, 12-step programs and holistic practices such as yoga and art therapy.

Following formal treatment, patients can take advantage of our aftercare planning services, referrals to sober living facilities, and alumni activities that offer long-term support throughout recovery.

Want to learn more about about getting help for substance abuse? We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Contact us today.

Related: Snorting Xanax
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