Xanax High: How Does Alprazolam Make You Feel?

Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for anxiety and panic disorders in the behavioral health field. For some people, it can be very beneficial. For others, it may be a gateway to addiction. It’s important to know what to expect before taking it.

Alprazolam, well-known by its brand name Xanax, is a commonly prescribed medication for anxiety or panic disorders. It falls in a class of medications known as benzodiazepines (benzos).

Benzos like Valium and Xanax work by interacting with the central nervous system and a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). They slow down the brain’s responses to stimuli and relax the body.

The Xanax high has a mildly euphoric, sedative effect, and it may be habit-forming for people predisposed to addiction. Though the drug can be used responsibly, many people abuse Xanax.

What Does It Feel Like To Be High On Xanax?

Everyone reacts to Xanax differently. Some factors that can affect how a person reacts to Xanax include the amount taken and the person’s weight, metabolism, mental state, and age.

These factors can also influence how long it takes for the effects of Xanax to be felt, which is typically about half an hour after taking it orally.

The peak of the effects happens an hour or two in, and the effects begin to wear off after about five hours. If you’ve taken an extended-release tablet, the effects will last longer.

The primary effects of Xanax are relaxation, drowsiness, and a feeling of calm. At higher doses, it can also produce mild euphoria. It is not safe to drive after taking Xanax.

Prescribed Use Vs. Recreational Use

Xanax is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of anxiety disorders and panic attacks, but some people purchase Xanax illegally and take it for recreational purposes.

People experiencing Xanax abuse are more likely to ingest it by other methods, such as by crushing and snorting it. This can alter how Xanax reacts with the body.

People who have been prescribed Xanax for anti-anxiety purposes typically take it at doses as small as 0.5 milligrams (mg) per day, while someone abusing it may take as much as 4 mg per day.

Xanax As An Anti-Anxiety Medication

Xanax is prescribed for various anxiety disorders, stress disorders, and sometimes depression and substance abuse. It is also sometimes prescribed as a temporary medication for insomnia.

People with anxiety may use alprazolam daily or as needed, such as when symptoms of anxiety are stronger before entering a stressful situation.

Due to the high potential for chemical dependency, Xanax is not always the best long-term solution.

Prescription Xanax is fast-acting and taken orally in pill or liquid form one to three times per day depending on the person. Doses typically don’t go higher than 1 milligram.

At these doses, the Xanax high will provide the person with a calm feeling to help them with their symptoms of anxiety. It is also known for relaxing muscle tension.

Xanax As A Recreational Drug

People who take Xanax recreationally may not be aware of the dosage amount and how often they take it, and they may build up a tolerance and need more of the drug to feel the effects.

At higher recreational doses, the euphoric effects of the Xanax high are more prominent. Higher doses may also induce blackouts or cause short-term memory problems.

Many people who take Xanax without a prescription develop a substance use disorder (SUD) or physical dependency. At this point, their body is used to the Xanax and will go through withdrawal without it.

People are more likely to take high doses of Xanax through methods like crushing and snorting it. Black market Xanax is often laced with other substances, which can be fatal.

Mixing Xanax With Other Substances

Xanax can be extremely dangerous or even deadly when mixed with other substances. Despite this, it is still very common to combine Xanax with alcohol and other drugs.

It can also cause negative reactions when mixed with other prescription drugs like antifungals, antidepressants, and antibiotics.

Xanax And Alcohol

Alcohol, like Xanax, is a central nervous system depressant. Symptoms of consuming too much of either substance include lack of muscle control, drowsiness, and mental impairment.

People who abuse both Xanax and alcohol may experience changes in mood and become aggressive or hostile.

When taken together, alcohol and Xanax use can quickly become fatal. Abusing either substance can lead to seizures, vomiting, and a loss of consciousness.

If someone you know has lost consciousness after taking alcohol and Xanax together, call emergency services immediately.

Xanax And Opioids

Like Xanax, prescription opioids are frequently abused, and all benzodiazepines and opioids are highly addictive.

Opioids are usually prescribed to help people manage severe or chronic pain. Some common opioids include OxyContin and Vicodin. They have similar mental effects as Xanax.

Benzos like Xanax have been shown to enhance the effects of opioids. This is particularly dangerous for people who have built up a tolerance to either drug and need more to feel the effects.

A person who takes both of these drugs at once is at serious risk of oversedation. The combination may suppress breathing and oxygen to the brain, which could lead to a coma.

Xanax And Stimulants

Despite their contrasting effects, many people take stimulants, or “uppers,” like cocaine, meth, or Adderall with “downers” like Xanax. Abusing cocaine and Xanax together is common.

Mixing the two sends conflicting signals to the body. While some people may falsely believe that they can cancel each other out, taking these drugs together may still lead to drug abuse or an overdose.

Cocaine has a short high, and people may attempt to extend it by taking Xanax. They may also take Xanax to counteract the jittery paranoia or insomnia that can come with stimulant use.

Some signs of a stimulant and Xanax overdose include changes in heart rate, confusion, sleepiness, or nausea. It can be particularly dangerous for the cardiovascular system and heart.

Xanax Comedown Vs. Xanax Withdrawal

There are some common side effects of Xanax that people may experience. These differ from person to person, and they may happen while taking Xanax or as it wears off.

Some side effects of Xanax include:

  • drowsiness
  • headaches
  • memory loss
  • poor coordination
  • blurred or distorted vision
  • issues with focus
  • sweating
  • nausea or other stomach problems
  • irritability
  • insomnia

These side effects are usually felt when first starting Xanax or after increasing the dosage. They usually go away with time, but seek medical advice if any persist.

Many people who take Xanax develop a substance abuse problem, especially if they are predisposed to addiction through genetics or comorbid mental health disorders.

Someone who has a Xanax dependency will experience withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug. It’s best to taper off Xanax with a detox healthcare provider at a treatment center.

Quitting cold turkey can lead to serious physical health problems.

Signs of Xanax withdrawal may include:

  • stomach or muscle cramps
  • excessive sweating
  • vomiting
  • tremors, convulsions, or seizures
  • insomnia
  • rebound anxiety

How An Alprazolam High Shouldn’t Feel

Due to the popularity of Xanax as a recreational drug, many drug dealers sell counterfeit Xanax pills. There is no guarantee that a black market pill is pure Xanax.

It’s becoming increasingly common to find pressed “Xanax pills” that have been laced with dangerous additives like fentanyl. This greatly increases the risk of overdose.

It’s almost impossible to tell the difference between a real Xanax pill and one that has been laced just by looking at them. The best way to avoid this danger is to steer clear entirely.

A fentanyl high can initially feel similar to a Xanax high but produces increased euphoria. The signs of a fentanyl overdose include slowed breathing, dizziness, and unconsciousness.

If you or someone you know begins to exhibit these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Getting Help For Xanax Addiction

If you or a loved one is experiencing a Xanax dependency or addiction, there are several treatment options available for recovery.

Spring Hill Recovery Center offers both inpatient and outpatient care from compassionate medical professionals with advanced addiction treatment training and experience.

To learn more, call to speak with one of our specialists today.

  1. Medical News Today — What Does Xanax Feel Like? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326528
  2. National Library of Medicine — Alprazolam https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538165/
  3. WebMD — Xanax Oral: Uses, Side Effects, and More https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-9824/xanax-oral/details

Written by Spring Hill Recovery Editorial Team

© 2024 Spring Hill Recovery | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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