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How Does Xanax Affect the Brain?

how does xanax affect the brain

Xanax, a commonly prescribed anxiety medication, can result in serious side effects that may become permanent. Doctors often prescribe the drug as a sedative for people who experience chronic anxiety or panic attacks. Still, many patients are unaware of how Xanax can affect the brain. Xanax also has a high potential for abuse and can have dangerous effects when combined with other substances such as alcohol. In addition to users that have been prescribed the drug, Xanax is commonly sold on the street and used inappropriately by those looking to sedate themselves or induce artificial euphoria.

At The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, we can help individuals understand how Xanax affects the brain and find the right support to identify, heal, and recover from prescription drug addiction. With the right Xanax addiction treatment, individuals can overcome the substance use disorder.

How Does Xanax Affect the Brain?

Xanax is a benzodiazepine that works by inhibiting the signals in the brain that may lead to anxiety. As a benzodiazepine, Xanax is unique in that it can trigger the brain’s reward system, much like alcohol and other addictive drugs. Additionally, Xanax is often used to heighten the effects of alcohol, even though this combination can be very dangerous and even deadly. Xanax’s potency, along with its increasing popularity as a recreational drug, has added to rates of abuse and addiction in recent years. Even those who attempt to use Xanax properly may develop a tolerance over time, prompting some individuals to increase their dosage and develop a dependency.  

Xanax has been shown to cause memory loss, spatial awareness issues, lowered IQ, and difficulty concentrating. A lack of research confirms whether these effects may become permanent or persist while Xanax is used. However, we can be sure that long-term effects involve the brain’s production of a GABA chemical. GABA is naturally produced in the brain to induce a calming effect, and Xanax can intensify this process. Over time, a brain on Xanax will begin to rely on the drug, therefore producing less GABA on its own. Symptoms of anxiety and panic may worsen when a person who has been abusing Xanax attempts to quit.

Treatment for Xanax Addiction and Abuse

Xanax addiction can cause serious mental and physical health problems. If you or someone you love is struggling with Xanax addiction, a quality treatment program can ease withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms. The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues.

No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan. We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. Through a wide range of programs, individuals can find the treatment that best fits their needs and goals in recovery:

  • Residential Care Program
  • Extended Care Program
  • Intensive Outpatient Program
  • Sober Living Program
  • Relapse Prevention Program
  • Alumni Program

These programs mean our team at The Arbor can support and guide individuals through all stages of recovery.

Reach Out to The Arbor Behavioral Health to Counter the Effects of Xanax Addiction  

At The Arbor, we provide a full continuum of care for prescription drug addiction. Our team can help individuals understand how Xanax affects the brain and find the best way to recover from addiction. We offer evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and motivational interviewing (MI). In addition, we provide holistic treatments such as yoga and meditation, which can help restore balance to a brain that has been affected by Xanax abuse.

Our team of experienced professionals can help you or your loved one overcome an addiction to Xanax and other prescription drugs. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help. We are here to support you on the road to recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Xanax, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help by calling 844.413.2690. We are here to support you on the road to recovery.