If you take the right dosage of xanax, it can be an effective treatment for anxiety. As long as you take it as directed and don’t abuse the drug, you probably won’t become addicted to xanax or any other benzodiazepine.

However, if you take more than the recommended dose or combine it with alcohol, other drugs, or another benzodiazepine like lorazepam (Ativan), your risk of developing an addiction increases significantly.

How much time does it take to get addicted to Xanax? It really depends on how often and how much of the drug you use. If used correctly and in small doses, your risk of becoming addicted is low.

However, if abused regularly or frequently and at high doses, your risk will go up substantially.

What is the risk of getting addicted to Xanax?

Depending on your usage, the risk of Xanax addiction is relatively low compared to other benzodiazepines. Having said that, if used for more than a short period of time, Xanax can lead to dependence and potential addiction.

Though the risk is low, it’s important to monitor the use of Xanax, especially if you have a history of substance use or psychological disorders.

Furthermore, if you take higher doses than recommended, your risk of developing a dependency or addiction increases significantly.

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The general risk factors for Xanax abuse include personal or family history of substance use disorders, personal history of psychological disorders (e.g. anxiety, depression), personal health issues (e.g. liver or kidney disease), and taking high doses for a long period of time.

How long does it take to become addicted to Xanax?

As mentioned above, the risk of addiction varies depending on several factors, including the dosage, your medical history, and the amount of time you take the drug.

Generally, Xanax addiction takes a few weeks or months after you start taking the drug. In some cases, the time to develop dependency may be longer than 3 months, while in others it may take less time. It really depends on the individual and the dosage used. If you regularly take a very high dosage of Xanax or exceed the recommended dosage, it may take less time to become dependent.

In fact, some people start feeling the effects of dependency after taking the drug for just a few days. If you take a low dosage of Xanax and use it for short-term treatment of anxiety, the risk of addiction is low.

Signs and Symptoms of Xanax Addiction

Signs and symptoms of Xanax abuse and addiction may include, but are not limited to:

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you don’t take Xanax: In some cases, people experience anxiety when they don’t take the drug. This may be a sign that you’ve become dependent on Xanax.
  • Inability to stop taking the drug or reduce the dosage: Even if you start taking Xanax to treat anxiety, you shouldn’t take it for a long time. Once you’re feeling better, you should stop taking it. If you find it difficult to stop using Xanax, you need to talk to your doctor right away.
  • Neglecting activities and responsibilities due to Xanax use: If you’re spending a lot of time using Xanax or thinking about taking it, you may be abusing the drug.
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Dangers of Xanax Abuse And Addiction

Like any other drug, Xanax has its own risks, especially when abused or used for long periods of time.

Some of the most serious risks of Xanax abuse include:

  • Depression and suicide: Taking high doses of Xanax for a long period of time can increase your risk of depression. In some cases, people who are abusing Xanax also experience suicidal thoughts or signs.
  • Liver damage: Your liver processes the drug, and prolonged use of Xanax can damage your liver. This may lead to liver failure and even death. If you have liver disease or take other medications, the risk of liver damage is even higher.
  • Kidney damage: In rare cases, long-term Xanax use may cause kidney damage. – Worsening of other health disorders – If you have a medical condition such as anxiety, depression, seizures, or insomnia, using high doses of Xanax may make your condition worse.
  • Other drug addiction: Your risk of addiction to other drugs, including alcohol and benzodiazepines, increases when you use Xanax regularly or abuse it.

Is there a cure for Xanax addiction?


A medical detox program is the first step to treat Xanax addiction. The program involves the administration of medications to help reduce withdrawal symptoms, psychological therapy to address the root cause of addiction, and nutritional counseling to help you regain your strength.

Once you complete detox and withdrawal, you’ll be able to start a course of cognitive behavioral therapy to address any underlying issues that may have contributed to your addiction, such as anxiety or depression. If you experience a relapse, there are a variety of relapse prevention therapy techniques that may help you stay clean.

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Final Words

If you think you or a loved one is addicted to Xanax, it’s important to seek professional help. You can get help by talking to your doctor, contacting your health insurance provider, or visiting your nearest emergency department.

In most cases, you can get in- or outpatient treatment for Xanax addiction. If you feel that you can’t get help on your own, talk to your loved ones. Let them know what’s going on and ask them to help you get treatment.


David Warren
Author

David Warren is a pharmaceutical specialist that dispenses prescription medication on a daily basis. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the University of Tennessee in 1991. With over 50 publications on medication-related and pharmacy topics, David has been able to share his experiences and knowledge with others. David with lots of experience and knowledge in medications that are utilized to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Before David dispenses a medication to a patient, he will go over the side effects, dosage recommendation and contraindications.