Chewing or snorting Xanax can increase the risk of adverse side effects, increase withdrawal symptoms and put people at serious risk. Learn more about Xanax abuse and how to treat addiction.

Xanax Abuse

Xanax can easily be abused. A benzodiazepine medication, it is considered the second most popular drug of abuse in its opioid class. Xanax is recommended only for short term use and only for therapeutic purposes to treat anxiety, panic disorders, insomnia and anxiety caused by depression. Doctors tend to keep prescribing and patients keep taking it regularly. The drug is classified as a schedule IV drug which means it is not in the same class as heroin or other illicit drugs but that does not make it any less dangerous.  

Side Effects

Xanax has serious side effects, particularly on the central nervous system (CNS). Over time, the body can build and develop tolerance to the drug. Some of the side effects include:


When the body becomes used to the drug and needs more to achieve the original effects


The body goes through withdrawal and may physically crave the drug when it is stopped

Tolerance makes it necessary to take more Xanax on order to achieve the original effects the drug once produced.

– Dependence means that your body goes through withdrawal and may physically crave the drug when you stop taking it.

How Xanax is Abused

Xanax is most commonly abused through snorting or chewing. Another way is to increase the amount and frequency of use on one’s own. People who abuse Xanax are trying to speed up onset of effects to feel effects with great potency. Chewing Xanax gets the drug into the bloodstream more quickly while snorting delivers it through the nasal passages and results in quicker release. Some common side effects include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired cognition and movement
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Uncontrolled movements
  • Vision impairment
  • Nausea

Signs of Abuse

When a person is abusing Xanax, the signs may be difficult to spot at first, especially if a person uses the drug for medicinal purposes. Altered mood, financial problems, lethargy and apathetic behavior along with withdrawal from family and friends are just some of the signs of abuse. When a loved one is suspected of abusing Xanax, an individual must decide what next steps should be. The search for paraphernalia may turn up abuse of the drug which should result in an open conversation and possibly an intervention to help the loved one seek help.

Prescription drug use is prevalent in many people’s lives whether it began with a medicinal reason or other means. It may take time to get support for recovery, but it is possible to overcome addiction to prescription painkillers with the right treatment protocol and help.


Hired Power empowers individuals with addiction to overcome substance abuse to find their health and happiness through an individualized approach. Contact us to find out how we can help you recover from addiction.