How to Identify Symptoms of Xanax Abuse In a Loved One

Xanax is one of the most widely abused drugs after opiate painkillers. Many people who need the medication to control anxiety fall into a pattern of abuse. It can be hard to determine whether someone is actually abusing the drug. The following information provides ways to identify the symptoms of Xanax abuse in a loved one.

Changes In Normal Habits

One of the symptoms of Xanax abuse is a change in normal habits. Your loved one can completely lose interest in things that once made the individual happy. Abuse can cause a person to stop going to work, taking care of pets or doing normal chores. Xanax abuse often triggers secretive behaviors and constant lying as the person tries to hide the addiction.

Getting Xanax Illegally

Abuse eventually leads to a growing physical tolerance of the drug. With a physical tolerance to Xanax, your loved one is likely going to take much more than the amount initially prescribed. You might notice that the person is starting to obtain Xanax illegally, which could be accomplished by doctor shopping to get multiple prescriptions or by buying the drug on the street.

Period of Depression and Mania

Periods of depression and mania are symptoms of Xanax abuse. When these symptoms occur, your loved one will seem very depressed and lethargic for hours or days at a time. This is often followed by manic periods where the individual doesn’t sleep, becomes hyperaware and seems restless, causing irritability and uncharacteristically aggressive behavior.

Slurred Speech, Confusion and Loss of Coordination

Slurred speech, confusion and loss of coordination are all long-term symptoms of Xanax abuse. Your loved one will become unable to communicate clearly while abusing the substance. This confusion can affect every part of life. It can make it impossible to do things like drive or work. Confusion is usually accompanied by a lack of physical coordination that leaves the individual unable to do delicate tasks or even walk in some cases.

Memory Problems

Xanax abuse can cause memory problems even after just a short time. This typically first appears as short-term memory loss. You might have to remind your loved one about things every hour or so. Long-term memory loss develops later on as the abuse progresses. Your loved one may forget entire days, or might become unable to place when events occurred in the past. This is a sign that help for Xanax abuse is needed immediately.


One of the final symptoms of Xanax abuse is isolation. Your loved one may begin to withdraw from you, other friends and close family members. The person might not leave a room or the house for days. Your loved one will likely avoid social situations unless it’s necessary to get more Xanax. Isolation indicates that the Xanax abuse has overtaken the life of the individual.

If you discover that a loved one is abusing Xanax, hold an intervention or take other action to get that person into treatment right away. Do everything possible to guide the individual into an inpatient rehabilitation program to get help for the substance abuse problem. Start by calling the helpline at 800-447-9081 to find treatment options that’ll work. Fast action today can save the life of a loved one who’s abusing Xanax.

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