Long Term Effects of Xanax Brain Damage

Jul 2021 Long Term Effects of Xanax Brain Damage

The widespread use of Xanax has become an increasing problem. If you or a loved one are seeking help to treat your addiction to Xanax, Phoenix Rising Recovery is ready to assist. Phoenix Rising Recovery is a rehab facility with a wide range of evidence-based treatment programs that are specialized by substance and individualized to meet each patient’s needs. Because we understand how addictive and impactful medications can be, we even provide addiction treatment for substances such as Xanax. Xanax brain damage is just one of the negative effects of Xanax abuse that we are trying to have our patients prevent and avoid.

The Phoenix Rising staff provides thoughtful, caring, and individualized attention to each patient. The care that we provide our patients center on them developing healthy bodies and minds. Here at Phoenix Rising, we focus on the end goal of recovery and sustained sobriety.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam and is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. You may have been prescribed Xanax to treat signs of anxiety or panic disorders. Due to the side effects of Xanax, it’s not a drug intended for long-term use. Unfortunately, it is also a drug that is highly addictive.

Xanax causes your central nervous system to slow down. Thus, it affects your brain by:

  • Reducing restlessness
  • Slowing down breathing
  • Lowering brain activity

Because the use of Xanax decreases the nervous system’s processes, the overall sense of high anxiety reduces. The effects of the drug are felt quickly. This also causes people to feel Xanax’s effects quickly. Such a welcomed relief may even cause a person to wine down and rely on Xanax to the point where he or she is knowingly or unknowingly becoming addicted to the drug.

Xanax Addiction Defined

Addiction to Xanax can occur when people use the drug on a continuous basis over a period of time beyond what a physician prescribes. People develop drug dependencies when they experience withdrawal symptoms whenever they minimize or discontinue their use of it.

All individuals that are addicted to a substance are also dependent on that substance. This means that anyone with a Xanax addiction experiences Xanax withdrawal symptoms when he or she minimizes or discontinues use of it.

Once individuals that are already dependent on Xanax start having chemical changes in their brains due to their Xanax use, they are officially addicted. People with Xanax addictions start exhibiting risky behavior and become willing to do almost anything to get more Xanax medication.

People feel the effects of Xanax quickly, making the substance highly addictive.

The signs of Xanax addiction include:

  • Increased tolerance levels that cause a person to have to increase his or her dosage of the drug in order to have beneficial results
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Blurry vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Having a need to take the drug as soon as withdrawal symptoms occur
  • Exhibiting constant concern for the amount of Xanax one has on-hand
  • A constant need to know how much time is left until one can take another Xanax pill
  • Lack of control over the amount of Xanax one uses

Taking Xanax provides an initial sense of calm and a world free of anxiety. This creates a false sense of “normalcy”. It is this feeling that prompts you to feel the need to continue using Xanax. Unfortunately, excessive use of Xanax causes the body to become tolerant of the drug. This tolerance causes a person’s need for Xanax to increase, which then causes and an addiction to the drug to form.

What Causes An Addiction to Xanax?

Xanax is one of the more common types of benzodiazepines (also known as “benzos”). Xanax acts as a sedative. In fact, some people refer to Xanax as a hypnotic or minor tranquilizer.

Xanax increases a person’s GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is a neurotransmitter in the brain. Xanax is a highly addictive drug, but if you have other health conditions, your chance of becoming addicted to Xanax increases even more.


The risk factors that can cause you or your loved one to become addicted to Xanax include:

  • Family history of substance abuse
  • History of alcohol abuse 
  • Battling another co-occurring mental illness such as depression or bipolar disorder
  • Having an antisocial personality disorder

How Does Xanax Affect Your Body?

There are many side effects of Xanax. For one, Xanax brain damage is a thing.

Your body’s ability to build a tolerance to Xanax creates both the short-term and long-term effects of the drug. A Xanax overdose is possible, and you or your loved one is at greater risk of having one if you combine Xanax with other drugs.

Xanax is a drug that is hard to discontinue using. The relief that you feel from the effects of Xanax is short-lived and withdrawal symptoms may be felt between dosages. This fuels your need to take the drug more often and in higher dosages.

Xanax withdrawal symptoms can be intense and life-threatening. Symptoms of Xanax withdrawal can include:

  • Cramping
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures

Short-Term Effects of Xanax Use

The effects of Xanax over a short period of time are reversible and manageable. Examples of short-term effects of Xanax use include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Poor coordination
  • Changes in appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Lack of concentration

When people no longer take Xanax, these symptoms disappear. Side effects of Xanax can be serious though. Examples of Xanax side effects include:

  • Confusion
  • Trouble speaking
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Shortness of breath

Long-Term Effects of Xanax Use

Long-term use of Xanax can lead to addiction. When used for longer periods of time this drug can also be a risk to your overall physical and mental health. If you have been using Xanax for an extended period of time and you’re exhibiting some of the signs and symptoms of Xanax addiction, seek help. Many people develop Xanax addictions before they are even aware of it.

The mental problems that occur with the extended use of Xanax can be extensive. This highly addictive drug alters the central and peripheral nervous system. Xanax can also change the neural pathways of the brain. A treatment plan for Xanax addiction may consist of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

Physical damage to your kidneys and liver can occur with the long-term use of Xanax. Problems with blood pressure as well as irregular heartbeat rhythms may also take place. Respiratory issues can even develop.

Xanax Brain Damage

Xanax brain damage from Xanax abuse or addiction can be considerable. Long-term Xanax brain damage can also affect the way that you or your loved one behaves or thinks. The effects of Xanax brain damage include:

  • Violent or aggressive behavior
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Hallucinations (both visual or auditory)
  • Manic behavior
  • Seizures


The long-term Xanax brain damage may also lead to problems with your or your loved one’s memory. Xanax can also cause cognitive impairment. The side effects of using Xanax over a long period of time can even cause a person to develop a shorter attention span.

The development of dementia is another example of Xanax brain damage. In fact, dementia is being studied as a possible result of the long-term use of Xanax in the elderly population.

The drug is being studied as a cause of dementia because it produces the side effects of confusion and memory lapses.

Find Treatment for Xanax Addiction At Phoenix Rising Recovery

Withdrawal symptoms from the effects of Xanax can be intense. Thus, they should be monitored closely by medical professionals. Luckily, Phoenix Rising Recovery contains all the medical and addiction treatment professionals that individuals need to not only manage their Xanax withdrawal symptoms, but also to overcome their Xanax addictions.

Phoenix Rising Recovery is located in Palm Desert, California. Our campus provides an environment of healing and renewal.

Our treatment plan for you or your loved one’s addiction to Xanax has one goal – to help you achieve recovery. Maintaining your new, sober life will require you to end your use of Xanax. In order for you to become sober though, you will need guidance from our staff. You and the Phoenix Rising Recovery staff will together design an addiction treatment plan that meets your individual needs.

We want to help you through the addiction recovery process. That’s why we here at Phoenix Rising Recovery are an addiction treatment facility that provides individuals with the support that they need to overcome their substance addictions. Contact Phoenix Rising Recovery today to learn how we can help you fight your addiction to Xanax.