xanax overdose symptoms

Xanax Overdose

Xanax® is the trade name for alprazolam, a drug most often used to help treat anxiety and panic disorders. A member of a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, Xanax is a depressant of the central nervous system. Although it may be used clinically to help treat a variety of symptoms and disorders, alprazolam is highly addictive and can lead to dangerous symptoms of withdrawal. Many people take alprazolam to help with anxiety, and eventually build physical and psychological dependence.

How Does Xanax Work?

When an individual takes alprazolam, the drug reaches the GABA receptors. GABA is the body's main inhibitor of the central nervous system. When you are experiencing anxiety or activation, it's your GABA receptors that act to bring you back down. Alcohol also affects these receptors in the brain, and can produce similar effects and withdrawal symptoms.

With a half-life of about 11.5 hours, Xanax effects generally last 4-6 hours. It is generally detectable in the bloodstream for 4-7 days after the last use, depending on the dose taken. When taking Xanax, tolerance builds quickly. Drug tolerance is the phenomenon by which a user needs to take more of a drug to achieve the same desired effects. As the brain and body become accustomed to Xanax, the individual takes more and more to achieve the effect which they are seeking.

Can You Overdose on Xanax?

Alprazolam is often abused, and you can indeed overdose. The rate of overdoses from benzodiazepine abuse is on the rise over the last decade, and Xanax is one of the most commonly abused drugs in its class. When taken by itself, it's fairly unlikely that an individual will overdose. Although a user may experience a number of unpleasant symptoms from taking too much alprazolam, the risk of death is low when it is taken alone.

xanax overdose statisticsHow Much is Too Much?

Although not completely impossible, it's highly unlikely that an individual will overdose from Xanax alone. It would take an extremely high amount of the drug to cause symptoms of overdose by itself. However, Xanax overdose becomes a serious risk when it is mixed with other substances. Mixing any benzodiazepine with another depressant is very dangerous, and can result in an unintentional overdose.

Xanax overdose occurs most commonly when it is mixed with alcohol or opioids. When you hear about a Xanax overdose death, it's likely that the individual was taking other central nervous system depressants. Because alcohol and opioids cause the nervous system to relax in different ways, the combination with benzodiazepines can be fatal. The risk of death comes from collapsed lungs, decrease in heart rate, and lack of oxygen and blood to the body.

Symptoms of Xanax Overdose

Xanax overdose symptoms vary from individual to individual, and are dependent upon a variety of factors. These include how much an individual took, how long they have been using Xanax, how much tolerance they have built, if any other drugs were taken, and the individual's weight and general state of health.

Symptoms of Xanax overdose may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Loss of balance and motor skills
  • Uncontrollable trembling
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle weakness or fatigue
  • Fainting and loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty or labored breathing
  • Coma

You may experience some depression after getting clean due to the brain's process of adapting to less activity at the GABA receptors.

Withdrawal and Detox

Because tolerance and addiction build so quickly, many individuals experience withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use. Even if taken exactly as prescribed, coming off of alprazolam can be quite uncomfortable and even dangerous without proper medical attention.

Symptoms of Xanax withdrawal may include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Irritability and anger
  • Shaking and trembling
  • Difficulty concentrating and paying attention
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle pain and stiffness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Without proper medical attention, the symptoms of withdrawal can be quite dangerous. At a professional detoxification facility, trained doctors and clinicians will help you to go through the withdrawal process with minimal discomfort and your safety in mind. Whether you have been abusing Xanax or taking it as prescribed, it's crucial to consult with a doctor before coming off of the substance.

Xanax Overdose Treatment

If somebody has overdosed on alprazolam, it's likely they could benefit from some addiction treatment. It's important to find the right kind of treatment for each individual. If there is a co-occurring disorder present, the person will need a dual-diagnosis treatment center. At a treatment center, the individual will learn skills, coping mechanisms, and tools for living a live without benzodiazepines.

Marijuana Abuse and Withdrawal

Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Marijuana is one of the most commonly abused substances in the world, and the most commonly used illicit substance in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 11 million young adults age 18-25 use marijuana in a given month. In recent years, marijuana has become legalized for recreational use, permitted for medical use, and has seen a rise in potency. In 2015, over 4 million Americans met diagnostic criteria for a marijuana use disorder, pointing toward the risk of addiction to this drug.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is the name of the buds of the plants cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. The female plants contain tetrahydracannabinol, commonly known as THC. This is the strongest psychoactive compound, but marijuana contains over 65 known cannabinoids in addition to THC. It's most often smoked, and many people vape or eat it. Marijuana has many names, and is most commonly referred to as pot, weed, grass, 420, cannabis, ganja, herb, and bud. There are also specific names for methods of consumption such as joints, bongs, blunts, and vapes.


Often perceived as safe and non-addictive, people can develop cannabis use disorder, which is characterized by the continued use of marijuana despite negative consequences like stress, mental impairment, or social problems. This often manifests in people using marijuana even when problems are arising in their personal lives or social lives as a result of regular use. Research also suggests that marijuana may worsen mental health disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and paranoid schizophrenia.

marijuana addiction treatmentSigns of Marijuana Abuse

There are many signs of marijuana abuse that you may see in yourself or in someone near you. It's good to know the signs of a marijuana high, and the symptoms of regular or longer term use. Some common effects of marijuana use in the short-term are:

  • Euphoria (feeling of pleasure)
  • Sense of relaxation and ease
  • Sleepiness and fatigue
  • Distortion in time perception
  • Dry mouth (known as "cotton mouth")
  • Poor motor skills and reflexes
  • Increased appetite (known as the "munchies")
  • Reddened eyes
  • Changes in heart rates
  • Difficulty thinking and with short-term memory
  • Paranoia and anxiety

The symptoms that one may experience depend on various factors. Different strains of marijuana may cause different effects. Indica strains tend to be more relaxing, while sativa strains tend to be more uplifting and energizing. Effects of marijuana use may also vary depending on the length of use, how much pot is smoked, and your individual body chemistry. When used for longer periods, users may develop a variety of side effects. These include:

  • Poor performance in school and work
  • Addiction (9% of people who smoke in teen years become addicted)
  • Decrease in motor skill and coordination
  • Lack of motivation and willpower
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Irritability and anger
  • Sudden changes in mood

Again, every individual is unique, and the signs of regular marijuana use differ from person to person. Some people immediately struggle with school or work, while others are able to function at a relatively high level. There is not one single set of side effects to watch for, as marijuana use may cause different symptoms in different people.

Can I Get Addicted to Pot?

Marijuana is often considered by the general population to be safe and non-addictive. The truth is that many people develop cannabis use disorder, or addiction. Like many other substances and behaviors marijuana can impact our dopamine reward pathways and create addiction. When somebody becomes addicted to marijuana, they will experience symptoms of withdrawal upon cessation. Furthermore, people who become addicted are likely to change behaviors. Things that were previously enjoyable or rewarding are no longer as interesting. This may result in less interest in school, work, social life, and other things which once brought us pleasure.

It's important to know that marijuana is indeed addictive. Many people use marijauna without developing addiction, but the potential is there. Many people who become addicted to marijuana start using in their teen years, and longer-term use increases the risk of developing an addiction. If you or someone you know smokes pot regularly, it may be worth seeking professional help to investigate the potential for addiction to arise.

Marijuana Withdrawal and Detox

When you think of detox and withdrawal, you may think of drugs like heroin or benzos. Stopping use of marijuana can also result in a psychological and physical reaction. Marijuana withdrawal may consist of a number of unpleasant symptoms, and depends on the user, length of use, individual body chemistry, the presence of any mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety. Common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety and/or panic attacks
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Difficult sleeping
  • Sweating and chills
  • Troubles with digestion
  • Changes in appetite
  • Muscle soreness and fatigue
  • Craving to use drugs

To help with these symptoms, Crownview Co-Occurring Institute offers detox services for those coming off marijuana. Although the withdrawal process doesn't usually dictate the need for medical care and medications, it is best to have professional care to help you get the drugs out of your system. With trained professionals caring for you, you are offered the best opportunity at recovering and leading a life without marijuana. Relapse rates are significantly lower among addicts who seek help from licensed addiction facilities.

Rehab for Marijuana Dependency

Addiction treatment for marijuana use helps individuals to build a life of recovery without drugs. Through various therapeutic offerings, we will work with you to prevent relapse, strengthen coping mechanisms, and learn to face life in a new way. Unfortuantely, many people experience depression after quitting weed, as marijuana can cause dopamine deficiency in the brain. Getting sober from marijuana involves building a new way of living, and a marijuana addiction treatment center like Crownview will help you to create the life you want.


People tend to stereotype drug and alcohol abusers as the opposite of high level professionals - usually unable to function effectively in society and having poor priorities. Addiction doesn’t discriminate, it reaches out to everyone. Regardless of your profession, economic or social status, location, age, etc., addiction is a choice and reality for many people. Even professionals.

depression after quitting weed

Anxiety and Depression after Quitting Weed

As you may know, many people believe marijuana to be a perfectly harmless substance. Although some people may smoke marijuana without consequence, there are many people who struggle with an addiction to the drug. A 2007 study found that marijuana use caused increased sensitivity to anxiety in young adults, while other studies have found adverse effects from regular marijuana use such as developing addiction, impaired brain development in adolescent years, an increased risk of developing mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia, and chronic lung disease.

This isn't to say that every person who has tried marijuana once is likely to experience these symptoms. However, if you smoke marijuana regularly, there are some side effects you may experience. Contrary to how we thought about it a decade ago, you can indeed become addicted to marijuana. One study found that about nine percent of marijuana users will become addicted at some point in their lives. When we become addicted, it can be difficult to quit as we're faced with withdrawal symptoms upon cessation.

marijuana withdrawalCan Quitting Marijuana Cause Depression or Anxiety?

Depression after quitting weed is more common than many people realize. We think of marijuana as being relatively safe or not physically addictive, but the truth is that we may experience real withdrawal symptoms upon quitting. We may think of marijuana as being only psychologically addictive, but let's take a look at what is actually going on.

First, any "physical addiction" effects the brain. The reason that opioids or benzodiazepines are physically addictive is because the brain responds to the drug and it effects the way we physically feel. Marijuana use effects the brain, and the way we physically feel. Specifically, smoking marijuana effects the brain's uptake of serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin effects mood and creates feelings of happiness. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for our feelings of pleasure.

When you are smoking weed, your brain is flooded with serotonin and dopamine. When you stop smoking, the levels come crashing down and your brain is accustomed to having elevated levels. This creates the depression you may feel after quitting marijuana.

The separation between physical and psychological addiction is often that a physical addiction has an addictive substance and causes physical withdrawal symptoms. Marijuana is not seen as "addictive" in the same way nicotine or heroin is. However, when you stop smoking pot, you're likely to experience physical symptoms of withdrawal. The differentiation between physical and mental addiction is really overstated, and you can indeed experience physical withdrawal symptoms from marijuana use.

How Long Does it Take for Depression to Go Away After Quitting Marijuana?

Some people experience depression for months after quitting weed, while others experience it for a day or two. You may experience it as a feeling of discontentment, sadness, or lack of motivation to do anything. The reason this happens is that the brain is accustomed to having heightened serotonin and dopamine levels. When you quit smoking, the levels plummet and your brain has a harder time producing them by itself.

This can result in the experience of not being able to enjoy things that were once pleasurable. Whether it's exercise, social engagement, sexual activity, or other dopamine-producing activities, we may have a hard time getting the joy we want. The brain is recuperating from a dopamine and serotonin depletion, so it won't produce the same "highs" that we are looking for.

How Long Does Anxiety Last After Quitting Smoking?

Anxiety is another common side effect of quitting smoking marijuana. Much like the issue with depression, this is because of the way marijuana interacts with the human brain. As marijuana has some anxiolytic effects, the removal of the drug causes the brain to go back to normal. This results in some heightened sensitivity to anxiety.

This may last for a period of a few days or a few months. Essentially, we have to allow the brain time to return to normal production of the neurotransmitters. Like any substance that gets you "high," marijuana use effects the brain. When you stop using, the brain takes some time to adjust.

Help for Marijuana Addiction and Withdrawal

Although we may think of rehabs as being for those struggling with addictions to meth or heroin, people do go to rehab for marijuana addiction. Quitting on your own can be quite difficult, especially when faced with depression, anxiety, and other unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal. During this period of withdrawal, many people return to smoking weed in order to ease the discomfort.

Addiction treatment for marijuana starts with some aid in the withdrawal process. With professional help, we can get the drug out of our systems with minimal discomfort. After the drug has cleared our system, we may begin investigating our relationship to the drug and how we can live without it. Through various therapeutic models, relapse prevention, social support, and psychoeducation, individuals who seek treatment for marijuana use have much higher rates of success in their recovery.

Substance abuse and addiction can be challenging to understand for many people. Why people do drugs, why they choose particular drugs, and why some users seem more addicted than others? These are questions people often wonder. And truthfully, everyone has a story. While everyone’s is different, there can be similarities and patterns as well. A group of researchers were curious themselves. They wanted to know if there were any connections between addiction and gender. They performed a study that looked into the prevalence and drug choice between men and women. Results also showed patterns related to age as well.


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