What is a “Xanax High?”

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Figure in a canyon. Text: Xanax High

Xanax is a benzodiazepine and one of the brand names for the drug alprazolam. Doctors prescribe it to treat anxiety, panic disorders, depression and even less-common conditions like fear of open spaces. 

Xanax provides a sense of calm to the consumer by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain. This increase suppresses an over-excited Central Nervous System (CNS), and produces bliss-like feelings in a person. 

What Does a Xanax High Feel Like?

Since dopamine triggers the “reward and motivation” centers of the brain, Xanax users report feeling a sense of happiness and euphoria. While stimulants or “uppers” and psychedelics produce an “energetic” high, Xanax pacifies any anxiety the user might be experiencing. 

These feelings intensify with higher dosage, so even casual users can experience a strong desire to take more than they should. The risk in abusing Xanax is that this calming effect extends to internal physical processes as well. 

This means that functions like breathing may slow to dangerously low levels–resulting in brain damage or even death. 

What Are the Symptoms of Xanax Withdrawal? 

The Xanax high is a root cause of its recreational use

This high only lasts a short while, however, as Xanax is processed and leaves the body quickly. Such a short half-life means the body has little time to (re)adjust to functioning without Xanax. 

Even someone taking Xanax within medically prescribed guidelines is likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. These commonly include: 

  • Insomnia
  • Increased anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sweating


The higher the dose and/or longer the amount of time someone has been taking Xanax, the more severe withdrawal can be. 

This is why it is imperative to seek professional medical guidance for tapering off of a Xanax prescription so they can help you successfully avoid long-term drug dependence

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