Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, which is a type of benzodiazepine or “benzo” prescribed to cure multiple anxiety-based disorders or symptoms. Xanax is a popular choice for someone who wants quick relief from their symptoms.
Unlike drugs that increase alertness or energy, Xanax makes the user extremely calm. In some cases, Xanax can cause a sharp increase in happiness because it allows a flood of dopamine in the brain. People who use the drug to achieve a Xanax high risk dependency, addiction and potentially lethal side effects.
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Xanax enhances a natural chemical in the body called GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, that slows brain function and decreases heart rate and blood pressure. A person taking Xanax as prescribed by their doctor will experience feelings of calm and drowsiness. This relief of tension helps combat anxiety and aids in restful sleep for someone with a sleeping disorder.
When taking Xanax to treat an anxiety or panic disorder, you may even feel back to normal after your first dose.
Some people have reported a sense of euphoria after taking Xanax, which may be a result of a dopamine rush. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.
However, the typical response is feeling more relaxed or tired. Higher doses lead to a stronger Xanax high and more adverse side effects.
Xanax does not affect everyone the same way. How you will react to Xanax depends on several factors, including your age, dosage, mental state when taking Xanax and metabolism.
When taken orally, Xanax is readily absorbed into the bloodstream. Xanax is considered a fast-acting benzo, and most users feel its effects within the first hour.
The reason Xanax effects users so quickly is because when ingested, alprazolam metabolizes within minutes to begin regulating GABA throughout the central nervous system.
Unlike antidepressants that can take days or weeks to show clinical effect, Xanax produces immediate relief. The time to peak level, or when the drug is most concentrated in the bloodstream, is reached within the first two hours of taking Xanax.
When someone takes Xanax for a long period of time — especially when they are using the drug nonmedically to achieve a high — they develop a tolerance to the drug. These nonmedical uses and addiction to Xanax are on the rise. A 2014 study by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed that among long-term benzo users, 10 to 25 percent became dependent.
Though larger doses of Xanax may increase the feeling of euphoria, misusing it is unsafe. High doses of Xanax can be fatal, even for first-time Xanax users.
Though absorbed quickly, Xanax’s effects are rather short-acting compared to diazepam, another benzodiazepine sold under the brand name Valium. Most users feel the strongest symptoms for around two to four hours.
After the Xanax high wears off, there may be lingering grogginess for several more hours. However, that does not mean that the Xanax has left your system. Xanax can be detected throughout various parts of the body for days or months after being ingested.
Some people misuse Xanax to increase or prolong a high. Common ways to misuse Xanax include crushing and snorting tablets. Counterfeit Xanax pills are often laced with drugs such as fentanyl which can be 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, and it only takes one pill to overdose. The highest dose of Xanax — 2 milligrams — is often sold on the street as Xanax bars.
Attempting to achieve a Xanax high is extremely dangerous, as it may lead to seizures or death.
Once the effects of Xanax have worn off, there is not a very noticeable comedown. Unless you experienced euphoria, there are no high emotions following its peak effects.
Some people may experience feelings of depression or anxiety, even if they have never been diagnosed with anxiety or depression. This is because the chemicals in the brain are adjusting to the lack of the drug. Rebound anxiety and depression are usually temporary.
Someone may be high on Xanax if they are exhibiting uncharacteristic behaviors. This may include unusual drowsiness, calm or complaining of a “fuzzy feeling.” It could also be a steep spike in happiness, or euphoria.
While being high on Xanax is not immediately life threatening, using Xanax in ways other than those prescribed can lead to overdose or dependency. If someone you know changes from sluggishness to a swelled face or respiratory problems, they may be having an allergic reaction. In that case, you should immediately contact emergency services.
While Xanax is intended to treat certain anxiety and sleep disorders, you should not seek a high from Xanax use. This includes taking the drug solely to experience either numbness or immense euphoria.
People using Xanax to get high, especially if they are ingesting by crushing or snorting pills, need to seek medical attention. If you think you may be abusing alprazolam, seek a treatment and rehab program where trained staff can supervise your detox and offer you evidence-based medical advice.
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