Xanax is a benzodiazepine, which is a class of drugs that can treat anxiety and panic disorders. It typically takes less than an hour to begin working and has a calming, relaxing effect.
Xanax is a brand name for alprazolam. The effects of the drug come on quickly and disappear rapidly. Some people take it recreationally for its calming effects. The fast acting properties of Xanax can lead to its misuse.
Xanax is an effective medication for controlling panic and anxiety. However, using it recreationally can pose health risks, especially if people combine it with other depressants, such as alcohol.
In this article, we answer the following questions:
- What does Xanax feel like?
- What are its side effects?
- What does Xanax withdrawal feel like?
Effects on the body and mind
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved Xanax to treat certain kinds of anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It can treat various symptoms of GAD, including high levels of anxiety, restlessness, and muscle tension.
Xanax is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. It is in the benzodiazepine class of medications, which comprises drugs that slow down the CNS.
Xanax works by increasing the effects of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which promotes calmness and produces a relaxed feeling. The drug decreases the level of excitement in the brain to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
People may experience the following effects from Xanax, as well as from other depressant drugs:
- anxiety relief
- easing of muscle tension
- relief from insomnia
People may notice that Xanax affects the mind. It can cause a temporary loss of memory, feelings of hostility and irritability, and disturbing or vivid dreams.
If someone takes too much Xanax, they may experience:
- shallow breathing
- clammy skin
- dilated pupils
- a weak and rapid heartbeat
- coma or death, in cases of overdose
The United States government has classified benzodiazepines, including alprazolam, as Schedule IV controlled substances in the Controlled Substances Act because of their abuse potential. This classification makes it easier for the government to track the prescription and distribution of Xanax.