Josh Chandler | February 24, 2022

When Xanax Stops Working

Why Does Xanax Stop Working?

There are times when Xanax stops working for patients, and many get frustrated and blindsided about continuing to treat their anxiety and panic disorders. If Xanax stops working, it is because the individual has taken Xanax for an extended period, and the brain has developed a physical tolerance to Xanax. Once tolerance has been created, the effectiveness of Xanax begins to diminish, and a larger dose is required to reach the same desired effect. Xanax was not designed to be a long-term solution for anxiety disorders or other mental health disorders. If you need long-term support for your anxiety and panic disorders, it is recommended that you speak to your physician or a healthcare provider to discuss appropriate long-term treatments. 

What Is Xanax?

Xanax, also known as Alprazolam, is a prescription medication classified as a benzodiazepine designed to support patients in easing anxiety or restlessness by producing a sense of calm within the user. Xanax is prescribed to be a short-term solution for patients to treat presenting anxiety disorders, other mental health concerns such as panic attacks, or supporting patients through withdrawals in some cases. However, a tolerance can be built up when used for a long time, causing the individual taking Xanax to take more to reach the same desired effect. Individuals who engage in long-term use of Xanax are at a significantly higher risk of developing a Xanax addiction due to its highly addictive components. 

Xanax has been rapidly increasing in popularity among Americans for the quick release and calming effects that individuals facing challenges and adversity become attracted to. While many would not anticipate developing an addiction to Xanax, it can quickly draw its users in and leave many hooked with a drug addiction that they did not see coming. 

The allure of Xanax has become a rapidly growing problem specifically to America’s young people as research has shown that young adults (18-25) are at higher risk of using Xanax for non-medical purposes. The rate of Xanax abuse is nearly double in young adults than for Americans aged 26 or older. As the popularity of Xanax continues to increase, it is more important than ever to address you or your loved ones’ Xanax addiction within an addiction treatment center. 


24/7 support availability,
start your recovery today!


How Xanax Works

Xanax is a central nervous system depressant. The body’s central nervous system controls the body’s main primary functioning, which is responsible for the organ and body functioning that helps an individual live. The central nervous system is responsible for regulating an individual’s heart rate, maintaining healthy blood pressure, breathing, maintaining a healthy, and keeping a regulated, normal body temperature. When a central nervous system depressant is used, it slows down these bodily functions and puts an individual at risk of severe and negative health consequences. 

Xanax is most commonly prescribed to treat an individual’s anxiety disorder. While most people in their lives will feel anxiety from time to time, there is a difference for those living with an anxiety disorder. When living with an anxiety disorder, it is common to live with persistent worry, unprovoked fears, and the onset of panic attacks frequently. These feelings can be crippling to the person and make it challenging to get through typical day-to-day tasks. 

Taking a prescription medication like Xanax allows those with anxiety to reduce unpleasant emotions and provide a sense of calm during a heightened state. Xanax works within the brain to ease stress by affecting the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a natural chemical produced in the brain that produces feelings of calm and relaxation to combat negative responses. When you take Xanax, it assists in your brain producing more GABA, therefore, helping you get through intense anxiety and panic attacks. Xanax is meant to be used in conjunction with other cognitive-behavioral therapies to assist individuals in managing their anxiety disorders without relying on prescription medications for the long term. 

Xanax is a fast-acting medication that takes approximately one to two hours to reach the peak desired level within a person’s bloodstream. However, once ingested, individuals will quickly feel the effects of Xanax, including feelings of euphoria and relaxation. The desired impact of Xanax comes on quickly and dissipate fast as Xanax has a short half-life which means that it does not take long for the individual to feel the peak effects after consuming Xanax. Due to the half-shelf life, many Xanax users will develop a high tolerance as they need to use more and more Xanax to reach the desired effects. As individuals begin to take higher quantities of Xanax to feel the euphoric or desired results, the risk of becoming physically, emotionally, and mentally dependent on the addictive components of Xanax increases.


xanax stops working what to know when xanax stops working


Risks of Taking Xanax

While the original use of Xanax was meant to be a method to treat anxiety and panic, it has become evident that this prescription medication can be easily addictive, and many will develop a physical tolerance. The risk of addiction is severe, and multiple risk factors can affect a person’s well-being physically, mentally, and emotionally after developing a Xanax addiction. This physical tolerance can grow as quickly as one month as you begin to take Xanax in larger doses. 

Research has shown that prolonged use of Xanax can have long-term effects on those who abuse them. Individuals who have used Xanax have experienced different drug effects and how it impacts their functioning, including patients who have difficulty with emotional regulation. Many individuals show dramatic mood swings, and these erratic mood swings can sometimes result in individuals displaying violent or aggressive behaviors. Others may experience changes in appetite. For some, you may experience a loss in hunger resulting in weight loss, while others may experience binge-eating episodes that can contribute to weight gain. 

Long-term use of Xanax has been shown to affect the brain’s functioning ability. Xanax users have been known to have difficulties with coordination and play. This often presents in individuals with difficulty concentrating on regular, mundane daily activities and have speech complications. Xanax has proven to affect the areas of the brain that are responsible for impulse control and engaging in high-risk behaviors. Many long-term users face challenges with being able to refrain from risky behavior such as picking fights, engaging in unsafe sex, or dangerous driving practices. Individuals have also experienced difficulties with memory loss and cognition after quitting Xanax. 

In some cases, some individuals have been using Xanax for an extended period. When they attempt to quit Xanax and go into Xanax withdrawal, there is a high probability that your anxiety disorders and panic will present themselves again and, in most cases, have worse symptoms than before. Other individuals going through Xanax withdrawal experience an onset of seizures that were not present before your use of Xanax. 

Signs of Xanax Addiction

Individuals living with a Xanax addiction will often show the following signs and indicators:

  • Cognitive impairment 
  • Drowsiness
  • Delirium or confusion 
  • Experiencing prolonged bouts of sleep 
  • Lack of energy or motivation 
  • The onset of seizures during Xanax withdrawal 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Isolating from loved ones 
  • Lack of interest in hobbies or activities that you once enjoyed 
  • Vertigo 
  • Experiencing legal concerns due to substance abuse 
  • Difficulty maintaining employment or attending school 
  • Inability to follow through on commitments and responsibilities 


24/7 support availability,
start your recovery today!


Xanax Addiction Treatment

Muse Treatment Center offers patients a treatment center that effectively provides the latest evidence-based treatment methods to support Xanax withdrawal and addiction treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive treatment plan that focuses on healing your addiction within your body, mind, and soul. The typical first initial step you will need to take is to enter into Xanax detox, where you will be given the support and one-on-one care from healthcare providers to effectively remove the effects of Xanax from your body safely and comfortably. Once you have successfully moved through your Xanax detox, you will be able to transition into your drug rehab program that will focus on gaining perspective on the underlying causes of your addiction through individual and group therapy sessions. 

Xanax is commonly prescribed to treat an ongoing mental health disorder. While you remove the effects of Xanax, your mental health concern will still need to be treated. Patients will be supported through a dual diagnosis treatment program to effectively heal from drug addiction while learning new coping methods and managing their mental health disorders through natural, holistic measures. Muse Treatment Center provides patients with a new foundation for a life in recovery through our evidence-based treatment methods. Contact Muse Treatment Center at (800) 426-1818 today to have any of your questions about Xanax addiction answered and find out when you can join us within our addiction treatment Los Angeles to regain your passion for life again in sobriety. 


Prescription Drug Addiction,Prescription Drug Rehab,
Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

Research | Editorial
Call Now, We Can Help
Call Now Button (800) 426-1818