Does Xanax get you high?

Yes, Xanax can get you high. But Xanax creates a high infrequently, in less than 1% of all cases. Learn more about the psychoactive properties of Xanax, how it works, and its addiction liability here.

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Xanax can get you high.  Xanax causes euphoria in 0.1 – 1% of those who take it.

However, the main ingredient in Xanax, alprazolam, does not necessarily trigger euphoria.  And some people are more likely to experience a positive mood effect than others.  But is Xanax addictive? (yes)  Learn more about the pharmacology of Xanax and its effects on the central nervous system here.

Psychoactive ingredients of Xanax

What’s in Xanax?  The main ingredient in Xanax that affects the central nervous system is a benzodiazepine called alprazolam. Benzodiazepines slow down the central nervous system and are known as sedatives, or depressants.  Although the exact action of alprazolam on the brain is still unknown, experts think that this class of benzodiazepine binds at stereo specific receptors at several sites within the central nervous system to cause dose-related depressant effects.  And it is this action of alprazolam on the central nervous system that is associated with positive mood and other effects related to euphoria.

Xanax and euphoria

Although euphoric effect has not been documented as an adverse reaction to taking Xanax, feelings of intense well-being can be felt when taking Xanax.  But euphoric effect happens infrequently, and occurs in less than l/100 patients but at least l/1000 patients.

Additionally, it is possible that a certain population experience positive mood effect, while others do not.  Abuse of Xanax is frequently associated with adolescents and young adults who take the drug orally or crush it up and snort it to get high.   But Xanax abuse is particularly high among heroin and cocaine abusers, those who may be chemically and physically more sensitive to euphoric effect than the general population.

Xanax and central nervous system effects

Clinically, all benzodiazepines cause central nervous system depression effects which are dose related.  Effects from taking benzos like Xanax can vary from mild impairment of task performance to hypnosis, or a state of extreme relaxation and suggestibility.  Plus, benzodiazepines are associated with amnesia, hostility, irritability, and vivid or disturbing dreams.  Some of the more common central nervous system effects reported by people who take Xanax for anxiety or panic disorders include:

  • depression
  • drowsiness
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • impaired coordination
  • impaired memory
  • impaired speech articulation
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • lightheadedness

How long do benzodiazepines stay in system depends upon the type of benzo you are taking, dosage and frequency of use.  Chronic use of benzodiazepines like Xanax can be detected in urine 4-6 weeks after last dose.  If you have just started taking Xanax, you should wait at least one day before a drug screen, although 3 days is appropriate for infrequent use.

Can you get addicted to Xanax?

Yes.  Psychological dependence is possible when taking any benzodiazepine, including Xanax.  And prolonged use of depressants such as Xanax can lead to physical dependence even at doses recommended for medical treatment.  But who is at risk of Xanax addiction?

In general, the potential of dependence on and abuse of Xanax (alprazolam) are similar to that of other benzodiazepines.  And the risks of Xanax addiction are related to both intention for use and mode of administration.  So if you are taking Xanax just to get high, in doses or ways other than prescribed, your risk of becoming addicted to Xanax increases.  Not to mention that you can die from Xanax.

The risk of psychological dependence on Xanax may also be more likely when you are taking doses higher than 4 mg/day.  Longer term use can also result in addiction.  Finally, the risk of Xanax addiction is increased for people with a history of alcohol or drug abuse.  To summarize, those at highest risk of Xanax addiction are people who:

  1. have alcohol or drug abuse history
  2. take Xanax long term
  3. take more than 4 mg of Xanax a day

Am I addicted to Xanax?

Getting high on Xanax is a form of Xanax abuse. If you think that you have problems with Xanax, and are taking more than recommended, or are snorting, smoking or injecting Xanax…then you can get help to stop. Please learn more about what you can expect from the Xanax addiction treatment process and rehab programs, then leave us your questions about Xanax and its use here. We answer all legitimate queries with a personal and prompt reply.

Reference sources: Abuse liability and clinical pharmacokinetics of alprazolam in alcoholic men
The pharmacology of alprazolam: a review
Daily Med drug info for Xanax (alprazolam) tablets
Prescription drug abuse and youth
DEA Drug Fact Sheet on Benzodiazipines
FDA approved Xanax XR label
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  1. First off great topic. I started having panic attacks out of the blue 6 years ago and feel like I’ve been a medication experiment buy the doctors I have seen. I started with two medications in the beginning and am now on 7. I take 4 1 mil xanax per day. But it only seems to take a short time to wear off. I generally don’t even realize I need it until my head starts hurting. I am diognosed a bipolar disorder, ptsd, and others not as not serous. At one point I tried latuda which worked better than anything. It runs now $1500 a month which is not an option. I’ve even quit my meds at times and would be fine for 6 or so month then it would all come bad. My anxiety is not the I’m afraid and hide in a corner type. Mine is completely opposite. My body is in pain just from physical work and my head feels squeezed like my brain from the Xanax use. I have tried opioids in rare occasions and honestly it fixes me. No mood swing, headaches, or pain. To me I would prefer that option in low doses as needed. How can present that intelligently to my doctors.

  2. If it cause death why is it gaving out then as its hit this little town and it has killed about 10 people in a week not good would like to see it of the market

  3. Eh yea idk man, this is the second time I’ve taken xanax, I only took 1 2mg bar and I barley feel anything, and they are real I’ve been researching, I just figured it was weird that it’s only my second time and I took one bar earlier and still not really any affacet like a slight one but from how every takes it supposed to get people super fucked up but it’s just not doing much for me

  4. I’m 43 years old had a mispent youth at the football got the tin pale for it !! Anyway I have been addicted to everything and I literally mean everything and stoped needed help through it but it’s will power kick it arse or go out swinging

    1. Hi Derek. I suggest that you call the helpline you see on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find the best treatment for you.

  5. Hi my name is Lonnie and as a kid I was diagnosed at the age of 10 with a severe case of A.D.H.D. and also very horrible Bipolar Skizafrenia,at the time I was being treated at an EAST RIDGE mental health, and behavioral clinic, which I was treated once every month by a M.D. who after trying several different med’s until he prescribed me my usual Bipolar Skizafrenia meds he started prescribing me to take the meds called Kolonipin he had me take a .5mg tablet once when I got up and one before my bedtime at night but when I got a little older I stopped all my treatment needs because I was smoking cannabis on a daily basis and me being young and dumb thought that I didn’t need my doctor nor did I care that I’d also lose my SSI check that I was receiving once a month,but now that I’m a lot older and dont use drugs anymore I realized I was a fool for doing what I did, cause now all my symptoms I was being treated for is back and I’ve been trying to get a doctor back that would except me,but I can’t find one at the time and now I’ve got to find different ways for me to deal with my difficult to handle symptoms, so with that being said my question to you guys is that is there any suggestions that you all could please tell me on what’s the best way I should go about while I’m trying to get in with a doctor, cause I’m so in need for a licensed M.D

  6. I’m not addicted to Xanax but my husband is and I’m thinking of divorcing him because of it. I feel my children are in danger and I don’t want a life like this. Is there any help for him? I’ve live in Orlando Florida.

  7. I have been using Xanax recreationally for a few weeks. The other day I woke up on my shower floor. I had no reckalection of anything that happened (even hours before). Thank goodness I didn’t serious hurt myself. Do you think this could’ve been a blackout or some type of seizure? I read they can be a side effect. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts.

  8. I take .o5 of xanax twice a day and then one at night to help sleep. So 2 pet day. If I get real down or aggravated I might take 2. That chills me way out! And I like it. But don’t want to do that consistently.

  9. i have a person who has been a house guest for a little over a month. i personally know that he has singlehandedly gone through about 170 xanax tablets within the month and 4 days he has been here. he claims anxiety is the reason he is prescribed the drug but he goes from hosp. to hosp. emergency rooms and doctor to doctor to get more prescriptions. what should i do to intervene. i feel like he may OD on them and end up dead. what should i do to try and save him from himself. he is 29, male, hiv pos. and looks and acts very normal. but he lies constantly about the medications he is getting. trying to hide that its xanax.

  10. Hey Michaela,10 years is a long time on Xanax a difficult drug to begin with cutting back.Why snorting and why now after 10 years? Maybe an anti depressant along with Xanax will help.
    No it will not help you lose weight,in fact just the opposite.
    Lastly sorry about your loss,grandmothers are special,God bless you

  11. I’ve been on Xanax for over 10 yrs . Just started snorting them yesterday! Will it help me loss weight? I just lost my grandmother and I’m in a mess! I take the blue ones.

    1. Hello Michaela. Definitely not a good idea. I’d advise you to continue taking your medication as prescribed. Snorting Xanax is not safe or recommended. If you are having trouble coping with the loss of your grandmother I’d suggest seeking help from a therapist.

  12. I just started taking Alprazolam o.25 mg.1tablet twice daily. I’m also taking Citalopram 20 mg. 1tablet once a day. Is it safe to take together ?

    1. Hi Guadalupe. Were the two medications prescribed together by the same doctor? Why don’t you ask the prescribing doctor about how you should take each one and what are the possible implications.

  13. I don’t usually pop pills. Maybe a few times in my life. I only took it just to try it. Well, I just popped a Xanax and I don’t know how to feel. I definitely feel high, but I feel weird too.

  14. Hi, I have a problem with Alpralolam and alcohol. I never take them both at the same time, but I alternate where one night I take 2 -3 mg of Alprozolam to help me sleep and then the following night I drink 1.5 liters of wine to get to sleep. (pass out actually) I’ve tried to stop the Alpralozam and was awake for two nights. I could not sleep and I was determined to deal with it. It didn’t work. I have been getting euphoric on 2-3 mg of alprazolam and I’ve made stupid online purchases during these episodes. I don’t use illegal drugs and I also don’t take any other medications. It’s wine one night and alprazolam the next.

    1. Hi Renee. The two substances are not really mixing, thus they will not cause any problems as they usually would if used at the same time. But, this kind of use is causing a lot of damage to your organism, especially the 1.5l of wine every other night. Please get an appointment with your doctor and ask for help. I believe you need professional medical help to cope with your repetitive behavior of drinking and using alprazolam for sleep.

  15. Joe, when you take a drug test, they ask you what prescription medications you are on to discount you from legally taking the medicine. So, don’t worry about failing a drug test that can be verified by a pharmacy!!

  16. Hello Joe. If you managed to get it all out of your stomach, then it shouldn’t show on any drug tests. The absorbed amount would be too insignificant to cause a problem. But, if you didn’t manage to get the pill out, it may have been absorbed.

  17. I took a xanex and a bout 5to10 mins made myself throw up because I didn’t wanna have that in my system . Is it possible to fail a drug screen for it I did not feel the effects

  18. Hi Zack. It sounds like there are certainly some family dynamics which could be driving your brother’s drug use. Have you considered attending family therapy to air out some issues?

  19. So my bigger brother (17 years old) just started taking xanax for 2 week because he had some trouble sleeping, and he was caught smoking one day. Anyway he never sleeps after taking it and this one time he picked a fight with my mom (he didn’t touch her) so he would take 1 more pill so he took it from her hand and swallowed not 1 not 2 but 3 pills, so my dad started beating him and some pill fell. My brother while leaving he picked up a pill crushed it and licked it, we were all shocked and disappointed.

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