Xanax Tolerance – Is It The Same As Addiction?

xanax toleranceStudies reveal that stress levels in the population are rising each day steadily. Not only can stress trigger a mental disorder, but it can also impair how you go about your daily life. Feeling like you have a dark cloud looming over your head every day is not exactly the best feeling. Sometimes you don’t have a choice. Many people exhibit mental illness in either their youth or much later in life as a result of genes.

When medically prescribed, Xanax can help you ease your anxiety. To ease stress and tension, doctors can prescribe Xanax to help you relax and get some sleep. Since the effects onset is fast, the dosage used for short-term relief is very small to ensure tolerance and addiction do not occur. For stronger anxiety and panic attack disorders, the dosage may be slightly high, but enough to ensure slow and safe tolerance to Xanax.

After using Xanax for a while, you may start experiencing less effect than before; which is a common occurrence, especially if you are a regular user. Xanax has an incredibly short half-life, which is a complicated way of saying that it acts fast in easing your anxiety once it is in your system but also leaves your body equally fast. This half-life property means that it is easy to develop a Xanax addiction, dependency, and some individuals experience Xanax withdrawal symptoms in between their doses.

To be on the safe side, do not attempt upping your dosage on your own, you might end up an addict,and the only way to recover is going through a Xanax detox. Immediately you feel like your medication isn’t as effective as it was, talk to your doctor and let them determine whether to up the dose.

What Is Xanax Tolerance?

Usually, when doctors prescribe potent medication like Xanax, they know the medication’s capability for dependency and addiction; which is why you are started off with as fewer milligrams as possible, as little as 0.25 – 0.5 mg. This low dosage is enough to give you relief and enough to ensure you do not start off on a ‘high note’ that may lead to early dependency which may pave the way for quick addiction.

This loss of quick or total effectiveness is called tolerance. Though the speed and the duration it takes for Xanax to get into your body is not affected, your body gets used to the small doses and develops resistance to the former effects – both the calming effects and the side effects.

If you are taking Xanax for depression, panic attacks or general anxiety, you will slowly start feeling like you did before the medication and maybe experiencing some Xanax withdrawal. Depression and anxiety start creeping back in – possibly even more than you before.

Before you panic further and assume that you are addicted to Xanax, remember that it is considered normal in the medical field to show dependency symptoms. More so when it comes to benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin that interfere with your brain’s reward centers. Caution is important when it comes to Xanax because it is about ten times more potent than most benzodiazepines. Increasing your dose is therefore done after proper medical supervision.

What Is The Difference Between Tolerance And Addiction?

Tolerance, if unchecked, can lead to addiction. Tolerance to medication goes hand in hand with dependence – which is why you need medical consultation and strict adherence to not fall into addiction. Popping the Xanax pill may seem easy as you go about your daily activities, you may even forget the severity that comes with its potency. So ensure you keep an eye on any differences you may encounter with the effects and any Xanax withdrawal you may notice in between doses.

Addiction, on the other hand, is a strong and sometimes uncontrollable need to consume Xanax. If you are addicted, every time you try to cut your Xanax intake, you will encounter Xanax withdrawal symptoms, and they can be severe and unpleasant. They range from insomnia, panic attacks, and agitation to dangerous symptoms like suicidal thoughts and seizures.

There is no need for you to get to that point. As long as you take the small doses as prescribed, your doctor can handle the Xanax dependency that may occur. Starting off with a high dose is proven to increase your risk of addiction.

Is There A Limit To Tolerance Levels?

Obviously, there are only so many times your dosage can rise until it becomes dangerous. Ideally, it is more serious when dealing with Xanax since it is very strong medication. Assuming you do not end up an addict, there are two main scenarios when it comes to finding a solution for a high Xanax dosage.

One, if your doctor determines that your anxiety, depression or panic attacks can be managed without medication, he or she can start weaning you off of Xanax; which works by gradually reducing your dose a few milligrams at a time. Once lowered completely, the challenge begins. Though you may not experience harsh withdrawal signs and symptoms like addicts undergoing Xanax detox, the relief you previously enjoyed will be gone.

Two, your doctor may decide that you still need medication to combat your mental problem. Sometimes people are going through more than they can mentally handle. Here, you can wean off of Xanax, get a prescription for some new medication or a new form of therapeutic relief for your anxiety and depression.


Final Thoughts

Whether influenced by your genetic disposition or by environmental factors, your mental health is paramount. While some people pick illegal drugs and risky behaviors to cope with their problems rather than face the underlying causes, be wise in your choices and talk to your doctor. You may be surprised to find that the solution could be as simple as therapy and lifestyle changes. Even when the solution lies in medication, something that most people abhor, it is better than risking your life for short and sometimes fatal pleasures.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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