Xanax is a powerful sedative with very highly addictive properties. It is classified as a benzodiazepine and is primarily used for the treatment of anxiety. Like all other benzodiazepines, Xanax is a central nervous system depressant that acts on the gamma-Aminobutyric acid receptor.
It affects the brain by creating an unnatural polarized binding in the different subunits of the GABA receptor. This causes patients to feel more relaxed and sedated. From the class of benzodiazepines, Xanax is considered an intermediate acting benzodiazepine. The full effects of the drug last relatively four hours, while the half-life can last usually around twelve hours. Xanax (also known by its generic name, alprazolam) is considered to be amongst the strongest and most euphoric benzodiazepines.
Xanax alone has very powerful effects, and can be very dangerous to mix with other depressants such as alcohol, heroin, and OxyContin. The combined effects of Xanax and these substances could send patients into overdose-induced comas.
The effects of Xanax seem to be beneficial at first but later it develops into many problems. In the short term, the side effects include diminished cognitive skills and slurred speech, similar to alcohol intoxication. In the long term, the effects become more serious. The patient can begin to develop serious memory loss and states of deep depression or unpredictable mood changes.
Coming off of Xanax is very difficult when patients take it in large doses. The withdrawal can produce symptoms like severe anxiety levels leading to seizures if there is an abrupt stop in the dosage. It is a medicine that is only intended for short-term use, or otherwise its addictive properties can be deadly.