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Xanax Overdose: Can You Overdose on Xanax?

Posted on April 9, 2023

Xanax Overdose: Can You Overdose on Xanax?

Xanax is a drug that most people take to treat symptoms of anxiety and panic. Millions of people across the world take Xanax and find that it does a great job of making you feel calm and assured, giving them the peace of mind they need to thrive.

However, it can be dangerous.

Xanax works by targeting the receptors and nervous system in the brain, slowing down the nervous system and raising the concentration of GABA.

GABA is an acid in the brain that is responsible for reducing feelings of stress and allows you to feel calm.

This also allows people to sleep more peacefully.

When you consume Xanax, the body does a great job at making sure that it is absorbed very quickly.

Unfortunately, Xanax is also really highly potent, which means that it can cause a rebound in anxiety, meaning that you can easily end up taking too much Xanax and making your symptoms worse.

This means that Xanax can be easily misused, and lots of people end up overdosing on Xanax every year.

Pills spilling out of a bottle

There are a number of side effects when it comes to taking Xanax, including feeling tired, slouchy, struggling with slurred speech, having issues concentrating and being more frustrated and irritated than usual.

Xanax should only be used on a short term basis used to treat issues with anxiety and panic disorders.

You should not be taking Xanax on a long-term basis and should be well aware when taking Xanax of the possible side effects.

Can you overdose on Xanax?

Hospital bed recovery

People are able to overdose on Xanax if they take too much Xanax in any one given time. This is particularly true if you mix Xanax with other drugs.

In fact, mixing Xanax with alcohol can even be fatal.

This is because Xanax increases the level of GABA in your brain, which tends to work to calm you down and make you feel relaxed.

However, when individuals mix Xanax with other drugs and substances such as alcohol and opioids, these drugs tend to do the opposite to your brain and body which causes a reaction.

If you do take Xanax, then you need to make your doctor, rehab centre or therapist awatr so that they know not to prescribe you any conflicting medication.

If you do mix alcohol, opioids or any other drugs with Xanax then you should stop immediately, as you will be at risk of overdosing.

What does Xanax do to your body and brain?

Woman headache

Xanax increases the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the body and brain.

GABA is able to reduce the levels of excitement in the brain that might be contributing to feelings of anxiety and panic. This is why you will feel significantly calmer and more relaxed when you take Xanax.

However, thre are also a number of side effects associated with taking Xanax.

Some of these side effects are listed below. You might not necessarily experience all of the below symptoms and side effects of Xanax, but you will most likely experience at least one or two of them.

  • Feeling light-headed and dizzy
  • Feeling excessively tired
  • Suffering from frequent headaches
  • Feeling sick or even being physically sick
  • Struggling to eat
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Struggling with your coordination
  • Struggling to concentrate and feel motivated

If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms after taking Xanax then understand that these symptoms are normal.

However, if you feel like any of the above symptoms are becoming too severe or overwhelming, then you should speak to a healthcare professional as soon as possible, as it could be a sign that you are overdosing.

What is the lethal dosage of Xanax?

Inside of an ambulance and paramedics

The amount of Xanax that any one person can take will depend on a number of factors, as it will differ from person to person.

Some of the below factors will influence how much Xanax you will be able to take at any one given time.

  • How fast your body tends to metabolise other medications
  • Your current weight
  • Your current height
  • Your age
  • Whether you suffer from any medical conditions such as heart issues, kidney issues or any other liver conditions
  • Whether you take Xanax alongside other medications or drugs, such as opioids, antidepressants or alcohol

There have been a few studies into how much Xanax someone would need to take in order to overdose.

These studies suggest that someone would need to take approximately several thousands times the maximum prescribed dose of Xanax in order to overdose from Xanax alone.

However, it is important to note that these studies have all been carried out in animals (rats specifically) which might not translate directly for humans.

It is important to note that numerous studies also believe that those aged 65 or over are at a higher risk of developing more unpleasant side effects and symptoms when it comes to Xanax, and are therefore also more likely to overdose on Xanax.

This is why if you are aged 65 or over, then you are a lot more likely to be prescribed less Xanax than younger people are.

What are the signs and symptoms of an overdose?

Man exhausted

There are a number of signs and symptoms when it comes to overdosing on Xanax.

If you think that you or a loved one is addicted to taking Xanax, or is at risk of overdosing from Xanax, then it is important to look out for the following.

Whether you overdose on Xanax and which symptoms you experience will depend on a number of factors,including how much Xanax you have taken, how sensitive you are to certain medications and whether you have taken anything else alongside Xanax.

Whilst symptoms will differ from person to person, below are some of the most common symptoms experienced by people who are overdosing on Xanax. Symptoms range from mild to severe.

Mild symptoms of a Xanax overdose

  • Feeling confused
  • Muscle spasms
  • Issues with coordination
  • Struggling with your speech and slurring your words a lot
  • Shaking, particularly your hands
  • Struggling with your reflexes
  • Stomach issues
  • A more rapid heartbeat than usual

Severe symptoms

  • Real difficulties to breath
  • Experiencing any form of chest pain
  • Noticing an abnormality in your heart beats
  • Seizures
  • Passing out
  • Falling into a coma

If you are taking Xanax and experience any of the above symptoms, then you might be experiencing an overdose from Xanax. If this is the case, then you should seek help from medical and healthcare professionals as soon as possible.

What Leads to Overdosing on Xanax?

New Zealand Valium/Diazepam New Zealand Valium/Diazepam

There are a number of things that would lead to someone overdosing on Xanax. Overdosing can be either accidental or on purpose.

Unfortunately, depending on how much Xanax you have been prescribed, lots of people are at risk of overdosing from Xanax accidentally.

Mixing Xanax with other drugs and substances

If you mix Xanax with other substances, it can very easily become dangerous and lethal. For example, if you mix Xanax with opioids, alcohol or antidepressants, then you will be at risk of overdosing on Xanax.

Unfortunately, mixing these drugs together could result in cardiac arrest as your heart begins to fail, potentially leading to death.

Build-up of tolerance

People are also at risk of accidentally overdosing on Xanax because it is easy to build up a tolerance.

When you take Xanax on a regular basis, your body will only naturally build up a tolerance to it, like it would any other drug or substance.

Unfortunately, this means that lots of people who become dependent on Xanax to function find themselves taking more Xanax than they should in order to experience its positive effects.

Unfortunately, when people are dependent on Xanax, withdrawing from Xanax for any significant time will simply overwhelm their body and throw it into a state of shock.

What to do if you suspect an overdose


If you or someone you know is at risk of overdosing from Xanax, then you need to get them professional medical help.

If you think that you or someone you know is currently overdosing from Xanax, then you need to ring for an ambulance immediately.

You should not wait to see if their symptoms get any worse, as this could quickly turn fatal.

If you are physically with someone who you suspect is overdosing from Xanax, then call for help and try to keep the individual awake and alert. You should stay with them until an ambulance arrives.

You should also tell the emergency operator whether the individual is breathing, whether they are alert and also exactly what substances they have taken.

You should also tell them all of their symptoms and that you suspect that they have overdosed on Xanax.

Suicide Warning Signs

Two men in 1-1 therapy

It is also important to acknowledge that some people end up overdosing on Xanax on purpose as a suicide attempt.

Unfortunately, lots of people attempt to use Xanax to overdose each year.

If you are considering overdosing on Xanax, then it is important to understand and remember that there is help out there and available to you.

Suicide is not the only option, and it does not need to end this way.

There are a number of helplines available to you, some of which are listed below on this page.

If you are worried that a loved one is considering suicide, then there are a number of warning signs to look out for, including some of the warning signs listed below.

1. Talking about suicide

If your loved one is talking about suicide, then this is a sign that they may be seriously contemplating it. They might mention it in passing, or ask to talk to you directly about it.

The important thing to remember is that if they are talking to you about suicide, then they might be looking for help.

However, it is important that you take these discussions very seriously and that you do not play down their thoughts and feelings. If they are talking to you about this, then it is most likely weighing heavily on their mind.

2. Hating themselves

If your loved one starts to dislike themselves or starts to feel shame, guilt or hate for themselves or their body, then this is a sign that they are at risk of suicide.

They might say things such as ‘I hate my body’ or ‘I hate how I am.’

They might even say things such as ‘no one would miss me if I were gone’ or ‘people would be better off without me.’

If your loved one is saying things like this, then know that they are at risk of suicide and act on it as soon as possible.

People holding hands

3. Saying goodbye to people

If your loved one starts to make comments such as ‘You won’t see me again’ or ‘I want to say goodbye properly’ then you should be aware that they could be having suicidal thoughts.

If your loved one starts to become heavily sentimental or starts to visit people without warning to say goodbye, then you should try to keep them with you for as long as possible and make sure that they are okay.

4. Spending more time alone

If your loved one has started to spend more time alone and starts to withdraw from spending time with other people, then you should be on the look out for other signs and symptoms and depression and suicidal thoughts.

5. Feeling very calm and sentimental all of a sudden

If your loved one starts to come across as very calm and sentimental all of a sudden, then this could be a sign that they are having suicidal thoughts.

Unfortunately, this could mean that they are making peace in their mind, in preparation for death and suicide.

Two people filling out paperwork

6. Making a will

Whilst it is normal for people of a certain age to make a will and get other affairs in order, you should be on high alert if someone young has made a will and is getting their affairs in order whilst they are not at risk of a natural death.

7. Reckless behaviour

If your loved one has started to engage in reckless behaviour, such as drunk driving, drinking excessively or taking drugs, then this might be a sign that they no longer value their life or their health, and that they could be having suicidal thoughts.

8. Extreme mood swings

If your loved one is having extreme mood swings, then your loved one could be suffering from depression. If they are extremely high one moment, and extremely low another, then this could be a sign that they are suffering from a mental health issue or are engaging in drug abuse.

If they are, then they could be at risk of overdosing and committing suicide.

Suicide risk factors

Woman with her hand over her eyes, looking sad

There are a number of risk factors associated with suicide which you should be aware of if you think that someone you know and love is at risk.

These include:

  • A history of suffering from depression or other mental health issues
  • Suffering from chronic pain or injuries
  • Past experiences with suicide
  • Watching a family member or a loved one suffer from suicide
  • Exposure to trauma, such as abuse or assault
  • Stressful events, such as losing a loved one
  • Being released from hospital or prison after a long period of time being inside
  • Being socially isolated
  • Exposure to other people who self harm

Whilst these are the most prominent risk factors of suicide, not everyone who experiences these risk factors will attempt to take their own life.

Whilst these risk factors are important to be aware of and to look out for, you should not presume that someone who has these risk factors is going to kill themselves.

What Treatment Do I Need for Xanax Addiction?

A doctor typing with a stethoscope beside the laptop

If you are addicted to Xanax, then there are a number of treatment options available to you.

These can be in the form of both inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment, depending on the severity of your addiction to Xanax. Some of these treatment options are listed below for you.

1. Medical Detox

If you attend rehab for your addiction to Xanax, then you might need to undergo a medically supervised Xanax detox.

This will involve withdrawing from the substance in stages, often under the medical supervision of doctors and therapists to ensure that you are detoxing safely.

2. Inpatient Rehab Treatment

Inpatient rehab treatment is one of the most popular types of treatment options, which involves individuals moving into a rehab centre for a particular period of time in order to recover.

You will eat and sleep within the rehab centre and will undergo all of your treatment there until you have recovered.

3. Outpatient Rehab Treatment

Outpatient rehab treatment is another form of rehab treatment, which allows individuals to remain living at home whilst they recover from their addiction.

You will receive phone calls from therapists and will also be able to visit your chosen rehab centre on a daily or weekly basis.

Tips on what to do if someone you know is suicidal

Two people holding hands

If you are worried about someone you love and think that they might be at risk of committing suicide, then there are a number of things that you can do to help.

1. Check in with them frequently

One of the best things that you can do to help a friend who is struggling with their mental health is to check in with them on a frequent basis. You should try to visit or call them over the phone regularly, just to check that they are okay.

You should ask them how they are feeling, and try to avoid sending texts where possible. This is because they can easily hide how they are truly feeling over the message.

It is important to remember that if you are truly, very worried about whether or not someone is feeling suicidal, then you are always allowed to ask them outright if they are feeling suicidal in any way.

2. Take any talk of suicide very seriously

You should also take any talk of suicide very seriously. You should make sure that if your loved one ever mentions anything to do with suicide, then you should take it very seriously, ask them about how they feel and try to get them the help that they need.

3. Encourage seeking professional support

If your loved one has expressed thoughts of suicide, then you should try to get them to seek professional help as soon as possible.

You should try to get help to get in touch with one of the following helplines.

  • Samaritans – 116 123
  • SANEline – 0300 304 7000
  • National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK – 0800 689 5652
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – 0800 58 58 58
  • Shout – text SHOUT to 85258
  • C.A.L.L – 0800 132 737

Talk to Rehab Recovery

Man with phone

If you or someone that you know is at risk of suicide or overdoing from Xanax or any other drug, then you can also speak to someone at Rehab Recovery.

Our team of friendly professionals will be able to recommend the best treatment options available to you, and will offer you support and help through the treatment process.

Give a member of the Rehab Recovery team a call on 0800 088 66 86 or by visiting our website online.

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