Is My Child Addicted to Xanax?

By Becca Owens

Xanax is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. It’s most commonly used to treat anxiety and related disorders, as it helps patients relax and withstand stressful situations without intense anxiety and panic attacks. Xanax, however, is also well-known for being habit-forming, and when you see a habit developing in your child, it can be overwhelming.1

It can be difficult to discern whether or not your child has become addicted and if and when you should intervene. Thankfully, support systems are available to walk you and your child through each step of the recovery path — from intervention to treatment to aftercare. You do not have to fight this battle alone.

Is My Child Taking Too Much Xanax?

Worried mother with daughterIf you’re wondering whether or not your child has a problem with Xanax use, the situation is always worth investigating. Any person taking prescription drugs like Xanax should be under the care of the physician who prescribed it. Doctors set dosages for Xanax based on many factors; therefore, if your child was prescribed the drug, following the recommended dosage is vital to their well-being.

Some behaviors that may indicate your child is becoming addicted to Xanax include:

  • Taking a higher dose than prescribed or more frequently than prescribed
  • Having multiple prescriptions of Xanax
  • Possessing Xanax in unmarked containers or in bottles prescribed for other patients

If you’ve seen any of these behaviors in your child, it’s time to develop a plan of action to help.

What Are the Signs of Xanax Abuse?

Even patients who take Xanax exactly as prescribed can become addicted. You may have begun to notice unusual symptoms in your child as his or her Xanax use has continued. Signs of Xanax abuse range from physical to mental and emotional signals, including:2

  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of coordination
  • Euphoria or exaggerated feeling of well-being
  • Problems concentrating or thinking
  • Memory problems
  • Involuntary eye movements
  • Lack of inhibition
  • Slowed breathing and reduced blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Strained relationships
  • Financial problems
  • Changes in appearance, motivation or school/work performance

Some people will mix Xanax with other substances — particularly alcohol — to intensify its effects. However, since alcohol and Xanax are both depressants, the combination can have devastating consequences.

It’s important to remember that someone struggling with addiction is unlikely to be able to quit taking drugs on his or her own. Addiction often causes people to fear what life would be like without their drug of choice. This fear can be so overwhelming that it’s a main reason they continue to use. Most people who become dependent on Xanax cannot perform everyday activities without it. They may try to stop Xanax, but withdrawal without help can be painful and lead them back into the cycle of using.

How Can an Intervention Help?

Because addiction is a disease, professional help is always a good place to start when seeking recovery for your son or daughter. Staging an intervention can be extremely beneficial both for your child and your family. It can save addicted individuals who feel like they have nothing in their life except the addiction by reminding them how loved they truly are.

Professional mediators (interventionists) provide guidance and support in planning and executing an intervention. They can also give your child information about addiction treatment, which may help to destigmatize the idea. When you feel overwhelmed by the different treatment options, interventionists are there to answer your questions and help you make sense of what’s available. Interventionists often serve families best by helping to maintain an atmosphere in which the family can express both love and pain to their addicted loved one in hopes of persuading him or her to enter treatment.

Do I Still Have Hope?

After years of alcohol and Xanax addiction, Julie found herself in a dark and lonely place, yet she found hope through treatment. In sharing her Heroes in Recovery story, she shares such an important message: “It’s okay to ask for help. If you ask for help, people will help. They help because they love you and they care. I’m not alone. Addiction is the disease of loneliness. When we isolate, we are in a bad place. Today I’m not alone anymore.”

As a parent watching your son or daughter’s Xanax abuse, you can feel just as lonely as your addicted child. Here are a few tips to remember when considering your role in your child’s addiction:3

  • Addiction is a disease. You did not cause it, and you cannot fix it.
  • Protecting your child from the consequences of addiction won’t save them.
  • You’re not alone. Connecting with other parents affected by a child’s addiction can help you cope with the pain.

Loving a child who struggles with addiction isn’t easy, but it’s important to never give up hope. Recovery is possible.

Xanax Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you know is addicted to Xanax, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and to help you find treatment. We can connect you with great treatment facilities and excellent and caring interventionists to help your son or daughter choose the best treatment for everyone. Call us to help your child and your family begin healing.


1Xanax.”, Accessed September 8, 2017.

2Drug Addiction: Symptoms.” Mayo Clinic, December 5, 2014.

3 Wallace, Kelly. “Being an addict’s mom: ‘It’s just a very, very sad place.’” CNN, August 28, 2014.

Are you ready to seek treatment?

If you are ready to beat a Xanax addiction and start a new life in recovery then we can help. We have admission counselors standing by 24 hours a day to take your email, live chat request, or phone call to get you in the addiction treatment center that best fits your unique & specific needs.