Substance Use

Alprazolam Overdose: What You Need to Know

woman sleeping on laptop next to alprazolam pills spilled

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Benzo Overdose Symptoms, Warning Signs, and Addiction Help

Alprazolam is used to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorders. It belongs to the drug group benzodiazepines, which are psychoactive drugs often used as sedatives. This drug has several brand names, including Xanax. While it is intended to be available by prescription only, it’s also sold illegally and subject to abuse, including overdose and death.

Zinnia Health offers a compassionate, comprehensive approach to Xanax addiction, helping people overcome their addiction and build a strong foundation for recovery. Our treatment program includes detoxification, therapy tailored to the individual, or group counseling sessions. Find out more by calling our helpline 24/7 at (855) 430-9439.

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Can You Overdose on Alprazolam?

Yes, a benzo or Xanax overdose is possible if you ingest too much at one time. An overdose can be life-threatening and lead to physical and mental health problems, requiring immediate medical advice and assistance.

What to Do in an Emergency?

If you suspect someone close to you is overdosing on alprazolam, call 911 immediately.

Please call 911 right away to get help and advice for a person who is overdosing.

What Are the Treatment Options for an Alprazolam Overdose?

The medical team will check that the inpatient’s airways are clear and provide oxygen if they have difficulty breathing. The person may also need their stomach pumped to remove any drug remnants, which usually leads to needing intravenous fluids to rehydrate.

One possible treatment option for benzodiazepine overdose is flumazenil. This medication is also used to wake some patients up after surgery, as it counteracts the effect of sedatives.

Is an Alprazolam Overdose Dangerous?

Alprazolam has a higher toxicity level than other benzodiazepines since the body absorbs it quickly and the drug acts fast. Since it is one of many central nervous system depressants, it can lead to a life-threatening slowing of internal functions, including breathing and heart rate. Taking too much can lead to a fatal overdose.

How Much Alprazolam Does it Take to Overdose?

The current recommended maximum Xanax dosage is 2mg in a single tablet. The maximum recommended daily dose of alprazolam is 10mg. If someone takes more than this, they immediately put themselves at risk of overdose.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of an Alprazolam Overdose?

Overdose symptoms and signs include:

  • Bowel problems
  • Bladder problems
  • Lack of focus
  • Confusion
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Salivating/drooling
  • Dizziness
  • Joint pain
  • Drowsiness or a sudden increase in energy

Other Alprazolam Side Effect Complications

Someone who has taken alprazolam must not, under any circumstances, drink alcohol or ingest opioids, stimulants, or other sedatives. Overdose deaths are often caused by combined substances that cause complications. Seek medical attention immediately if you or a loved one has taken the drug with other substances.

Alprazolam substance use disorder is challenging, but by taking a holistic approach, it’s possible to find the way forward. At Zinnia Health, our treatment programs are based on up-to-date substance abuse research. Call our helpline 24/7 at (855) 430-9439. We work with most insurance/healthcare providers.

What Increases the Risk of an Alprazolam Overdose?

There are a number of risk factors with Xanax use. The risk of overdose is increased by:

  • A history of alcoholism or other substance abuse disorders
  • Self-medicating and taking more than the recommended dose
  • Mental health conditions such as depression
  • Other pre-existing health conditions
  • Mixing alprazolam with sleeping pills, antidepressants, or pain medication without consulting a doctor

The FDA strongly warns against combining opioids and benzodiazepines, as there is a high risk of death. Other drugs may be taken together, but only with careful management by a healthcare professional.

Why Does an Alprazolam Overdose Occur?

An alprazolam overdose can occur if someone decides their prescribed dose is not enough and decides to self-prescribe a higher dose.

There is also the risk that if someone purchases the drug illicitly, it may contain other substances that can cause negative effects. Counterfeit Xanax pills have been found to contain various substances that can cause serious side effects.

How to Tell if Someone Is on Alprazolam

Many people take alprazolam for legitimate reasons without developing an addiction or risking an overdose.

However, if you suspect someone is misusing the drug or combining it with other medications, look for the following side effects:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Complaints of unexplained headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Mood changes
  • Libido changes

Someone trying to hide a substance use disorder or Xanax addiction may withdraw or become secretive. If they’re buying alprazolam illicitly, they may suddenly experience financial troubles or ask for money.

Why Would Someone Take Alprazolam?

Alprazolam is used to calm anxiety and panic, and because of the beneficial effects of Xanax, it’s a useful drug for those who need it. However, it can be misused.

People can become dependent on the feelings of calm it provides, using it as a “wind-down” pill after bad days at work or college, or after a fight with a loved one, for example. This can become a habit, leading to someone taking the drug when they don’t really need to.

Someone may take alprazolam simply because they’ve heard it has calming effects and without speaking to a doctor or other medical professional. Sometimes, a friend or loved one may recommend it because it’s worked for them.

This benzo affects the central nervous system, leading to feelings of relaxation and calm. If someone feels they’re missing that in their lives, they may try to find it by taking this drug.

How to Help Someone with an Alprazolam Use Disorder

Be aware that the individual may have started taking alprazolam on the advice of a doctor and simply started to misuse it due to a lack of support. Be compassionate, and try talking to them about how much they take. They may not even realize they’re suffering from a substance use disorder.

Learn what you can and be prepared to seek help. Drug addiction is a disease that needs professional care to get the best results for everyone involved. Reach out to us and learn the next steps for you or your loved one.

Zinnia Health provides a unique treatment center specializing in many types of addiction treatment, including alprazolam misuse. Every member of the Zinnia Health team understands the challenges of overcoming drug abuse, including withdrawal symptoms. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please call our helpline 24/7 at (855) 430-9439.

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