Xanax is a prescription, brand-name drug with the generic name alprazolam. It belongs to a larger class of prescription drugs called benzodiazepines or benzos. Benzos are intended to treat anxiety disorders as well as panic disorders, and they’re among the most commonly prescribed class of drugs in the U.S. Xanax is believed to work by increasing the amount of GABA available in the brain. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter, and individuals with anxiety disorders often have less GABA than what’s considered normal. This deficiency causes the activity in their brain to be over-excited. Xanax helps calm that. Xanax is considered a depressant for the central nervous system.
Due to the widespread misuse of Xanax, people frequently have dangerous questions such as “can you shoot Xanax,” and “how to shoot up Xanax.” These scenarios in which people use this medication in ways other than what’s intended, use large doses, or mix it with something such as opioids or alcohol, can and often do contribute to fatal overdoses.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2011 there were more than one million visits to the ER related to nonmedical use of prescription drugs. Xanax was believed to play a role in ten percent of those. While much of the national attention is focused on opioids, Xanax ER visits due to non-medical use have more than doubled in recent years. Common drug combinations seen in emergency rooms across the U.S. include Xanax and alcohol as well as Xanax and hydrocodone or oxycodone.
Even when Xanax is used as prescribed, side effects are possible. Common side effects include drowsiness, low energy, light-headedness, insomnia, confusion, dizziness, and headaches. Another common symptom of Xanax is new or worsening depression. These are just a small sample of the many possible side effects of this drug, but despite the risks, it continues to be highly prescribed. Even at best people who take Xanax by prescription may seem impaired or as if they’re drunk when they use this medication.
First, when you’re shooting up Xanax, you’re increasing your chances of overdosing. People who inject drugs, especially when they’re central nervous system depressants, are at a much higher risk of experiencing fatal respiratory depression and death. If you are injecting Xanax and then mixing it with other central nervous depressants like alcohol or opioids, the overdose risks are exponentially higher. When someone is researching how to inject Xanax, they should also realize they’re displaying symptoms of someone suffering from substance use disorder. Even if you’re prescribed Xanax and want to get more of an effect from shooting it, this is misusing the drug. Taking a prescription medication in any way that’s outside of what a doctor prescribes is inherently considered drug misuse.
There are not just the risks of shooting up Xanax specifically to consider. Injecting anything directly into your veins can leave you at risk for sores, abscesses, and infections, as well as problems with your heart and other organs. For the most part, Xanax isn’t very water soluble . People choosing to take the drug intravenously must dissolve it in alcohol, which is even more dangerous. There is no upside to the idea of injecting Xanax, and it doesn’t even tend to create the powerful high most people are searching for.
Can you IV Xanax? Sure, but should you? Absolutely not. Shooting up Xanax or snorting it is misusing the drug, even if you have a prescription. It puts you at risk for a fatal overdose and it’s an extremely bad decision that can rapidly cause addiction or physical dependence.
Are you worried about your use of Xanax or other drugs? Do you have concerns about a loved one? If so, please call the Recovery Village. We have answers when you feel like there’s nowhere else to turn in the battle against the disease of addiction.