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How Many Xanax is a Felony?

How Many Xanax Is a Felony?

With each passing year, the demand for swift-acting and potent pharmaceutical solutions has surged, propelling an unprecedented surge in the development and use of these therapeutic agents. Nevertheless, amid this wave of progress, a troubling issue has emerged: the misuse and abuse of these potent drugs. One of these drugs that is commonly misused is Xanax.

Uses Of Xanax

Xanax belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs, which act on the central nervous system to produce calming effects. Thus, it is used to treat a variety of issues.

Anxiety Disorders

Its ability to modulate the intricate balance of neurotransmitters within the brain makes Xanax a vital tool in treating anxiety disorders. By binding to GABA-A receptors and facilitating the influx of chloride ions, Xanax mitigates excessive neuronal excitation thereby curbing the overactivity that characterizes anxiety. 

This physiological response manifests as a calming effect, reducing the heightened sense of worry, unease, and physical tension associated with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and specific phobias. By restoring a more normalized neural state, Xanax offers relief from anxiety, enabling individuals to engage more fully in daily life but Xanax should be taken appropriately.


Through its interaction with GABA receptors and subsequent enhancement of inhibitory neurotransmission, Xanax induces a calming effect on the central nervous system, effectively promoting relaxation and drowsiness. This dual action on both neural and muscular domains aids in mitigating the physical manifestations of stress and anxiety that often contribute to muscle spasms. Thus, Xanax can produce a calming effect that can promote relaxation and facilitate sleep.

Panic Disorders

By interacting with GABA receptors and enhancing inhibitory signaling, Xanax orchestrates a modulation of neurotransmitter activity. This, in turn, dampens the heightened neural responses responsible for triggering panic. Its rapid onset of action makes it effective during acute panic episodes during which individuals experience fear, heart palpitations, chest constriction, and suffocating dread. 

Muscle Spasms

While not its primary application, Xanax can be employed to alleviate muscle spasms and tension, particularly when these physical symptoms manifest as underlying anxiety or stress. Through its modulation of GABAergic neurotransmission, Xanax exerts a calming influence on the central nervous system, which can extend to relaxing muscular tension. By addressing the root causes of muscle spasms, Xanax provides temporary relief from physical discomfort. Thereby offering a multifaceted approach to managing conditions where muscular symptoms are intertwined with emotional stress. 

The Addictive Nature of Xanax

It’s important to note that while Xanax has therapeutic benefits its use comes with potential risks and drawbacks. Because of its sedative and potentially habit-forming nature, Xanax is usually prescribed for short-term use to minimize the risk of addiction and withdrawal. 

Prolonged or excessive use of Xanax can lead to tolerance, physical and psychological dependence, and withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation. Therefore, the Xanax dosage is prescribed by a medical professional who carefully evaluates the individual’s needs and tailors the treatment plan accordingly.

Misuse of Xanax

Its ability to induce feelings of relaxation and euphoria has led to the misuse of Xanax as a recreational drug, often taken in higher doses or combined with other substances to intensify its effects. This misuse can lead to dangerous outcomes. The demand for quick relief solutions and altered states of consciousness have driven individuals, both with and without legitimate medical needs, to seek out Xanax for non-therapeutic purposes.

For this reason, the legal possession of Xanax is strictly regulated based on an individual’s prescription. Xanax is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance, and the limitations on the number of such substances that an individual can possess are usually calculated based on 30 days. People with a valid Xanax prescription can legally hold up to 30 tablets of the medication within a given period. These regulations on controlled substance possession are put in place by the federal government. Individual states may impose more stringent rules regarding Xanax possession to further safeguard against potential misuse.

How Much Xanax Is Considered a Felony?

The threshold for a felony possession charge related to Xanax possession varies across states, with the common criteria being possession of more than a 30-day supply of the drug without a valid prescription. 

The classification of felony possession can also be influenced by the individual’s intent. For instance, if there is a clear indication of intent to distribute, having two or more kilograms of Xanax could lead to a class B felony charge. Conviction under this charge might result in penalties such as imprisonment for one to 10 years or a fine of up to $25,000.

The Effects of Misusing Xanax

Xanax is a potent force that leaves undeniable marks on the lives of individuals who misuse the drug. 


This is a compulsion to consume the drug beyond prescribed parameters. Individuals who fall into this pattern frequently surpass recommended dosages or increase the frequency of intake thereby setting the stage for a precarious physical dependence on Xanax. 

Addiction to Xanax is prevalent as the brain adapts to the presence of the drug and starts seeking to maintain the new equilibrium. This adaptation can lead to a state where those who are reliant on Xanax encounter distressing withdrawal symptoms if they stop using. These symptoms include heightened anxiety, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, muscle aches, and, in severe cases, seizures.


Overdosing is a dire consequence of excessive and uncontrolled consumption of Xanax. It is characterized by a spectrum of severe effects, most notably respiratory depression where the central nervous system’s ability to regulate breathing becomes compromised. This dangerous condition can lead to oxygen deprivation, pushing individuals toward a state of coma and, in the most tragic instances, even death. For this reason, if or when a suspected Xanax overdose occurs, swift action is required.

Memory Impairment

The misuse of Xanax can negatively impact memory function. In the short term, Xanax can affect the storage of memories, leaving individuals with an impaired ability to recollect recent occurrences. Moreover, this impact can extend to the long term as Xanax hinders the formation of new memories and disrupts the intricate process of encoding information into lasting mental impressions. 


This is a situation where individuals find themselves enveloped in periods of profound cognitive impairment, rendering them oblivious to their surroundings and actions. Xanax’s impact on memory and cognitive function can lead to these alarming lapses during which people may engage in activities that they do not recall later. The consequences of Xanax-induced blackouts can be far-reaching, potentially resulting in life-altering events, such as risky behaviors like driving under the influence or unprotected sexual encounters. 

Increased Risk of Accidents

Misusing Xanax can lead to a hazardous scenario marked by an escalated susceptibility to accidents. It is brought about by the drug’s capacity to distort judgment and impede coordination. The drug’s impact on cognitive clarity and motor skills can lead to a higher vulnerability to accidents as individuals grapple with compromised decision-making and impaired physical control. The result is a broad spectrum of accidents, varying from vehicular collisions to slips, and falls, and a high probability of unintentional self-inflicted harm.

Treatment Options for Xanax Addiction

Combatting Xanax addiction is no easy feat. However, there are various ways to overcome dependence on the drug.

Medication-assisted Treatment

This approach incorporates specialized medications tailored to counteract the physiological challenges of addiction. One such option is Suboxone, a blend of buprenorphine and naloxone. As a partial opioid, buprenorphine alleviates withdrawal by engaging opioid receptors without inducing a complete response thereby mitigating the discomfort of Xanax withdrawal. 

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that complements this effect by blocking opioid actions, curbing the potential for misuse. Naltrexone is another opioid antagonist that fortifies the arsenal against Xanax addiction by thwarting its effects and serving as a deterrent for relapse. 

Support Groups

Support groups foster a communal haven where individuals find solace, understanding, and camaraderie among those who understand their struggles. In these spaces, the shared experiences create a sense of empathy, solidarity, and a judgment-free environment. Individuals can candidly share their challenges, milestones, and setbacks. 

They can also find refuge in the understanding and encouragement offered by peers who have walked similar paths. With the right members, these groups can become sanctuaries of empowerment, fortifying individuals with a sense of belonging, affirmation, and the unwavering assurance that they are not alone in their journey toward liberation from Xanax addiction.

Behavioral Therapy

Through therapeutic engagement, individuals embark on a journey of self-discovery. It aids in harnessing insights to unravel the intricacies of addiction and gaining an understanding of the triggers that fuel the reliance on Xanax. Within this category, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the practical choices that help identify and counteract negative thought patterns that lead to addiction. 

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is another option that helps foster emotional regulation and endows individuals with tools to navigate stressors resiliently. Additionally, motivational interviewing (MI) is a compassionate approach that motivates change, facilitating the development of personalized recovery blueprints. 

Inpatient Treatment

This is a robust and comprehensive avenue for addressing Xanax addiction. It is particularly tailored to individuals grappling with formidable challenges in breaking free from the grips of this dependency. 

This immersive approach extends a safety net of round-the-clock supervision, creating a cocoon where individuals can navigate withdrawal and recovery under the vigilant care of medical and treatment professionals. It is aimed at aiding individuals to forge and develop effective coping strategies to relearn and rebuild their lives afresh.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment offers a flexible and supportive avenue for addressing Xanax addiction. The structure is tailored to individuals who can maintain sobriety independently while seeking supplementary guidance. It relies heavily on the capacity for self-control. Individuals usually attend regular therapy sessions and weekly support meetings to nurture ongoing recovery efforts. This structured engagement equips participants with vital tools for sustaining sobriety, fostering emotional resilience, and honing coping mechanisms while maintaining regular routines and jobs.

In the intricate struggle of battling Xanax addiction, the challenges extend beyond legal ramifications. They encompass a labyrinth of emotional and physiological struggles. Thus, recognizing the need for professional guidance is not a testament to weakness but rather a pivotal step toward regaining control and forging a path to recovery. 

At White Light Behavioral Health, we support and believe in second chances. Our state-of-the-art facility is run and operated by seasoned professionals who are well-versed in addressing addiction cases. As you navigate this arduous journey, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We offer personal custom solutions to help you get back on track and gain control of your life’s trajectory.

Ryan Wakim MD
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Dr. Wakim is a board-certified psychiatrist with a passion for and expertise in addiction, mood disorders, trauma-related disorders and the subspecialty of interventional psychiatry. He obtained his medical degree from West Virginia University where he also completed his residency training, finishing as chief resident. Dr. Wakim co-founded and served as the CEO of Transformations leading to a successful merger with Shore Capital in May 2021. He is purpose driven towards improving the standard of and removing stigma related to behavioral healthcare. Dr. Wakim enjoys golf, traveling and time spent with his two dogs, Lulu and Rayna.

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