Taking methamphetamine (meth) and Xanax together is dangerous because one drug tells the body to speed up heart rate and elevate blood pressure, while the other does just the opposite.
Using methamphetamine with Xanax puts the body under incredible stress. Methamphetamine use is dangerous in general, but mixing it with a depressant like Xanax can lead to unpredictable health risks. Results vary, but the combination puts immense strain on the heart, which can lead to cardiac arrest, stroke, and hospitalization.
Meth is often used with other substances to increase the high or alleviate manic symptoms. Some people report doing too much meth and then taking Xanax to calm down and drive home. While they may believe they’re back to normal functioning, they’re likely still intoxicated. This can result in traffic accidents and may cause injury or death to themselves or others.
Data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network showed, in one year, how 62% of emergency room visits involving methamphetamine also involved another substance. Over 10% included benzodiazepines, like Xanax. Polydrug use (abusing more than one substance) contributes to overdose fatalities year and year again because different drugs act on the body in different ways.
Overdose And Death
Mixing Xanax with the illicit forms of methamphetamine, like crystal meth, can increase the risk of dangerous side effects. While the exact interaction will vary from person to person, taking Xanax with illicit drugs may cause them to experience the following symptoms:
- extreme sleepiness
- heart attack
- slowed or difficulty breathing
- unusual dizziness
Taking Xanax with methamphetamine can also result in overdose and possible death. Benzodiazepines, especially when mixed with other substances, contribute to hundreds of deaths each year. Because of the intensity of a methamphetamine high, and the unwanted effects of the comedown, a person could habitually take too much Xanax, which may result in an emergency room visit or worse.
Addiction And Withdrawal
Methamphetamine is very addictive. A short amount of use can quickly lead to using the drug over and over again. Tolerance is likely to occur, meaning the person will have to use more and more to achieve the desired high. Many people smoke, snort, or inject methamphetamine for a quicker and stronger high.
Once addicted, stopping the use of methamphetamine can be difficult because of uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms can include:
- feeling very tired, but trouble sleeping
- feelings of anger, nervousness, and paranoia
- intense drug cravings
Taking more Xanax overtime can also cause tolerance. Physical dependence may occur after prolonged use, especially if taking more than a prescribed dosage. Quitting Xanax cold turkey can result in severe symptoms of withdrawal, which may include seizures. These effects may increase when the two drugs are taken together.
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Xanax For A Meth Comedown
As a stimulant, methamphetamine causes anxiety, extreme euphoria, and abnormal energy. To combat these intense feelings, especially when the drug is wearing off, people may turn to so-called “downers” to alleviate the stimulating effects.
Xanax is a benzodiazepine typically prescribed to treat anxiety or panic attacks. Benzodiazepines work in almost the exact opposite way of methamphetamine. While methamphetamine speeds things up, benzodiazepines like Xanax slows things down. So, people using methamphetamine, in any of its forms, often seek ways to reduce the intensity of the “comedown.”
People experienced in methamphetamine abuse likely understand the onslaught of negative effects associated with the comedown. They may develop a habit of using Xanax to take the edge off, which slows down brain activity and causes sedation.
Taking Xanax To Avoid Tweaking
Using meth can result in a period called “tweaking.” Tweaking refers to when the intense rush or high from meth is over, usually after a binge, and the person experiences intense cravings, paranoia, and feelings of emptiness. They may be unable to sleep, enter a state of psychosis, and suffer from hallucinations.
To avoid tweaking, or to lessen the effects, they make take other drugs. Downers, like Xanax, are a drug of choice because they believe it may offset or cancel out the manic effects of methamphetamine. But, this is off-base. There may be unintended psychological side effects from mixing an upper (methamphetamine) with a downer (Xanax).
If a person takes both drugs around the same time, they may experience uneven effects that can mess with the mind. One moment, they feel energized and awake. The next moment, they feel calm and sedated. This can worsen uneasiness and anxiety and may lead to even further drug abuse.
Treatment For Meth And Xanax Abuse
Behavioral therapy is the most common form of addiction treatment and can help change a person’s thinking and attitudes towards drugs. The most effective behavioral therapies for treating meth addiction include cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational incentives. Xanax addiction is also treated with behavioral therapy, but may also incorporate a process called tapering, which gradually decreases the dosage of a drug to lessen dependence.
In some cases, meth users are given benzodiazepines to reduce the manic or paranoid behavior. This should only be done in a hospital setting so physicians and nurses can monitor dosage and progress. Doing this without proper supervision is dangerous and can result in dependence, addiction, and possible overdose and death.
Contact us today to learn more about methamphetamine and Xanax abuse treatment.
For more information be sure to check out these additional resources from DrugRehab.org:
- Signs Of Methamphetamine Psychosis
- How Long Does Methamphetamine Stay In Your System?
- The Dangers of Mixing Xanax and Oxycodone
- The Dangers Of Mixing Cocaine With Benzodiazepines
- Commonly Abused Benzodiazepines
Columbia University: Go Ask Alice—Mixing Uppers with Downers – A Bad Idea?
U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus—Alprazolam
U.S. National Library of Medicine—An Exploration of the Relationship between the use of Methamphetamine and Prescription Drugs