Dangers Of Smoking Xanax | Why Are People Smoking Xanax?

Although one might feel relaxed during a Xanax "high," the effects of smoking Xanax can be harmful and even life threatening.

Dangers Of Smoking Xanax | Why Are People Smoking Xanax?

Xanax, the brand name of alprazolam, can be smoked instead of taken orally. It is a benzodiazepine prescription drug that targets the central nervous system (CNS).

Xanax is used as a form of mental health treatment to help those suffering from panic attacks, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders such as panic disorder. Other benzodiazepines include Klonopin (clonazepam), Valium (diazepam), and Ativan (lorazepam).

Because this benzodiazepine (benzo), is a central nervous system depressant, it can cause a sense of relaxation and euphoria. This sedation can become addictive, causing people to turn to other ways of administering the drug, such as inhalation.

Smoking Xanax

Those who smoke Xanax are participating in drug abuse. Instead of taking the medication orally as prescribed, those with a Xanax addiction may smoke the drug.

Smoking Xanax involves crushing up the tablet and then placing it on foil. The person will then light it and inhale using potential paraphernalia to do so.

Smoking Xanax in that manner is similar to how the opioid heroin is smoked. However, once a Xanax tablet is crushed, it can be added to a cigarette or marijuana and be smoked that way instead.

In addition to being inhaled, those who abuse this drug may participate in injecting or snorting Xanax as well.

Side Effects Of Smoking Xanax

Although one might feel relaxed during a Xanax “high,” effects of smoking aren’t all positive. In fact, there are a variety of negative effects one might experience from participating in this form of drug use.

Mild Side Effects

The following is a list of common side effects of Xanax which can be increased when inhaled from smoking:

  • ​drowsiness
  • sleepiness
  • rapid heart rate
  • ​sedation
  • ​headache
  • nausea
  • change in sex drive
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • irritability

Dangers Of Smoking Xanax

This form of substance abuse can become life-threatening, especially when taken in high doses which can occur easily with those who smoke alprazolam.

Lung & Throat Damage

Most types of smoking will cause contaminants to enter your lungs. If you’re addicted to Xanax and are a chronic smoker of the drug, serious harm can come to your lungs due to the high number of contaminants that may enter.

In addition to being harsh on your lungs, smoking can irritate your throat and mouth, causing inflammation and potential sores. Those who smoke Xanax may also develop a cough.


Smoking a benzodiazepine such as Xanax can cause even more abuse potential. Smoking Xanax may increase the euphoria one experiences, but it goes away more quickly than in tablet form.

Because of this, people will take higher doses of Xanax through smoking in order to achieve those feelings of relaxation. This causes addiction and, unfortunately, consuming higher quantities of Xanax in any way can increase the risk of overdose.


Benzodiazepines such as Xanax should always be taken as your doctor has prescribed. You should never take more or turn to other methods of administration. This is because it is possible to overdose on Xanax.

In fact, some of the symptoms of a Xanax overdose include:

  • seizures
  • shortness of breath
  • slurring of words
  • loss of coordination
  • confusion
  • skin rash

In addition to overdose concerns, you should not combine antidepressants with Xanax unless you’ve spoken with your healthcare provider. Mixing Xanax with other drugs can cause adverse effects.


Once addicted to Xanax, those who try to stop may experience severe withdrawal symptoms. According to the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Xanax withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • seizures
  • muscle cramps
  • insomnia
  • blurred vision
  • vomiting
  • tremors
  • sweating

If you or a loved one live with substance use disorder, consider addiction treatment services in your area. To learn about our outpatient programs, please contact Northeast Addictions Treatment Center today.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

Published on

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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