Skip to content

24/7 Addiction & Mental Health Hotline

what happens if you get caught with xanax

What Happens When You Get Caught with Xanax? Legal Repercussions, Xanax Addiction Signs & Rehab Treatment

What is Xanax?

Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam and is classified as a benzodiazepine, which is a class of medication that produces a calming effect on the brain and central nervous system. Benzodiazepines work by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical signal that tells brain cells to “slow” or “relax.”

As stated in the scientific piece ‘A Review of Alprazolam Use, Misuse, and Withdrawal’, N. Ait-Daoud, A. Hamby, S. Sharma, D. Blevins, published by The US. National Library of Medicine, “Alprazolam is one of the most widely prescribed benzodiazepines for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. Its clinical use has been a point of contention as most addiction specialists consider it to be highly addictive, given its unique psychodynamic properties which limit its clinical usefulness, whereas many primary care physicians continue to prescribe it for longer periods than recommended”.

what happens if you get caught with xanax
Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam and is classified as a benzodiazepine, which is a class of medication that produces a calming effect on the brain and central nervous system.

What Happens When You Get Caught with Xanax? Understanding Xanax Addiction

Xanax comes as an oral medication in tablets or. The dosage is based on a patient’s medical condition, age, and response to treatment. A course of Xanax pill should not last longer than one or two weeks, but sometimes it is prescribed on an “as-needed” basis for panic attacks.

If someone takes Xanax regularly, it can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms; especially if taken for a long time or in high doses. Xanax can cause physical and psychological dependence or addiction even in people who take it as prescribed. Therefore, a course of Xanax should be as short as possible with treatment response closely monitored by the doctor.

For those who have used Xanax for longer than approximately 3-4 weeks, their doctor may create a taper schedule. During a taper, a person gradually reduces their daily dose. Tapers are an effective way to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Because of Xanax’s abuse potential, it is often sold and used illegally. According to the 2015–2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 12.5% of adults in the U.S have used benzodiazepines, whether legally or not. About 2.1% of adults abused benzodiazepines during that same period.

Many people take Xanax with a doctor’s prescription, but the most common way to take the drug recreationally is by obtaining the drug from someone who has a prescription. Possessing or using a controlled medication without a prescription is a federal crime; it is also illegal to resell the medication, but many people, especially teens and young adults, do not realize the dangers of abusing prescription drugs.

Signs of a Xanax Addiction

Regardless of the substance that has been used, there are some common warning signs of addiction you can consider at the moment of asking yourself if you may have an addiction or not. 

  • There’s an urge or craving to use that’s so intense it’s difficult to focus on anything else.
  • Need to use more of the drug to achieve the same “high” (tolerance).
  • Taking more and more of the drug or taking the drug for longer periods than intended.
  • Spending a lot of time obtaining the drug, using it, and recovering from its effects.
  • Continuing to use even though use affects your ability to fulfill duties at work, school, or home.
  • Continuing to use it despite it causing social or interpersonal problems.
  • Giving up important activities or hobbies to use.
  • Using recurrently in harm-promoting situations.
  • Continuing to use despite it causing physical or psychological problems.
  • Lacking the ability to stop using the drug without the assistance of professional intervention.
  • Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal once you stop using the drug.
what happens if you get caught with xanax
Regardless of the substance that has been used, there are some common warning signs of addiction you can consider at the moment of asking yourself if you may have an addiction or not.

Caught Without My Xanax Prescription

Possessing Xanax is illegal when you don’t have a prescription for it, or the amount you have exceeds your prescribed amount. Such offenses can result in legal and financial consequences including arrest, criminal prosecution, a prison sentence, and mandatory drug rehab programs.

Xanax is a highly psychoactive depressant, which calms the central nervous system. Due to Xanax’s addictive qualities and other risks, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies prescription level Xanax as a schedule IV narcotic with a low potential for abuse and low risk of psychological and physical dependence.

Despite its comparatively low risks for abuse and dependence, Xanax is one of the most popular illegally consumed prescription drugs in the United States. The specific penalties associated with unlawful possession of Xanax vary by state and are wide-ranging depending upon the amount of the substance in an individual’s possession.

Having a prescription is the only legal way to possess Xanax. An individual faces misdemeanor or felony charges if he or she is caught with Xanax without a prescription for it or has a quantity greater than what was prescribed to them. It’s also illegal to attempt to sell or traffic the prescription Xanax. Always keep Xanax prescriptions safely in their original container and use only as prescribed.

Xanax Prescription in a Bottle

When a doctor prescribes Xanax, the patient receives a bottle with a medication label detailing all of their relevant personal information alongside the prescribing physician’s name, the pharmacy’s information, the name of the prescription, its dosage instructions, the medication’s expiration date and the total amount of the prescription contained within the bottle.

As long as the prescription is stored in its original container, the amount contained within the bottle does not exceed the maximum amount listed on the medication label and the prescription has not yet expired, that possession is entirely legal.

Prescription Outside the Bottle

Many states consider it illegal to store prescription drugs outside of their original container. The exception to this is if the patient removed the drug from its original container to take the medication. In states where these laws exist, prescription drugs may not be legally stored in pockets, purses, or any storage device other than the original container.

If an individual is caught with a controlled substance outside of its original bottle, even if it was lawfully prescribed, they are subject to arrest and criminal prosecution.

Laws vary from state to state and there are multiple exceptions to these rules. Consult with your physician or an attorney if you have concerns regarding the storage of prescription drugs.

Caught and Not My Xanax Prescription

Possession of a controlled substance without a prescription is illegal throughout the United States. If an individual is in possession of Xanax that was not prescribed to them, they can be arrested.

While Xanax possession without a prescription is illegal, the penalties related to Xanax possession charges are likely to vary depending upon the state you live in. Consult a legal professional about the regulations and laws related to Xanax possession and the penalties associated with breaking those laws in your state.

Getting Caught High on Xanax

Similar to the possession, distribution, or trafficking of Xanax, the use of Xanax without a prescription is also illegal and subject to significant criminal penalties. Additional penalties apply to individuals on probation who test positive for Xanax use in random drug test programs. They may face severe legal repercussions, far over the original offense.

what happens if you get caught with xanax
Possession of a controlled substance without a prescription is illegal throughout the United States. If an individual is in possession of Xanax that was not prescribed to them, they can be arrested.

Xanax is detectable in a variety of drug tests, including urine, saliva, blood, and hair follicle tests. Because of its relatively short elimination half-life of 12 hours, Xanax generally leaves a user’s system within four days of use. However, despite its short half-life, Xanax remains detectable in urine tests for up to five to seven days, in saliva tests for two to five days, in blood tests for one to six days, and in hair follicle tests for up to 90 following use.

Xanax Addiction Treatment

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common form of therapy for benzodiazepine addiction. CBT addresses the learning processes underlying substance use disorders. It involves working with a therapist to develop a set of healthy coping strategies. Research has shown that when used alongside tapering, CBT is effective in reducing benzodiazepine use over 3 months.

Other common behavioral therapies include:

  • Self-management training
  • Cue exposure
  • Individual counseling
  • Marital or family counseling
  • Education
  • Support groups

Medication

The detox period for Xanax may be longer than the detox period for other drugs. This is because the drug dose has to be tapered slowly over time. As a result, detox often overlaps with other forms of treatment. Once you’ve stopped taking Xanax or other benzodiazepines, there’s no additional medication to take. You might be prescribed other medication to treat depression, anxiety, or a sleep disorder.

Reclaim Your Life From Xanax Addiction

What happens when you get caught with Xanax? Similar to the possession, distribution, or trafficking of Xanax, the use of Xanax without a prescription is also illegal and subject to significant criminal penalties.

Xanax Addiction is a condition that can cause major health, social, and economic problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up rehab treatment & detox center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from Xanax Addiction with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.