How Much Xanax Is Too Much?

Legacy Healing Center Blog

A common misconception that people hold is that having a prescription wipes the slate clean of possible drug abuse. Many assume that because they acquired their medicine through an accredited doctor, it is not possible to get in trouble for misusing it. The reality is that prescription drugs are some of the most widely abused substances, with Xanax being a prime example. This powerful benzodiazepine has the potential to cause serious damage if not used responsibly and serves as one of the top 10 drugs contributing to overdose deaths in the US.1 Below Legacy Healing Center asks the question: how much Xanax is too much?


How Does Xanax Make You Feel?

Xanax is the brand name of alprazolam, a depressant that is famous for its ability to slow activity in the central nervous system, producing feelings of calmness in the user. It does this by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid. It is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for minimizing neuronal excitability, slowing down messages between the brain and the body, and effectively reducing feelings of panic and anxiety. This substance is commonly used to treat insomnia and panic disorders while also holding the potential for tolerance development. This is why patients are implored to follow their prescribed dose as opposed to fluctuating the amount on their own.


What Is a Normal Dose of Xanax?

A typical amount prescribed to a patient ranges from 0.75 to 1.5 milligrams per day. Doses can also be broken into 0.25 to 0.5 mg, while generally, the maximum amount that a person can be prescribed is 4 milligrams. Ultimately, this exact dosage will depend on a variety of factors, including weight, medical history, and the severity of the patient’s symptoms. It is commercially sold in 4 levels, 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg, while its tablet shape allows users to break the pills as needed. 


How Much Xanax Does It Take To Overdose?

Unfortunately, there is no set number that a person can adhere to that will prevent an overdose. While doctors can prescribe up to 10 mg of Xanax for a severe case, a person that elects to stray from their physician’s directions absolutely runs the risk of developing a tolerance and dangerously abusing the drug. Patient’s also risk overdose and adverse symptoms when they elect to mix their dose with another substance. This is especially likely within combinations of opioids or alcohol. 

If you find that your prescribed dose is not working as you would prefer, consult a medical professional as opposed to attempting to increase your own dose. It can be severely dangerous for someone to stray from their doctor’s directions, and it is even riskier when they take the substance without a prescription.


Xanax Overdose Symptoms 

Whether you suspect the person has taken more than their prescribed dose or has combined it with another substance, being able to identify the signs of an overdose can potentially save that person’s life.

Signs of a Xanax overdose include:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Intense sleepiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Inability to balance
  • Noticeable confusion
  • Unresponsiveness

If you fear that someone is suffering from an overdose, get them to an emergency room or call 911. If you or someone you care about is in the midst of active addiction, the question should not be how much Xanax is too much, but rather why the desire to stray from a doctor’s directions was present in the first place. 

Immediately ceasing use on one’s own can lead to life-threatening side effects, which is why our Legacy Healing detox center offers programs to help manage benzo withdrawal symptoms. This program will prepare the body and mind for the addiction treatments to come, which seek to comprehensively address all facets of a person’s substance abuse habits.

Our team of professionals employs numerous effective therapy methods like cognitive behavioral therapy, which will aid the patient in learning healthier coping mechanisms to apply moving forward. 


If you or someone you love is struggling with a Xanax addiction, call our intake specialists at 888-534-2295 to learn more about our Legacy Healing Center locations.



  1. CDC – National Vital Statistics Reports


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