A series of Xanax pills lay on the kitchen table

Xanax is a benzodiazepine that is commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders. Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the country, ranking 19th overall in 2016. (1) Xanax has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Here we take a look at one of the more dangerous side effects of the drug- Xanax blackouts.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is a brand name for the drug alprazolam. Xanax is a prescription medication that A Xanax pill bottle with the branding with a woman behind itbelongs to the benzodiazepine family of drugs. Xanax is a popular drug of abuse for its ability to cause sedation and intoxication at higher doses. Xanax is both physically and physiologically addictive. (2)

What are blackouts?

Blackouts are temporary conditions that result in significant memory lapses. They are often characterized by lost time, or an inability to remember certain periods of time. Black outs are most commonly caused by either large amounts of alcohol, benzodiazepines, or a combination of both. Xanax is particularly powerful at causing these lapses in time.

Symptoms of blacking out

The primary symptom of a Xanax blackout is complete memory loss. This is also typically accompanied by the following symptoms (3):

  • Difficulty walking
  • Balance issues
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impaired vision

Why do Xanax blackouts occur?

Xanax works on receptors in the brain known as GABA-A receptors. These receptors are responsible for providing the calming sedation effect of the drug. They are primarily located in the hippocampus, which is the region of the brain that is associated with memory. (4)

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Why are Xanax blackouts so dangerous?

Blackouts from Xanax can be utterly terrifying. They often leave the user with absolutely no idea what they had done during the period of intoxication. For those who continuously take the drug, these periods of memory loss can last days, weeks, or even up to months. This can lead to terrible consequences, such as (5):

  • Accidents, such as a motor vehicle or falling down stairs
  • Legal trouble
  • Sexual assault
  • Dependence on the drug

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.


  1. https://clincalc.com/DrugStats/Top300Drugs.aspx
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a684001.html
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/what-causes-blackouts
  4. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/9kzx8z/this-is-your-body-on-xanax
  5. https://nypost.com/2016/06/09/xanax-is-ruining-peoples-lives/