Is xanax an upper or a downer ?

Not Medical Advice: Xanax (alprazolam), a benzodiazepine, is a downer.

Like many downer drugs, benzodiazepines work by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter GABA. The drugs bind to a specific site on a GABA receptor and make it more efficient.

According to George Mason University, drugs generally fall into three different classifications: Uppers, Downers and All-Arounders.

"Uppers" are stimulants that affect most of the basic processes that happen in your body that keep you alive, like your temperature, heart rate and breathing. They also stimulate the pleasure/reward center in the brain, which often means they have a high potential for addiction and abuse. Uppers are a wide class of drugs and each stimulant that is part of the category has a different intensity.

Like uppers, "downers" also affect most of the basic processes that happen in your body to keep it alive by slowing or inhibiting processes causing users to experience sedation, disinhibition of emotions and impulses, muscle relaxation and drowsiness. Unlike uppers, however, downers take effect through many different processes in the body. Because of this, there are three major classes of downers: opiates/opioids, sedative-hypnotics, and alcohol. Skeletal muscle relaxants, antihistamines, over-the-counter sedatives and lookalike sedatives are also considered downers.

Xanax (alprazolam) affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety.

Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression.

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