Xanax Detox

Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam and is a benzodiazepine. It works primarily by making the brain less reactive to stimulation and has a calming effect. Because it is inexpensive and works quickly for treating anxiety, insomnia, and panic, it is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world. Xanax is a widely used drug because of the pleasant effects it produces.

Because of the potential to abuse Xanax, it is a controlled substance and only available by prescription. It is addictive, and an individual can become physically dependent on it quickly. When deciding to stop its use, one should always consult a doctor. Along with alcohol, withdrawing from Xanax can also be deadly; it is not a drug to quit “cold-turkey.”

Causes of Xanax Addiction

Xanax is a drug that inhibits parts of the central nervous system to create a relaxing feeling. When used as prescribed, it can successfully treat several mental illnesses, including:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Insomnia
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic attacks & disorders
  • Other anxiety disorders

Xanax is often used recreationally for the calm feeling it instills. In other cases, patients take the drug in greater doses than prescribed, causing a greater imbalance in their brain’s chemical makeup. Studies show that Xanax is a psychologically addictive drug, even when used for a brief period.

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Other causes for Xanax abuse lie in the individual’s window of usage. Even those who take the drug for a short period and follow their physician’s prescription can face detox-like symptoms. The longer an individual has taken Xanax, the greater their physical dependence on the drug becomes. As Xanax use increases, an individual’s required dosage to achieve an effect similar to the drug’s initial experience increases.

The Symptoms of a Xanax Detox

Even the shortest stints with Xanax can result in pronounced withdrawal symptoms. However, those who take the substance for longer than recommended or without a prescription are much more inclined to develop drug dependence. Although most individuals who had taken the drug for over six months experienced only mild withdrawal signs, some 40 percent had much more severe symptoms.

Another threatening aspect of Xanax withdrawal is its unpredictability: symptoms can suddenly flare up after previously seeming tame. For this reason, detox must be a deliberate, careful, and ideally medically-overseen process. Symptoms can include:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Depression
  • Muscle spasms and pain
  • Difficulty while concentrating
  • Hyperventilation
  • Hallucinations
  • Numbness in tactile sensation
  • Sensitivity to light, sound
  • Paranoia

Timeline of a Xanax Detox

1. First Stage (Hours)

2. General Symptoms (Days)

3. Peak (2 weeks)

4. Subside (Months to Years)

Symptoms can begin anywhere from six to 12 hours after quitting the drug. Typically, the worst symptoms can last anywhere from a day to four days but can endure for about two weeks. The second leg of detoxification is a much longer process. Some people continue to struggle with cravings and anxiety after quitting Xanax.

People who receive proper treatment at all stages of their recovery from Xanax misuse are usually able to live a life free of the substance.

Tapering Off of Xanax

Most individuals who begin their taper from Xanax will feel anxious or jumpy along with other symptoms. Because it is prescribed for anxiety-related conditions, stopping the drug will increase and intensify the initial symptoms one was prescribed Xanax for. The brain will need time to rebalance itself after detox.

Psychologically, the effects of detox can be exhausting and frightening. Those going through the withdrawal process may experience anything from a lack of control over emotion and nightmares to depression and suicidal thoughts. Counseling and therapy are crucial tools during this time to ensure the emotional responses are treated. Detox facilities are tremendously important to help former users receive medical and psychological treatment and prevent future relapses.

The most important step while quitting Xanax is to taper one’s use of the drug. Tapering is a decreasing dose and can prevent seizures, delirium, heart attacks, and even death, all risks of stopping “cold turkey.”

A medically-supervised tapering-off of the drug, along with therapy, has proven to be beneficial to those affected by Xanax abuse as one addresses both the physical and mental aspects of detox from Xanax. Some physicians will also have patients take diazepam (another benzo) to stabilize withdrawal symptoms while quitting Xanax entirely.

If you or a loved one are suffering from a Xanax addiction, we are here to help. Call (844) 978-1524