Get Help For Xanax Withdrawals
Its easy to see why its so important to get professional help with quitting Xanax. The support of an addiction medicine specialist can help keep the process safer, and avoid the worst of detox. During a medical detox process, vital signs can be monitored closely, and trained staff can keep you comfortable and safe.
If you or someone you know is dealing with Xanax addiction or going through withdrawal, Casa Palmera can help. To speak to a medical professional, call Casa Palmera at 888-481-4481.
Faqs About Xanax Withdrawal
- How long does Xanax withdrawal last?
Xanax withdrawal symptoms may last from days to weeks, to months or years. Xanax and other benzodiazepines are notorious for being difficult to stop using. A trained medical professional can help make this process as comfortable as possible, but it will still be unpleasant.
If a taper method is used to stop Xanax, this will significantly increase the time taken to withdraw completely. Xanax tapers can last four months or longer.
- How long does Xanax stay in your system?
The presence of Xanax in the body can be detected through the following tests:
- Urine: In urine, Xanax can be detected within hours of use and up to 5 days after use
- Hair: Xanax can be detected in hair for up to 90 days after last use
- Blood: In blood, Xanax can be detected within one hour of use and up to 5 days after use
- Saliva: In saliva, Xanax can be detected immediately after use and up to 2.5 days after use
- Breast milk: Xanax can be detected in breast milk within one hour of use and up to 3 days after use, but Xanax is not recommended for use in nursing mothers
Multiple factors affect how long Xanax stays in your system.
What Are Symptoms Of Xanax Withdrawal
Xanax withdrawal produces a wide range of symptoms. Some people may experience only a few symptoms, while others may experience many.
Here are potential symptoms of Xanax withdrawal, according to the National Library of Medicine:
- Weight loss
- Sensations of pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
The sudden discontinuation of Xanax can also cause rebound anxiety, which is far more severe than the anxiety people may have experienced before treatment with Xanax. In a study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, researchers found that 27% of a group of patients with panic disorder experienced rebound anxiety despite gradually tapering off Xanax over a four-week period.
Though Xanax withdrawal may be difficult, its important to keep in mind that symptoms are temporary and do not last forever. The benefits of making it through Xanax withdrawal far outweigh the consequences of continuing to use these drugs and staying addicted or physically dependent on them.
Medically Assisted Xanax Detox Programs
Even after uncomfortable or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms subside, and the underlying anxiety is treated, other symptoms may occur unexpectedly. Some individuals recovering from Xanax abuse or addiction have reported experiencing short-term memory issues, caused by excessive Xanax use.
Medically assisted detox is the most effective way to stop taking medications such as Xanax because these programs can provide 24/7 assistance for any withdrawal symptoms that may arise. Within medical detox programs, individuals are kept as comfortable as possible and given additional medications to help ease any unpleasant withdrawal symptoms they may have.
Medication-assisted detox can play a vital role in helping individuals stop the use of Xanax for good. Many people who try to stop the drug on their own will not succeed due to the intense drug cravings they experience during withdrawal.
How Long Does Xanax Withdrawal Take
The length of Xanax tapering and withdrawal will vary from one patient to the next based on factors including the starting dose, risk of relapse, and how well the patient tolerates the tapering schedule and dosage. The patients metabolism, medical history, and physical health status are other factors that may play into the length of Xanax withdrawal. The average length of Xanax withdrawal is two to four weeks, though it may take longer for some patients.
Before Xanax doses are tapered, Xanax is replaced with another benzodiazepine called diazepam. Diazepam is a long-acting benzodiazepine that stays in the body for a longer period than Xanax and is found to be more tolerable, less toxic, and efficient at reducing withdrawal symptoms.
A 0.5 mg dose of alprazolam is equivalent to 5 mg of diazepam. Therefore, a person taking 1 mg of alprazolam will have their daily dose replaced with 10 mg of diazepam. Then, a doctor will gradually reduce the diazepam dosage weekly, monthly, or as appropriate to manage withdrawal symptoms and help the patient achieve abstinence.
Are There Safer Non
Not all medications are as habit-forming as Xanax. Safer options to treat anxiety disorders may include serotonin reuptake inhibitors , Buspar , and Vistaril , says Lukasz Junger, a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and assistant medical director at Mountainside Treatment Center.
These medications might take longer to start working but are a viable option for many people. Talking with your doctor is the best way to learn more about Xanax and whether its the right medication for you.
How Do Klonopin And Xanax Work
Both Klonopin and Xanax, like all benzodiazepines, enhance the actions of a neurotransmitter in the brain called GABA .1,2 This neurotransmitter can reduce the activity of nerve cells, so enhancing it has a calming effect which can improve symptoms of anxiety, reduce muscle tension, stop seizures, and induce sleep. Benzodiazepines are also known for their amnesic effect or ability to disrupt short-term memory and this makes them useful before surgery. Because of structural differences, some benzodiazepines are more likely than others to make you sleepy, relieve anxiety, stop seizures, relax muscles, or make you forget.1,2,3 Xanax is FDA approved for anxiety-relief, and is less likely than some other benzodiazepines to induce sleep. Klonopin is also useful to treat anxiety-related symptoms, and is FDA approved for the treatment of panic disorder. It is also less likely than some other benzodiazepines to induce sleep. Its anti-seizure effects are stronger than Xanax, so may be used to treat certain types of seizures, such as variants of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, akinetic or myoclonic seizures.1,3
Mitigating Factors In Xanax Withdrawal
There are several factors that play a role in both the duration and severity of the withdrawal syndrome and the potential side effects. The level of a persons dependence on Xanax is likely the main contributor to how long and intense the withdrawal symptoms last. Dependence can form both from licit use and abuse of Xanax. The reports that individuals who use Xanax in higher doses for longer periods of time may become dependent on the drug. Generally speaking, taking more Xanax more often and for a long period of time influences how heavily dependent on the drug a person is.
The method in which Xanax is taken also can play a role in both drug dependence and addiction. Crushing Xanax to then snort, inject, or smoke it can increase tolerance and may lead to drug dependence more rapidly, thus increasing the odds for developing an addiction as well.
Xanax is often abused with other substances, as Medical New Today reports that over 80 percent of the ED visits in 2011 that involved alprazolam abuse also included the abuse of another substance as well. Alcohol and opioid drugs are especially dangerous when mixed with Xanax, as they too are central nervous system depressants. When mixed together, they may increase the risk for a potentially fatal overdose. Polydrug abuse can also lead to crossover dependence and may heighten Xanax withdrawal symptoms and their intensity.
What To Do When Your Anxiety Wont Go Away
If you are having a challenging time finding peace of mind, or if you struggle to stay calm and generally free from irrational worries or fears, you may want to consider seeking professional help for your anxiety.
Working with a professional has several benefits. First, you can have your symptoms examined and diagnosed properly so that you know what kind of anxiety you have. Based on your evaluation results, a mental health professional can advise you on the therapies and medications that can help you.
Part of managing a mental disorder is learning about it. With the right information in hand, you will be informed as you create strategies to help you manage your anxiety. There are a lot of resources you can use to help you.
A mental health provider should consult the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition when evaluating your symptoms. This helps ensure you receive the right diagnosis and treatment. It also rules out other possible causes of your condition.
When you meet with your medical or mental health provider, have questions ready as well as an account of what you have been experiencing. Your doctor will also ask you questions to help them understand your symptoms and how they affect you.
NIMH also says exposure therapy is another approach to helping people cope with an anxiety disorder.
Exposure therapy focuses on confronting the fears underlying an anxiety disorder to help people engage in activities they have been avoiding, it writes.
When Does Xanax Expire
A bottle of Xanax should carry an expiration date and the date that the pharmacist filled the prescription.
Expiration dates indicate how long the drug is safe and effective to take. This date is based on when the manufacturer made the drug.
Taking an expired drug may no longer provide full benefits. Also, there is an additional risk of adverse effects.
Storing Xanax correctly helps ensure that the drug will remain effective until its expiration date. Store it in a dry place at room temperature, which is about 6877°F .
Do not store Xanax in a bathroom, as moisture and humidity can cause the medication to break down sooner. Also, keep the bottle out of direct sunlight and out of the reach of children and pets. Make sure it stays in its original container.
About Xanax Detox Symptoms
The Xanax withdrawal timeline also includes a host of detox symptoms. Because Xanax is commonly prescribed for anxiety, this problem is one of the earliest occurring and common symptoms when patients detox. If a patient didnt have anxiety as a pre-existing condition, its an even more common detox symptom. Other typical psychological Xanax detox symptoms include:
- Poor concentration
- Trouble sleeping
Detoxing during the Xanax withdrawal timeline also includes patients experiencing physical symptoms. Examples include the following:
- Balance and coordination issues
How Long Is The Withdrawal Period
As previously stated, withdrawal from Xanax can begin merely hours after an individuals last dose. Since Xanax affects the reward center in the brain so severely yet leaves the body quickly, withdrawal is often intense but of shorter duration than that of other medications. Again, many factors contribute to how long individuals will experience withdrawal symptoms. The timelines here are approximate; some individuals may experience longer or shorter withdrawal periods.
In the first few hours after taking the last dose of Xanax, individuals will begin to experience anxiety and irritability as well as a craving for the medication. This is the beginning of the acute withdrawal phase the shortest of the withdrawal phases. The irritability and anxiety that individuals experience may last throughout the entire withdrawal period. In the coming days, individuals may begin to experience other withdrawal symptoms, such as uncontrollable shaking and muscle pains. These symptoms will generally decrease in intensity over time. An article by Mental Health Daily suggests a 90-day rule for the withdrawal from any psychiatric medications, including benzodiazepines. This means that by the end of 90 days, individuals should experience a great decrease in the severity of withdrawal symptoms, or possibly no symptoms at all.
When Does Xanax Start To Work
The body absorbs Xanax quickly after a person takes it.
Peak levels in the blood occur 12 hours after taking a dose. However, the person will feel the effects before levels peak.
- having kidney problems
- having liver problems
All of these factors can increase the time that it takes for the body to eliminate Xanax completely.
Xanax Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome
The Xanax post-acute withdrawal symptom refers to symptoms that last for weeks or more. These Xanax withdrawal symptoms typically arise after the most severe symptoms have diminished, and they can take you by surprise if you are not prepared for them.
These Xanax withdrawal symptoms are not pleasant, but they can be managed through strong medical support and other intervention types. If you are ready to get help with your own Xanax addiction, we encourage you to reach out to our experts at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today.
The Importance Of Keeping To A Withdrawal Timeline
Never stop using Xanax cold turkey. It is better to get help from a substance use treatment program. Substance abuse treatment programs will monitor your Xanax withdrawal symptoms. Staff and doctors will monitor your vital signs, including your blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature.
Studies show that when people try to quit Xanax cold turkey, some experience grand mal seizures and other dangerous and fatal side effects. Besides physical withdrawal symptoms, people may experience psychological Xanax withdrawal symptoms.
When a person is dependent on Xanax and they quit taking the drug, their brain needs some time to get back to functioning normally. Psychological withdrawal symptoms include anxiety and paranoia. These symptoms will increase as the brain recovers.
Some people may experience suicidal thoughts with Xanax withdrawal. It is important to closely monitor individuals going through a Xanax withdrawal for depression and suicide attempts. Xanax withdrawal can leave a person feeling out of sorts. They might feel like they cannot control their emotions. They may experience mood swings, terrifying nightmares, short-term memory loss, and hallucinations.
It is vital that mental health professionals support people as they go through the withdrawal process. Therapy and counseling are beneficial and might help a person control and manage their emotions during withdrawal.
Early Or Immediate Withdrawal
Early withdrawal typically starts within a few hours or a few days after stopping the drug depending on whether you were taking a short-acting or long-acting benzo. Its at this initial stage where rebound symptoms tend to develop. In effect, if you were taking benzos to relieve anxiety, insomnia, or any other known treatment purpose, the original symptoms will come back in full force, if not stronger.
What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Taking Xanax
Thinking about quitting Xanax? Read this first.
Xanax belong to a family of drugs called benzodiazepines . And stopping them cold turkey can be deadly.
Take, for instance, John Patrick Walter of Colorado.
In April 2014 he entered prison, bringing with him his prescription list stating he was on a benzo. Instead of administering his medication, he was force-quit. The consequences were disastrous:
In just 17 days Walter lost 30 pounds. He exhibited delirium and exaggerated dramatic behavior caused by withdrawal psychosis and was often strapped in a restraint chair where he was tased and pepper-sprayed. When he was free of his restraints, he would kick and hurl himself against walls to the point of breaking bones. Other times he was disoriented, rolling on the floor yelling, and even seizing.
The coroner found acute benzo withdrawal to be the cause of death.
Sean Levert, an R&B singer, suffered much the same fate.
Xanax withdrawal was ruled a contributing factor in Leverts death. For about six months before entering jail, he had took two milligrams, three times daily, as prescribed. His tragic death was the inspiration behind Seans Law, which put protections into place for jailed benzo users in Cuyhoga county, Ohio.
Unfortunately, there are more examples.
Benzo withdrawal deaths from going cold turkey arent exclusive to the prison system. One was the subject of a 2009 American Journal of Forensic Medical Pathology article:
Does Exercise Help Anxiety
According to some studies, regular exercise works as well as medication for some people to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the effects can be long lasting. One vigorous exercise session can help alleviate symptoms for hours, and a regular schedule may significantly reduce them over time.
Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms & Side Effects
The experience of Xanax detoxification and withdrawal can be unpleasant, but it is a necessary step that paves the way for long-term healing.
Xanax has a half-life of about 11 hours, meaning that it takes about 50 hours for the body to remove it altogether. This may seem like a long time, but Xanax has one of the shortest half-lives compared to other benzodiazepines. Therefore, withdrawal symptoms can set in more quickly compared to similar drugs.
To safely stop taking Xanax, a person should always consult a medical professional. People with a legitimate prescription should speak with their prescriber. People taking it without a prescription should consider substance use disorder treatment.
- Physical Withdrawal Symptoms:
Indulge An Old Hobbyor Find A New One
Xanax takes you away from the things you love most. But now that you have more time, and don’t have to spend your hard-earned cash on drugs, reward yourself by embracing an old hobby or finding a new one.
- Sign up for a class. Join a local meetup.
- Watch online tutorials.
- The goal here is to master a new skill so you can feel more confident, less fixated on Xanax, and hopeful about a brighter tomorrow.
Why Is Xanax Addictive
Xanax carries a high potential for misuse. Rapid absorption into your system means it starts to work right away. Its short half-life means it wears off quickly, leaving you wanting more. Its highly potent and produces more severe withdrawal symptoms in a shorter period of time.
Physicians first recognized benzos highly addictive properties in 1975. They were classified as a controlled Schedule IV drug.
At the time, the recommendation was that they only be used two to four weeks to prevent dependence. Today, the National Alliance on Mental Illness warns that physical dependency may result after only two weeks of use.
Benzodiazepines are recommended for short-term relief of symptoms such as anxiety or difficulty sleeping. Long-term use is only considered when the best treatments for problems such as anxiety, sleep or seizures are not working. Long-term use must be done under the close direction of the prescriber.
Do you have a family history of addiction? This increases your risk of becoming addiction to benzos.
Xanax only masks anxiety. It does not cure it.
Even so, Xanax dominated the most commonly prescribed psychiatric medicine list from 2005 to 2013. It ended its number one run with more than 48 million prescriptions in 2013 alone.
Today, its still the third most prescribed psychiatric drug in the United States, behind Zoloft and Lexapro, two selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors .
Stage 2: Acute Withdrawal
This stage of withdrawal typically starts 1-4 days after rebound symptoms begin. These symptoms last anywhere from a week to several months. This is the phase that people will experience physical symptoms of withdrawal such as nausea and headaches. It is also when they are most at risk of having a seizure.
During this stage, it is important to detox from Xanax with the aid of a medical professional. A Xanax taper might be prescribed to help lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Additional medications will be prescribed to combat and treat withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of seizure.
Tapering Off Xanax Dependence
The goal of medically supervised detox from Xanax and other benzodiazepines is to avoid progression of withdrawal symptoms into severe, intense, or life-threatening territory. Mild symptoms can be managed without drugs, but people who experience very uncomfortable symptoms need help to taper their dose of Xanax, or they may need a replacement drug that can then be tapered.
Replacing Xanax with a long-acting benzodiazepinemost often, Valiumcan help the person stop compulsively taking several doses of the drug because they do not crave benzodiazepines as often. Once they are medically stabilized, the overseeing physician can taper them slowly, at a rate that will vary by individual, until the person no longer physically depends on the benzodiazepine to feel normal. This means their brain chemistry can balance itself.
The National Center for PTSD, which is part of the Veterans Administration , recommends that once a patient has been chemically stabilized, clinicians start by reducing the benzodiazepine dose by 25%30%, then monitoring withdrawal symptoms for a week. If that is effective, reducing the dose by 5%10% per day or week is the best process. The speed can depend on the individuals experience of cravings and other symptoms. The focus must be avoiding relapse back into substance abuse, so tapering schedules must be individually tailored.
What Is Rebound Anxiety
Withdrawal symptoms are seen with prescription medications like antidepressants as well as substances of abuse like alcohol. Even large, regular doses of over-the-counter medications can cause rebound symptoms when you stop taking them as often.
For example, people who have chronic migraines may take a large dose of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug to combat the problem. If they quit without tapering the dose, they are more likely to develop frequent, painful headaches. Quitting caffeine can lead to headaches, tiredness, and sluggishness when you do not drink it.
Similarly, more potent drugs lead to rebound symptoms when you quit them, especially if you do so suddenly. Drugs that lead to rebound anxiety are most likely to be sedatives or to interact with dopamine and serotonin to reduce panic or nervousness. These drugs include:
These drugs are all sedatives to a certain extent, so people who struggle with anxiety are likely to consume them. Benzodiazepines and antidepressants are both prescription medications given to people with anxiety to help them in various ways. Opioids and alcohol are also sedatives, but they are not prescribed to treat anxiety.
Opioids, alcohol, and benzodiazepines are very addictive. Antidepressants are not considered addictive, as they do not cause euphoria, but withdrawing from these medications can be uncomfortable and requires medical oversight.
Treatment For Xanax Addiction
If youre taking more Xanax than before to feel the same effects, its likely that you will experience symptoms of withdrawal if you stop taking the drug. The sudden and intense effects of withdrawal from Xanax require a carefully supervised, medical detox.
Many inpatient and outpatient treatment programs offer detox as the first step in treatment. These programs can help Xanax users beat their physical dependence on the drug, while also addressing the psychological side of addiction. Getting treatment for Xanax addiction can give you a chance at recovery.
For help finding a treatment program, talk with a treatment provider today.
Featured Centers Offering Xanax Addiction Treatment Ad
Anxiety Is A Stress Response
The American Psychiatric Association explains that anxiety is a stress response that plays a role in protecting us and alerting us to things that need our attention. However, anxiety that is out of proportion to a situation or hinders someones ability to function could mean an anxiety disorder is the problem.
Treatment Options For Withdrawal Symptoms
People may try to detox cold turkey, but this is not often safe. Safer options include at-home Xanax detox with the support of a physician or medical detox in a rehab facility.
At-home detox may be more common for people taking Xanax with a prescription who need to stop taking it for one reason or another. A person may be dependent on Xanax, but this does not mean they are addicted. They will benefit from a doctor slowly tapering their medication, but addiction treatment is not necessary.
Medical detox in a rehab facility is the safest option for people with substance use disorder. Not only can medical detox provide support and make withdrawal as safe as possible, but the person then has the option to continue into Xanax addiction treatment.
These remedies are often very helpful for people during Xanax withdrawal. It is important that medication is taken exactly as prescribed. Alternative remedies are recommended as the first line of defense before moving on to medications.