Many people believe that all prescription medications are perfectly safe. But the truth is that many prescription drugs, including Xanax (alprazolam), are highly addictive and can lead to significant health complications.
If you or someone you love takes Xanax recreationally or with a prescription, you must understand the risk of addiction and know what steps to take to get treatment. Support is essential during Xanax withdrawal to ensure a safe, comfortable detox.
But how long does Xanax withdrawal last? Knowing what to expect during each stage of the Xanax withdrawal timeline may help you stay motivated and committed to your recovery.
What is Xanax (Alprazolam)?
Xanax (alprazolam) is one of the most frequently prescribed benzodiazepine medications used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It is also the most commonly prescribed psychotropic medication in the United States. Benzodiazepine drugs like Xanax can effectively treat anxiety symptoms but carry the risk of addiction. People who use Xanax must understand the risk of addiction and recognize the condition’s symptoms to avoid life-threatening complications.
Doctors prescribe Xanax to help people manage the symptoms of anxiety and panic. Anxiety affects people in different ways. People with anxiety disorders often experience uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Racing thoughts
- Interrupted sleep
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
- Poor memory and concentration
These and other symptoms can severely impact a person’s ability to cope with daily life. Mental health experts believe chronic anxiety may be caused by an imbalance in the brain’s neurotransmitters. A naturally-occurring transmitter called Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) works to suppress the hyperactivity of the brain. Xanax increases the production and reuptake of GABA, which slows down the brain’s activity. People who take Xanax may experience less perceived anxiety and be able to function normally in their day-to-day activities.
When people take Xanax (alprazolam), they experience a sense of calm, euphoria, relaxation, or sedation. Some people take Xanax recreationally or in greater, more frequent doses to get these desirable effects. Prolonged, heavy Xanax abuse can quickly become an addiction that requires treatment.
Understanding Xanax Withdrawal
After a period of prolonged or heavy use, your body becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug. If you stop taking Xanax suddenly, you may experience uncomfortable or severe withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Decreased appetite
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
While withdrawal differs from person to person, Xanax withdrawal tends to follow this timeline:
Xanax withdrawal symptoms are generally at their worst during the first 1-3 days after you stop using it. Many people experience intense emotional and physical discomfort, including:
- Increased heart rate
- Mood swings
People are at increased risk of seizures during this point of the Xanax withdrawal timeline. Monitoring and treatment are essential during this stage.
Withdrawal continues to be uncomfortable. People may still experience a racing heart, insomnia, and irritability. Many experience intense cravings for Xanax that can lead to relapse without physical and emotional support. Depression and anxiety are common.
The risk of seizures is significantly less at the two-week point of the Xanax withdrawal timeline, but anxiety, depression, cravings, and insomnia linger.
People who began taking Xanax to manage anxiety may experience increased anxiety. Physical symptoms get better, but headaches and sensitivity may continue. Sleep trouble improves but can linger for a long time after detox is complete.
While Xanax typically remains in your system for a week or less after you stop using it, you may experience withdrawal symptoms for much longer. It’s essential to have professional support and treatment during withdrawal and beyond to avoid relapse.
How Long Does Xanax Withdrawal Last?
Substance use, addiction, and recovery are different for each person. This is also true about withdrawal. The Xanax withdrawal timeline can vary from person to person and depends on many factors, including:
- A person’s age
- Metabolic differences
- Amount of Xanax ingested
- Body mass and composition
- Liver function
- Kidney function
- Food intake
- Other substances used
- Length of time using Xanax
These and other factors can increase or decrease the length and severity of a person’s withdrawal symptoms. Xanax withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and challenging, regardless of these factors. It’s essential to seek treatment for Xanax withdrawal so that you can have a safe, complete detox.
What Happens in Xanax Withdrawal Treatment?
Before beginning a comprehensive treatment program, you may require the support of a Xanax detox center. A medically-supported drug and alcohol detox program can help you have a safe, comfortable detox, which will prepare you to continue your recovery in rehab.
Xanax withdrawal treatment begins with an assessment. A doctor or addiction specialist will ask questions about your Xanax use, physical and mental health, treatment history, and other personal matters. These questions will help your treatment team design a plan to keep you comfortable throughout detox and help you achieve your personal goals.
During your time in detox, medical and support professionals will assess your withdrawal symptoms and treat them with medications, holistic therapies, and emotional support.
Medications are a crucial aspect of a benzodiazepine detox program. Often, treatment includes taking medications that alleviate withdrawal symptoms and allow you to stay as comfortable as possible. Common medications used during Xanax withdrawal treatment include Valium and Librium. Your treatment team will start you on medications at the beginning of detox and taper you off of these medications as your needs change throughout the process.
Find Xanax Withdrawal Treatment Now
At Arise Treatment Center, our program is designed so that you can move through various levels of care as you progress through your treatment regimen. Most patients begin with detox, then transition to inpatient residential treatment.
Our residential facility provides the ultimate environment for addiction recovery. During your stay, you will live in private or semi-private rooms among other like-minded individuals as you participate in therapy, engage in healthy behaviors, and begin cultivating a sober mindset.
Attending benzodiazepine rehab in a residential facility can help you focus solely on your recovery because you aren’t distracted by the outside world. It can help you prevent relapse while you try to uncover the underlying causes of your substance abuse.
Reach out to the Arise Treatment Center staff to learn more about starting a Xanax withdrawal treatment program today.