Detoxing From Xanax (Alprazolam)
Xanax—referred to by its generic name as alprazolam, is a type of benzodiazepine which is a class of sedative hypnotic prescription medications. Xanax is used to treat generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder.1
This article will explain what Xanax withdrawal is, describe Xanax withdrawal symptoms, and cover how long it takes to detox from Xanax. In addition, you’ll learn where to get professional help to treat Xanax addiction.
When a person takes a benzodiazepine like Xanax, they may experience known side effects of Xanax, and they can also become physically dependent upon it, even when taken under a doctor’s supervision.1,2 This physical dependency can potentially occur after as short as 2 weeks of use.2
Physical dependence on Xanax means a person’s body has become adapted to the effects of the drug and as a result, needs the drug to function normally.3 Consequently, when they stop taking Xanax abruptly, their body reacts to the absence of the drug and displays a pattern of symptoms known as withdrawal.3 The longer someone takes Xanax, the greater their risk of experiencing Xanax withdrawal symptoms.2
People generally display acute symptoms of Xanax withdrawal for several days to weeks after they stop using Xanax, but some people experience protracted withdrawal, in which symptoms of withdrawal continue for many months.4
Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms
Xanax withdrawal symptoms during the acute stage of withdrawal may include:1
- Muscle pain.
- Loss of appetite.
- Panic attacks.
- Rapid heart rate.
When people experience protracted withdrawal, Xanax withdrawal symptoms continue beyond the acute timeframe and may last for 12 months or longer. Protracted withdrawal symptoms can include:1
- Cognitive issues.
- Paresthesia (“pins and needles” sensations in limbs).
- Muscle weakness.
- Tinnitus (a ringing sensation in the ears).
How Long Does It Take to Detox From Xanax?
Detoxing from Xanax typically occurs over the course of several days to weeks.5 Various factors influence the Xanax withdrawal timeline and the severity of withdrawal symptoms during a Xanax detox. These include:5,6
- How high a dosage of Xanax a person has been using.
- How long someone has been taking Xanax.
- The presence of other substances, including alcohol and other central nervous system (CNS) depressants. (This also increases a person’s risk of overdosing on Xanax.2)
- Co-occurring psychiatric disorders, such as panic disorder.
- Age, as elderly people may have more severe symptoms, including delirium.
Although the exact Xanax detox timeline depends on the person, for many people the timeline for Xanax withdrawal loosely looks like the following:5
- Day 1: Withdrawal symptoms can start around 6-8 hours after the last use of Xanax.
- Days 2-3: The symptoms of Xanax withdrawal will peak around this time.
- Days 4-6: Xanax withdrawal symptoms will usually improve to a great degree.
Why Stopping Xanax Use Is Difficult
Stopping Xanax use can be challenging because of the drug’s potential for physiological dependence. If a person attempts to stop taking Xanax abruptly or lowers the dose too quickly it can result in uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
In certain cases, life-threatening withdrawal complications, such as Xanax withdrawal seizures and delirium may occur.6 Consequently, quitting Xanax cold turkey (without any supervised medical care) is never a good idea, and therefore, Xanax detox under medical supervision is recommended.6
How Medical Detox Helps Xanax Withdrawal
A medical detox program can help you get through Xanax withdrawal safely and comfortably.6 During a medical detox, the withdrawal process is supervised by healthcare professionals who support you throughout the process. Depending on your individual needs, medication may be used during detox to ease uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and maintain your safety.6
As previously mentioned, a medical detox program is recommended when withdrawing from Xanax and other benzodiazepines due to the potentially serious associated risks.6
It is important to note that though Xanax detox is an invaluable first step for many people in treatment for a substance use disorder, to achieve long-term recovery, a more comprehensive rehab program may be necessary.3
How to Quit Using Xanax
If you or your loved one is struggling with Xanax misuse, Desert Hope Treatment Center offers a medical detox program as well as several other levels of drug addiction treatment, including inpatient rehab in Las Vegas and outpatient care.
Learn more about your treatment options by calling an admissions navigator at . Our compassionate admissions navigators are available 24/7 to answer your questions about types of drug rehab and discuss the various ways to pay for rehab—including whether you can use insurance to pay for rehab.
In addition, you can instantly to verify your addiction treatment coverage.
Call us today to start the admissions process and begin your journey to recovery.