Xanax Detox

Xanax Detox
Xanax is the brand name for the drug alprazolam. This is a benzodiazepine medication that may place some people at risk for addiction. Useful for treating anxiety and panic disorders, Xanax is the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine today. Alprazolam is sometimes prescribed to treat depression, agoraphobia (a fear of being in open spaces), and premenstrual syndrome. At times, it is also abused for recreational purposes. A tolerance or dependency upon this type of drug can occur over just a few weeks of regular use. 1 Certain high doses taken for lengthy periods of time may lead to a drug dependency that takes time and work to properly treat. Even if prescribed correctly and taken as instructed, a dependency upon Xanax can develop, leading to addiction. Once an addiction to this drug has occurred, it’s important to seek help with Xanax detox, as sudden withdrawal can be dangerous and painful.

Xanax Side Effects

This medication can cause certain side effects, such as drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, and dry mouth. Some side effects like breathing difficulty, seizures and hallucinations are considered serious and should immediately be brought to the attention of a medical professional.

How Xanax Works

When Xanax is taken, it enhances the effects of a brain neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). 1 The brain’s GABA transmitters slow the body’s ability to communicate with the central nervous system, which in turn promotes relaxed feelings and an increased sense of calmness.

As the use of this drug continues, the brain starts to produce less and less of its own GABA. This leads to a physiological dependence on Xanax in order to continue feeling good, though higher doses may now be necessary to effectively reduce anxiety.

Xanax is meant to be used for only short-term treatment of anxiety, usually for a period of a month or less. When continued for longer periods of time, the body develops a tolerance to the drug, often resulting in dependency.

When Xanax Becomes Dangerous

This particular drug works quickly to calm anxiety and promote feelings of relaxation within minutes of ingestion. The fast action of Xanax to produce feelings of relaxation plus its likeliness for physiological dependency make this medication dangerous when not used under a physician’s care.

Xanax detox performed without supervision can become dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms occur just a few hours after the last dose of this drug is taken, and symptoms become increasingly severe within a few days’ time. A sudden, abrupt Xanax detox performed alone after 1-6 months of continued use, especially when taken in high doses, can result in life-threatening seizures. 3

Symptoms of withdrawal from Xanax can happen suddenly, the most common of which are:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Feeling increasingly anxious
  • Having panic attacks
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Tremors
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Muscle aches and stiffness
  • Loss of appetite

Even those who are successfully able to stop their use of Xanax can experience rebound symptoms, such as feeling anxious, having panic attacks, and experiencing trouble sleeping. These symptoms, however, tend to lessen over a period of about a week.

Seek Professional Help for Xanax Detox

Because Xanax is short-acting, it goes through the body’s system quickly, and withdrawal symptoms are felt very soon after drug use is stopped. Within 6-12 hours, withdrawal effects can be felt. These symptoms become worse and intensify over the next 4 days and may continue for up to 2 weeks after withdrawal, sometimes with very mild symptoms lingering for up to two years. This long Xanax detox process should be completed under the supervision of a professional addiction specialist. Detox from Xanax is the first step in treatment. Detox at a professional treatment center provides close medical supervision to avoid health complications and may include medicines to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.