Xanax is the common name for Alprazolam. It is a medication that is used to treat panic attacks and anxiety disorders. Xanax belongs under the Benzodiazepine drug class. Benzodiazepines are safe when taken as prescribed by your doctor but can cause dependence and addiction when misused. Xanax works by increasing the amount of neurotransmitter GABA in our brain which promotes a feeling of calmness and relaxation. Sudden Xanax detox is not recommended. This could put you at risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.
To ensure your comfort and to safely manage your symptoms of withdrawal from Xanax addiction, it is highly advised that you detox and seek treatment in a facility under the careful supervision of a medical professional. Detox is the body’s way of flushing out the substance, the toxins, that have accumulated inside you. When you decide to stop using the substance, your body removes the toxins and begins to heal naturally.
During the Xanax detox process, withdrawal symptoms may manifest. Detox should not be considered as “the treatment” for Xanax addiction. It is only the initial phase of your addiction recovery journey. Further treatment and rehab should be pursued after detox to help you overcome your addiction.
Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal happens when stop consuming or consume less Xanax in your body after you have developed a dependence on that substance. Dependence means that your mind and body need a steady presence of Xanax in your body to function well.
Similar to other benzodiazepines, Xanax affects a neurotransmitter in the brain known as GABA. GABA is what causes calming and relaxing effects in the brain. The increased presence of GABA caused by using Xanax relaxes the mind and body. Suddenly taking away Xanax in your body causes an imbalance in your brain which causes your body to experience withdrawal.
Xanax withdrawal symptoms are similar to the symptoms caused by other benzodiazepines, like Ativan and Valium. Once you have started detox, symptoms begin to manifest within 6 to 12 hours of your last Xanax use.
The most common withdrawal symptoms from Xanax addiction are as follows:
- Muscle Aches and Pain
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Feelings of Panic
- Blurred Vision
- Extreme Fatigue
- Loss of Concentration
Symptoms of withdrawal and their degree of severity may vary from person to person. The following factors may affect the degree of your Xanax withdrawal symptoms:
- Length of Addiction
- Severity of Addiction
- Overall Health
- Previous Attempts to Quit
- Your Family History
- Your Response to Withdrawal
Substance Use Disorders and Detoxification
Detox is the starting phase of your addiction recovery journey. Before you can be cured of substance disorder, you must first dispel the abused substance from your system and allow your body to recover and heal.
The process of detoxifying your body may be uncomfortable but is a necessary phase if you want to overcome your Xanax addiction. Without undertaking detox and withdrawal, your body will remain to be dependent on the substance that is controlling it.
Doing Xanax detox at home or in an outpatient clinic may be possible if you have a mild degree of Xanax addiction. However, it is strongly recommended that your detox be conducted in an inpatient detox rehab facility because some withdrawal symptoms associated with Xanax addiction may be severe or even life-threatening. Hence, supervised detox in a residential treatment facility is a viable option if you want to minimize the severity and risk of your Xanax withdrawal symptoms.
Choosing to detox in a residential rehab facility affords you round-the-clock care during the whole detox process. It is likewise medically supervised and medical assistance is always available. The environment likewise helps you focus more on your detox and recovery.
Undergoing detox in a residential treatment facility gives you all the help and support you need to ensure the success of your Xanax detox. Your every need is taken cared of and you are constantly monitored by a team of medical professionals who are trained and ready to give you a hand if ever an emergency arises.
Undergoing detox at an outpatient or inpatient clinic gives a person the opportunity to withdraw with medical assistance. We call this ‘medical detox’. Unlike attempting to quit at home, going through withdrawal at the clinic gives you access to all the tools you need to succeed.
Xanax Addiction Treatment
It is not recommended to quit Xanax use all of a sudden because of the risks associated if your quit abruptly. Doctors prefer gradual dose reduction or tapering as a treatment option for Xanax addiction.
The doctor starts by evaluating how much Xanax a patient has been using during his withdrawal and then he prescribes a specific Xanax dosage that the patient should consume initially. After, the doctor will gradually taper the amount of Xanax being used as well as monitor the symptoms of withdrawal is experienced. The doctor will continue to monitor the dosage until such time that the body can function without Xanax in our system.
Another option is via substitute tapering wherein a substitute drug may be used to avoid a severe withdrawal. This method is used if a patient experiences severe withdrawal symptoms. Commonly, Diazepam is used because it has a much longer half-life compared to Xanax. Having a longer half-life means that the effects of the drug last longer than Xanax.
Both methods of tapering have their respective advantages and disadvantages. The doctor determines which of the two tapering methods are most appropriate to a patient based on the degree of his addiction. However, substitute tapering is very tricky as it is sometimes hard to find the right balance between the dose of the substitute drug to be prescribed which would correspond to the maintenance dose of Xanax.
Continuing Treatment for Xanax Drug Addiction
Xanax Detox is only the initial phase to completely overcome your dependence and addiction to Xanax. In order to ensure the success of your recovery and free your mind and body from Xanax addiction, attending succeeding treatments will effectively address your addiction problems.
Further treatment includes:
- Educational lectures
- Structured recovery programming
- Life skills development
- 12-Step facilitation therapy
- Individual drug counseling
- Group counseling
- Family counseling
- Alternative therapies like music therapy, or art therapy
- Behavioral therapy methods such as contingency management, cognitive behavioral therapy, and rational emotive behavioral therapy
If you or someone you love is struggling with Xanax addiction, contact We Level Up today and start your journey towards a life free from Xanax. Our health professionals will carefully evaluate your condition and recommend a program that is appropriate for you. Do not wait to hit rock bottom before you look for help. Call us today.