Everything You Need To Know About Detoxing From Xanax
If you or a loved one suffers from Xanax addiction, our team has decades of experience helping patients achieve sobriety after Xanax abuse. Unlike Suboxone addiction, there is not a medically assisted detox medication specifically made for benzodiazepine abuse. However, our team of medical and addiction professionals can tailor a treatment program specific to your needs that will minimize the discomfort of benzodiazepine detox and put you on a path to successful recovery.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is a brand name medication for alprazolam. Alprazolam is a type of benzodiazepine that treats individuals for anxiety disorders, panic disorders and the emotional symptoms of depression. This medication works by manipulating a type of neurotransmitter in a person’s brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). By increasing the effects of GABA, Xanax slows down the nerve cell activity in the brain resulting in the reduction of nervousness, anxiety and fear. This prescription pill produces a calming effect that removes the fight or flight sensation associated with clinical anxiety.
Other benzodiazepines or benzos include Valium, Klonopin, and Lorazepam. Legally, Xanax is considered a Schedule IV controlled substance, but evidence shows that it is one of the most widely abused and addictive medications on the market.
Is Xanax addictive?
Like all benzodiazepines, Alprazolam is habit-forming. The risk of Xanax addiction increases when users take this medication long-term or in a manner not prescribed by a physician. Considered one of the most addictive benzodiazepines on the market, abuse of Xanax will almost certainly cause dependency over time. Alcohol should never be taken in combination with Xanax. It will increase the effects in people who do so and increase the likelihood of black-out, coma, overdose or death. Along with alcohol, Xanax should never be taken in combination with any opiates or antidepressants because the results could be fatal.
Xanax detox and withdrawal symptoms can seem disproportionately intense when compared to the severity of inebriation produced by Xanax use. Users may experience lingering effects for months and sometimes years after heavy abuse of this medication. Sudden termination of Xanax use can cause a sharp increase in anxiety and may lead to panic attacks. These unpleasant withdrawal symptoms can discourage recovery. This is why its vital to find a treatment program that specifically identifies and treats the behavior behind Benzo abuse.
How is Xanax taken?
Xanax users normally take this medication by mouth. However, those that abuse this medication will sometimes chew the pill or place it under the tongue until it dissolves in hopes of feeling its effects faster. Sometimes people will crush the pill and put it into an alcoholic beverage or shot. This is a common tactic used by people that are coming down from a binge of cocaine or methamphetamine use.
What are other names for Xanax?
Xanax has many street names, the most common being:
- Totem poles
Why is Xanax prescribed by doctors?
Doctors prescribe Xanax primarily to treat anxiety disorders. Xanax is prescribed in several different doses depending on the severity of symptoms. The doses typically prescribed range from .25 mg to .5 mg three times a day. By comparison, a prescription for may specify 2 mg to 10 mg up to 4 times a day. The potent nature of Xanax coupled with a relatively short half life makes it one of the most abused prescription drugs on the market today. Once addicted, it can be difficult to go through detoxification on your own.
Xanax can also be found on the black market. Alprazolam is available in generic forms for a relatively low cost. Demand on the black market sustains high prices for users and results in a high profit margin for illicit sellers. This profit motive leads to large amounts of this drug being diverted to illegal markets.
It is important to note that even someone taking Xanax exactly as prescribed can become addicted to it, sometimes without ever realizing it.
Is Xanax legal?
Xanax is legal with a prescription from a licensed physician. However, under federal drug laws, someone found in possession of Xanax without a prescription can be subject to up to 5 years in prison. This penalty applies to any amount of Xanax, even just one pill.
Signs That Someone Is Using Xanax
In addition to reducing anxiety, the many side-effects of Xanax include:
- Drowsy or light-headedness
- Sedation or feeling zoned out
- Impaired or poor coordination
- Care-free attitude
- Involuntary muscle movement or twitching
- Having trouble speaking
- Lowered inhibitions
What are the signs someone is physically addicted to Xanax?
Symptoms of addiction can vary by individual. The most common signs of Xanax or benzodiazapine addiction are:
- Changes in hobbies or social habits
- Memory loss
- Changes in personality
- Finding hidden pill bottles
- Finding Xanax bottles prescribed by different doctors
- Always wanting higher doses
- Taking more than prescribed
- Running out of medication early
- Worrying about scheduled refills or trying to refill early
- Finding used empty plastic bags around house or vehicle (common when buying pills off the street)
- Sleeping more than normal or at odd hours of the day
What are the withdrawal symptoms of Xanax?
Users may start feeling the effects of withdrawal within 6 hours of Xanax wearing off. As time goes on the symptoms will intensify and you will be putting yourself at high risk for having a medical emergency. We cannot stress how important it is to get help from a qualified detoxification facility like Bay Area Recovery Center when starting to feel these symptoms. The safest way to detox off benzodiazepines is by being medically supervised and with the proper detox medications.
- Elevated vital signs
- Anxiety and irritability
- Involuntary shaking
- Muscle pain and weakness
How long does Xanax detox last?
There are many factors that can affect the length and severity of Xanax withdrawal. An individual’s unique chemistry, environment, and how much and how often Xanax was used all affect a withdrawal timeline. It is important to note that most symptoms of Xanax withdrawal can be lessened tremendously with the help of medication, in a treatment facility staffed with trained addiction professionals. A typical Xanax withdrawal timeline may look something like this:
- Initial Withdrawal: 6-12 hours after the last dose was taken, symptoms of anxiety, headache, and insomnia will set in.
- Peak Withdrawal: During the first few days after the last does, these symptoms will intensify along with the onset of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. There is also a high risk of seizures during this time.
- Subsiding Withdrawal: Around 1 week after the last dose, these symptoms will start to decrease, although anxiety, insomnia and depression may still be an issue.
- Ending Withdrawal: After a few weeks, normal functionality may return depending on the individual. Some of the symptoms can last much longer in certain cases, which is why it is best to be treated by a trained addiction professional who can adjust treatment plans accordingly.
Withdrawal can be very dangerous, particularly the peak period. It is important to go through this under the supervision of a trained professional in a safe environment with the appropriate medications on hand.
Can Someone Stop Xanax Cold Turkey?
Abruptly stopping Xanax on your own can be very dangerous. Some of the symptoms of stopping Xanax use cold turkey are:
- Anxiety/Panic attacks
- Heart palpitations
How is Xanax addiction treated?
To begin to treat a Xanax addiction, an individual must experience detoxification and withdrawal symptoms, which can be very unpleasant. Because Xanax addiction has both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms, it is highly recommended that it be treated in a professional setting. Certain medications, administered by a trained addiction professional, can be helpful in mitigating withdrawal symptoms.
Bay Area Recovery Center has successfully treated individuals dependent on drugs and alcohol for over 20 years. People need to know treatment does work and there is life after Xanax addiction. Let us use our experience and expertise to develop a medically supervised Xanax detox and treatment plan that is personalized to your situation. We treat the mental and spiritual aspects of addiction and address the behaviors that lead to Xanax abuse. The illness of addiction is not something you or your family should have to go through alone. We can help. Call us now (713) 999-0116 or (281) 853-8715.
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