Xanax is a benzodiazepine and produces distinct symptoms while detoxing from the drug. However, Xanax withdrawal can be made more comfortable under the care of trained medical and addiction professionals. Because Xanax works by quieting the brain’s activity, stopping the drug means a person may develop insomnia or feel anxious while detoxing. While uncomfortable, the symptoms can all be managed under doctors’ and staff’s care at an inpatient Xanax detox facility.

Symptoms of Xanax Withdrawal

Symptoms of withdrawal can vary depending on an individual’s dosage and how long they used Xanax. One of the more difficult side effects of stopping Xanax is the “rebounding” of pre-Xanax conditions. For example, individuals who initially took Xanax to combat anxiety and insomnia may experience these disorders while withdrawing from the drug.

A study of people who had taken the drug for over six months showed mild withdrawal symptoms; however, forty percent had much more severe symptoms. Xanax withdrawal can be unpredictable; symptoms that seemed gone can suddenly reoccur. Typical symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Depression
  • Difficulty while concentrating/clouded thinking
  • Hallucinations
  • Hyperventilation
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of short term memory
  • Muscle spasms and pain
  • Numbness in tactile sensation
  • Paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • Sensitivity to light, sound
  • Twitching
  • Weight Loss

Timeline through Xanax Withdrawal

Symptoms can begin anywhere from six to 12 hours after quitting the drug. Typically, the worst symptoms can last anywhere from one to four days and may last for about two weeks. However, the second part of detoxification is a longer process. The stage can last some time after initially quitting Xanax, depending on how often a person uses it and how much they used the drug. Most people report they struggle with intense cravings, and some people still struggle with the initial disorders such as anxiety that led them to begin taking Xanax.

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The three primary phases of withdrawal include:

Early Xanax Withdrawal

In the first stage of detoxification, a person begins experiencing rebounding symptoms. An individual’s chemical make-up was dependent on the drug; in its absence, the brain undergoes a negative response. This stage may last anywhere from the initial hours of withdrawal to a couple of days afterward.

Acute Xanax Withdrawal

This stage typically is when a person will experience more “typical” withdrawal symptoms. It can last for weeks to months. An individual may experience intense cravings, as well as thoughts of self-harm and suicidal ideation.

Protracted Xanax Withdrawal

The process of withdrawal can last for months and even years after detoxing. Some psychiatric diagnoses may persist, and a person may have cognitive difficulties or chronic memory loss problems. Many of these withdrawal symptoms can be managed with medication and therapy programs.

How Medical Advice Can Help with Xanax Withdrawal

Withdrawal from any substance can be very complicated without physicians’ advice, but without medical supervision, benzodiazepine detoxes can lead to chronic health issues and even death. Psychologically, the effects of detoxification are difficult. Those going through the withdrawal process may experience anything from a lack of control over emotion and nightmares to depression and suicidal thoughts.

Counseling and therapy are crucial tools in this period to support an individual’s emotional response to detoxing from Xanax. Detox facilities are tremendously important to help a person with a Xanax use disorder. The option to detox while receiving treatment has proven to be most successful in preventing future relapses.

The most integral step while quitting Xanax is to be sure to taper one’s use of the drug (as opposed to a sudden drop-off in usage). The “cold-turkey” method is very dangerous for anyone using benzodiazepines and, for Xanax, can cause seizures, delirium, heart attacks, and even death. A medically-monitored tapering-off of the drug, along with therapy and support group options, has proven to be beneficial to those affected by Xanax abuse. This will help stabilize a person’s physical and emotional health.

If you or a loved one are struggling with a Xanax addiction, you are not alone. We are here for you.