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Xanax Detox

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Xanax, also known as alprazolam, is a medication typically prescribed to those who have anxiety or trouble sleeping due to its sedative effect. Xanax is a benzodiazepine, or benzo, similar to Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin. The consumption of Xanax has the potential to lead to both physical and psychological dependency, which can result in addiction to the medication. 

Designed to be taken only over short periods of time, Xanax is typically prescribed to those who are going through a difficult time in life or those who are undergoing an upsetting experience. While many people consider the consumption of Xanax to be safe as it must be prescribed by a doctor, Xanax has a high potential for addiction and abuse. Even when Xanax is taken as prescribed, the chance of forming an addiction to the medication is high. 

A detoxification, or detox, program is the first step to breaking the cycle of addiction to Xanax and achieving lasting sobriety. A detox program is typically shorter in length and is designed to allow the body to rid itself of toxins that are present due to the consumption of Xanax or other illicit substances that may be used. The process of detox takes place in a medically supervised setting, where the symptoms of Xanax withdrawals can be lessened by medical intervention by healthcare professionals. 

Detoxification and Xanax Abuse 

Xanax is a very potent benzodiazepine and is commonly prescribed by doctors to aid in the treatment of panic disorders, anxiety, and insomnia. In fact, Xanax is one of the most prescribed psychiatric medications in the United States. When used over a long period of time, Xanax has an extremely high potential for addiction, making the consumption of the drug dangerous, even for those who are using it in compliance with a doctor’s prescription. 

The detoxification process from Xanax can be incredibly challenging, but the benefits of sobriety far outweigh the difficulty. Many clients who attend addiction recovery treatment programs see the detoxification process as a turning point in their rehabilitation journey, as they begin to be able to think clearly again. 

The Effects of Xanax Abuse on the Body

Like many medications, Xanax use has the potential to cause a number of side effects. These side effects can become more severe as a result of prolonged or excessive use of the drug. Extensive use of Xanax can cause:

  • Depression
  • Agitation or irritability
  • Blurred Vision
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Changes in weight
  • Feelings of dizziness
  • Drowsiness or sedation
  • Dry Mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation

Serious side effects are also possible when Xanax is taken for long periods of time. These side effects can include:

  • Hallucinations, both auditory and visual in nature
  • Mania
  • Violent behavior or outbursts 
  • Suicidal thoughts and actions
  • Seizures 
  • Brain damage 
  • Death

Symptoms of Xanax Detox

Due to its high potential for addiction, when Xanax is prescribed, it is only meant to be taken for short periods of time. Individuals who are prescribed Xanax may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms after as little as a few weeks, even when the medication is taken as directed by a doctor. More severe withdrawal symptoms are likely to be experienced by those who take the medication for longer periods of time, as well as those who abuse the medication. Xanax withdrawal symptoms typically occur only a few hours after the last dose was taken and can happen suddenly. 

6-12 Hours 

Xanax typically wears off within about six hours of being ingested, which is when withdrawal symptoms may begin to be noted. The most common withdrawal symptoms noted after the medication begins to wear off are irritability and anxiety, which get worse the longer an individual goes without Xanax. 

1-4 Days 

The symptoms of Xanax withdrawal are typically the most severe between one and four days after the last dose. Feelings of anxiety and trouble sleeping peak during days one to four. Other symptoms of withdrawal, like shaking, sweating, muscle and body pain, and symptoms often described as flu-like, are commonly reported through this phase. 

5-14 Days 

Many people begin to feel a big improvement in their withdrawal symptoms around day five. During week two, the physical symptoms of withdrawal should be significantly lessened, and the worst of the process is over, though symptoms like anxiety and insomnia may persist. 

15+ Days

After the first two weeks of the detox process, any remaining symptoms of withdrawal should be mild. However, some individuals may begin to have late-onset withdrawal symptoms, even in instances where initial withdrawal symptoms have ceased completely. These protracted withdrawal symptoms are known as Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms, also called PAWS. The symptoms of PAWS can vary and may last as long as two years after becoming sober from Xanax. Symptoms of PAWS can include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Body aches 
  • Chronic Insomnia
  • Sexual problems 
  • Difficulty performing tasks
  • Anxiety and depression

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Xanax?

As a short-acting benzo, the effects of Xanax are felt quickly and are over faster than those of other benzos. The withdrawal symptoms that are experienced by those who use Xanax tend to begin as soon as the body and brain are deprived of the substance. Because of this, symptoms of withdrawal and detoxification can begin as quickly as a few hours after the medication was last taken. Symptoms commonly last for about a week, though those who experience PAWS may experience symptoms for longer, even as long as a couple of years. 

Recognizing if Xanax Detox is Right for You

There are a number of signs that addiction to Xanax may be present in an individual. Xanax addiction can be detected through the presence of some of the following behaviors:

  • You feel obsessed with finding and using Xanax.
  • You are unsure how to function without Xanax.
  • Your attempts to stop taking Xanax have been unsuccessful.
  • You cannot feel calm or relaxed without taking Xanax.
  • You feel a strong need or urge to take Xanax.
  • Your thoughts are consumed with finding and taking Xanax. 

Those who relate to the above-listed behaviors should consider contacting a doctor or other health care professional to find help. Continued use of Xanax after an addiction develops can lead to increased suffering and long-term effects from the abuse of the medication. 

Different Types of Detox

Most addiction recovery centers are prepared to help clients detox who deal with addiction to a variety of different substances. During the detoxification process, patients are closely monitored by healthcare professionals, ensuring they are as comfortable as possible throughout the process. Detox programs are available for many substances, including:

  • Xanax Addiction
  • Alcohol Addiction
  • Fentanyl Addiction
  • Lortab Addiction
  • Oxycodone Addiction
  • Tramadol Addiction
  • Hydromorphone Addiction
  • Vicodin Addiction
  • Percocet Addiction
  • Norco Addiction
  • Morphine Addiction
  • Heroin Addiction
  • Crystal Meth Addiction
  • Cocaine Addiction
  • Barbiturate Addiction

Xanax Detox and Getting Help

When an individual who is addicted to Xanax enters into a recovery program, they are typically encouraged to attend inpatient or residential treatment. The first stage of treatment when it comes to Xanax addiction is the detox process. It is important that the detox process is medically supervised due to the serious nature of the symptoms of Xanax withdrawal. Medical intervention is likely to be required in many cases through the use of small doses of benzodiazepines in order to make the detoxification process more tolerable. After the detox process, individuals who deal with Xanax addiction should attend additional treatment in order to ensure their long-term recovery. 

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