a man struggles through the stages of xanax withdrawal on his own

Stages of Xanax Withdrawal

Xanax is a commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medication. It is used to help individuals who are experiencing panic attacks, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety disorders. Unfortunately, Xanax and other benzodiazepines come with a risk of dependence. Without medical support, the symptoms of Xanax withdrawal can be physically painful and psychologically unsafe. Call Promises Behavioral Health today at 844.875.5609 to learn more about our Xanax detox center.

The Stages of Xanax Detox

It is possible to develop a physical dependence on Xanax in as little as a few days of use. People who have been using the medication for a prolonged time – and those who have been misusing it – can experience medically severe withdrawal symptoms. Quitting “cold turkey” is not recommended. Sudden cessation can cause delirium and dangerous seizures.

There are two main stages of Xanax withdrawal: acute and protracted. Acute symptoms may appear within the first 12 hours after taking the last dose. Tapering your dose in order to avoid the most intense symptoms is recommended. 

Even if you have been using Xanax without a prescription, you can still work with a qualified healthcare provider to taper down your dose for a safer, more comfortable detox.

For physical symptoms, the second day of detox is typically the most uncomfortable. Symptoms peak and begin to ease by the fourth or fifth day of detox.

Protracted withdrawal refers to the psychological symptoms of Xanax withdrawal. These symptoms can come and go over several months to a year.

Symptoms of Xanax Withdrawal

The withdrawal process differs for each person. It’s estimated that people who take benzodiazepines for six months or more are at a higher risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.

The physical symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle spasms
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and flu-like symptoms
  • Seizure

The psychological symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic attacks
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty with focus and concentration
  • Feeling disconnected from reality

A major concern with Xanax detox is what is known as the “rebound effect.” A rebound effect is the recurrence of symptoms after a person stops taking medication. For example, if Xanax was prescribed to treat an anxiety disorder, that anxiety disorder is likely to reoccur when the individual stops taking the medication. 

Anxiety can reach high levels during withdrawal, which is already an anxiety-producing experience. In fact, anxiety levels can become more intense than they were before the person started taking Xanax.

The risk of rebound effects and the exacerbation of existing mental health concerns are important reasons to consider a medically supervised detox. Medical supervision provides medications and other medical care to ease physical symptoms and properly treat any co-occurring mental health concerns.

How Does Addiction Treatment Alleviate Symptoms of Xanax Withdrawal?

The therapies offered during rehab are designed to help clients cope with all aspects of recovery, including detox. Depending on their needs, clients may receive the following:

  • Specialized nutrition
  • Natural sleep aids
  • Instruction in meditation and other mindfulness practices
  • Fitness therapies
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Appropriate prescription medications

All of the above treatments help alleviate symptoms while also teaching clients the new skills they need to maintain recovery long-term. 

Symptoms experienced during the stages of Xanax withdrawal can be complicated and even life-threatening. Medical support helps people avoid serious risks and ensures they will receive appropriate mental and physical health care. 

Promises Behavioral Health Can Help with Xanax Dependence

If you’re concerned about your Xanax use but don’t want to face the stages of Xanax detox alone, the caring team at Promises is here for you. Our Xanax detox center provides safe, compassionate care to help you get through withdrawal and begin your healthy new life as soon as possible. Call Promises Behavioral Health at 844.875.5609 to learn more. 

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