Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms
Xanax is the brand name of the generic drug alprazolam. It is a treatment for panic disorders and anxiety. It belongs to the category of medications known as benzodiazepines. These medications affect the brain and the central nervous system and create a calming effect by enhancing the natural calming chemicals in the body. Xanax can be addictive. If you suddenly stop using Xanax, you may experience Xanax withdrawal symptoms, ranging from mild discomfort to seizures. You may wonder how long does Xanax withdrawal last. It is best to seek a doctor for help with withdrawals. Doctors use a Xanax withdrawal timeline to help patients wean themselves off of the medication without severe symptoms.
How Long Does Xanax Withdrawal Last?
Withdrawal symptoms can start within hours of your last dose of Xanax. They increase in severity over the next one to four days. Withdrawal symptoms may include headaches, muscle pain, diarrhea, light and sound sensitivity. Other symptoms include sweating, paranoia, and seizures.
Besides being a sedative, Xanax increases dopamine release in the reward parts of the brain. If you are dependent on Xanax and you remove it abruptly, your body functions rebound forcefully. Your blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, and body temperature skyrockets. This leads to seizures, coma, and even death. Because of the addictive nature of this drug, close to 10% of emergency department visits that result from substance use disorders have to do with Xanax or other benzodiazepines.
The Importance of Keeping to a Withdrawal Timeline
Never stop using Xanax “cold turkey.” It is better to get help from a substance use treatment program. Substance abuse treatment programs will monitor your Xanax withdrawal symptoms. Staff and doctors will monitor your vital signs, including your blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature.
Studies show that when people try to quit Xanax cold turkey, some experience grand mal seizures and other dangerous and fatal side effects. Besides physical withdrawal symptoms, people may experience psychological Xanax withdrawal symptoms.
When a person is dependent on Xanax and they quit taking the drug, their brain needs some time to get back to functioning normally. Psychological withdrawal symptoms include anxiety and paranoia. These symptoms will increase as the brain recovers.
Some people may experience suicidal thoughts with Xanax withdrawal. It is important to closely monitor individuals going through a Xanax withdrawal for depression and suicide attempts. Xanax withdrawal can leave a person feeling “out of sorts.” They might feel like they cannot control their emotions. They may experience mood swings, terrifying nightmares, short-term memory loss, and hallucinations.
It is vital that mental health professionals support people as they go through the withdrawal process. Therapy and counseling are beneficial and might help a person control and manage their emotions during withdrawal.
The Xanax Withdrawal Timeline
Xanax is a short-acting benzodiazepine. It has a half-life of 11 hours. The drug stops being active in the blood plasma between six and 12 hours after the last dose. This is when withdrawal symptoms start.
Some general symptoms will last for one to four days, while withdrawal symptoms will peak at two weeks. Withdrawal symptoms may not subside completely for months or years. Lasting symptoms can lead to a relapse if they are not treated with regular therapy. Individuals with a protracted withdrawal have psychiatric symptoms and drug cravings that will last for months unless you seek a mental health professional for help.
At Kemah Palms Recovery Center, in our substance abuse treatment programs, we combine holistic and practical methods to help those withdrawing from Xanax to heal. We use comprehensive, evidence-based treatment with personalized service to treat your mind, body, and spirit.
Don’t let addiction control your life. You can overcome Xanax addiction and withdrawal by visiting a quality drug rehab center. Contact us today at 866.604.1873. Let us be your guide on the road to long-term recovery.