You’re not imagining it: addiction to Xanax is officially on the rise.
Whether you’re facing an addiction to this popular anti-anxiety medication yourself, or if you’re worried that someone in your life is, it can be difficult to know how to get help.
In this post, we’ll cover all the basics of Xanax withdrawals.
From showing you what to expect from a Xanax withdrawal timeline to going over some of the most common Xanax withdrawal symptoms, we want you to know what to expect.
Keep on reading to get the information you need to feel more empowered. Then, learn where you can get the help you need to get your life back on track.
Xanax Withdrawals: The Basics
Before we get into Xanax withdrawal symptoms and the general timeline of detoxing from the pills, let’s go over a few of the essential basics first.
Xanax is the number one drug in the United States that is prescribed to people suffering from anxiety.
It’s a benzodiazepine, which means that it works to increase the levels of GABA (a neurotransmitter within the brain. This helps to curb panic attacks, as well as to keep patients from feeling high and constant levels of anxiety.
Typical side effects of Xanax can include a decreased sexual appetite, a feeling of restlessness, headaches, and occasionally, digestive problems. In severe cases, those taking Xanax may also experience an increase in suicidal or anxious thoughts, as well as extreme hyperactivity.
There are many different dosages of Xanax, ranging from .25 milligrams to 2 milligrams. Usually, patients will take the pills anywhere from two to four times per day.
However, the problem and potential addiction to Xanax arises when patients don’t take the pills as directed. But even if patients do take the pill correctly, because it has a short half-life, they can still develop some form of dependency.
This is because it moves through the body so quickly, that sometimes patients will need to take more in order to feel the same effects as before (or to curb withdrawal symptoms.)
Now that you know the basics of the drugs, let’s take a look at the symptoms of Xanax withdrawal.
The Symptoms of Withdrawal From Xanax
The good news is that, unlike many other prescriptions and street drugs, Xanax withdrawal will not come with as many potentially life-threatening consequences.
However, this doesn’t mean that it will be emotionally and physically pain-free — or that your health won’t be impacted in some way.
You should be prepared to experience a wide range of withdrawal symptoms, in a somewhat rapid succession. One day, you could be feeling close to fully functioning — but in a couple of hours, that could change.
You may be at risk for seizures, intense mood swings, exhaustion/irritability, and even falling because of a lack of coordination.
The best way to detox from Xanax, especially if you’ve been on the medication for a long time or have been prescribed a particularly high dosage, may be to seek professional help.
In general, you should expect to experience several different Xanax withdrawal symptoms at once.
These can often include:
- An increase in anxiety
- Sudden depression/suicidal thoughts
- Tremors and/or seizures
- A lack of focus and a shortened attention span
- Serious aches in the muscles
- A loss of short-term memory
If you’ve been taking other prescription medication in addition to Xanax, and are detoxing from many things all at once, you may deal with an increase in the length and severity of these symptoms.
Especially if you’re taking narcotics or other medications, you should strongly consider enrolling yourself in a professional treatment program. A detox facility will ensure you get the care and attention you need.
The Xanax Withdrawal Timeline
Within the first twelve hours of your Xanax withdrawal, you should expect to experience some changes in your mood. You may be hungry, you may find yourself lashing out at family or caregivers, and you’ll likely only become more angry and tired over time.
Within the first few days of withdrawal, your symptoms will be at their most extreme. You may notice shaking and sweating, severe pain in the muscles, and an increase in anxiety.
You may also lose your appetite.
After a week and within a two-week span, you will likely still be experiencing some of these symptoms. By this point, however, they should be at least somewhat less severe than in the first few days. You’ll likely still be dealing with nervousness, paranoia, and trouble falling asleep.
After two weeks have passed, the majority of these detox symptoms should be under much better control. You may still experience the occasional setback, and likely feelings of tiredness will still persist.
Be aware that, especially in those who took high doses for many years, this may continue for upwards of a year.
Above all, never quit Xanax or any other prescription drug “cold turkey.”
Don’t Face Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms Alone
We hope that this post on Xanax withdrawal symptoms and the timeline of the detox has helped you to feel more empowered to come to terms with your own addictions.
Perhaps you’re interested in getting off the medication before you develop a serious addiction, or maybe you think you’re already in need of professional detox and rehab.
No matter what you’re experiencing, you don’t have to go through it alone.
We’re here to help.
Spend some time on our website to learn more about treating your addiction and the different options available to you.
When you’re ready to start feeling like yourself again, we invite you to reach out to us today to get started.