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Xanax Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation

Xanax Withdrawal and Detoxification

Xanax is the most commonly used sedative drug in United States. With the continued use, tolerance is developed that leads the patient towards the usage of more and more drug to produce desired effects. This situation finally results into development of dependence. Once the dependence has been developed, quitting drug results into the appearance of a number of withdrawal symptoms that can be highly uncomfortable. In case of prolonged abuse, a proper treatment program is needed for a successful recovery. The process starts as soon as the drug is quit. Detoxification is the first step of recovery, followed by proper treatment in an inpatient or outpatient treatment center.

Xanax withdrawal symptoms:

Although Xanax withdrawal is not as painful as withdrawal of other heavy drugs, it still has some very unpleasant symptoms associated with it. It is not recommended to quit the drug all at once. Since it is a psychotic drug, it produces harmful effects on brain when quit all at once. On quitting, it produces physical as well as psychological withdrawal symptoms.

Physical withdrawal symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea/ vomiting
  • Involuntary tremors, particularly in hands
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle ache
  • Weight changes (Loss or gain)
  • Tachycardia
  • Seizures
  • Increased menstrual bleeding and cramps

Psychological withdrawal symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Mental confusion
  • Nervousness
  • Paranoia
  • Heightened senses

A number of these symptoms can be experienced by the patient and the condition is referred to as ‘benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome’. The intensity of these symptoms may vary from person to person depending upon certain factors such as:

  • The time duration drug was abused for
  • Frequency of abuse
  • Individual factors such as age, BMI etc

Appearance of rebound symptoms:

Rebound symptoms or rebound phenomenon is the appearance or reappearance of the symptoms that were treated or controlled by taking a medication. The patients who used Xanax for the treatment of anxiety, panic disorder and insomnia may experience these symptoms with greater intensity after quitting Xanax. Rebound symptoms usually disappear after a week but underlying psychological disorder still needs to be treated.

Timeline for Xanax withdrawal:

Xanax withdrawal may be more intense compared to other benzos but it does not last as long. Since Xanax is a fast acting drug, it produces its effects quickly and tends to leave the body just as quickly. The patient may start experiencing withdrawal symptoms within a few hours of quitting the drug.

  • First 6-12 hours: The effect of Xanax lasts for up to 6 hours. After that, it starts to be removed from the system and withdrawal symptoms appear. As the body is used to function in the presence of drug, its absence makes the person anxious and irritable.
  • Days 1 to 5:Symptoms like anxiety and irritability become worse. Other symptoms also start to kick in. rebound symptoms like anxiety and insomnia reach their peak values. Symptoms like muscles aches, involuntary tremors and sweating are also experienced by the patient. After 5th day, the symptoms usually start to get better.
  • Days 6 to 14:Some withdrawal symptoms may last up to 2 weeks after quitting the drug. However, the worst is over by this time. Some mild symptoms may still linger. Anxiety and insomnia may also persist.
  • Day 15 and on:All the major symptoms are over by this time. Some persisting symptoms can be mild. For some people, protracted withdrawal starts at this time. Even though initial symptoms are over, protracted symptoms are present.

All withdrawal symptoms disappear by the end of 2nd week. However, some users may experience some lasting symptoms for up to two years this condition is termed as post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

Detoxification process for Xanax addiction:

Detoxification is a natural process carried out by the body to remove toxins accumulated due to prolonged drug abuse. Detox starts as soon as the drug is quit. It is a long and unpleasant experience but it is inevitable to go through it to make a recovery. Although it is possible to go through detox at home but it is not recommended by experts due to serious withdrawal symptoms appearing during the process.

At times, some symptoms are aggravated to such a level that even death is resulted. Psychological symptoms can be more dangerous since they can lead the patient towards self harm. Completing detox in a specialized detox center under expert supervision can be significantly helpful to make the process less painful. The doctors can prescribe another benzodiazepine for the time being to relieve symptoms produced due to Xanax withdrawal. It is recommended to taper off the drug rather than going cold turkey. Mostly, Klonopin is prescribed during Xanax withdrawal. A supervised and medically assisted detox program makes the process significantly less painful. It also greatly increases the chances of recovery.