Withdrawal Timeline for Xanax
Xanax is a widely popular drug that doctors worldwide prescribe to patients suffering from anxiety disorders, panic attacks, panic disorders, depression that’s accompanied by anxiety, insomnia, and other anxious feelings. Essentially, the drug Xanax is a brand name for Alprazolam which is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are categorized as a group of drugs that work by depressing the central nervous system (CNS) by increasing inhibitory neurotransmission in the patient’s brain. Other widely used benzos that work the same but are not as potent include Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin. However, due to their calming effect on the brain, some people take Xanax for recreational purposes, in higher doses or more frequently than is prescribed by the doctor. Because of the addictive nature of this drug, it can be easy to develop a dependence on it.
When someone has been abusing Xanax for a while and wants to stop, they will often go through withdrawal. Although Xanax withdrawal symptoms are universal, it is common for patients to have different experiences depending on how often they use Xanax and in what dose. As such, you’ll find that the withdrawal experience of this drug can range anywhere from uncomfortable to devastatingly brutal. It’s essential for everyone who wants to quit abusing Xanax to do it in a medically controlled environment because the side effects can be medically serious. However, the pot of gold at the rainbow’s end is that after the withdrawals, you will be clean.
Factors Affecting Withdrawal
As previously highlighted, different people react differently to withdrawal. Research shows that about 40% of the people taking Xanax for more than six months will experience severe symptoms of withdrawal. The other 60% can expect the symptoms to appear more mildly. However, the withdrawal timeline is determined by a few factors. Basically, the more the body develops a dependence on Xanax, the longer and nastier the withdrawal is likely to be. Other factors also play a part, such as the method of ingestion, regular dose, combination with other drugs such as alcohol, genetics, age of first consumption and also how long they have been a user for. Depending on these factors, your journey might be short or very winded. But with focus and dedication, you’ll get to the finish line.
Xanax Withdrawal Side Effects
Because Xanax has the highest addiction potential of any benzodiazepine, it’s designed to be taken for only short periods. Because body chemistry varies from person to person, some people have experienced signs and symptoms of withdrawal from taking Xanax for only a few weeks and others from taking no more their prescribed dose. Withdrawal from Xanax is never pretty. You should expect some pain and discomfort before the process is done. Some of the most common physical symptoms of Xanax withdrawal include:
- Muscle spasms
- Racing pulse
The psychological symptoms include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of unreality
- Panic attacks
People who were given a Xanax prescription because of their panic disorders, anxiety disorders or insomnia will sometimes experience a rebound of the symptoms after they quit taking the medication. Although these rebound symptoms don’t stick around for a long time, the underlying issue, such as stress or depression, should always be treated by a professional to limit the frequency in which they negatively impact your life.
Xanax Detox Timeline
Most benzodiazepines are intended for oral use. However, you will often find recreational users crushing them up into a fine powder and snorting them. Doing this delivers the drug into the bloodstream much more quickly, which can be potentially lethal. Although fatal overdoses of Xanax alone are not very common, when mixed with other narcotics and drugs such as alcohol, the effect is that much more dangerous. If you commonly mix Xanax with other drugs or alcohol, you will find that the withdrawal process can be a bit longer. Since Xanax is a short-acting drug with a small half-life, someone can start feeling the withdrawal effects as soon as 7 hours after the last dose. When you are preparing for the journey to getting clean, you will often wonder how long does Xanax withdrawal last and how long do Xanax withdrawal symptoms last. The effects of the withdrawal are expected to remain for a couple of weeks and even extending into months for some heavy users.
Xanax Withdrawal Stages
Here is what you should expect during the first four weeks.
The first 72-hours: the first three days of Xanax withdrawal are usually the most painful and gruesome. During this time, anyone undergoing withdrawal from Xanax should be under medical supervision since this is the point with the highest likelihood of seizures than any other throughout the entire process. On these three first days, you will also find that the heart will also be beating very fast, there will be a lot of vomiting, insomnia, mood swings, and even violent tendencies. For this reason, it’s essential to have a medical professional watching over just in case anything happens.
Week 1: although the worst bit is usually over at this point, a lot of people find that withdrawal is still quite tricky. You find that the withdrawal symptoms make your nerves to be on edge, have difficulty sleeping and the craving for Xanax gets more intense every day. If you were taking Xanax to keep anxiety at bay, some symptoms of anxiety might return.
Week 2: at this point, most people will not have many physical withdrawal symptoms. However, the emotional symptoms will still manifest quite heavily. The depression and irritability will always be there, and you might also have occasional mood swings. Insomnia might even be an issue, but thankfully the risk of severe reactions such as seizures is now mostly gone.
Week 3-4: sometime during these two weeks, you will notice that sleep will not be that difficult to come by. Although you might have some sleep problems over the next few weeks, you might notice that things are getting better. Although the physical symptoms are all but gone now, it is not uncommon to experience occasional sensitivity and headaches. Emotional and mental symptoms will also be there; mainly thinking about the anxiety and the need to take something to dull it down like Xanax. After week 4, the symptoms will have lessened by a great deal, but if you had a lot in your system, it might take a few more months for the symptoms to go away completely.
Xanax Withdrawal Guidelines
The detox process for Xanax is a long one. Because of the severe withdrawal symptoms of the drug, the “cold-turkey” approach is never recommended. Using the tapering down method has proven very effective and safe and is also a way of reducing the symptoms that come with withdrawal. Tapering off Xanax means that the dose of the drug being given to the patient is gradually cut back so that the tolerance and quantity in the bloodstream can gradually decrease which is safer than a sudden dip. By taking things progressively, you are avoiding some complications such as seizures, catatonia and even death. Without proper supervision, it is possible to fall into a coma, get very intense hallucinations, psychosis, PTSF and delirium tremens (DTs).
Although most people think that they can detox from a drug like Xanax by themselves, they can’t. The safest way to make sure that you get clean and stay safe is by involving a medical expert in the process. With a medical detox program, you nearly eliminate the possibility of Xanax withdrawal death and also ensure that the effects of the withdrawal symptoms don’t become life-threatening. If you need more Xanax today than you did a few weeks ago to feel the same, it means your body has developed a tolerance for the product and that you will likely suffer withdrawal when you stop taking it.