Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

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Xanax Withdrawal: The Deadliest Detox?

Xanax withdrawal symptoms have become one of the biggest silent killers in the realm of substance abuse. When discussing the topic of withdrawal, most of the attention goes toward opioids or alcohol because of their prominence and attention in the media – especially in the case of the former.

The substance that causes the deadliest withdrawal symptoms isn’t injected in your vein and isn’t the most widely purchased drug on the black market. In fact, the largest supplier of this deadly drug that causes physical dependence, dangerous withdrawal symptoms, attacks on the central nervous system, and even death is your primary care physician or counselor.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal, specifically Xanax, leads to protracted withdrawal symptoms during the long term and the return of the most intense panic attacks you could imagine in the short term. But that’s just a small fraction of what withdrawal symptoms entail when you detox from benzos.

If you’re afraid of experiencing benzodiazepine withdrawal or have experienced it before and are looking for a better alternative, read this article until the end. Resurgence Texas can and will help you avoid the most dangerous withdrawal symptoms after a long bout with Xanax abuse.

What Is Xanax Withdrawal?

Xanax Withdrawal

Xanax withdrawal occurs after one develops a physical dependence on the drug and suddenly stops their normal regimen. This can happen due to a legal prescription regimen or illegal prescription drug abuse.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal includes the most severe symptoms compared to any other legal or illegal substances. These severe withdrawal symptoms are often accompanied by panic attacks and other feelings of generalized anxiety disorder that all come rushing back at once.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Intense anxiety
  • Cravings for more benzos
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Inability to sleep
  • Restless legs
  • Stomach cramps
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

It’s important to have a firm understanding of what benzodiazepines are and exactly how they work to combat anxiety symptoms in the brain. This gives you a better idea of how the process begins, how long it takes, and what course of action to seek when you help.

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines act on the central nervous system. Those diagnosed with various mental health disorders receive Xanax – many times without prior knowledge of the dangers of even short-term use of the drug.

These benzodiazepines specifically target the receptors of the gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (Gaba-A) in the brain. This neurotransmitter reduces the nerve function in the human body, slowing communication that causes anxiety and other negative symptoms of panic disorder and other mental health conditions.

When a neuron in the brain receives a negative charge, it is resistant to stimulation. Although all benzodiazepines work similarly, each one has specific effects on the receptors of the different subtypes of the GABA acid mentioned above. Some act faster; some are time-released, some have increased strength, etc.

Most commonly used to treat panic and anxiety disorder, benzos also cause amnesia and other issues when abused. While found to be extremely effective against anxiety, long-term use is strongly discouraged. The unfortunate problem with Xanax is the fact that it’s been prescribed for decades, and many of the most detrimental effects are only recently being discovered.

In 2010, almost 125,000 people were rushed to the emergency room due to the use of Xanax. A large portion of these visits involved the physical withdrawal symptoms involved with quitting Xanax at home without assistance.

What Causes Xanax Addiction?

What Causes Xanax Addiction

Xanax addiction is caused when an individual engages in long-term use and crosses the line between therapeutic use and substance abuse. However, it’s not uncommon for many users to begin taking Xanax solely for the high, engaging directly in illicit use without any prior history of prescription.

However, a large number of users who suffer from Xanax addiction and acute withdrawal symptoms don’t abuse their medication. Signs of Xanax withdrawal are present in a lot of cases without any history of substance use disorders.

Intense withdrawal symptoms occur more frequently with substance use disorder related to Xanax than other benzos a large portion of the time.

Xanax addiction is generally caused because of a mental health disorder at the root of the addiction. This happens in cases of illicit abuse and in cases where the drug is prescribed. The only difference is in the case of prescription; users are aware that they have a mental health condition.

Those who abuse Xanax illicitly are often unaware that they’re abusing the drug to mask the symptoms of some form of mental health disorder.

What Makes Xanax So Dangerous Compared to Other Benzos?

Xanax is dangerous compared to other Benzos because of the way it works on the mind and body. Xanax isn’t necessarily the longest-acting benzo, nor does it have the longest half-life.

However, it’s one of the fastest-acting benzos with the most significant impact initially. The initial onset of Xanax is extremely strong and takes a very short time to reach its full potential. This short half-life also leads to the rapid onset of the symptoms of Xanax withdrawal when compared to similar benzos like Valium and Klonopin.

What to Expect During Xanax Withdrawal

Several adverse events occur during Xanax withdrawal. Rebound symptoms are often the first severe symptoms experienced. Rebound anxiety occurs after taking Xanax for an extended period and becoming used to the lack of anxiety.

Many people experience little to no anxiety at all when taking Xanax. However, once the user suddenly stops taking Xanax, rebound anxiety becomes a dangerous side effect.

When rebound anxiety sets in, the sudden return of anxiety after not experiencing it for a significant period may lead to blood pressure spikes, increased heart rate, and other negative side effects.

Understanding what to expect during the withdrawal period requires knowledge of the Xanax withdrawal timeline. Even during medical detox, it’s important to be aware of this timeline. The following section outlines this process to give you an idea of what to expect after eliminating the drug from your regimen.

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The Xanax Withdrawal Timeline

The Rebound Phase

The rebound phase, as mentioned above, is the first stage in the withdrawal process. Medical detox can help you avoid the most severe side effects of this stage of withdrawal by providing you with medications to mitigate the most dangerous symptoms.

Immediate Withdrawal Phase

The immediate withdrawal phase begins after the rebound phase. Rebound effects are felt within hours of taking the last dose. Normally it takes one full day to begin experiencing the immediate withdrawal phase. This includes increased anxiety, sweating, dizziness, and increased blood pressure and heart rate.

Acute Withdrawal Phase

The acute withdrawal phase is often the most severe during the timeline. During this stage, users will experience a drastic increase in heart rate and blood pressure, inability to sleep, extreme anxiety, vertigo, nausea, diarrhea, and seizures. It’s during this phase that the withdrawal process can be fatal.

Post Acute or Protracted Withdrawal Symptoms

This stage occurs weeks and months after the most intense symptoms have subsided. Generally, the acute phase ceases after one week to ten days. However, the post-acute symptoms can extend for six months, and even upwards of one year in the most severe cases. However, these symptoms are short-lived and only occur sporadically. A good treatment facility will help you prepare for the post-acute withdrawal stage, as this is what commonly leads to relapse post-treatment.

Coping with Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

Coping with Xanax Withdrawal

Several methods can be effective in combatting the most intense withdrawal side effects during the acute and post-acute stages. Use the following tips to help you avoid relapse:

  • Individuals suffering from benzo withdrawal are sensitive to any type of stimulation. This makes relaxing even more difficult and obtaining sleep can seem impossible. To help relieve these issues, avoid TV, loud music, extended phone conversations, and prolonged internet use. Some simple yet effective ways to improve your sleep is to make the environment as dark as possible and practice meditation.
  • One of the most challenging aspects of withdrawal is physical pain. Although taking a warm bath or shower can provide some relief, the last thing you want to do is stay in bed. Some people use yoga and stretching to help make it through the pain.
  • Even though it feels minor, you should still try and do what you can to combat feelings of hopelessness. The brain and body need to work together to accomplish tasks, and starting with small activities like short walks or cleaning your house or room can be very powerful.
  • Different people have different triggers and calming techniques. The best way to relieve anxiety is to remain focused on what’s in front of you. This can help keep you calm and grounded.

An overwhelming amount of fear can occur when you have your first panic attack or experience anxiety after quitting Xanax. Writing and exercising can help keep you distracted. Remind yourself that you’re safe and try to remain in a comfortable environment.

Can You Beat Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms At Home?

While beating Xanax at home isn’t unheard of or impossible, it’s highly discouraged. The lack of medical professionals makes it dangerous, especially during the acute stage.

If you experience a seizure without a doctor or nurse, the chances of brain damage or other life-altering event increase exponentially. Just having trained staff to keep your vital signs stable can be the difference between life and death.

Even after the withdrawal process is over, you’ve only won the first half of the battle. Relapse is still possible, and even probable, during the first month after overcoming the physical withdrawal. Remaining in a residential rehab environment can drastically reduce your chances of relapsing.

Overcome Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms and Xanax Addiction Now

At Resurgence Texas, we’ve helped countless amounts of clients overcome Xanax withdrawal and return to a normal life. Sometimes it’s difficult to see light at the end of the tunnel.

But with the right treatment team and personalized care plan, you can achieve long-lasting recovery from Xanax abuse. For more information on how we can help, contact a member of our admissions team today.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.