Xanax Withdrawal Timeline: How Long Does Xanax Withdrawal Last?

Many people take prescription medications to manage the symptoms of a medical or mental health condition. While some may believe that all prescription drugs are safe because they are used in a medical setting, many medications have the potential for misuse or addiction.

Xanax is a highly addictive, commonly prescribed medication that has the risk of abuse and physical dependence. People who take Xanax as prescribed may still develop physical tolerance and dependence on it. Those using it recreationally (without a prescription) have a higher risk for addiction.

If you or someone in your life misuses prescription Xanax or takes it recreationally, knowing the risks and signs of addiction is critical. Xanax abuse can have serious, potentially life-threatening consequences, so comprehensive treatment can be life-saving.

This article will explore what typically happens during Xanax withdrawal and how long Xanax withdrawal lasts. Reach out to the team at Cobb Outpatient Detox now to learn about our supportive detox programs or to learn more about your addiction treatment options.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is the brand name for a benzodiazepine drug called alprazolam. Xanax is the most common psychotropic drug in the United States and among the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine drugs.

People may take prescription Xanax to manage symptoms of panic, sleep, and anxiety disorders. These conditions can disrupt people’s lives and prevent them from functioning comfortably throughout the day.

Xanax can relieve symptoms like:

  • Agitation
  • Insomnia or poor sleep
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Poor concentration or memory
  • Racing thoughts

People who take Xanax must only do so under careful medical supervision and guidance and be aware of the signs of Xanax abuse or addiction.

Xanax Addiction: The Basics

Mental health experts believe that chronic anxiety and panic are caused by imbalances of chemicals in the brain. It is thought that people with anxiety may have decreased levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a neurotransmitter that slows brain activity.

Xanax is believed to work by increasing the brain’s production of GABA and making more of this neurotransmitter available in the brain. People who take Xanax may experience feelings of relaxation, sedation, and euphoria.

The pleasurable effects of Xanax can make people want to take more of this drug, take it more often, or use it recreationally. Heavy Xanax use can lead to tolerance (needing to take more to get the desired effects) and physical dependence.

After a long period of heavy use, people may develop Xanax addiction. People with Xanax addiction are no longer in control of their substance use and must take Xanax to function.

Xanax addiction is a complex condition that requires comprehensive treatment, beginning with a medically-supported detox program.

Understanding Xanax Withdrawal

If you abuse Xanax for a long period, you may develop a physical dependence on it. This can make it very challenging to stop taking Xanax when you want to.

People who abruptly stop taking Xanax are likely to experience a range of physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating
  • Agitation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Irritability

People may also experience severe depression, seizures, and suicidal thoughts during Xanax withdrawal. It is critical to have support and treatment during detox to navigate complications that arise and remain safe throughout the process.

The Xanax Withdrawal Timeline

The timeline and severity of a person’s Xanax withdrawal symptoms depend on several factors, including their Xanax use, mental and physical health, and more. However, here is a breakdown of a typical Xanax withdrawal timeline.

24-72 hours

Most people begin to notice withdrawal symptoms within the first 24 hours after their last dose of Xanax. Symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings

Symptoms are often the most intense within the first three days, and the risk for seizures is highest during this stage of the withdrawal timeline.

One week

Xanax withdrawal symptoms may remain emotionally and physically uncomfortable for at least a full week after your last dose. People often experience:

  • Insomnia
  • Racing heart
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Intense cravings

Some people develop anxiety and depression during this stage, and regular support is critical to keeping people safe and preventing relapse.

Two weeks

Physical symptoms may begin to improve during this stage of the Xanax withdrawal timeline. The risk for seizures is lower as time goes on, but insomnia, depression, anxiety, and cravings may get worse.

Up to one month

People who have been taking Xanax to manage anxiety may experience worsening anxiety symptoms during this stage. For most, physical symptoms are mostly resolved–although some may experience headaches or heightened senses for longer periods. Many people struggle with insomnia for weeks or even months after physical detox is complete.

Factors that Affect How Long Xanax Withdrawal Lasts

Many factors can affect how long your Xanax withdrawal timeline is or how severe your symptoms are, such as:

  • Variations in metabolism
  • Higher Xanax doses and prolonged usage can lead to more severe withdrawal symptoms and a longer withdrawal duration
  • Co-existing health issues
  • Mental health, stress levels, and coping mechanisms

No matter the severity of your Xanax addiction, it’s crucial to have support, education, and care during detox to avoid complications and remain as safe and comfortable as possible.

Is it Safe to Detox From Xanax at Home?

Detoxing from Xanax at home can be risky due to potential complications, including severe withdrawal symptoms, psychological distress, and the risk of relapse. As a result, it is generally recommended to undergo Xanax detox under the supervision of a healthcare professional to ensure safety and proper medical management.

A Xanax detox center can provide several benefits in the process of withdrawing from Xanax:

  • Medical Supervision – Trained healthcare professionals can monitor the individual’s health, manage withdrawal symptoms, and intervene if complications arise.
  • Tapering Guidance – Detox centers can facilitate a gradual reduction of Xanax dosage, minimizing the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and promoting a safer detox process.
  • Psychological Support – Detox centers often offer counseling and psychological support to help individuals cope with the emotional and psychological aspects of withdrawal.
  • Medication Management – Detox centers can administer medications when necessary to alleviate specific withdrawal symptoms and improve the overall comfort during to detox process.
  • Transition to Treatment – Following detox, individuals can be smoothly transitioned into further treatment programs, such as rehab or therapy, to address the underlying issues contributing to their Xanax abuse.

Find Help During Xanax Withdrawal

Xanax withdrawal can be a complex process, and it’s important to have professional treatment and support to help you navigate the challenges of detox. Contact the specialists at Cobb Outpatient Detox to learn how to start one of our flexible, effective outpatient detox programs.

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