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Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms, Effects, How Long Does It Last & Treatment Options

What is Xanax?

Xanax (Alprazolam) is a brand-name medication in a drug class known as Benzodiazepines. It is given to help manage anxiety and panic disorders, insomnia, and seizures. It can become addicting by taking too many doses at once or asking a healthcare professional to prescribe a higher dosage. An individual can experience Xanax withdrawal side effects and symptoms.

Side Effects Of Xanax

The side effects of Xanax can vary in severity and affect individuals differently. Here are some common side effects:

  • drowsiness
  • light-headedness
  • headache
  • tiredness
  • dizziness
  • irritability
  • talkativeness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • dry mouth
  • increased salivation
  • changes in sex drive or ability
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • changes in appetite
  • weight changes
  • difficulty urinating
  • joint pain

There are some serious adverse effects of taking it. If an individual experiences the following symptoms, they should get medical treatment immediately.

  • shortness of breath
  • seizures
  • severe skin rash
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • confusion
  • problems with speech
  • problems with coordination or balance

Xanax Addiction

Xanax can be addictive mostly because it can give a euphoric feeling that someone can always crave. Below are some side effects:

Tolerance: If multiple doses are taken for long periods, someone can develop a higher tolerance for the side effects.

Dependence: The body can become dependent on Xanax for it to function daily.

Misuse: Taking higher doses than prescribed or taking them more frequently can give someone the euphoric feeling that this medication can temporarily give.

Co-occurring Disorders: People with mental health issues are more likely to become addicted to Xanax.

Drug Seeking Behavior: They can visit multiple healthcare professionals to get prescriptions or buy Xanax illegally.

Neglect Responsibilities: Someone addicted to Xanax can neglect their daily duties like work or school as they try to get Xanax first before anything.

Social Withdrawal: Xanax addiction can lead to someone withdrawing themselves from social activities. This could be to hide their drug use.

Physical Effects: Xanax can lead to physical effects like drowsiness, dizziness, memory problems, and mood swings.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Xanax Withdrawal?

Xanax withdrawal symptoms are different for everyone, and it depends on the dosage, duration of use, and physiological makeup. These symptoms occur when someone who has been using Xanax regularly suddenly stops or reduces their dosage. Common Xanax withdrawal symptoms include:

Effects Of Xanax Withdrawal

  1. Heightened feelings of nervousness, fear, and restlessness.
  2. Sleep disturbances like insomnia and vivid dreams or nightmares.
  3. An individual might experience irritability, agitation, and mood swings
  4. Physical symptoms like tremors, shaking, muscle stiffness and aches, headaches, sweating, nausea, and vomiting.
  5. Some can experience difficulty concentrating, memory problems, confusion, and disorientation. They can also undergo changes in their senses, such as becoming sensitive to light, sound, or touch.
  6. Xanax can lead to heart problems like heart palpitations, a racing heart, or fluctuation in blood pressure.
  7. Seizures can be triggered in severe cases. This mainly happens to individuals who have been using high doses of Xanax or have a history of seizures.
  8. Hallucinations are rare but life-threatening to individuals. This includes confusion, rapid heartbeat, agitation, and elevated blood pressure.
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How Long Does Xanax Withdrawal Last?

Xanax withdrawal is different for everyone. There are also some factors to consider. This includes the dosage of Xanax taken, how long they are using it, the person’s physiology, whether they are tapering off gradually or stopping abruptly, and whether they receive medical treatment or support during the process.

Timeline of Xanax Withdrawal

Early Withdrawal Symptoms (First 1-4 Days): Most of the time, the withdrawal symptoms begin within hours to a few days after the last dose. The early symptoms are anxiety, agitation, insomnia, tremors, sweating, nausea, vomiting, muscle stiffness, and headaches.

Peak Withdrawal Symptoms (First 1-2 Weeks): This is the height of the Xanax withdrawal symptoms, and it starts within the first week of stopping the medication. During this time, someone can experience severe anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings, physical discomfort, and mental problems.

Subacute Withdrawal (2 Weeks to Several Months): Symptoms can gradually subside after the peak withdrawal phase. However, some people can experience lingering symptoms for weeks or months. They can have constant anxiety, mood swings, insomnia, and mental impairments are the main symptoms during this phase.

Lengthy Withdrawal (Months to Years): There are some cases where people can experience withdrawal symptoms for a little longer. This can be persistent for an extended period after stopping Xanax. Most of these symptoms include anxiety, depression, insomnia, mood swings, mental problems, and craving for the medication. Xanax withdrawal symptoms can last for months to years, although the severity of it mainly decreases over time.

It’s vital for those going through Xanax withdrawal to know that the timeline and severity of the symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people can experience mild withdrawal symptoms that resolve quickly, while others might experience more severe or lengthy symptoms that require the help of a healthcare professional and support.

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Using Xanax For Alcohol Withdrawal

Using Xanax for alcohol withdrawal is not naturally suggested as the first line of treatment. This medication can help relieve symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, but it carries some dangers of its own. It can become addictive, and someone can depend on it too much. Plus, stopping Xanax after using it for a small amount of time can lead to withdrawal symptoms similar to alcohol withdrawal and complicate the recovery process.

Be aware of mixing Alcohol with Xanax (Benzodiazepines), for it can increase the risk of long-term physical conditions and mental health disorders.

  • Increased Risk of Overdose: Both Xanax and alcohol are Central Nervous System depressants. When they are used together, they can improve each other’s side effects. However, this can lead to respiratory problems, coma, and even death.
  • Potential for Addiction: Xanax has a high potential for addiction and dependence. Using this medication to help during alcohol withdrawal can make it more addictive and force someone to become more dependent on Xanax. This can cause another substance use disorder.
  • Severe Withdrawal Symptoms: Alcohol withdrawal can result in some serious symptoms. This can include seizures and hallucinations. Xanax might not be able to relieve these painful withdrawal symptoms.
  • Interference with Recovery: Using Xanax to help with alcohol withdrawal symptoms can interfere with a person’s reason to seek medical treatment for alcohol addiction.
  • Risk of Rebound Symptoms: Suddenly stopping Xanax after using it for a short amount of time can lead to withdrawal symptoms that are similar to alcohol withdrawal symptoms. This can complicate the recovery process and make it a little more challenging

Many healthcare providers will recommend medications with longer half-lives, such as Diazepam (Valium) or Chlordiazepoxide (Librium), instead of using Xanax. Using this medication for alcohol withdrawal is not safe or effective compared to the other treatment options that are available. It’s vital for people undergoing alcohol withdrawal to seek medical advice and help from healthcare professionals. It would be more helpful to talk to those who are experienced in medicine or drug addiction. This is to make sure there’s a safe and successful recovery process.

Xanax Treatment And Support Options

Treatment and support options for Xanax addiction can be a combination of medical interventions, therapy, support groups, and lifestyle changes. Here are some options for people who want help with their addiction.

Medical Detoxification

People who suffer from Xanax addiction can get help by going through the medical detoxification process that a healthcare professional supervises. Detoxification is a method that removes substances like drugs and alcohol from the body. To help manage the withdrawal symptoms further and lower the possibility of going through other serious complications, different medications, like anticonvulsants or beta-blockers, can be used. They can help relieve specific symptoms or medical conditions. The detox process can also involve slowly tapering off the drug under the supervision of healthcare professionals to minimize the withdrawal symptoms and ensure a safe detox process.

Inpatient/Outpatient Rehab Programs

Inpatient rehab programs give intense, round-the-clock care to people who are struggling with Xanax addiction. These programs offer a structured environment where people can get medical support, supervision, and therapy. It’s also a place where they can get help to address their addiction and underlying issues. These programs are for people who are constantly depending on Xanax or went “cold turkey” by stopping the medicine immediately. Outpatient rehab programs are more flexible and for people who do not require 24-hour care. These programs are for those who aren’t as dependent and don’t have more severe withdrawal symptoms. Most of these programs include individual counseling, group therapy, and education about addiction and recovery.

Therapy and Support Groups

There a many different types of therapy that can individual can benefit from when it comes to Xanax addiction. This includes Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and motivational interviewing. Therapy can help individuals identify and address underlying triggers, learn coping skills, and develop healthier ways of managing stress and anxiety. Many support groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or SMART Recovery provide peer support. They want individuals to recover from Xanax addiction by attending support group meetings. This type of therapy can help individuals feel less isolated, share experiences, and learn from others who have faced similar challenges.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

In some cases, healthcare professionals can prescribe different medications to help with Xanax addiction treatment. Drugs like Gabapentin or antidepressants can help manage withdrawal symptoms or address mental health conditions. Healthcare professionals can also provide a safer and gradual tapering process by replacing Xanax with a longer-acting Benzodiazepines like Valium or Librium. Both medications can reduce the severity of Xanax withdrawal symptoms and minimize the risk of more serious complications. They can also help reduce cravings, making it easier for individuals to abstain from Xanax use during an their recovery process. By addressing their cravings, MAT can support someone in maintaining sobriety and preventing relapse.

Holistic Approaches

Holistic approaches to addiction treatment are ways to help with an individual’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. These approaches are often used along with normal addiction treatment methods. This includes mindfulness practices, yoga, acupuncture, and nutritional therapy. Here are some holistic approaches that help treat Xanax addiction.

  • Proper Nutrition
  • Exercise and Physical Activity
  • Mindfulness and Meditation
  • Acupuncture and Acupressure
  • Herbal Remedies and Supplements
  • Art Therapy and Creative Expression
  • Spiritual Support

Life After Xanax

Recovering from addiction is a process that can require ongoing treatment and commitment. It’s vital to continue engaging in activities and practices that support sobriety. Attending support group meetings, therapy sessions, and maintaining healthy lifestyle habits can help an individual stay focused. Building and maintaining a solid support network can also help. By including family, friends, peers in recovery, sponsors, counselors, and healthcare providers as a support team, it can become easier to continue their journey to recovery.

Developing healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress, anxiety, and other triggers can help maintain sobriety. Individuals can practice mindfulness, relaxation techniques, exercise, hobbies, creative outlets, and seek professional help if necessary. Prioritizing self-care is vital for physical, emotional, and mental well-being. An individual would need to get adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise while practicing self-compassion. Engaging in activities that bring joy and fulfillment can also contribute to a sense of purpose and meaning in their life.

Many individuals struggle with Xanax addiction as a way to cope with underlying issues. This can include anxiety, trauma, depression, or other mental health concerns. Addressing these underlying issues through therapy, counseling, and other supportive interventions can help prevent relapse and promote overall recovery. An individual’s life after addiction can offer an opportunity for personal growth, and transformation. They can set goals, pursue passions and interests, volunteer, give back to the community, and rebuild relationships with loved ones.

Identifying and avoiding triggers that may lead to cravings or relapse is can help as well. An individual might have to avoid certain people, places, or situations that can remind them of when they used Xanax. Establishing boundaries and developing strategies to cope with triggers effectively are also ways to help. Pursuing an education, undergoing vocational training, career advancement, and personal development opportunities are way to help with their mindset and purpose in life.


Practicing gratitude and reflection can enable a sense of appreciation for progress. An individual can reflect on their journey, celebrate small or large milestones, and express their gratitude for support can help their positive mindset and resilience in facing future challenges. They can also find fulfillment and purpose in helping others who are struggling with addiction. By sharing their personal experiences, offering support, and volunteering in recovery-related activities can be a meaningful way to give back and stay connected to the recovery community.

Overcoming Xanax addiction is often a challenging process to go through alone. Many people experience relapses during Xanax withdrawal in an attempt to relieve symptoms and satisfy cravings. However, you can manage Xanax withdrawal symptoms and successfully recover with detox and rehab therapy and a strong support system at the We Level Up Texas Treatment Centers. If you require assistance with your rehab journey, contact a We Level Up Treatment professional now. Your call is free and confidential.

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Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms, Xanax & Alcohol. Is Xanax Withdrawal Safe Informational Video?

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Search We Level Up Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms, Detox, Mental Health Topics & Resources
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