Xanax Detox, Symptoms, Withdrawal & Xanax Addiction Treatment Options

Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at our affiliated facility at Level Up Treatment West Palm Beach. For some primary behavioral health treatment clients, medical detox may be required first. If you have a co-occurring severe substance abuse diagnosis, please contact us prior to beginning inpatient mental health therapy. Treatment services may vary. Please call us to learn which treatment options are most suited for your individual needs.

Xanax (Alprazolam) is a medication commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders. According to National Center for Biotechnology Information [1], Xanax is the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine. Also, it is the most widely prescribed psychotropic medication in the United States. This accounts for more than 48 million prescriptions dispensed in 2013. However, when abused, misused, or used for an extended period of time, Xanax can lead to physical dependence and addiction.

In addition, reducing or stopping the use of this drug can lead to Xanax withdrawal, which can cause complications such as insomnia, panic attacks, and seizures. Withdrawing from Xanax under the care of medical professionals in a rehab facility specializing in Xanax detox reduces the risk for complications and helps the client experience a safer, more comfortable recovery.

Xanax Detox Withdrawal Symptoms

Xanax intake may slow down heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. In addition, it minimizes anxiety, stress, and panic. It may also help reduce the risk of epileptic seizures. During the Xanax detox process, withdrawal symptoms can be both physically and psychologically severe, and sometimes life-threatening. Seizures caused by Xanax withdrawal can be fatal. Therefore, an individual that is physically dependent on Xanax may require professional help in order to safely manage the withdrawal symptoms.

Xanax detox centers and substance abuse treatment programs may also include holistic treatment methods, such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and massage therapy, to relieve stress and encourage healing. Xanax withdrawal symptoms can begin to occur hours of the last dose, and they can peak in severity within 1-4 days. It is highly recommended to look for a medical-assisted facility for Xanax Detox. During withdrawal, people can experience:

  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Muscle pain
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Numb fingers
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
Xanax detox
Xanax Detox: Quitting Alprazolam cold turkey can cause extreme and dangerous withdrawal symptoms, including delirium and grand mal seizures.

The most dangerous risks associated with Xanax withdrawal are fall injuries (especially among older adults), Delirium, and Seizures. Another concern is that the anxiety symptoms the Xanax is designed to treat could return in amplified intensity and duration when the medication is stopped if done so improperly.

Factors That Affect the Length of Withdrawal:

  • Length of time the person took Xanax
  • The average dose they regularly took
  • How frequently they took Xanax
  • Whether they combined Xanax with alcohol or other drugs
  • Mental health and medical history

Dangers of Quitting Xanax Cold Turkey

Many people think they can stop using a drug just as easily as they began taking it. This is not the case when benzodiazepines like Xanax are concerned. Few people who misuse benzodiazepines are aware of how dangerous they can be, even when taken as prescribed.

Sudden onset of Xanax withdrawal can cause uncomfortable, and sometimes dangerous, side effects, including:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety and/or panic attacks
  • Seizures
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Nausea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Return to Xanax use

Xanax Withdrawal Timeline

6 – 12 hours

The effects of Xanax wear off within 6 hours, and the effects of withdrawal start to take over. The person starts to experience anxiety and irritability that often gets worse throughout the withdrawal period.

Days 1 – 4

The symptoms of withdrawal are most severe within the first few days. Rebound anxiety and insomnia are at their peak. Other symptoms, such as shaking, muscle pain, and sweating, are also common. After the fourth day, patients will begin to see an improvement in their symptoms.

Days 7 – 14

Withdrawal symptoms can continue for up to two weeks after stopping use. At this point, the worst is over. Also, symptoms of withdrawal tend to be less critical. Anxiety and insomnia may still persist.

Days 15+

Any remaining symptoms should be mild. For some, protracted withdrawal symptoms may begin suddenly, even if the initial symptoms are completely gone. Moreover, protracted withdrawal symptoms tend to shift and can last up to two years.

Medically-Assisted Xanax Detox

If a person decides to undergo at-home detox, they should inform their loved ones and seek help from a medical professional, such as a doctor or a nurse, to supervise the process. Friends, family, and medical professionals can provide critical support to ensure medical detox continues as planned. While at-home detox is an option, it is NOT recommended. People with a severe addiction to any benzodiazepine should seek professional treatment. Xanax withdrawal can cause serious complications.

Detox will usually be extended for those using a taper plan. Detox may take as long as several months because the process is based on the presence of the drug in the body. If a person has been abusing large amounts of Xanax, the tapering process may take a bit longer. A person may be able to taper faster while in a medical detox facility. The process typically involves medical support while the body clears the drug.

The half-life of Xanax is about 11 hours, so it takes the body 50 hours to completely clear it. There is only one recommended method for coming off Xanax and that is to taper the dose under medical supervision. Since medical detox is the only safe method, any other form of withdrawal from Xanax is not recommended.

Benefits of Professional Xanax Detox Treatment

  • Drug abuse treatment planning
  • Peer support
  • Medical care and monitoring
  • Safe and drug-free environment
  • Medications to mitigate withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings
  • Mental health care
  • Lower risk of relapse

Professional detox treatment can limit the distress of detox while ensuring your safety. Detox facilitates the removal of unwanted substances from the body and is an invaluable intervention to initiate recovery. Moreover, as a person seeking drug detox, you can expect several primary types of treatment.

Inpatient treatment is always recommended in the case of benzodiazepine addiction, and are at risk for dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient treatment offers 24-hour care during treatment to maintain a safe, consistent environment with available medical intervention.

We Level FL Mental Health Center: Primary Mental Health Treatment with Secondary Co-Occurring Treatment

We Level Up FL primary mental health center stands ready to help. Offering secondary treatment therapy for underlying problems like Xanax Addiction often fuel negative behaviors. Taking that first step to get the help you deserve can be life-changing.

We understand how behavioral disorders and secondary co-occurring addiction diagnoses directly impact each other. We Level Up Florida can instill a support system through our mental health treatments that can make you feel valuable. Call us now for a free mental health assessment! Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at our affiliated facility at Level Up Treatment West Palm Beach.


[1] NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5846112/