The assumption that a particular drug is low risk to quit is a reason some people may choose to avoid going to a medical detox facility. One of the drugs often assumed to be safe to taper off from at home is Xanax. Before making the choice to stop using Xanax on your own, it’s helpful to learn about how this type of drug affects your body after the last dose is taken.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is a brand name for a type of drug known as benzodiazepines. Alprazolam is a generic name for the same drug. It’s used to treat anxiety and panic disorders by acting as a sedative. Off-label use includes treatment of insomnia, but it is not approved by the FDA for this purpose.
Xanax Withdrawal Timeline
Withdrawal from benzos, such as Xanax, follows a fairly standard timeline. Withdrawal typically begins between 6-12 hours after the last dose is taken. Symptoms may be anxiety, headache, and insomnia. Symptoms can intensify between one and four days of the last dose. By this time, symptoms of anxiety may return and worsen. After five days when symptoms peak, they will begin to lessen, although they may be present for another week to ten days.
Symptoms beyond the initial two-week period are identified as part of post-acute withdrawal. In this situation, the symptoms are generally less intense. They can linger for a long time, though, with some patients experiencing them for as much as two years.
Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms
- Heart palpitations
- Blurred vision
- Muscle pain
- Numb fingers
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Loss of appetite
Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms
Unlike the initial symptoms, post-acute withdrawal symptoms appear in waves. While they’re less intense and not steady, they do pose a risk. Long-lasting withdrawal symptoms, left untreated, increase the chance of relapse.
- Irritability and hostility
- Mood swings
- Limited ability to focus or think clearly
- Low libido
- Chronic pain
- Drug cravings
Combining Xanax with Other Drugs
Like any benzodiazepine, Xanax mixed with other substances can lead to more intense withdrawal symptoms and medical emergencies. Mixing Xanax and heroin increases the risk of overdosing. Taking Xanax while using cocaine can produce feelings of anxiety and lead to risky and dangerous behavior. The mixing of Xanax and alcohol can be dangerous and deadly as well.
Is It Safe to Detox from Xanax at Home?
The risk of experiencing unsafe withdrawal symptoms is high when attempting to quit using Xanax on your own. If you’ve attempted to quit in the past, you may remember difficulty falling or staying asleep, feeling irritable, and suffering from anxiety or panic attacks. Other challenging physical conditions may include trembling, nausea, muscle pain and stiffness, and headaches. In addition, you may notice your ability to concentrate is greatly affected.
Serious Side Effects of Detoxing from Xanax Without Medical Supervision
- Return to Xanax use
Medical Detox for Xanax
Detox provides a safe space for a person who wants to end their Xanax use. At a medical facility, withdrawal symptoms can be managed to avoid health risks and complications. Existing health conditions, including mental health disorders, are also a part of the ongoing care provided to a patient at a detox facility. This setting and the expertise of the medical professionals allow a patient to safely experience Xanax withdrawal and prepare for the next steps in their recovery journey.
Restored Path’s Solution
Restored Path Detox is DFW’s premier location for sophisticated medical detox. Conveniently located in Frisco, we provide a safe sanctuary for healing that is also a state-of-the-art detoxification facility for a wide range of substances. Our compassionate physicians and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. Restored Path’s team of board-certified physicians and highly qualified RNs have extensive critical care experience and are available to monitor your detox program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol use, call us today and take your first step towards recovery: 561-841-1268.