xanax abuse facts
Xanax (alprazolam) is widely used as an anti-anxiety medication. When abused, it produces intoxicating effects that are similar to those of alcohol intoxication. Users may feel relaxed, euphoric, and care-free. However, Xanax is also highly addictive and habit-forming, so long-term users may experience withdrawal when they stop taking the drug.
Xanax withdrawal isn’t easy to endure, especially without professional help. Fortunately, drug and alcohol detox centers across the United States are able to help patients with Xanax detox. Let’s take a deeper look into what withdrawal symptoms Xanax produces and how medical detox works.
Xanax Abuse and Dependence
Xanax (alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine medication that is prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders. As a benzodiazepine, it works to enhance the effects of GABA in the brain, producing a calming and relaxing effect. The medication is typically meant for short-term use because it can be habit-forming.
People who abuse Xanax, either by taking it illegally or misusing their prescription, can develop a physical dependence on the drug in as little as two weeks. They may also experience painful withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop taking the medication. Unfortunately, like other benzodiazepines, detoxing from Xanax can be potentially fatal without the right medical care.
xanax withdrawal timeline
Even though Xanax is a short-acting benzodiazepine, withdrawal can last anywhere between a couple of weeks to more than a month. Some long-term Xanax users will experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms for years after taking their last dose.
Both the duration of withdrawal and the severity of a person’s symptoms depend on several factors. These include:
- Age, weight, and metabolism
- Frequency and length of drug use
- Regular dose consumed
- Physical health conditions
- Mental health conditions
While each person will experience different symptoms during Xanax detox, a general Xanax withdrawal timeline is as follows:
- 6 – 12 hours: symptoms will begin during this time and increase as time goes on. Individuals may feel anxious, restless, and have a headache.
- 1 – 5 days: symptoms should begin to peak between 1 and 5 days after a person’s last dose. This is when rebound symptoms set in as well as flu-like symptoms and seizures. This is generally the most dangerous period of detox.
- 5 – 14 days: after 5 days, peak withdrawal symptoms should begin to subside. Stomach ache, anxiety, insomnia, and depression are all common during this time, however, seizure risk is lower.
- 2 weeks – 2 months: slowly, but surely, normal functioning will return after detoxing from Xanax. This can take a while though, but after two months most people’s symptoms will go away.