Xanax: Signs & Symptoms of Addiction, Withdrawal Symptoms, and How to Detox with Drug Rehab

In fact, in 2011 alone, 47 million prescriptions for Xanax were filled, making it the most used psychiatric drug in the U.S.  Unfortunately, however, up to 40 percent of the people taking this benzodiazepine will end up forming an addiction to these pills. 

Fortunately, with medically guided help, either through a clinic or inpatient/outpatient drug rehab, there is a way to safely detox off of Xanax and get the help one deserves in order to life a healthy and fulfilling life.

Signs & Symptoms that Drug Rehab is Needed for Xanax Addiction

Benzodiazepines, like Xanax, work on enhancing the chemical GABA in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter responsible for calming, relaxing effects in the nervous system. When GABA levels are low, a person may feel more prone to high levels of anxiety and, therefore, may turn to anxiety-reducing medications, like Xanax, to help alleviate the intensity of these symptoms. What makes Xanax so addictive is that the calming effects are experienced almost immediately (about 25 minutes after consumption) and last for only a couple of hours. As a result, the user may take Xanax more often than prescribed to maintain the calming effect. Because tolerance to the drug builds up over time, the user will need to take more and more of the drug in order to feel the same effects. Therefore, Xanax is only recommended for short durations of time (no more than four weeks) to minimize the chances of tolerance to the drug.

Because this list is not an all-inclusive list, it is imperative that if one thinks he/she has an addiction to Xanax that they seek treatment immediately. 

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Some signs that one may need treatment for Xanax addiction include:

  • Taking more than prescribed
  • Sleeping for extended periods of time
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired coordination
  • Avoiding family or friends when taking Xanax
  • Neglecting daily obligations
  • Seeking Xanax when unable to obtain through a medical professional
  • Troubles with the law

Drug Rehab to Help with Withdrawal Symptoms from Detox

Even if someone genuinely wants to detox off of Xanax, the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms experienced may cause someone to continue taking the drug out of fear of being confronted with those symptoms.

Some common withdrawal symptoms from Xanax detox include: 

  • Anger, irritability, agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Insomnia, nightmares, or sleep disturbances
  • Paranoia
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Cravings
  • Headache
  • Exhaustion, fatigue
  • Pain in muscles and joints
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Dizziness
  • Flushing or sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Skin rashes or itching

Withdrawal symptoms may appear within the first 24 hours and last up to two weeks, although psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression may last longer. The severity of withdrawal symptoms experienced can vary from person-to-person depending on how much Xanax was taken, the level of abuse, genetics, or any co-occurring disorders, like anxiety or depression disorders. In order to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms, it is imperative to seek detox guidance through a medical professional or inpatient/intensive outpatient treatment.

Alternative Therapies for Xanax Addiction Detox

Seeking professional, medical help is essential when detoxing off of Xanax in order to mitigate the often unpleasant and sometimes fatal withdrawal symptoms experienced. As such, inpatient treatment at a drug rehab center can be particularly beneficial for someone wanting to detox off of Xanax because there is access to 24/7 medical help in case an emergency were to arise. Outpatient drug rehab can also be useful for someone who cannot go to inpatient rehab due to certain life circumstances but want to detox in a safe environment. Both inpatient and outpatient treatment provide the means to get to the root of the desire to abuse Xanax in the first place through individual and group therapy. By understanding the triggers for craving Xanax, one has a much higher chance of maintaining long-term sobriety after treatment. 

Some other treatment modalities that can be utilized through Xanax detox include:

  • Meditation- Meditation has been proven to reduce the stress response in the brain that triggers anxiety. This is particularly helpful for someone that used Xanax for an anxiety disorder in the first place
  • Yoga- Like meditation,  yoga has a calming effect on the brain and body, helping to alleviate the trigger response to stress
  • Lifestyle changes- As best as possible, eliminate known stressors, such as an overbearing job. Although this may not be possible for many, taking a close look at stress triggers in your life and trying to alleviate as much as possible.
How to Detox from Xanax Addiction with Drug Rehab

The most beneficial way to treat a Xanax addiction combines detoxing from the physical compulsion to use the drug and addressing the desire to use the drug in the first place. At Infinite Recovery, we understand that addiction is multi-faceted and approach it as such. With our highly trained therapists and clinicians, we devise healthier alternatives to dealing with the root of the abuse and, therefore, ensure that one has the greatest chance of long-term sobriety in the “real world”. We know that overcoming addiction can be difficult but we don’t want it to be that way for you. Reach out to us and we would love to help set you on the path of sobriety that you are worthy of.