Once an individual ceases to use a substance that they’ve developed an addiction to, unpleasant, painful, and sometimes dangerous side effects can occur. This is known as withdrawal. Withdrawal is a syndrome that develops after cessation of prolonged, heavy consumption of a substance, with symptoms varying by substance but generally including physiological, behavioral, and cognitive manifestations.
Withdrawal symptoms differ based on the substance that had been abused, with some causing mild withdrawal symptoms and others yielding painful and dangerous symptoms. Withdrawal can be very uncomfortable, regardless of the substance that has been abused, which is why it is highly recommended to seek treatment at a professional detox clinic to assist throughout the duration. Clinicians at detox facilities monitor the withdrawal process, provide medical support, and ensure the individual feels safe and comfortable.
Withdrawing from Xanax
Xanax is notoriously difficult to withdraw from. As a benzodiazepine, withdrawing from Xanax can cause life-threatening seizures when use is abruptly stopped. Withdrawal seizures usually occur in patients who have been taking Xanax for a long period of time and at high doses, with the severity of seizures ranging from a single episode to coma or death.
The length that Xanax withdrawal lasts depends on the length of the addiction and the quantity of the drug regularly used. Those who have abused Xanax for only a short period of time, or at a low dose, may have a significantly shorter withdrawal period and display milder symptoms.
In contrast, those who have abused Xanax for an extended amount of time, or in large doses, are likely to experience an extended withdrawal stage and more dangerous symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms typically appear within the first few days and can last up to two weeks. Although rare, Xanax withdrawal can take up to one month in severe cases.
Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms
Symptoms of Xanax withdrawal depend on the length of the addiction. On average, symptoms appear within the first few days and last approximately two weeks. If the Xanax addiction is severe, withdrawal symptoms may last longer and can be life-threatening.
An individual withdrawing from Xanax is likely to experience increased levels of anxiety. As a common anxiety medication, Xanax interacts with neurotransmitters in the brain to produce a calming sensation. The absence of Xanax can increase the individual’s anxiety to higher levels than before they started medicating.
Sweating is common when going through withdrawal. This is the physical body’s way of ridding itself of all remaining traces of the substance.
As a highly addictive benzodiazepine, Xanax abuse causes a chemical alteration within the brain. Once withdrawal begins, the individual may feel depressed as Xanax is no longer altering neurotransmitter activity as was once frequently occurring.
Due to profuse sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea that are likely to occur during the withdrawal stage, the body becomes extremely dehydrated. This intense dehydration causes muscles and joints to cramp up, producing involuntary spasms.
As the most dangerous symptom of Xanax withdrawal, these seizures can be fatal if the individual is unsupervised. When an individual abruptly stops taking Xanax, its absence causes abnormal nerve activity within the brain and the individual is at high risk for seizure as a result.
Due to the severity of some of these symptoms and the potential for life-threatening side effects, such as seizures, clinical supervision within a professional detox facility is highly recommended.
Treatment For Addiction
If you or a loved one is abusing Xanax, know that recovery is possible. Xanax is a dangerous substance to withdraw from, making it extremely important to seek out medical attention if you experience any withdrawal symptoms. At Knoxville Recovery, we offer a clinically supervised detox program to clients in need. After detox is successfully completed, clients will have the choice of being admitted into our inpatient or outpatient treatment programs. We fully understand that every individual has different needs and both programs offer unique benefits.
At Knoxville Recovery, individuals will have the option to participate in various types of therapy and counseling, learning new coping mechanisms for dealing with addiction, get treated for any coexisting mental health problems, and learn to live a healthy life free of substance abuse. After treatment, it is highly recommended to join a 12 step program or other support groups to help prevent relapse and continue recovery outside of treatment programs. If you are struggling with substance abuse do not hesitate to reach out today.