How to Stop Taking Xanax Safely
Xanax (alprazolam) is a fast-acting tranquilizer often used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Even for someone who has only been taking Xanax for a few weeks, addiction can form rapidly, leading to physical and psychological dependence. When aiming to quit safely, seeking professional assistance is vital, or you can put your physical and mental health at risk.
A professional treatment facility will guide you every step, providing the support and therapy needed to overcome addiction and maintain sobriety while addressing potential mental health concerns.
What Are the Steps to Quit Xanax?
If you are looking to quit Xanax, you can take the following steps.
Step 1: Recognizing There Is an Issue
Are you taking more Xanax than prescribed or more frequently? Are you having obsessive thoughts about when you’ll take Xanax next? These are signs that you’re struggling with Xanax addiction. That realization is what often initiates the treatment process.
Step 2: Talk to Your Doctor
If you’re ready to quit, speak with a healthcare professional. They may recommend a tapering plan. Depending on the severity of your addiction, the next step may be required.
Step 3: Seek a Treatment Facility
If your Xanax addiction requires comprehensive treatment because of a co-occurring disorder, partner with a professional, evidence-based treatment center.
Can You Quit Xanax Cold Turkey?
It is not recommended that you abruptly discontinue taking Xanax. You should always speak with a healthcare professional before doing so. Xanax withdrawal can cause seizures, which may be life-threatening.
Quitting Xanax cold turkey is dangerous for any individual who has formed either physical or psychological dependence on the drug. Physical dependence can occur even with prescription use, and it’s marked by physical changes in the brain as the body adapts to the regular presence of Xanax in its system.
Once physical dependence forms, suddenly quitting Xanax can lead to significant disruptions in the body’s system. Particularly in someone with a mental health condition, this can lead to serious side effects like worsened anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
How Long Does It Take To Quit Xanax?
The worst initial withdrawal symptoms often improve after a week and are manageable when tapered under medical supervision.
However, approximately 40% of people on Xanax for over six months will experience moderate to severe withdrawal. The acute withdrawal process can sometimes last up to a month. Protracted withdrawal can last for up to 12 months or longer.
Xanax use can be life-threatening, especially when a team of healthcare professionals is not properly managing use or the withdrawal period. Whether or not you’ve been taking Xanax with a prescription, quitting under close medical supervision is essential to avoid uncomfortable and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
To help you manage withdrawal symptoms, one of the techniques your care staff may use is tapering you off of Xanax. This involves gradually reducing your dose instead of taking you off the drug entirely in one go.
Treatment programs may also incorporate special medications approved for benzodiazepine withdrawal. When such medications are used, it’s known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
Generally, due to the habit-forming nature and the severe withdrawal symptoms, your healthcare provider will likely recommend a complete Xanax detox program to minimize risks and protect your health.
Xanax addiction can feel impossible to overcome on your own. If you’re ready to take the next step in recovery, contact the caring team at Zinnia Health by visiting our website or calling our helpline at (855) 430-9439.
Is It Hard to Get off Xanax?
For many, getting off Xanax can be challenging because of the withdrawal period. The symptoms involved often require professional assistance, especially among those with an underlying mental health condition. Anytime the withdrawal or detoxification process is overseen by medical professionals, it’s known as a medical detox.
Depending on your needs, a Xanax detox can be designed as an inpatient or outpatient program.
The purpose of a medical detox is two-fold. First and foremost, the goal is to design a tapering schedule and other supports to help you quit Xanax safely while minimizing the uncomfortable side effects. As a result, medical detox can help you avoid severe withdrawal symptoms that could impact your physical and mental health.
The second goal of a medical detox is to transition you to a long-term addiction treatment plan to ensure your lasting recovery.
Several interventions may be used during the initial detox process to monitor and manage your withdrawal symptoms. If you also have a mental illness, you will be given additional support to help prevent withdrawal from negatively impacting your mental health.
Depending on your needs, some of the services that may be provided to you as part of a Xanax detox program include:
- Medical monitoring and support
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Talk therapy, both one-on-one and in group settings
- Counseling with your loved ones
- Goal-setting and recovery planning
If you detox at a dedicated Xanax recovery center like Zinnia Health, you may also access various holistic programs, such as music therapy. Fully exploring your treatment options is essential to ensure you get the support you need on your journey.
Can Someone Taper off Xanax?
You may experience a mixture of physical and mental symptoms when quitting Xanax. The severity of your symptoms often depends on several variables, such as how long you’ve been using Xanax and how much you have taken.
A tapering program is often recommended, particularly among those with an existing mental health condition.
Existing conditions, like depression, can worsen your withdrawal symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle spasms
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Hypersensitivity to lights and sounds
- Trouble sleeping
- Intense drug cravings
- Sense of detachment
Withdrawal symptoms are often unavoidable when quitting Xanax, but you can minimize withdrawal symptoms by working with a medical professional. A tapering plan may be recommended but will be determined on a case-to-case basis.
What Happens to Your Brain When You Stop Taking Xanax?
Xanax can cause short- and long-term changes in the brain. Over time, your brain expects higher levels of GABA — the calming brain chemical. When you stop taking Xanax, this is what leads to increased feelings of anxiety.
How to Get Help for a Xanax Addiction Near Me
Due to the severity of the side effects of quitting Xanax, inpatient substance abuse treatment is highly recommended for your safety and comfort. If you have not been taking Xanax for long and have a strong support system, you may be a candidate for an outpatient program. Inc contrast, an inpatient program provides you with around-the-clock monitoring and support.
If you detox at home, there are no professionals to act quickly if you experience issues with your heart rate, blood pressure, or breathing, which could signal more severe underlying issues during withdrawal.
Ultimately, speaking with a trusted professional is the only way to get on the right path to recovery. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to addiction, so take the time to call an experienced team like Zinnia Health if you have questions.
We can help you take the next step toward recovery to overcome your addiction and live a drug-free life. Get in touch with our team at Zinnia Health today for more information about your treatment options. Call (855) 430-9439.