Substance Use

How to Quit Xanax

xanax bar pills and bottle

TABLE OF CONTENTSTable of Contents

Getting Help for Xanax Addiction

Xanax is the brand name for a medication known as alprazolam. Xanax is a fast-acting tranquilizer often used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It’s classified as a triazolobenzodiazepine, which is a class of drugs where benzodiazepines have been fused with a triazole ring. This is important information because benzodiazepines are known to be highly addictive.

Even for someone who has only been taking Xanax for a few weeks, substance use disorder (commonly referred to as addiction) can form rapidly, leading to both physical and psychological dependence. If you take Xanax, it’s vital to quit appropriately, or you will be putting your physical and mental health at risk.

Recovering from Xanax addiction isn’t something you have to do alone. Zinnia Healing can help. Contact us today at (855) 430-9439 for more information. 

Is It Dangerous to Suddenly Quit Xanax?

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. Psychological dependence is far more complex and can be more dangerous in individuals suffering from mental or behavioral health disorders.

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. Someone also suffering from psychological addiction will experience even stronger withdrawal symptoms, such as panic attacks.

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

Both physical withdrawal symptoms and psychological withdrawal symptoms exist, and you may experience a mixture of them when quitting Xanax. The severity of your symptoms often depends on several variables. For example, how long you’ve been using Xanax and how much you have taken. Existing conditions, like depression, can also worsen your withdrawal symptoms. Some of the most common include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Muscle spasms
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Hypersensitivity to lights and sounds
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Hyperventilation
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Sense of detachment
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures

Unfortunately, withdrawal symptoms are an unavoidable part of stopping Xanax, but you can minimize the symptoms of withdrawal by working with a medical professional.

Will My Healthcare Provider Help Me With Quitting Xanax?

Xanax use can be life-threatening, especially when a team of healthcare professionals is not properly managing use and/or withdrawal. Whether or not you’ve been taking Xanax with a prescription, it’s important to quit under close medical supervision 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, such as buprenorphine or methadone. When such medications are used, it’s known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Generally, due to the habit-forming nature of Xanax and how severe the withdrawal symptoms can be, your healthcare provider will likely recommend a complete 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 Healing by visiting our website or calling our helpline at (855) 430-9439. 

What is a Xanax Detox Program?

When your body is going through the withdrawal period as you quit Xanax, it’s known as the detoxification process. Anytime the withdrawal or detoxification process is overseen by medical professionals, it’s known as a medical detox. Depending on your needs, medical 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 get you off 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 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 choose to detox at a dedicated substance abuse recovery center like Zinnia Healing, you may also have a variety of holistic programs, such as music therapy. Fully exploring your treatment options is essential to ensure you get the support you need on your journey.

Does Quitting Xanax Require an Inpatient Detox?

Due to the severity of the side effects of quitting Xanax, inpatient substance abuse treatment is highly recommended for your safety and comfort. However, if you have not been taking Xanax for long and if you have a strong support system, you may be a candidate for an outpatient program.

If you’re working with a qualified addiction medicine specialist, they will be able to explain the risks and considerations you need to think about when choosing between an inpatient or outpatient program. Namely, an inpatient program provides you with around-the-clock monitoring and support. On the other hand, 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 Healing 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 Healing today for more information about your treatment options. Call (855) 430-9439.