How Long Does Xanax Withdrawal Last?
Xanax is a potent and habit-forming prescription medication, most commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. When trying to get off Xanax, users often experience painful withdrawal symptoms.
Xanax is the most frequently prescribed of all prescription-only medications, which inevitably results in a high number of addiction cases. This specific prescription drug is a benzodiazepine, and it is estimated that in 2015 alone, there were over 8,000 overdose deaths in the US that directly involved benzodiazepines. It estimated that well over half (55 percent) of those with a Xanax abuse disorder initially got the medication from a close friend or relative – only 17.3 percent of individuals abusing the medication was prescribed Xanax by their doctor. It was reported that emergency room visits involving Xanax misuse escalated significantly from 57,419 in 2005 to 124,902 in 2010.
The drug is widely abused, and when an individual attempts to quit without slowly tapering off, severe withdrawal is likely. Xanax withdrawal is extremely dangerous, and has been known to lead to a variety of serious health-related complications, including seizures. Those who have been abusing this drug for any period will need to be slowly weaned off – in the presence of a team of medical professionals – to prevent serious, life-threatening complications.
Symptoms of Xanax Withdrawal
Cold-turkey withdrawal can be extremely dangerous when Xanax is concerned. It is most effective and safe to slowly taper the Xanax dose, under the care of a team of medical professionals. Xanax withdrawal occurs very quickly, usually within several hours of the last dose. They consistently worsen over time, and usually peak in severity within the first three days. Once they peak, symptoms can last for up to two weeks – with treatment, they will eventually resolve. Without treatment, they can be life-threatening. Common symptoms of Xanax withdrawal include:
- Intense muscle pain and cramping
- Heart palpitations
- Stomach issues, such as loss of appetite, nausea, and diarrhea
- Sensitivity to light
- Numbness in the appendages
- Profuse sweating
- Anxiety and depression
- Insomnia/an inability to sleep
The post-acute withdrawal symptoms of some benzodiazepines can indeed last longer than two weeks – some symptoms might even last for several months, depending on the dosage that was taken and the regularity with which it was taken. More severe Xanax addictions can lead to serious symptoms of withdrawal that seriously compromise the overall quality of life for years to come. It is estimated that roughly 10 percent of individuals who use benzodiazepines will experience withdrawal symptoms for years after they have discontinued the use of the potent drug.
Absolute Awakenings and Xanax Addiction
Xanax has a half-life specific from other benzodiazepines, which will affect how long it will take for the drug to entirely leave the bloodstream. This will affect how long withdrawal symptoms last. Xanax is short-acting, meaning that withdrawal symptoms will begin within 10-12 hours of the last dose. For this reason, professional medical detox services must be sought before an individual attempt to quit cold-turkey. At Absolute Awakenings, we offer comprehensive addiction treatment services to those struggling with Xanax abuse and addiction. Our team of experienced medical professionals works tirelessly to provide quality care and it’s important to recognize that Xanax withdrawal and detox are just the first steps on the lifelong road to recovery.
At Absolute Awakenings, we will help you along through every step of early recovery – from medical detox and residential treatment to sober living and comprehensive aftercare. We know that early recovery can be difficult to navigate, and we offer the support and guidance you need to get you started on your journey of recovery today. Simply give us a call with any questions you may have regarding our integrated Xanax recovery program or Xanax withdrawal. We look forward to speaking with you soon.