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How Long Does It Take to Detox from Xanax?

3 Xanax pills possibly being used for abuse that create addiction.

Xanax, a commonly prescribed medication for anxiety and panic disorders, has the potential for abuse and addiction. When this drug is misused, people find it difficult to stop on their own without going through detox.

Detox from Xanax is the medically supervised process of eliminating the drug from the body while managing withdrawal symptoms to help people lay the foundation for recovery and a drug-free future.

Xanax Detox Timeline

The timeline of how long does it take to detox from Xanax varies depending on factors such as the frequency of use, duration, and dosage of Xanax taken. Keeping this in mind, a general breakdown of the Xanax detox timeline is as follows: 

  • Day 1: Shortly after the last Xanax dose, withdrawal symptoms start to emerge. These typically include anxiety, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, increased heart rate, sweating, and tremors.
  • Days 2 to 4: Symptoms intensify as the drug gradually leaves the body. Anxiety worsens and may lead to panic attacks. Insomnia persists and can become more severe. Other common symptoms include muscle soreness or stiffness, headaches, confusion, and difficulty concentrating.
  • Days 5 to 7: By now, most physical symptoms peak and may even start to subside. However, psychological withdrawal systems continue and can be rather intense, like cravings and depression. 
  • Days 8 to 14: The physical withdrawal symptoms should have noticeably improved and be completely gone or almost gone. Yet, psychological withdrawal symptoms can still linger. Mood swings, agitation, irritation, and cravings are common. 

Weeks 3 to 4: All physical withdrawal symptoms should have subsided by now, and most psychological symptoms should have lessened in frequency. However, some individuals can experience pro-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), where certain psychological systems can persist for several weeks or months after discontinuing Xanax.

Tapering Off Xanax

Tapering off Xanax is generally the recommended method to minimize withdrawal symptoms and safely discontinue usage. Abruptly stopping Xanax can result in severe withdrawal symptoms, including seizures.

The typical tapering detox process involves gradually reducing the dose over an extended period. This allows the body to adjust slowly to lower levels of Xanax until it can be fully discontinued. The length of the taper varies from person to person but often ranges from several weeks to months.

The Xanax detox timeline can take longer. However, the tradeoff is that withdrawal symptoms are not as intense as they are when stopping abruptly. Remember that tapering off Xanax should always be done under medical supervision to ensure successful detox from Xanax.

Tapering Methods

There are 2 common tapering methods one can access when discontinuing Xanax. The choice of method depends on various factors, including the individual’s dosage, duration of use, and overall health. 

Symptom-Guided Tapering: 

In this approach, the dosage reduction is based on monitoring and managing Xanax withdrawal symptoms as they arise. The initial dose reduction is about 10 to 25% of the current dosage. As the person stabilizes at each dosage reduction, the dosage is reduced again. 

This process continues until the drug is discontinued completely. If symptoms become too intense or intolerable, the taping schedule can be slowed down, or the dosage reduction lowered to help lessen the withdrawal symptoms and make stabilization easier.

Fixed Schedule Tapering:

With this method, a predetermined fixed schedule of tapering is followed to reduce Xanax usage.  This involves gradually decreasing the daily dose by a certain percentage or milligram amount at regular intervals, such as weekly or bi-weekly reductions continued until the drug is discountinued.

Tapering Timeline

The Xanax tapering timeline varies depending on dosage, duration, and frequency of use but generally involves: 

  • Weeks 1 to 2: The initial reduction in dosage ranges from 10 to 25% of the current dosage until withdrawal symptoms stabilize.
  • Weeks 3 to 4: Another reduction of 10 to 25% is made based on the tapering method used. 
  • Weeks 5 to 6: Reductions continue based on the taping method and how fast the individual stabilizes. If stabilization from the previous reduction has yet to be reached, reductions are delayed for about another week or so. 
  • Weeks 7 and onward: The reductions in dosage continue at regular intervals according to the tapering method. Adjustments can be made to the reduction schedule depending on individual needs and progress. 

MAT (Medication-Assisted Treatment) Medications

Detox from Xanax usually does not involve MAT. However, certain medications may be used to address specific withdrawal symptoms, co-occurring disorders, and polydrug use. Below are examples of MAT for Xanax detox.

Some commonly used medications during Xanax detox include:

  • Xanax tapering: Since there are no FDA-approved MAT medications for Xanax detox, taping is often a preferred method to help manage withdrawal. Other benzodiazepines may also be prescribed when necessary. 
  • Antidepressants: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or other antidepressant medications can potentially help manage mood disturbances and anxiety experienced during withdrawal.
  • Anticonvulsants: Drugs like gabapentin can assist in treating seizures that may occur in severe cases of Xanax withdrawal.
  • Supportive medications: Supportive medications might be used to target specific symptoms, such as insomnia, muscle pain, and headaches.

Medically Supervised Xanax Detox in Pompano Beach, FL

Get help starting your recovery journey to overcome Xanax addiction at Retreat of Broward in beautiful Pompano Beach, Florida. With our evidence-based and holistic approaches, we personalized your detox plan to help you lay a solid foundation for lasting freedom from Xanax. Our experienced detox team provides compassionate 24/7 care in a supportive environment.

Contact us to start your journey to a better Xanax-free future.

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