Xanax is the brand name of the drug alprazolam, a benzodiazepine most commonly used for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. As it stands, Xanax is the most widely prescribed psychotropic medication in the U.S. While the medication is generally effective when taken as prescribed, it has a high potential for misuse and can be habit-forming.
At The Retreat of Broward, we effectively treat the symptoms associated with Xanax withdrawal. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be life-threatening when left untreated. Our experienced team of licensed medical professionals works together to treat even the most severe Xanax withdrawal symptoms as soon as they develop.
If you or someone you love has been struggling with Xanax addiction, medical detox is the first step on the road to recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our Xanax detox program.
What is Xanax?
Xanax (alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine used for the treatment of anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. In most cases, Xanax is prescribed to be taken for a short period of time. This is because it has an extremely high potential for misuse and dependence.
Those who take Xanax more frequently than prescribed or in a higher dose than prescribed are more likely to develop a physical dependence. Once a physical and psychological dependence develops, professional help becomes necessary.
A Brief History of Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines were first developed in 1955. Categorized as muscle relaxants and anticonvulsants, the class of medication started gaining rampant popularity in the 1970s. It was originally used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and sleep disorders like insomnia.
Today, benzodiazepines like Xanax are the most commonly prescribed antipsychotic medication in the country. The National Library of Medicine reports, “30.6 million adults (12.6%) reported past-year benzodiazepine use annually: 25.3 million (10.4%) as-prescribed and 5.3 million (2.2%) with misuse.
Misuse accounted for 17.2% of benzodiazepine use overall.” Xanax has a very high potential for misuse and it is extremely addictive. However, with the right treatment options in place, anyone can successfully overcome Xanax addiction.
Why is Xanax So Addictive?
What makes Xanax so addictive? As a short-acting benzodiazepine, Xanax works quickly and leaves the system within hours. Xanax is classified as a Schedule IV medication by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). This means that Xanax has known medical purposes, and it has a high potential for misuse and dependence.
The benzodiazepine produces a tranquilizing effect by mimicking GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain. It also increases dopamine levels. Dopamine is a “feel good” neurotransmitter responsible for reinforcing feelings of pleasure. It directly affects the portion of the brain responsible for reward-seeking behavior. Xanax leads to the development of addiction in large part because the reward center of the brain is activated by its presence.
Signs & Symptoms of Xanax Addiction
The most common symptoms associated with Xanax dependence are:
- A person uses a larger amount of Xanax than intended for a longer period of time than intended.
- A person has attempted to cut back on the dose they are taking or quit using Xanax entirely with limited success.
- Xanax use is interfering with interpersonal relationships.
- Xanax use has led to a range of consequences, including financial hardship, legal issues, and problems at home, at work, or at school.
- A person neglects activities they previously enjoyed.
- A person combines Xanax with other chemical substances, like alcohol or opioids.
- A person continues to use Xanax despite related physical and psychological issues.
- A physical tolerance develops.
- Withdrawal symptoms develop when Xanax use is stopped suddenly.
How Long Does it Take to Detox from Xanax?
The length of time it takes for a person to detox from Xanax depends on several factors, including:
- The frequency of use
- The duration of use
- The dose being taken
- Physical health
- Mental health/the presence of co-occurring disorders
- Whether or not Xanax was being used in conjunction with other chemical substances
Because Xanax has a short half-life, it is filtered out of the system fairly quickly. In most cases, Xanax withdrawal symptoms begin 6 to 8 hours after the final dose was taken.
Most acute withdrawal symptoms peak within 48 to 72 hours of the final dose. Severe symptoms can last for up to 4 weeks, though they typically resolve within the first week.
The Symptoms of Xanax Withdrawal
Symptoms of Xanax withdrawal include:
- Profuse sweating
- Rapid heartbeat/increased heart rate
- Hand tremors
- Severe anxiety and panic attacks
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hallucinations and delusions
The symptoms of Xanax withdrawal can be severe, and even life-threatening. It is crucial for anyone who has been struggling with a mild, moderate, or severe benzodiazepine use disorder to seek professional help. At The Retreat of Broward, we offer effective Xanax detoxification services.
Xanax Withdrawal Timeline
An average dose of Xanax lasts for around 6 hours. When a person who is physically dependent upon the drug stops taking it abruptly, withdrawal symptoms inevitably occur. Benzodiazepine withdrawal takes 10 to 14 days, on average. Symptoms are the most severe during the first several days, but eventually taper off.
Every individual has a different experience with benzodiazepine withdrawal. However, the typical Xanax withdrawal timeline is as follows:
Day 1-2 — Symptoms begin within 6 to 12 hours post-use. They include feeling restless or panicky, feeling very tired, and struggling to sleep.
Day 3-6 — Symptoms begin to increase in severity. These symptoms might include headaches, muscle aches, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea. Additionally, heart rate and blood pressure increase. Moreover, anxiety, moodiness, and hallucinations can occur.
Day 7-14 — Withdrawal symptoms decrease after 2 weeks. Nevertheless, psychological symptoms may continue. They may sometimes last beyond 2 weeks, and in some cases, psychiatric intervention becomes necessary.
Xanax Detox in Fort Lauderdale
Our Xanax detox center in Fort Lauderdale offers professional medical treatment to those who are undergoing Xanax withdrawal. Looking for a Xanax detox in Fort Lauderdale is not difficult when you know what to look for. We recommend taking the following steps when looking for the best detox in South Florida:
- Find a detox center that is both licensed and accredited through the State of Florida.
- Find a detox center in Broward County, Florida that is staffed with licensed medical and therapeutic professionals.
- Find a detox that offers individualized case management and aftercare planning services.
What to expect when looking for detox in South Florida will vary depending on the unique clinical needs of each individual. Some people will benefit from transitioning directly into a higher level of care once they have undergone Xanax withdrawal. Other people will opt to become heavily involved in a 12-Step program of their choosing.
Our Medical Detoxification Services
At The Retreat of Broward, we offer a range of medical detoxification and therapeutic services. We believe that detox should be about more than safe Xanax withdrawal. In addition to providing our clients with around-the-clock medical care, we help them heal on a mental, emotional, and spiritual basis. Some of the services we provide include:
- Individual and group therapy
- Family counseling
- Medication-Assisted Treatment
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy
- Inpatient Mental Health/Dual-Diagnosis Services
Contact Us Today to Begin
If you or someone close to you is struggling with Xanax addiction, The Retreat of Broward is available to help. Our South Florida Xanax detox center provides clients with the professional medical care they need to safely and comfortably move through Xanax withdrawal. Once a client has been physically stabilized, we walk them through the next steps of their personal recovery journey.
Contact us directly to learn more or to begin your personal healing journey!