By We Level Up NJ Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: March 1, 2023
What is Xanax?
Alprazolam, sold under the brand name Xanax, treats anxiety disorders and panic disorder (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks). Alprazolam is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. It works by lowering abnormal excitement in the brain. If you are taking this drug, do not let anyone else take your medication.
Alprazolam is a controlled substance. Given that prescriptions may be refilled only a limited number of times. Alprazolam may be habit-forming, and only a Xanax detox can help you be relieved in the process of starting to live normally without it.
Xanax’s clinical use has been a point of contention as most addiction specialists consider it highly addictive, given its unique psychodynamic properties, limiting its clinical usefulness. In contrast, many primary care physicians continue to prescribe it for more extended periods than recommended.
Alprazolam is not only the most prescribed benzodiazepine, but it is the most prescribed psychotropic medication in the United States, accounting for more than 48 million prescriptions dispensed in 2013. This persists even though many prescribers consider alprazolam to have high misuse liability. It is shown to result in a more severe withdrawal syndrome than other benzodiazepines, even when tapered. Benzodiazepines are implicated in approximately one-third of intentional overdoses or suicide attempts. 
How Addictive is Xanax?
Since Xanax is a Schedule IV regulated narcotic, it has both a legitimate medical use as well as the potential for abuse and addiction.
According to research, those who have a history of substance use disorder—a disease marked by compulsive drug use despite harmful effects—are especially vulnerable to abusing and becoming addicted to benzodiazepines. Another study discovered that people who had previously used alcohol or opioids chose alprazolam because they thought it was more satisfying than other benzodiazepines.
Any benzodiazepine can cause physical dependence if used for a long enough period of time. If someone stops using a benzodiazepine like Xanax after developing physical dependent on it, they may experience several recognizable withdrawal symptoms.
Alprazolam (Xanax) Withdrawal Syndrome
Alprazolam and alprazolam-XR carry the same general risk of withdrawal as other benzodiazepines.
Specifically, alprazolam withdrawal syndrome has been involving a more complicated and, in some aspects, unique rebound anxiety compared with other benzodiazepine withdrawal syndromes.
One study reported that of 17 patients with panic disorder treated with alprazolam, 15 patients had a recurrence or an increase in their panic attacks, and 9 had significant new somatic symptoms; such as malaise, weakness, insomnia, tachycardia, and dizziness, after alprazolam discontinuation; despite a taper over four weeks. 
Another study reported that of 126 patients with panic disorder treated with alprazolam, 27% of patients had rebound anxiety that was more severe than pretreatment anxiety, and 35% of patients had new somatic symptoms after alprazolam discontinuation; despite a taper over four weeks. 
Alprazolam withdrawal syndrome may also feature unique clinical symptoms compared with other benzodiazepine withdrawal syndromes. For example, there are several case reports of delirium and psychosis caused by alprazolam withdrawal.
Xanax Detox Withdrawal Timeline
Xanax is a medicinal drug used for anxiety. It specifically belongs to the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines which act on the central nervous system (CNS) to produce short-term anxiety relief.
It can either be taken orally or through injection depending on the condition being treated and how severe it is. However, even though it is a prescription drug, overdose and addiction can still be a problem.
When quitting Xanax, the first stage begins within six to 12 hours after the last dose. Symptoms during this time can range from mild irritation to intense pain accompanied by nausea and vomiting. By the second day, withdrawal symptoms will begin to intensify including nervousness, tremors, and seizures. The other stages are experienced between one to four days after the first day of withdrawal.
The third stage is characterized by intense anxiety along with sleeplessness or “rebound” effects that take place before someone uses Xanax again. This stage can last for several weeks due to high-stress levels in the body. The fourth stage can last for several months after quitting Xanax and is characterized by intense depression, fatigue, panic attacks, and nightmares.
Xanax Detox & Addiction Statistics
Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax are often used for the short-term treatment of anxiety. While benzodiazepine use is highly prevalent among U.S. adults, public health experts have not known what proportion of benzodiazepine users misuse them or meet criteria for benzodiazepine use disorders. A recent analysis suggests that benzodiazepine use disorders are relatively rare among the adults who use benzodiazepine medications, even if they are misusing them.
55 percent of nonmedical users acquired prescription painkillers (including Xanax) for free from a friend or relative
17.3 percent abused medications that were prescribed by their own doctor
More than 50% of the nearly 176,000 emergency room visits for benzodiazepines in 2011 also involved alcohol or other drugs.
Xanax Drug Fact Sheet
Drug class: Benzodiazepines
Alprazolam, sold under the brand name Xanax, among others, is a fast-acting, potent tranquilizer of medium duration in the triazolobenzodiazepine class, which are benzodiazepines fused with a triazole ring.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Alprazolam is used to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorder (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks). Alprazolam is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.
Other uses for this medicine
Alprazolam is also sometimes used to treat depression, fear of open spaces (agoraphobia), and premenstrual syndrome. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
Xanax can slow or stop your breathing, especially if you have recently used an opioid medication or alcohol.
Do not stop using Xanax without asking your doctor. You may have life-threatening withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the medicine suddenly after long-term use. Some withdrawal symptoms may last up to 12 months or longer.
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Warnings and Danger of Misusing Xanax
Alprazolam is the most widely prescribed and misused benzodiazepine in the United States. You can use the drug safely and effectively when administered appropriately, after thoroughly evaluating the risks and benefits of treatment. Unfortunately, all benzodiazepines carry a risk of misuse, diversion, tolerance, and physical dependence. Abuse and diversion are more common in patients with a personal or family history of alcohol or drug misuse.
Withdrawal symptoms associated with alprazolam discontinuation seem to be more severe than other benzodiazepines, probably due to its shorter half-life and high potency causing severe rebound anxiety.
Alprazolam is significantly more toxic than other benzodiazepines in cases of overdoses. Therefore, it should be avoided in patients at increased risk of suicide or using alcohol, opioids, or other sedating drugs.
The use of benzodiazepines with opioids doubles the risk of respiratory depression and death. In the rare instance that patients require both an opioid and benzodiazepine, or during the tapering phase; patients should have a warning to the risk of death and be offered a prescription of the opioid antagonist naloxone.
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Indications of Xanax Addiction
There are some general signs of addiction, regardless of the substance used. Common warning signs you may have an addiction include the following:
- Using or wanting to use the drug regularly
- There’s an urge to use that’s so intense it’s hard to focus on anything else
- You need to use more of the drug to obtain the same “high” (tolerance)
- Taking more and more of the drug or taking the medication for more extended periods than intended
- You always keep a supply of the medication on hand
- Money is spent to get the prescription, even when money is tight
- You develop risky behaviors to get the drug, such as stealing or violence
- Engaging in risky behaviors while under the drug’s influence, such as having unprotected sex or driving a car
- You use the medication notwithstanding its associated difficulties, risks, and problems
- A lot of time is spent getting the drug, using it, and recovering from its effects
- You try and fail to quit using the drug
- You experience symptoms of withdrawal once you discontinue using the drug
Seeking out help is a crucial first step. If you — or your loved one — are ready to get treatment, it may be necessary to reach out to a supportive friend or family member for support.
You can also start by making a doctor’s appointment. Your doctor can evaluate your overall health by performing a physical exam. They can also answer any questions you have about Xanax use and, if required, refer you to a treatment center.
What to Expect from Xanax Detox
Symptoms of Xanax withdrawal are more stringent than that of other benzodiazepines. Consequently, withdrawal can happen after taking the drug for as little as one week.
Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms
- Body Aches
- Blurred Vision
- Hypersensitivity to Light and Sound
- Irritability and Mood Swings
- Difficulty Breathing
- Numbness and tingling in the hands, feet, or face
- Tense Muscles
- Suicidal Thoughts
Detoxification (detox) is a process to help you securely stop taking Xanax while reducing and managing your withdrawal symptoms. Detox is usually in a hospital setting or rehabilitation facility under medical supervision.
In many cases, Xanax use is discontinued over time. Instead, you may swap it for another longer-acting benzodiazepine. In both cases, you take less and less of the drug until it’s out of your system. This process is tapering and can take up to six weeks. In some cases, it can take longer. Your doctor might also prescribe other medications to ease your withdrawal symptoms.
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What to Expect from Treatment
The goal of treatment is withdrawing Xanax use over the long term. However, treatment may also approach other underlying conditions, such as anxiety or depression.
There are several treatment options available for Xanax addiction. Often, more than one is helpful to encounter at the same time.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most successful form of therapy for benzodiazepine addiction. CBT addresses the learning processes underlying substance use disorders. It entails working with a therapist to develop a set of healthy coping strategies.
Other Standard Behavioral Therapies include:
- Self-Control Training
- Individual Counseling
- Marital or Family Counseling
- Support Groups
The detox period for Xanax may be longer than the detox period for other drugs because you have to taper down the drug dose slowly over time. As a result, detox often overlaps with different sorts of treatment.
Once you’ve quit taking Xanax or other benzodiazepines, there’s no additional medication to take.
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Most Popular Xanax Detox FAQS
How long does it take to detox from Xanax?
If you are wondering, “how long does detoxing from Xanax take?” & “how long does detoxing Xanax?”, the answer is while the length of time required to detox from substances varies from person to person, detox programs often last 3 to 10 days, depending on the severity of the medical condition.
How to detox from Xanax?
Try to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day. Don’t count on drinking a lot of water at once to help you get rid of drugs from your system. Frequency is just as important for staying hydrated as volume. In addition to water, herbal teas and juice can aid in the removal of toxins from your body.
What is a Xanax detox kit?
For those who want a speedy negative drug test result on a urine drug test, drug detox kits have been created. There are methods for assisting people who have recently used drugs to generate a sample that is drug-free. Despite the fact that these kits are growing in popularity, there are few restrictions on how they are made. There is no quality control, and the kits frequently contain substances that are not specified.
Xanax Detox Center NJ, We Level Up New Jersey
For anyone who suffers from addiction, just the thought of having to stop using can cause severe mental distress. But, with the help of a medical detox center, the medical detox process is manageable. A comprehensive team prescribing medications can alleviate your withdrawal pains while monitoring your health 24 hours.
We are assuring both your safety and comfort.
We Level Up NJ’s thorough approach to rehabilitation supports several levels of care to ensure the best possible outcome for every patient who enters our doors. From an intensive and more supportive atmosphere for those in the early days of recovery to a comfortable residential-style living dynamic upon completion of detox, we are here to help guide you down the safe and results-based path to your sobriety.
To start reclaiming your life from addiction and undergo a Xanax detox, you may contact us, and we will guide you to recovery.
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