Prescription Drug Abuse: Xanax Detox

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When You Need to Enter Xanax Detox

Xanax is common, easy-to-get, and highly addictive. Even people who are trying to follow their doctor’s orders can end up dependent on the pills. Some people develop a psychological addiction, where they feel like they need the pills to function, even though they could actually live without them. However, many people develop a physical addiction to Xanax. If they suddenly stop using the medication, they experience dangerous, and potentially debilitating, side effects. In order to safely overcome a Xanax addiction, it may be necessary to go through a detox program.

If you’re concerned that you may need to enter Xanax detox, we’re here to discuss your symptoms and your options.

How Xanax Affects Your Brain and Body

Doctors prescribe Xanax to combat anxiety, panic attacks, and sleeplessness. The drug binds to receptors in your brain and slows down the activity of your neurons. When a person feels anxious or has a panic attack, certain neurons fire rapidly. By slowing them down, Xanax calms your brain and stops the anxiety. Xanax also slows reaction times and relaxes your muscles, because it is a depressant.

Over time, your brain and your body compensate for the effects of Xanax. You may need larger doses to get the same effect. Because your body systems are now compensating for the continuous presence of Xanax, they may function poorly if you stop using it. This state is called physical dependence. A person can develop physical dependence on Xanax in as little as two weeks, even if they are following the directions their doctor gave them.  

Withdrawal from Xanax

Once you’ve developed a physical addiction to Xanax, your body is used to functioning with the drug in its system. If you stop taking the drug, your body will react. You will experience physical and mental symptoms as your body struggles to readjust. The more quickly you lower your dose, the worse these symptoms will be. When people withdraw from Xanax, they experience symptoms like:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Tachycardia
  • Seizures

In some cases, these withdrawal symptoms can even cause brain damage or death. To safely end dependence on Xanax, many people enter a detoxification program. But recovery often requires more than simply removing physical dependence. Because Xanax is used to treat mental illness, rehabilitation programs for this drug that include a component dedicated to treating the underlying condition that led to Xanax use in the first place can be most effective. But first, the detoxification—and due to Xanax withdrawal being potentially serious, all detox should be medically supervised.

Medically Supervised Xanax Detox

Withdrawal from Xanax and related drugs can be dangerous, so most doctors recommend that patients undergo medically supervised detox to overcome a Xanax addiction. If you try to go off Xanax by yourself, you run the risk of suffering severe physical and cognitive effects. Supervised detox helps control and avoid severe withdrawal symptoms.

In medically supervised detox, your dose will be stepped down gradually. Medical staff will observe your reactions and control the rate of withdrawal. They can also offer you medication and treatment to relieve any pain or other symptoms associated with the detox process, while keeping you as safe and comfortable as possible.

Once your Xanax detox is complete, the transformative work can begin. A good rehab program can give you the tools you need to navigate your life without Xanax. Through therapy, discussion groups, and self-discovery, you can return to health and begin to live your life again.

If you’d like to learn more about detox and rehab for a Xanax addiction, we’re here to talk. Reach out to us today.

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