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Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in its class. It’s used to treat anything from sleep disorders to panic attacks due to its classification as a mild sedative. It falls under the category of drugs known as benzodiazepines and has a significant addiction liability even when used as prescribed. When Xanax is used in high doses or recreationally, it may cause intoxication similar to alcohol. 

As you might expect with alcohol, Xanax is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, which means it suppresses brain excitability in your nervous system. If you use the drug over an extended period, it may cause chemical dependency. If you continue using Xanax despite a chemical dependency, you may develop a severe substance use disorder, which may be challenging to overcome by yourself. 

Xanax works by influencing chemical messengers in our brain, known as GABA. Those with anxiety or sleep disorders could have psychological or physiological issues that cause over-excitement in their nervous system. Xanax binds to GABA receptors to increase the efficiency to facilitate rest and relaxation. 

Large doses of Xanax may lead to slurred speech, drowsiness, loss of motor control, and a loss of inhibitions. Unfortunately, substantial doses may also lead to fatal overdoses, which are common when mixing Xanax with opioids or other depressants. 

What Are the Signs of Xanax Addiction?

Addiction is characterized by compulsive use of a substance despite significant consequences. If your use of Xanax has caused daytime drowsiness, which leads to struggles at work, but you refuse to cut back or quit, you might have a substance use disorder. Addiction is a progressive disease, which means it will gradually deteriorate over time if it’s not addressed. 

There are some signs and symptoms that could reveal a growing substance use problem. Early treatment is the best way to avoid the dangerous consequences of drug abuse, which include long-term health problems or strained relationships. 

Some signs and symptoms may include:

What Is Involved in Xanax Addiction Treatment

Since Xanax is a central nervous system depressant, the drug may cause potentially deadly withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures or delirium tremens (DTs). Fortunately, these medical complications are treatable with adequate medical intervention.

The only way to approach recovery from Xanax is through medical detox. 

Detox is considered the highest level of care in addiction treatment. It involves 24-hour medically managed care, where doctors will oversee your process.

It may take five to seven days or more, depending on the severity of your addiction. 

A bottle of alprazolam on a shelf


Once you complete detox, you will need to move into the next level of care, which can involve a residential or outpatient program. Residential treatment requires you to live on-site for a period of up to 90 days, while outpatient will allow you to go home once you complete your required therapy. Addiction treatment must be personalized at every level to achieve the highest level of success.

Xanax Withdrawal

Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed psychiatric medications in the United States and abroad. It was designed to treat panic and anxiety disorders. Xanax is considered a mind-altering drug that can affect your behavior when you abuse it. Unfortunately, the medication can be extremely dangerous even if you follow your doctor’s orders.

If you abuse Xanax, you increase your chances of becoming addicted. It is one of the most abused prescribed substances on the market. It is commonly used for its intoxicating effects, while others use it to treat an undiagnosed mental health issue.

Xanax is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that calms your nerves. It falls under the benzodiazepine class of drugs and is meant for short-term treatment because of its high addiction potential. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released a study highlighting that Xanax is the most abused prescription sedative among those 12 years or older.

If you develop a tolerance to Xanax, your chances of becoming addicted increases significantly. Those who abuse Xanax long-term may cause damage to their heart and lungs. The most common symptom, however, is Xanax withdrawal. Those using the substance over a prolonged period expose themselves to the possibility of severe withdrawal symptoms. 

What Are the Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms?

Xanax withdrawal is different than drugs like opioids because you’ll experience both psychological and severe symptoms. Due to how Xanax affects our GABA production, these symptoms can sometimes be deadly. The most common symptoms you may experience during this period include:

The severity and length of your Xanax withdrawals will depend on how long you’ve abused the drug, how much you’ve used, and if it was used in conjunction with other drugs or alcohol. 

What Are the Stages in the Xanax Withdrawal Timeline

As you move forward through the stages of Xanax withdrawal, you will experience a host of symptoms ranging from moderate to severe. A generalized timeline goes as follows:

First Four Weeks

Withdrawal symptoms are more than uncomfortable; they can be downright dangerous.

The symptoms will peak in days three and four, and you would be best suited to checking into medical detox during this time due to the potential for seizures.

xanax addiction treatment

You can also expect sleep problems, mood swings, nausea, vomiting, an increase in heart rate, and seizures.

Up To Four Weeks

Depending on the severity of your Xanax addiction, the symptoms can last up to four weeks or more. Some of the lingering symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, cravings, and irritability. Once you reach the 30-day mark, you should start to feel better, but may need extended therapy to deal with cravings and panic attacks.

Why Should I Detox

Stopping any drug cold-turkey is more than a challenge; it can spell disaster. Those entering into the stages of Xanax withdrawal have an increased chance of death. It’s crucial to take charge of this period and enter into the stable environment that detox offers for your safety.

What Is the Next Treatment Step?

Ongoing treatment after detox is crucial to your long-term recovery. Detox programs offer the tools necessary to stop using Xanax, but a long-term residential or outpatient facility will equip you with what it takes to achieve long-term sobriety. Call 855.494.0357 to learn how Xanax Addiction Treatment recovery programs provide therapy sessions that will help you cope with cravings and reduce your odds of relapsing.