Xanax is a prescription drug for treating panic and anxiety disorders. Alternatively called alprazolam, Xanax is from a category of drugs called benzodiazepines. It is the fastest acting benzodiazepine. Once it is taken, it takes the shortest time to produce euphoria. So, it is extremely easy to take a bigger dose than recommended or take it longer than needed. Once you become dependent on Xanax, it will be difficult to stop taking it without suffering from different withdrawal symptoms. If you want to stop using it, do it only under the supervision and guidance of a medical professional.
Long-term and short-term side effects
One thing you should know is that Xanax is designed for temporary use only. You don't have to take a larger dose than necessary to experience withdrawal symptoms. While it is known to swiftly eliminate tension, irritability and other signs of anxiety, Xanax can produce side effects even when taken as recommended. Its short-term side effects may include sleepiness, feeling intoxicated, slurred speech, confusion, dizziness, headache, and fatigue.
Long-term use of Xanax means that you are taking a larger dose than necessary. As a result, you may suffer from more severe xanax side effects and put your life in danger. Commonly, people who abuse this drug for an extended period of time may develop seizures, hallucinations, depression, mental confusion, and aggressiveness. Extended use and in larger quantities than those considered safe could increase your risk of developing a chemical dependence on Xanax.
Hence, your body will only function normally when you take your pill. As it causes full body relaxation and better sleep, you can easily develop a habit of taking it to feel high. Once you develop a higher tolerance level, your body will need more and more pills to relax. This will be the start of Xanax addiction and dependence.
Withdrawing from Xanax
When people try to stop taking Xanax, there is one thing they all experience: withdrawal symptoms. A sudden attempt to stop taking the drug can be lethal.
There are usually physical and psychological symptoms of quitting Xanax.
Physical symptoms include:
- Shaking in the hands
- Muscle twitches
- Stiff and aching muscles
- Extreme sweating
- Breast tenderness and intense menstrual cramping and bleeding
- Losing or gaining weight
Psychological symptoms may entail the following:
- Feeling irritable, confused or depressed
- Lack of sleep or having restless sleep
- Panic and/or anxiety attacks
- Feeling tense
- Feeling fearful
- Isolating oneself from the loved ones
When withdrawal will stop
The above-mentioned symptoms can begin a few hours after you stop taking Xanax. However, the length of time you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms will depend on a few things. These are how long you have taken Xanax, your regular dosage, whether you increase your dosage, and if you also abuse alcohol or other drugs. If you already have a known mental illness, it might take you longer than usual to feel okay.
Treatment - Detoxification
Xanax detoxification is a way to remove withdrawal symptoms. The process helps to reverse a person's physical dependence on the drug. Eventually, detoxification brings about mental soberness and stability. It has 4 stages:
1. The Beginning - Six to twelve hours after the last dose, a patient develops withdrawal symptoms such as restless sleep and anxiety.
2. The Rebound - This phase can last anywhere between one day and four days and entails rebound symptoms. This is when symptoms of an existing psychological disorder become intensified. While they will eventually pass, the disorder itself has to be treated.
3. The Downward slope - During this stage, you will keep having withdrawal symptoms like anxiety and insomnia. This may last for the 5th day to the 14th day.
4. The Return - Two weeks after you stop taking Xanax, your whole system will recover and will feel normal again. While most people will recover totally, some will experience the same illness that made them start using Xanax. In such a case, the illness should be addressed by a medical professional.
Methods of detoxification
During detoxification, doctors at the rehabilitation center will apply different techniques. The most beneficial ones include:
Tapering the dose – This is done by minimizing Xanax usage to keep you safe.
Behavioral therapy – This is done to regulate certain behaviors that people exhibit when trying to fight anxiety.
Prescription drugs – Patients who are trying to quit Xanax are given a different kind of anxiety drug that has milder side effects.
Counseling and therapy – This approach is used to help people cope with panic and anxiety disorders without taking drugs.
Support groups – Patients meet other people who are facing Xanax dependence and together they walk the path to recovery.
If you have become addicted to Xanax, there is hope that you can recover soon. What you need to do is to start the detoxification process and ensure that it is medically assisted. This is the safest way to quit without risking your life. Additionally, get a real specialist to treat the psychological illness or disorder that is causing you to use a drug like Xanax to feel normal.