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  • Take the First Step in Las Vegas

    Desert Hope is a beautiful oasis with modern charm located in Las Vegas, Nevada. We provide all levels of care from detox, in-patient, outpatient and sober living.

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  • A New Life Awaits

    Start your recovery at our spa-like facility in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Holistic therapies, chef-prepared meals, and LGBTQ+ support are among the many features of our premier drug and alcohol treatment program.

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  • The Best Place to Recover in Orange County

    Laguna Treatment Hospital is located in Orange County, CA. The first Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospital in the OC, we offer safe medical detox, mental health support, and wellness programs.

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  • Start Recovery at Our Southern Resort

    Take a step back from your life and get the help you need at our premier drug and alcohol addiction center. Nestled in the countryside 1.5 hours from Memphis, Oxford gives you the support you need in a calm and beautiful setting.

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  • Recovery Forecast includes Tropical Weather

    Your recovery can start at either of two premier drug and alcohol treatment facilities in the Greater Miami area - Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, FL. Our specialties include treatment for veterans and first responders.

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  • Sunny Florida Welcomes You

    Retreat to the sunny climate of Tampa, Florida for a stay at the standard of treatment facilities in Tampa, FL. We offer customized care plans to help you on your recovery journey.

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  • Helping New Englanders Find Recovery for Over 30 years

    Escape to the countryside to recovery in New Jersey’s premier drug rehab & treatment center. Located only an hour from New York City.

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Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

If you have ever struggled with insomnia, anxiety, or chronic panic attacks, it’s likely you’ve heard the word Xanax cross your doctor’s lips. While this powerful benzodiazepine can assuage most anxiety disorders, it also carries a considerable risk for addiction. And like most addictive substances, quitting Xanax can lead to an uncomfortable period of withdrawal.

Xanax Abuse

Xanax is one of the most popular pharmaceutical drugs in the United States today. In fact, according to Health Research Funding, prescription rates for the drug have risen by 9 percent each year since 2008. With so many bottles of Xanax in medicine cabinets around the country, it should be no surprise that Xanax abuse runs rampant among both medical and recreational users.

Although Xanax is considered a Schedule IV substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – which implies that it carries little potential for abuse – individuals who have used Xanax can attest to its habit-forming potential and difficult withdrawal period. In fact, the medical journal Addiction reports that benzodiazepines (the family of drugs that Xanax belongs to) can cause a painful withdrawal syndrome lasting anywhere 1-14 days. This experience affects a person both physically and mentally.

Xanax Physical Withdrawal

Benzodiazepines like Xanax bind to GABA receptors in the brain, which quiet the neurons in the central nervous system. This creates a feeling of relaxation and sedation. However, when someone stops using the drug, their bodies tend to respond drastically, leading to uncomfortable side effects.

Side effects of stopping Xanax usage include:

  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Vomiting and sweating
  • Uncontrollable shaking or seizures
  • Sensitivity to noise and light
  • Muscle cramps and pain

If some individual tries to quit Xanax “cold turkey,” the sudden onset of physical side effects can be incredibly painful and sometimes dangerous.

Mental Withdrawal

Most people start using Xanax to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks. If they use the drug for too long or in too large a dose, however, they can grow dependent on it and become unable to function without it. This dependence can lead to “rebound syndrome”: a form of withdrawal in which the mood disorder the Xanax was prescribed to treat comes back, often stronger than before. Common manifestations of rebound syndrome are:

While Xanax withdrawal typically lasts 1-14 days, some addiction specialists say that withdrawal effects can linger long after the initial period passes. According to a report from ABC News, mental anguish from benzodiazepine withdrawal can last weeks and, in some cases, even years.

Treating Xanax Addiction

Once someone begins showing signs of Xanax addiction, it is rather dangerous for them to simply stop taking the drug. As Dr. Charles Raison from CNN Health explains, it can take months to successfully wean off Xanax. An individual experiencing abrupt withdrawal symptoms can suffer physical and mental harm and even be compelled to resume their drug use.

Because of these risks, medical professionals agree that the safest way to quit using Xanax is under professional supervision. In 2015, BMC Psychiatry reported that gradual cessation of Xanax use was highly preferable among the individuals they surveyed, and that inpatient withdrawal treatment was significantly more successful than trying to quit at home.

If you, or someone you love, are struggling with Xanax addiction, it is important to get help from a physician or addiction specialist. Under a doctor’s care, a person can safely wean off the drug and manage any withdrawal symptoms. And then with careful monitoring, addiction treatment, and the support of family and friends, recovery can become a reality.

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