Xanax is a powerful antidepressant that patients receive to treat anxiety and related psychological disorders. Sudden or “cold turkey” withdrawal from Xanax use can result in a strong return of anxiety symptoms that can be dangerous and even fatal. In all cases, if an individual has been using Xanax for any extended period of time, withdrawing from or stopping Xanax use altogether should not be attempted without the assistance and supervision of a medical professional.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax is a benzodiazepine, but unlike other similarly-classified drugs (including Valium and Klonopin), Xanax does not stay with an individual very long. Regular Xanax users will develop a psychological connection to the drug and if that use stops suddenly, the withdrawal symptoms can be severe because the drug metabolizes in a user’s body very quickly.
Xanax has a potency that is at least an order of magnitude greater than similarly-classified drugs, and that potency creates a more intense effect on the reward centers of a user’s brain. Individuals who use Xanax on any regular basis can even begin to feel withdrawal symptoms between regular doses of Xanax.
Withdrawal From Xanax
Given these characteristics of Xanax, medical professionals almost universally recommend that withdrawal from Xanax occur under strict medical supervision to reduce the more dangerous withdrawal effects. Physicians might prescribe alternate antidepressants, for example, or they may develop a rapid detox program to alleviate withdrawal symptoms more quickly and efficiently.
One common alternative is to wean a Xanax user from the drug with decreasing doses over a period of time. A Xanax user will experience withdrawal symptoms under this kind of program, but at least in theory those symptoms will not be as severe or pose as much of a threat to a Xanax user as sudden withdrawal.
Addiction counselors and medical personnel can also manage Xanax withdrawal with psychotherapy. If the Xanax user has underlying depression or anxiety disorders, those counselors and professionals can prescribe less powerful but equally effective antidepressants to treat the underlying problem.
In some cases, Xanax users might turn to remedies that are advertised as “natural”, but which, unbeknown to them, can actually cause greater dangers. St. John’s Wort, for example, is a mild antidepressant, but it will cause an individual to metabolize Xanax more quickly. A Xanax user who attempts to treat his anxiety issues by substituting St. John’s Wort for Xanax will actually accelerate his symptoms of Xanax withdrawal.
Treating Xanax Addiction
Even with treatment, withdrawal symptoms after a withdrawal from xanax can linger for up to two weeks, and in extreme cases for up to two years. A physician’s job in every case will be to better understand the patient’s circumstances and causes for the original Xanax prescription. After evaluation, they can help the client find prescription drug abuse treatment that works for them.
Xanax is very effective when used properly, but without proper care, patients can develop a strong psychological connection to it without ever curing their conditions that first justified the prescription. When this happens, the treating physician will need to work with the patient to correct the Xanax addiction and to address those other conditions.
Please call the Last Resort Recovery Center near Austin, Texas, at 877-892-7997 if you are concerned over your use of Xanax. We can give you more information about Xanax addiction treatment programs and medical detox programs, and we can recommend treatment options to safely and effectively terminate your use of Xanax. Your rehab experience is important to us, so call now.