Addiction Treatment, Substance Abuse, Xanax - Benzodiazepines

Xanax Detox

Man struggling with Xanax detox

The silent battle against depression and anxiety leads over 400,000 Americans to self-mutilate. Over 1.5 million attempt suicide due to depression. And almost 48,000 American lives are lost every year to suicide from depression and anxiety.

Why are these statistics shocking? Yes, because of the precious lives lost and the families ruined. But also because it’s hard to imagine that a feeling is the cause of such devastation.

Anxiety is a common emotion—everyone feels it. What is difficult to accept is that anxiety can be crippling. Why? Because most people don’t feel anxiety as intensely as others. That’s why anxiety is often disregarded. Panic attacks are also deemed not serious. Unfortunately, fighting an overwhelming feeling—valid or not—is an uphill battle.

The truth is that disorders such as anxiety impact people’s ability to function. It can make people feel alone and afraid, even unworthy of being with their loved ones.

Thankfully, there is help. While mild cases benefit from therapy, severe cases need medication. And while medicines like Xanax can help manage these emotions and allow people to function, they are habit-forming.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is a brand name for alprazolam. It is a prescription drug intended to treat panic disorders and extreme anxiety. Considering over 31% of American adults eventually develop anxiety and require Xanax, the drug is readily accessible.

Aside from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), Xanax is also prescribed for insomnia, frequent panic attacks, panic disorders, and other anxiety disorders. The drug has proven beneficial to people with high blood pressure as well. It is often prescribed to manage epileptic seizures as well.

This anti-anxiety medicine is a form of benzodiazepine, just like Estazolam, Restoril, and Valium. Its street names include bars, Benzos, blue footballs, handlebars, Upjohn, Zanbars, and Zanies.

Xanax works as a sedative and slows down thinking as well as other brain activities. In addition, it stimulates the release of GABA, a neurotransmitter whose primary responsibility is to relax and calm.

This is important as GABA regulation isn’t optimal when people have an anxiety disorder. When Xanax is taken long-term, the person’s body becomes so dependent on the ready supply of GABA that it stops producing it on its own. Misuse of Xanax for long durations can also lead to cognitive impairment.

And this is where, despite being an effective treatment to manage anxiety, Xanax can trigger addiction.

If you or a loved one are addicted to Xanax and need guidance, please don’t hesitate to call us at +1 (844) 552-1475 or visit our website.

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

Coming off Xanax is a complicated and unpleasant but necessary experience so patients can heal from their dependence.

When a person’s body, primarily their brain, gets used to Xanax, they find it impossible to function without it. When intake is suddenly stopped, their body rebounds, and alprazolam withdrawal symptoms set in.

Are you now wondering, “how much Xanax causes withdrawal?” The surprising answer is that even the smallest dose, if taken regularly, can cause withdrawal.

The half-life of Xanax is approximately 11 hours, and with this, it will take 50 hours for a person’s body to remove the drug from their system. Alprazolam withdrawal can start within 24 hours, with the symptoms escalating within the next 1-4 days.

Person with a handful of pills.

This seems like a long time, but Xanax has one of the shortest half-lives compared to other benzodiazepines. This means it is quicker to get through Xanax withdrawal symptoms.

When a person decides to take action against their Xanax addiction, it is highly recommended that they share their choice with loved ones and trusted friends. Why? Because a Xanax detox at home can be highly risky and support and help must be available at all times.

This is particularly true if the person attempting the detox has medical conditions that can be worsened, almost to life-threatening levels, during the withdrawal symptoms. Even if the person is physically healthy, getting help from a medical professional is advisable, as anxiety, mood disorders, and paranoia will be at their peak.

The symptoms of detoxing from Xanax include physical and psychological symptoms.

If you want to know what are the withdrawal symptoms of Xanax, here is the list of physical symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased menstrual bleeding
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle pain
  • Numb finger
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to sound
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Weight gain or weight loss

The psychological benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Heightened senses
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Tension
  • Withdrawing from loved ones

How long a person experiences these symptoms vary based on these factors:

  • The length of time they were using Xanax
  • The level of abuse and misuse
  • How Xanax was consumed
  • The severity of their anxiety disorder and panic attacks
  • Their body chemistry and body type
  • Their overall health condition
  • Their genetics
  • Other medications being taken
  • Environmental Factors

Xanax Detoxification

Xanax detoxification is when a user lets their brain and body adjust and get accustomed to functioning without Xanax. Since sudden cessation can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, learning how to detox from Xanax naturally is crucial.

When a person takes Xanax longer than necessary – regardless of whether their doctor prescribed it or not – they risk becoming dependent on it. The duration of the addiction and normal intake will impact a patient’s detox process.

Xanax withdrawal symptoms low dose would have more manageable withdrawal symptoms compared to extreme and frequent use.

Some facilities offer Xanax detox programs specific to a patient’s situation. However, it is recommended that when a person decides to detox that they do so at an inpatient treatment center as round-the-clock monitoring and support is necessary.

Starting a Xanax detox at a rehab program is also beneficial as it gives the patient confidence that they will have the physical and emotional support of a dedicated team. They will also benefit from alternative therapies such as CBT that can help with negative thoughts, stress management, and medication such as antidepressants.

Xanax Detox Timeline

It is difficult to put a set timeline when it comes to Xanax detox. Some people experience alprazolam withdrawal syndrome even after a year of their last dosage, while others are confidently able to manage it within a few short months.

The answer to how long does it take to detox from Xanax is different for every person. But to give an idea here is a sample timeline purely as an example and not as a basis and point of comparison to your own detox experience.

Phase 1: The Start

A patient will start feeling the initial symptoms six hours to twelve hours after their last Xanax intake. These include headaches, anxiety, restlessness, and difficulty sleeping.

Phase 2: the Rebound

This phase stretches from the first day to the fourth day of a person’s last consumption of Xanax. At this point, difficulty in sleeping turns into insomnia, and anxiety levels increase further.

Patients also report feeling nauseous. Diarrhea, vomiting, and other flu-like symptoms are also common at this point. This is a challenging phase for most patients as not only is their body craving Xanax, but they are also battling generalized anxiety disorder.

By the fourth day, some of the symptoms may lessen as the body continues to metabolize Xanax remnants. Despite the reduction in minor signs, this is still a critical stage because seizures tend to happen.

Phase 3: The Plunging Slope

This stage begins around day five and ends around day fourteen. During this time, all possible withdrawal symptoms begin to wane. The craving for Xanax can still be felt during this time but is no longer as crippling as during Stage 2.

Patients will still experience insomnia and anxiety attacks, but muscle pains, headaches, and nausea should ideally reduce at this stage.

What can get worse, though, during this time will be stomach pains that are expected to continue for the next few weeks. The possibility of seizures is still something to keep an eye on but with lower risk now than in Stage 2.

Phase 4: The Recovery

Two weeks to a couple of months later, a patient’s body has accepted that Xanax is no longer part of its system, and it will start functioning normally without it.

Note that this can be longer for some people and that for others, withdrawal symptoms like mood swings and stomach pains are still apparent.

If a patient was experiencing sleep disorders during the peak of the detox, then expect that once in a while, they may have sleepless nights because there is also no definite answer on how long does Xanax withdrawal insomnia last.

At this point, a patient is prescribed other drugs to manage their anxiety and panic attacks.

For more information about how Xanax detox is managed at a detox center, please call us or contact us.

Therapist and client session for Xanax recovery.

How to Detox from Xanax Safely?

Going cold turkey and stopping Xanax abruptly is not the safest way of detoxing from Xanax. It can lead to psychotic episodes, increased aggression, even seizures. The tapering method is one of the best and safest ways on how to detox from Xanax.

The tapering method is set in a timeline. As you start to detox, you are still given doses of Xanax. However, the frequency and the amount reduce over time, and it is also during this process that new anti-anxiety drugs are introduced to you to compensate for weaning off Xanax.

A patient should work with a trained medical professional who makes adjustments when it comes to their Xanax intake. Some doctors may even prescribe a longer-lasting medication like benzodiazepine to help manage the ups and downs of Xanax in the system.

Tapering from the drug is not an assurance that the patient will not experience the different withdrawal symptoms because they will. The only difference is that it won’t be as severe as when they stop taking the drug instantly.

One drawback of this method is that it takes longer to complete the detox process since tapering alone can take several months.

Other Treatment and Recovery Options for Xanax Detox

Many people confuse dietary detox with medical detox, which is why they are often left wondering, “Does detox work for Xanax?”

The answer is yes. Medical detox will help with Xanax addiction.

While there are many ways to break free from drug addiction, detox is one of the easiest and safest methods. A patient will have access to a qualified, licensed medical team who will guide them on how to stop taking Xanax and be free from it.

Aside from detox, other forms of treatment help users with managing their anxiety and comorbidities.

If you or a loved one are addicted to Xanax and need guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out today.

If you can’t enroll in an inpatient rehab facility, you can explore other treatment options. Here are a few options worth exploring:

Support Groups

Joining support groups locally and online can make the recovery process easier because you know that the people you are talking with share your struggles. You also get to hear their Xanax withdrawal stories which can help you understand dos and dont’s.


Focusing on your mindfulness and inner peace is one of the best ways to overcome depression and anxiety.


Getting into sports or just being active induces the release of endorphins—natural chemicals produced by the human body. These help release anxiety and stress. Aside from these benefits, you will also become physically stronger and confident, which is a great win.

Doctor with client performing a wellness check from Xanax detox.


Having direction can be life-changing—a counselor can guide you and help you reassess your life so you can make better decisions for your future.


You can join one-on-one conversations with a licensed therapist or become part of group therapies. Either way, working with a therapist in a safe environment is great for sharing feelings and thoughts.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does Xanax stay in your body?

Assuming that you are a healthy individual with zero comorbidities, Xanax can stay in your system for 11 to 27 hours.

Different tests can be conducted to detect if you have Xanax in your system.

  • Hair

This is the proven way to identify if you have Xanax in your system for more than two weeks. Xanax lingers in your hair for up to months after your last dose.

  • Urine

Xanax can be identified within hours of your consumption and up to 5 days after your last intake with a urine sample.

  • Blood

Your blood can show Xanax within one of your last use and up to 5 days after your previous consumption.

  • Saliva

Xanax can be detected instantly in your saliva, and it will remain evident for up to 2.5 days after your last dose.

  • Breastmilk

For breastfeeding mothers, Xanax is also traceable in your milk within an hour of use. This will stay detectable until three days after your last intake.

Why is an inpatient rehab facility the best choice for recovery?

24/7 supervision and medical assistance are some of the advantages of inpatient facilities. So, getting help and support at home from family is important, but working with medical experts can be a game-changer.

When a patient recovers inside a facility, they are protected from life’s stressors. They are also given recommendations on managing those stressors. This is crucial as learning new coping mechanisms and habits can prevent relapses.

Additionally, sobriety requires a better and stronger you. An inpatient facility can equip you with the needed skills to avoid turning to drugs to manage problems. You can learn these skills through counseling, group conversations, and other therapies as part of the facility’s program.

The goal of an inpatient rehab facility is not to make a person sober this year until next year. Instead, the goal is for you to be drug-free, where you have complete control over your life.

Final Thoughts

Detox is a precarious stage but is a non-negotiable stage of recovery. Those that have gone through the process can attest that this physically difficult and depressing stage was the turning point of their existence.

While the detox from Xanax is challenging, the benefits you reap after are worth it and life-changing. With so many treatment options that work hand-in-hand with detox and with the right support system, you can reap the benefits of your pain and hard work once you get your life back and turn your back from the temporary euphoria that Xanax provided.

If you or a loved one are addicted to Xanax and need guidance, please don’t hesitate to call and speak with our admissions department. The compassionate, experienced staff at All In Solutions stand at the ready to answer your questions and guide you through the process of beginning your recovery and achieving the life you deserve.