Overcoming an addiction to Xanax can be difficult. For the first step, individuals complete a detox, during which they work through Xanax withdrawal symptoms. Knowing what to expect from a Xanax withdrawal, and understanding the basic timeline, can be a great way to prepare for the process. Detoxing from Xanax can take anywhere from five to 30 days, depending on the severity of the addiction.
6–12 Hours Into Withdrawal: Symptoms Appear
Xanax is a benzodiazepine. It’s also a fast-acting drug, which means that it impacts the body immediately but leaves the body quickly as well. On average, it takes up to 12 hours for Xanax to stop being active in the bloodstream. When this happens, withdrawal symptoms begin.
Most people in recovery are already familiar with these mild withdrawal symptoms. After all, they’re common at least once a day, and they may typically be the signs that mark the need for the next drug dose. During detox, however, they will slowly worsen because patients won’t be reaching for that next dose of Xanax.
1–3 Days Into Withdrawal: Rebound Symptoms Appear
Withdrawal symptoms will appear in earnest around one to three days after an individual takes his or her last dose of Xanax. Medical professionals sometimes call these symptoms rebound symptoms. That’s because these symptoms are the same symptoms many patients experience before taking Xanax.
For example, people may take Xanax in order to address anxiety or panic attacks. During withdrawal, the rebound symptoms are often anxiety and panic attacks. Fortunately, these symptoms won’t last forever.
3–30 Days Into Xanax Withdrawal: Acute Withdrawal Begins
Acute Xanax withdrawal begins around three days after the last dose of Xanax. This is when mental, psychological and physical symptoms begin to appear as a direct result of stopping Xanax consumption. The central nervous system is reacting to withdrawal, which can be unpleasant for many patients.
Typically, this stage of withdrawal will last for one to four weeks. Some of the most common drug withdrawal symptoms during this stage include the following:
- Blurred vision
- Muscle aches and cramps
- Short-term memory loss and difficulty concentrating
- Sensitivity to lights and sounds
10–20 Days Into Withdrawal: Peak Withdrawal Symptoms
Acute withdrawal symptoms will continue for several days until they reach a peak. This is when the symptoms are at their worst, and it can be the most challenging time for people in withdrawal. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to address these symptoms. Once the peak passes, withdrawal symptoms reduce in intensity and taper off slowly.
Some of the most common symptoms during this phase include:
- Memory problems
- Poor concentration
- Sleep problems
- Nausea and vomiting
Indefinite: Protracted Withdrawal is Possible
Typically, Xanax withdrawal symptoms will peak, taper off and then disappear altogether. However, in some cases, individuals experience protracted withdrawal. During protracted withdrawal, mild symptoms linger for months or even years. In these cases, former Xanax users require psychological treatment to address the symptoms and ensure total health and happiness moving forward in sobriety.
A therapist can provide guidance and support as you work through your symptoms. Trusting in the process and staying committed to your treatment plan will help you reclaim your life from addiction. With time and effort, you can overcome protracted withdrawal and finally move on from Xanax.
After Xanax Withdrawal: Seeing Help at Crestview Recovery
Once individuals complete detox, they need to continue with drug and alcohol addiction treatment. At Crestview Recovery, addiction recovery for a lifetime is the ultimate goal. In order to meet that objective, there are a number of treatment methods we offer in our Xanax addiction treatment programs. These include all the following:
- Trauma therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Meditation mindfulness therapy
- Holistic drug therapy
- Group, family and individual therapy
The Xanax withdrawal timeline leads right up to rehab. Then, rehab guides you to recovery and getting on with your life once again.
Remember that Xanax is a powerful medication that should be taken only as prescribed by a doctor. If you are struggling with Xanax addiction or withdrawal, please seek professional help. There is no shame in addiction. In fact, addiction is a disease, and there is hope for healing.
At Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon, you can complete a Xanax addiction treatment program that prepares you for lifelong sobriety. Plan your journey to recovery by calling 866.262.0531 today.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.