As a Xanax addiction builds, the brain and body change. They begin to expect the drug. They adjust so that using Xanax becomes “normal.” This is tolerance.
As you continue to use, Xanax begins to feel less effective. You begin to take more and more to get the desired effects. When you stop taking Xanax, you feel ill mentally and physically. Physical and mental dependence keep you locked in a constantly escalating cycle of drug abuse. This escalation can be slow or fast, but without treatment, it ultimately leads to addiction. Addiction requires treatment for lasting recovery. This treatment begins with detox.
“I started abusing my meds. I was prescribed Xanax and Ambien at the time, and I used these excessively to deal with my anxiety and insomnia. I always would lose track of how much I took though, one pill would suddenly turn into 10…I couldn’t deal with my reality so I started abusing the pills more heavily. I would binge on them; all 60 pills would be gone in a matter of days. Every time I would refill the prescription, this was always the case.”
Xanax Detoxification and Withdrawal Symptoms
Xanax is a benzodiazepine. It is a sedative drug. It slows electrical activity in the central nervous system. When you become tolerant to Xanax, it means your body is speeding up some processes to combat this effect. When you stop using Xanax, the body needs time to readjust. Everything will be firing faster than it should at first. This over-activity only lasts for a short period of time, but during this time, you will experience withdrawal symptoms.
BMC Psychiatry found that among Xanax users, “Withdrawal was perceived to be a difficult, complicated, and highly unpredictable process.”1 While withdrawal will be different for everyone, choosing medically supervised detox services takes away many unknowns. Medical professionals will be available 24 hours a day to offer care and answer questions. What seems unpredictable is often part of a normal, varying timeline.
Over the course of detox, you will likely experience some or all of the following:
- Aching, twitching muscles
- Fast heart rate
When and if these symptoms appear depends on your unique body chemistry, drug use history, and current environment. It depends on whether or not you choose treatment.
Do I Need Treatment for Xanax Detox?
Detoxing in treatment means many symptoms can be bypassed or addressed through as-needed, non-addictive medications and alternative care. It means the overall withdrawal experience is safer, faster, and more comfortable. Detoxing in treatment also means you get coordinated mental and physical health care.
Addictive Behavior2 explains, “Psychosocial factors play a role at different stages of the [benzodiazepine] withdrawal process and could be targeted in treatment.”3 If you try to detox at home, you do not get the integrated support you need for recovery. You are more likely to immediately relapse. You are more likely to face long-term struggles to stay clean. Ending Xanax abuse and addiction will ultimately take longer and require more effort, pain, and money.
Choose medically supervised detox services. Follow this detox care with comprehensive treatment and therapy. Detox addresses the early physical aspects of ending Xanax use. Therapy offers support and answers for long-term recovery.
Where Do I Find Support for Detox and Recovery?
At Black Bear Lodge, we do all we can to keep you comfortable as your body readjusts. We will never rush the recovery process, but we do make sure it is as efficient and effective as possible.
We offer customized, integrated care. We make your transition from detox to treatment seamless and simple. Call 706-914-2327 to learn more about what we offer. Call for a free initial assessment and immediate professional support.
1 Liebrenz, M; Gehring, MT; Buadze, A; Caflisch, C. “High-Dose Benzodiazepine Dependence.” BMC Psychiatry. 13 May 2015. Accessed 2 Aug. 2017.
2 O’Connor, KP; Marchand, A; Belanger, L; Mainguy, N; Landry, P; Savard, P. “Psychological Distress and Adaptational Problems Associated with Benzodiazepine Withdrawal and Outcome: A Replication.” Addictive Behavior. May 2004. Accessed 2 Aug. 2017.