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The generic name for Xanax is alprazolam. It is an anti-anxiety prescription medication that is commonly used to treat panic attacks, excessive worry, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Xanax is intended for short-term use only. It belongs to a class of medications known as benzodiazepines. According to an article published in the Ochsner Journal “benzodiazepines are a class of prescription drugs with sedating properties that stem from their ability to increase the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter known as GABA.” GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a chemical that is naturally developed in one’s body that block impulses between nerve cells in the brain. Hence, Xanax works as a central nervous system depressant. 

When used properly, and under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional, Xanax can provide relief for adverse symptoms associated with panic, and be a highly effective medication. The United Stated Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies Xanax as a Schedule IV Substance, which are defined as “drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence.” It also acknowledges that Xanax can lead to dependence when taken in high doses for longer than a month. 

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

When an individual abuses Xanax, his or her body will become more accustomed to functioning with the substance present in in his or her system than without. When the substance is removed (e.g. the person abruptly stops taking Xanax), or there is not enough Xanax in one’s system it will react accordingly, and withdrawal symptoms will ensue. Every person is different and will experience a distinct combination of withdrawal symptoms when it comes to detoxing from Xanax. Commonly reported withdrawal symptoms can include, but are not limited to the following examples, as provided by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Tension in the jaw
  • Teeth pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Numbness of fingers
  • Vomiting
  • Auditory sensitivity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tingling of limbs (e.g. arms and legs)
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Insomnia
  • Cramps
  • Heart palpitations
  • Excessive sweating
  • Delirium
  • Hypertension
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Anxiety 

The duration of withdrawal from Xanax will depend on several contributing factors, including: how long the individual took Xanax, the dosage taken, the personal health history of the individual, if he or she mixed Xanax with other substances, and the frequency of use. Generally, Xanax withdrawal symptoms can begin within hours of one’s last dose. Withdrawal symptoms typically peak in severity within one to four days after one’s last dose. 

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one in regards to substance abuse and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcome to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com.