Xanax is a benzodiazepine (benzo) often prescribed by doctors to support chronic anxiety, insomnia, and epilepsy. It may help people with panic attacks face fewer symptoms. Yet, it is also highly addictive. Though use according to a prescription is less risky, many who misuse the drug face intense withdrawal and cravings if they stop using it. Can Xanax withdrawal kill you? What should you do to stop using?
First – Can Xanax Withdrawal Kill You If You Stop Using on Your Own?
It’s not safe quitting Xanax cold turkey. That’s because of the dependence that forms for those taking this drug. Xanax works to change the way the brain functions. As that happens, the brain becomes dependent on it in various ways. You may know you are dependent if you feel intense cravings to use the drugs or withdrawal symptoms if you stop using them.
Benzos like this help to minimize the onset of intense anxiety and panic. They also work to make sleep more controlled and effective. They can be very effective. If a person stops using them suddenly, these conditions can come back intensely. That can lead to paranoia, psychosis, and other complications. While these things may not kill you, they can be intense and dangerous.
Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms Can Be Intense
There are situations where Xanax withdrawal symptoms are so significant that they can cause life-threatening outcomes. Some of the most serious potential symptoms of withdrawal that can occur include:
- Psychotic episodes of paranoia and hallucinations
- Irregular heartbeats
It is not common for these symptoms to occur, but they are a possibility in some situations. That includes those who have taken the drug for a long time or are using a large dose.
Other common Xanax withdrawal symptoms include:
- Heart palpitations
- Muscle and bone pain
- Blurry vision
In most cases, symptoms of withdrawal are uncomfortable, especially when you try to quick Xanax cold turkey without any support. If you suddenly stop taking these drugs, your body is at a higher risk for intense symptoms.
How Do You Stop Taking Xanax, Then?
If you currently have a prescription from Xanax that you’re using as directed by your doctor, your first step should be to work closely with your doctor to taper down your dosage. This is a slow process that typically takes a few days and allows the body to gradually get used to not having the substance present.
Those who have an addiction to Xanax are misusing the drug. That puts you at a higher risk for complications from withdrawal symptoms. It is best to work closely with a drug treatment center to slowly stop using these drugs in these situations.
Is Drug Detox Necessary for Xanax Withdrawal?
Many factors play a role in that decision. However, it is very common for a person to need a stable, safe place to detox during this withdrawal process. That needs to be in a place where medical support can be provided immediately if your condition worsens suddenly or you have one of the life-threatening complications that can occur.
In a detox program for Xanax, you’ll be in a space where you’re comfortable, and your needs are supported. Your doctors will often work to taper down your dosing of the drug over several days. They may use other medications to help ease your symptoms of withdrawal as well. These medications can help a person to feel fewer or less intense withdrawal symptoms.
The main benefit of being in a detox center during this time is that there’s emergency support available if you need it. There are also more treatment options available to you should you need them. There’s no way to know how your body will react to not having access to these drugs. That’s why it is so critical to have medical support available because detoxing from Xanax can be life-threatening.
The detoxing process can last for several days but is usually under a week. Some people may need longer to allow their bodies to adjust properly.
Why You Need to Make the Move
Long-term use of Xanax puts you at risk for health complications. These medications typically stop working to provide the euphoria and anxiety control that you need. That means you may turn to other drugs and substances to get help as your body craves the drugs.
Within a treatment center, you can feel confident that you’re getting the care you need for your benzo addiction. If you are using these drugs and unsure of your next step, reach out to a drug treatment and detox center today for support. The good news is you can safely stop using these drugs with the right support and guidance.