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Xanax Detox: How to Safely Treat Xanax Addiction

Xanax is a branded version of alprazolam, a benzodiazepine most commonly used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. American doctors wrote 16.78 million alprazolam prescriptions in 2020, though the drug’s addictive potential is significant. Xanax and other benzodiazepines can cause euphoria and lower inhibitions, leading to substance misuse in some people.

Many Xanax addictions start with a legitimate prescription from a doctor. However, its calming, mood-altering effects can cause some people to take it recreationally or use more than the prescribed dose. In other cases, patients may develop tolerance to Xanax, prompting them to take higher amounts to experience symptom relief.

Misusing benzodiazepines can severely impact people’s physical and mental wellbeing, but Xanax addiction recovery is achievable with the right knowledge and professional support. Let’s explore the risks and signs of addiction and what to expect during Xanax detox.


The Dangers of Xanax Addiction

Some people take prescribed Xanax without developing a Xanax addiction. However, the psychoactive effects of Xanax are often addictive because it can induce a feeling of calm and increase dopamine levels in the brain. Stopping Xanax use suddenly causes withdrawal symptoms, which can be uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous.

Certain factors increase the risk of getting addicted to Xanax. Research shows that drug and alcohol misuse make Xanax addiction more likely, which is why healthcare providers usually avoid prescribing the medication to people with a history of alcoholism and substance abuse disorders.

The side effects of Xanax include impaired cognition, increased risk of falls, and harm to a developing fetus during pregnancy. The drug may also interfere with normal sleep cycles. However, the risks increase if a person takes more Xanax than prescribed by a doctor or it’s purchased it from illegal sources.

Some studies show an increased risk of death in people who use benzodiazepines such as Xanax, and abusing the drug and driving increases the likelihood of being involved in a traffic collision. Using Xanax can also substantially increase the risk of a fatal overdose when taken alongside other substances, such as opioids or heroin.

Attempting Xanax detox without medical assistance can be dangerous, and failing to address the underlying causes of addiction can increase the chances of a relapse. Specialized Xanax recovery programs help patients quit using the drug safely and provide the treatments required for long-term healing.



Xanax reduces excitement in the brain, making it an effective treatment for anxiety and certain other mental health disorders. People can experience Xanax side effects even when using the medication exactly as prescribed, but abuse often causes more severe symptoms. Misuse can lead to a broad range of physical and mental health problems, including joint pain, weight changes, and cognitive difficulties.

When starting the journey toward Xanax recovery, it’s natural to worry about potentially irreversible damage caused by the drug. Fortunately, research shows that long-term use of benzodiazepines is unlikely to cause lasting cognitive impairment.

However, Xanax overdoses can cause life-threatening breathing problems, coma, and death, which may lead to irreversible health issues. Therefore, it’s essential to seek help for Xanax addiction as soon as possible to reduce the risk of long-term complications. A healthcare provider can provide treatment to manage health problems caused by chronic Xanax use and help patients develop positive habits and coping strategies for a healthier lifestyle.


Xanax Detox and Recovery

Stopping the use of Xanax suddenly after using it long term can be dangerous. Symptoms caused by Xanax withdrawal are often called benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. For many people, Xanax withdrawal causes anxiety and insomnia within a few days of stopping the drug. While these symptoms can be unpleasant, they usually resolve after a short period.

However, some people experience more serious symptoms, which may include:

    • Nausea
    • Seizures
    • Tremors
    • Abnormal sweating
    • Muscle pain
    • Headaches

While these symptoms may sound scary, Xanax detox is possible with the right support. Providers may recommend slowly tapering Xanax doses to prevent more severe withdrawal effects. Tapering means gradually reducing how much Xanax a person takes to let their body adjust. Sometimes, healthcare providers prescribe other medications to help manage Xanax detox safely.

If a patient started taking Xanax to treat a mental health disorder such as anxiety, their condition may return when they stop taking the drug. A Xanax detox provider can recommend alternative treatment options to manage mental health problems. Non-pharmaceutical therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can improve the symptoms of mental health disorders without the addiction risk.



Knowing how to spot the signs of Xanax addiction can help people who use the drug and their loved ones access support as quickly as possible. However, it’s important to understand the difference between true addiction and normal use. Benzodiazepines like Xanax have several legitimate medical uses. Taking Xanax isn’t necessarily a cause for concern if a doctor prescribes it and the person follows the prescriber’s instructions closely.

True Xanax addiction can start in several ways. While some people try Xanax for the first time from illegal sources, many people develop a substance abuse disorder by misusing medication prescribed by their healthcare providers. Signs of Xanax addiction include:

    • Finding it difficult or impossible to cut down or quit taking Xanax
    • Needing to take higher doses to achieve the same effects
    • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when reducing the dosage or stopping use of the drug
    • Difficulty managing everyday activities without taking the drug

Anyone worried about Xanax dependence or addiction can seek help from a healthcare provider or a specialized addiction clinic. Clinics can offer tailored treatment to support detox and manage the physical and emotional impact of substance abuse. Having a mental health disorder can increase the risk of misusing drugs, including Xanax, potentially leading to dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis means having both a mental health disorder and a substance abuse disorder. Beachway delivers effective dual diagnosis programs to treat the root cause of addiction while helping patients stop taking drugs safely.



The best way to manage Xanax detox varies from person to person, so providers will assess each patient’s unique needs to determine the most appropriate treatment plan. Clinicians will likely recommend tapering the dose to minimize discomfort. How often (and by how much) a patient should taper their dosage depends on various factors, including how long they’ve been taking Xanax. Being transparent with healthcare professionals can help them determine the safest schedule.

During the Xanax detox process, patients should inform their providers if they experience symptoms such as nausea, hand tremors, or headaches. Clinicians can help control these symptoms by adjusting the taper or prescribing other therapies. Managing Xanax withdrawal symptoms maximizes the chance of success and prevents unnecessary discomfort during Xanax recovery.

It’s worth knowing that many people experience anxiety or other mental health symptoms during a Xanax detox. While these symptoms can be distressing, they don’t mean the end of the Xanax recovery journey. A healthcare provider can recommend psychological support and treatment to help patients manage anxiety without benzodiazepines.

Natural Alternatives to Xanax

There are various medications available to treat the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. These medications can provide valuable symptom relief, but they may not address the root cause of mental health conditions. Medicines affect different people in different ways, and all medications have the potential to cause side effects. Therefore, many people prefer to use non-pharmaceutical treatments to manage their symptoms and get relief.

However, that doesn’t mean that mental health medications are the wrong option. Many medicines don’t have the addiction potential of Xanax, and relieving symptoms with medications may make it easier to develop healthy habits and engage in therapy. Sometimes, healthcare providers recommend combining pharmaceutical treatments with psychological therapies as part of a holistic treatment plan.

Although Xanax has multiple uses, it’s most often prescribed to treat anxiety and stress. Doctors frequently recommend psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), for people with anxiety disorders. CBT involves challenging negative behavioral and thought patterns and learning constructive thinking skills to deal with challenges. Some people also find holistic therapies useful for reducing stress and promoting calm.


There are several natural treatments for stress and anxiety to complement a holistic treatment program. Mindfulness is one of the most popular options, and patients can join a class or practice at home using apps or guided meditations. Mindfulness uses the principles of meditation to change how the body reacts to stress. Research shows that mindfulness is an effective treatment for anxiety, stress, and other mental health conditions.

Yoga is another activity known for its stress-relieving potential. It involves performing physical and mental exercises to promote wellbeing. According to a 2018 study, participating in yoga reduces stress, anxiety, and depression.

There are also several herbal remedies purported to treat stress and anxiety, including valerian, lavender, and lemon balm. However, there’s limited scientific evidence for the effectiveness of many of these supplements, and they may cause side effects and interact with other medications. It’s wise to discuss herbal medicines with a healthcare provider before incorporating them into a Xanax addiction treatment plan.

It’s important to note that pharmaceutical treatments have their place in many treatment pathways, and their suitability depends on each person’s circumstances and personal preferences. In some situations, patients and their healthcare providers may decide that the benefits of taking medications outweigh the risks. For example, there’s evidence that certain medicines reduce the risk of suicide in people with mood disorders.

Clinicians can help people with Xanax addictions choose the most suitable therapeutic options for their needs, which may include a combination of medications, psychological treatments, and holistic therapies. Beachway offers a range of holistic treatments to improve wellbeing and promote long-term recovery, including music therapy, art therapy, and yoga.

Safely Treating Xanax Addiction

Quitting Xanax cold turkey can lead to significant physical and emotional harm, so the support of a knowledgeable healthcare team is essential for Xanax recovery. Specialized treatment centers have the knowledge and experience to support patients in achieving safe Xanax detox and managing withdrawal symptoms. They can also provide ongoing aftercare to reduce the risk of relapse for lifelong healing.

Understanding the complex relationship between addiction and mental health problems is essential for long-term recovery. Sometimes, addictions develop as a way of self-medicating the distressing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. For people with dual diagnosis, a rehab center can co-treat a substance abuse disorder and mental health concerns to manage the root cause of addiction. Some centers also provide holistic treatment plans to teach positive coping skills and promote healthier lifestyles.


How Beachway Can Assist in Xanax Detox & Recovery

Exploring rehab therapy is a great starting point for people ready to recover from Xanax addiction. Beachway’s dual diagnosis approach prioritizes mental wellness alongside addiction recovery, enabling patients to break the vicious cycle of mental health struggles and substance misuse.

Enrolling as a Beachway patient provides access to a personalized Xanax detox plan created by a compassionate and knowledgeable team. The clinic offers inpatient and outpatient programs and a broad spectrum of psychological therapies, holistic therapies, and rehab care to help people achieve freedom from addiction and mental health disorders. Call 877-978-1753 to learn more about Beachway’s addiction and dual diagnosis programs.


Get Help With Xanax Detox & Recovery

A happier, healthier lifestyle is possible with the right Xanax detox support. Beachway’s caring professionals are on hand to provide proven addiction and mental health treatments and emotional support.