Being dependent on a drug changes your body in specific ways. Despite Xanax being a prescription drug, it is still addictive. Some people start using it for legitimate reasons and succumb to dependence and addiction. Leaving behind Xanax use disorder is a huge step to take. It will ensure a better quality of life and a healthier lifestyle, but it requires sacrifice. All hope is not lost, however. A Xanax detox center can help set you on the road to recovery. But what makes Xanax so attractive to people? How do people end up dependent on it? And what can people do to overcome this physical and mental dependence on such a substance?

What Is Xanax?

Xanax is the trade name for the drug alprazolam. It’s been around since the 1970s when it was approved for use in managing panic disorders. At its core, it’s a sedative medicine. Clinicians find it helpful in treating conditions like anxiety. If you ask anyone who uses Xanax, they’ll tell you that it works quickly. From the time they take it to the start of its effects, the period can be counted in minutes. However, this effectiveness is partially why it’s such an addictive substance. Xanax is one of the most-used benzodiazepines in circulation today. Individuals who use the substance at higher doses (more than 4mg/day over 12 weeks) have a higher risk of becoming dependent on it.

As a benzodiazepine, Xanax is a Schedule IV controlled substance. The DEA classes drugs based on their ability to get people dependent on them. There are five schedules of drugs, and at Schedule IV, Xanax isn’t as addictive as those higher up the scale. However, it sees a significant amount of use (and abuse). Many people who start using Xanax to deal with their panic disorders fall into using it as a habit. Over time, the body becomes dependent on the substance and cannot function normally without it.

What is Xanax Dependence?

What is Xanax dependence?Dependence on a substance is when a person’s body can’t function without it. It is important to note that addiction isn’t the same as dependence. There’s a distinct line between both of these conditions, even though they are closely related.

If a person were to stop taking Xanax and developed withdrawal symptoms as a result, they could be assumed to be dependent on it. Withdrawal symptoms are the body’s way of indicating that it needs a substance to function normally . They come in both medical conditions and psychological effects. Because they can be uncomfortable, painful, and severely distressing, most people who get withdrawal symptoms try to keep using the drug to avoid having to go through them again.

Addiction is a brain disease that follows from dependence. It is characterized by physical and psychological signs that show the person is heavily dependent on the substance. Addiction comes from someone using a particular substance, despite the negative impacts on their lives.

They may disregard things like legal stipulations or personal safety to get the substance they want. This condition can have a profound effect on the person’s social life as well as interpersonal connections. Addictions drive people away from others, isolating them and leaving them in a vulnerable place. Not everyone who has physical dependence will end up addicted. Even so, dependence is also a terrible situation to be in.

Xanax’s legitimate uses do show significant positive results. Many individuals who already use Xanax worry that long-term use could lead to addiction. Some clinicians are also wary about prescribing the drug to control panic disorders. However, many long-term studies have shown that controlled usage of Xanax is safe and reliable.

Most people who take the medication don’t end up addicted to it. However, the stipulation is that they use it as directed. Dependence and abuse typically come from misusing the drug. If someone does become addicted to Xanax, there are detox centers that can help to flush the substance out of their system.

How Long Does Xanax Detox Take?

Xanax detox is the first step in recovery. It helps to reduce the impact that Xanax has on a person’s body. If an individual stops using Xanax “cold turkey,” they run the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms. A Xanax detox center works to reduce that issue. They typically have staff on hand that can help mitigate the severe negative fallout of withdrawal. If there are medical complications, staff are trained to deal with them. Withdrawal is a part of the detox process. Having medical personnel monitor progress ensures that complications are dealt with professionally.

Detox for Xanax can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. The length of the detox depends on how long the person has been using the drug and the level of dependence they’ve developed for it. The reason Xanax detox takes so long is that stopping immediately isn’t recommended. Xanax is so ingrained into the brain’s chemistry that an abrupt stop could lead to severe reactions. Among these reactions are seizures and psychotic breaks. By reducing the dosage of Xanax over a long time, a detox center can help wean a user off the substance. This approach is the most effective methodology for dealing with Xanax. Even so, someone trying to detox from Xanax will inevitably have to go through withdrawal.

Xanax Withdrawal symptoms

Some people think that Xanax withdrawal is easy to get over. Since it’s so low down the class list of controlled substances, many underestimate its effects. The effects of withdrawal can range from uncomfortable to potentially harmful. Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. Possible symptoms of Xanax withdrawal include:

Physical symptoms of Xanax withdrawal

  • Hyperventilating
  • Headaches
  • Racing pulse
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures

Psychological symptoms of Xanax withdrawal

  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lack of concentration
  • Problems coping with reality
  • Restlessness
  • Delirium
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic attacks

Xanax withdrawal timeline

Xanax withdrawal timelineXanax withdrawal is similar to the timeline of other benzodiazepines. The timeline can be broken down into three phases.

Phase 1: Early/Immediate Withdrawal

The first stage of withdrawal occurs a short time after a person stops taking the drug. Since Xanax is a fast-acting drug, its symptoms start showing up much sooner than other benzodiazepines. The symptoms that typically show up at this stage are called “rebound” symptoms. They get this name since they reflect the condition that the drug was initially prescribed to treat. For example, if someone uses Xanax to control anxiety, the feelings of this condition would return even stronger than they were before taking the drug. Drug tapering (as mentioned above) seeks to help manage the severity of this stage of detox.

Phase 2: Acute Withdrawal

Initial withdrawal tends to transition into a more intense section of the process. Acute withdrawal occurs anywhere between five and twenty-eight days after the person stops taking the drug. Most people who have dealt with detox claim that this is the hardest part of withdrawal. Typically, someone going through the second phase would be monitored by doctors to ensure their well-being. Detox facilities have medical staff dedicated to tracking visitors over their withdrawal. 

Phase 3: Protracted Withdrawal

Most of the symptoms of dependency subside after the acute withdrawal phase. However, some symptoms remain, lingering on for months. Lingering side effects are possible, and as much as a quarter of patients report having them for up to twelve months after acute withdrawal. Protracted withdrawal has its own symptoms associated with it. The condition is termed post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) and is characterized by:

  • Mood swings
  • Loss of sexual appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Poor concentration
  • Depression

These symptoms can lead to a decreased quality of life for the person and may appear without warning. The best way to deal with them is to discuss the options with a Xanax detox center. In addition, long-term therapy can help deal with the fallout from these symptoms. Therapy options may form a solid path to long-term recovery for someone dependent on the substance.

Why detoxing from Xanax alone is dangerous

As stated before, Xanax detox can be a dangerous thing to undergo on one’s own. Without proper medical supervision and tapered dosages, the symptoms can be severe and intense. There is a high potential for severe problems to occur for those attempting detox outside of a facility.

Without the direction to reduce the dosage over time, people stop Xanax without that buffer. Unfortunately, they tend to go through the psychological fallout of trying to quit “cold turkey.” Among the significantly dangerous symptoms that occur from the immediate cessation of use include delirium and grand mal seizures. The latter can cause massive damage to brain tissue and bring about other complications such as a stroke or physical injuries like biting one’s tongue.

How to Detox from Xanax

Most detox centers have a particular methodology for dealing with Xanax detoxification. Even in different locations, they follow a similar pattern to help recoverees get rid of the substance from their systems.

1. Check-In and Evaluation

Medical and clinical staff usually evaluate the visitor at this stage. They collect information they will later use to build a profile for the person. The details they collect include how long the person has been using the substance and the last time they took any. They may also ask questions about the person’s background and delve into more personal aspects of their history. These questions are crucial to develop a plan to help that particular individual.

2. Customized Xanax Detox Plan

Xanax detox differs from person to person. The information collected at the previous stage helps to develop a personalized strategy for dealing with detox. This approach can come in the form of reducing the dosage of Xanax over time to wean the individual off their dependence and avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. Alternatively, some doctors propose switching a person from Xanax to diazepam, a longer-acting version of the drug. The planning at this stage helps to manage the complications that may occur during detox.

3. Medical Stabilization

The actual process of withdrawal occurs in this stage. Medical personnel usually keep an eye on the person to ensure that they deal with issues that may arise. Facilities have dedicated areas to deal with visitors who are going through this stage. Keeping away from the substance and remaining under observation increases the chances of success of detox significantly.

4. Post Detox Recovery

Quitting Xanax isn’t something that happens overnight. As mentioned above, some individuals display symptoms of PAWS over a long period. Additional support in the form of therapy can help to manage these symptoms. Post-detox recovery starts that process as well as outlines a method for keeping the person away from the substance so their psychological triggers can be managed.

Who needs Xanax detox?

Who needs Xanax detox?Anyone who has become dependent on Xanax should seek out detox to get over it. Xanax dependence can lead to addiction, even though that’s not always the case. However, the longer someone remains in the state of dependency, the more likely they are to fall into addiction. Detox helps to get rid of the Xanax within a person’s body. It may also help them to find alternatives to Xanax use for coping with their disorders. In addition, doctors at the detox center can help advise individuals who want to leave Xanax behind altogether on how they can do so. Therapy can also support a person in their quest to quit the drug.

Finding a Xanax detox center near me – what to look out for

Not all Xanax detox centers are the same. Some have a less hands-on approach than others. Depending on how dependent on the substance a person is, the choice of a Xanax detox center may be crucial in overcoming their reliance on it. Pathfinders Recovery Center is dedicated to using the most effective methods in our processes. We deal with each person that comes through our doors individually, on a case-by-case basis. With a staff that focuses on helping our visitors, we offer a safe, secure facility to help anyone get over their dependence. Contact us today to find out how we can help with Xanax dependency and addiction. The choice is yours. We just make the goal easier to achieve.


  • 7580 E Gray Rd Suite 201 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
  • (877) 224-0761
  • Mon-Sun: 24x7


  • 2953 S Peoria St. Suite 230 Aurora, CO 80014
  • (877) 224-0761
  • Mon-Sun: 24x7

Our Newsletter

See how much of your treatment is covered by insurance

(877) 224-0761

Addiction Counselor Available 24/7

Skip to content