Most people aren’t aware they can become dependent on Xanax, especially when it’s prescribed by a medical professional for anxiety. Once dependency is established, it can be challenging and uncomfortable to taper off or quit due to withdrawal symptoms, some of which include vomiting, insomnia, and seizures.
This article explains how to safely avoid Xanax withdrawal seizures and other symptoms through medically assisted detox programs and addiction treatment plans.
What is Xanax?
Xanax (Alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine usually prescribed for anxiety, sleeping, and panic disorders. This central nervous system depressant slows down brain signals to your brain, causing a sense of euphoria and relaxation. Other drugs under this category include Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan.
However, even when taken as prescribed, Xanax can be highly addictive and cause your body to rely on its relaxing effects to feel comfortable in everyday situations. Individuals have also been known to abuse Xanax and other benzos with stimulant drugs or alcohol to boost its effects. But this can lead to severe side effects, and if an individual stops taking benzos cold turkey (without tapering or medical assistance), they can experience painful and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Can Xanax Withdrawal Cause Seizures?
Yes, Xanax withdrawal can cause seizures, especially if the addiction is severe and long-term. Xanax withdrawal symptoms usually start once the last dosage is processed and removed from your body through urine, feces, and sweat. This can take about 11 to 24 hours. Once your body realizes Xanax has left your system, it can metaphorically panic without its relied-upon chemical.
- 6 to 12 hours: This is when the earliest signs of Xanax withdrawal kick in.
- 1 to 4 days: Xanax withdrawal seizures are most commonly reported within the first 24 to 72 hours of quitting. It’s also been reported by people who were taking high doses and low doses, as well as individuals who’ve tapered off Xanax. This is why it’s always important to detox from benzos under medical supervision. Other withdrawal symptoms most common during this phase include flu-like symptoms, such as:
- Muscle aches
- Appetite loss
- Shaking or tremors
- Blurred vision
- 5-14 days: Most early Xanax withdrawal symptoms will continue up to two weeks after quitting. But this is also when mental symptoms start to take hold, including sensitivity to light and sounds, insomnia, concentration issues, irritability, aggression, depression, and anxiety.
- One month and beyond: Some individuals have reported Xanax withdrawal symptoms lasting up to and more than a month after their last dosage (post-acute withdrawal syndrome). This is usually the case for people who’ve taken Xanax for much longer, as their body struggles to adjust without the drug.
Xanax Withdrawal Is A Sign Of Dependence
Xanax withdrawal serves as a clear indicator of dependence, stemming from the fact that benzodiazepines are both physically and psychologically addictive substances. With continued and prolonged use or abuse of benzodiazepines like Xanax, the body becomes progressively more accustomed to their presence. Nerves within the body attempt to operate at their maximum capacity as they have grown accustomed to the presence of the substance. It’s noteworthy that despite their common prescription, less than 2% of individuals who are prescribed benzodiazepines actually develop a benzodiazepine use disorder.
How To Make It Through Xanax Withdrawal Seizures
Long-term or high-dose use of benzodiazepines like Xanax can lead to grand mal seizures during withdrawal. These seizures cause loss of consciousness, muscle contractions, and convulsions, which can result in coma or even death. This is why it’s incredibly important to quit Xanax while under medical supervision.
- Xanax detox programs: If you’re currently taking Xanax, talk to your doctor and ask if they can taper you off before you try quitting cold turkey. They might recommend an inpatient detox center if you’ve had challenges quitting before. Medical detox facilities provide safe and comfortable environments with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, 24/7 medical supervision, on-site addiction experts, and quiet and clean rooms.
- Addiction treatment: Once you’ve gone through detox, the next step is addiction treatment. Purging your body from Xanax isn’t enough to fight against cravings and feelings to use again. Addiction treatment with evidence-based and holistic therapy methods can help individuals learn healthy coping skills and overcome the psychological challenges of recovery.
Contact Oasis Recovery Center
If you or someone you know is struggling with Xanax addiction, contact Oasis Recovery Center. We’ll help you find a detox program that works for you through one of our clinical partnerships. Once you’ve gone through detox or you’ve already overcome withdrawal symptoms, we’ll set you up with our comprehensive addiction treatment program. Call today, and one of our admissions agents can answer any additional questions about insurance, scheduling, and what works for you.