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Detox from Xanax

Can you detox from Xanax at home? Maybe. Should you? NO. Learn why medically managed detox for Xanax is critical here.

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minute read

Detoxing from Xanax?

Has your body developed a dependency on Xanax (alprazolam)? Do you wonder how to quit using Xanax? If so, you may want to consider how you can best detox from Xanax.

Detox is a process during which your body regains normalcy and balance after you stop taking Xanax.  How long Xanax withdrawal lasts varies by dosing schedule.  But there are various methods of detox, many of which are helpful, while some can be fairly dangerous. But, what are the ways you can address Xanax detox? What is the safest way to detox from Xanax and what can you expect to happen during the process? We review here and invite your questions about Xanax at the end.

Xanax detox treatment

There are two main ways that clinicians treat Xanax detox. Xanax detox treatments include:

1. Medically managed Xanax detox – During medically managed Xanax detox, you check into an inpatient detox clinic for a few days to a week. Medically managed detox is an impatient procedure during which you are treated for acute symptoms and then are released back home or placed into the care of an addiction treatment center (if necessary).

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2.Medically supervised outpatient detox – During this Xanax detox treatment, doctors monitor Xanax tapering through phone calls and office visits. While you slowly decrease doses of Xanax under the supervision of a medical professional, you stay at home.

a. Preparation: You will be assessed regarding your medical and mental health so that the detox is specifically tailored to you. Preparation takes into consideration medical and behavioral therapies which can help Xanax detox treatment.

b. Detox schedule: Generally, you are given three different detox options. A reduction of doses over a period of 6 weeks. A reduction over the course of 6 months. Or reduction and then a replacement medication using diazepam or other types of medication.

Finally, doctors can recommend other therapies once the physical detox has been completed. For example, your doctor might recommend replacement medication(s) and longer acting benzodiazepines that can help with agitation and anxiety that arises with detox. Klonopin and busprione may be helpful. Or, a doctor may refer you to relapse prevention group, support group, and/or addiction treatment facilities. It is important that once detox is complete, measurements are in place so that relapse is less likely. Relapse is likely to occur in the first couple of hours and weeks of any detox process.

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Detoxing from Xanax time

The time is takes to detox from Xanax depends on the method you choose. For the most part, is unadvisable to rapidly detox from Xanax. Coming off Xanax cold turkey can provoke seizures, psychosis or extreme depression. That is why drugs like alprazolam are reduced slowly over time. A tapered process can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to complete. Usually other therapies are in place while you are going through this process. If you are suffering from a Xanax addiction you may be more closely monitored and go through a more abrupt withdrawal process to support recovery.

Detox from Xanax symptoms

It is important to note that detox from Xanax addresses only physical withdrawal symptoms. Detox does not generally treat psychological upsets present during withdrawal. While you are detoxing from Xanax you can expect the following physical withdrawal symptoms:

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  • abdominal cramps
  • dizziness
  • increased blood pressure
  • paranoid psychosis
  • seizures
  • severe skin rash
  • speech problems
  • tremors
  • vomiting

Most of these symptoms can be supported medically. Once detox is complete, you can look into other therapies and doctors can help you consider any possible psychological side of Xanax abuse.

Detox from Xanax at home

Should you detox from Xanax at home? Generally, no. You shouldn’t go through the physical detox from Xanax process at home or on your own. Xanax, as with other benzodiazepines, are dangerous drugs during withdrawal as they can cause seizures, tremors and can adversely affect breathing and the respiratory system. This makes it dangerous to detox on your own. Also, people who try to detox on their own have statistically less success than those who chose to detox at a facility or with the help of a clinician.

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Detox Xanax questions

Do you still have questions about Xanax detox? Want to know more about Xanax detox and what to expect? Or maybe you have experience with detoxing from Xanax. In any case, please ask any questions or share any experiences you may have with detox from Xanax. We would love to hear from you. And we will answer questions you may have personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: Drugs: Community Detox of Benzodiazepines
NCBI: A physician’s guide to discontinuing benzodiazepine therapy
San Luis Obispo County Services: Address Detoxification 
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.

10 Comments

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  1. I have a loved one in a medical detox facility. He had been taking Xanax for seven of his twenty seven years. They stopped the Xanax cold turkey and put him on: viseral (?sp) clonodine, seroquel, topamax, latuda, and increased his lexapro. I am not entirely comfortable with him being on so many meds. Is this safe? Is it normal? I’m very nervous about all this, but trying to trust that the professionals know what they’re doing.

  2. I have been off xanax since may and it’s been about 4-5 months but I’ve been doing this on my own and haven’t eaten any bad foods and have exercised when I can but don’t have insurance to be put into detox and I have school to attend as I am in my senior year but I honestly don’t know what to do.

  3. I am 61 and have been on Xanax for over 20 yrs. I take 3 mgs. a day and I never go over 4. My mind and body can not handle it. I am so afraid they are going to remove me from Xanax when I go to another psychiatrist Monday. I live in FL and I have been in their rehabs and I would not put my dog there. I have no trust in the medical system here. I have seen too much of what goes on that nobody does anything about. I am worse when I come out than when I go in. I just do not know what to do?!?! I believe I am just better off going through this myself because I know me best and I do not trust that I will be properly treated for detox at all. Thanks for being here. I have been on a long journey alone……I guess it’s just going to go on….. : (

  4. Hello Stacey. Yes. You can call 1-800-662-HELP, the U.S. federal hotline and get connected with your states agencies that benefit from federal funding. Ask to be walked through the process of getting low cost treatment and let me know if we can help further.

  5. Both of my daughters have xanax issues. One has insurance, the other does not. We don’t know where to turn, but I think they’re ready to stop. They’re lives are miserable as they are always tired, broke and never want to do anything. They live in Houston. My oldest daughter has had 2 seizues after going without for 3 days. It breaks my heart. Is there such a thing as low cost help out there. HELP

  6. Hello Bob. Thanks for your message and sharing your experience as a medical detox clinician. I hope that your experience can help someone who is considering detox at home vs. an inpatient center.

  7. We have found that detox from Xanax is best treated by residential detox. During withdrawal patients can be subject to violent seizures that require immediate medical help. This drug, as with the “pam” drugs is dangerous and not to be taken lightly.

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