When someone starts taking Xanax, they often don’t think about the risk of becoming addicted to it. Unfortunately, many people who take this medication end up developing a substance use disorder and are unable to stop using it. Learning how to detox from Xanax is the first step in getting the professional treatment someone deserves. Our medical experts at our center for Xanax detox in Nashville understand the detox process and provide assistance so that getting off Xanax won’t be as difficult as someone fears it could be.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is a prescription medication, also known as alprazolam. It is classified as a benzodiazepine drug, which calms the brain and central nervous systems. Xanax is prescribed to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorders. Xanax binds to receptors in the brain, increasing the activity of a neurotransmitter called Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. This results in the person experiencing a feeling of sedation. The drug’s ability to produce calming effects helps those who suffer from symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks receive much-needed relief.
Xanax was developed in the 1960s as an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication, with a US patent being issued in 1976. It is manufactured in pill form and is taken orally. The amount of each dosage and how often it is taken is determined by the professional prescribing it. Factors that may influence the prescribed dosage amount include a person’s mental health status, physical health, age, and treatment goals.
Typically, when a person begins taking prescribed medication, they usually take a low dosage. While taking medication, their prescriber should monitor their reactions. If the individual reacts well to the pill, they may be able to increase their dosage if necessary. The person taking Xanax should keep their physician informed about any side effects they experience. Lastly, tapering off Xanax should be supervised by a doctor due to possible side effects that may occur when reducing the dosage. Medical supervision can also reduce side effects that occur when someone stops taking the drug too quickly.
About Xanax Addiction
A false sense of security happens for a lot of people who believe addiction only occurs when using illegal or hard street drugs, like heroin or cocaine. They don’t worry about how to detox from Xanax because they don’t believe addiction to a prescription drug can happen to them. Prescription drugs can become as highly addictive as street drugs, even to a person who begins using them with the best of intentions.
Unfortunately, many people also use Xanax without a prescription, getting them from friends and acquaintances. Recreational Xanax use may begin as sporadic usage as a party drug and can quickly spiral into an addiction.
Addiction entails the brain developing a dependence on the medication, and when a person stops using it or greatly reduces how much they take, withdrawal symptoms begin to set in. Withdrawal symptoms can be mild or severe depending on how much someone has taken. Benzodiazepines have a track record for causing addiction to develop quickly. Some people become addicted after just a few weeks of usage. If an individual is taking a higher dosage than prescribed or is taking Xanax without a prescription, addiction can set in even faster.
Certain risk factors exist depending on whether or not a person becomes addicted to Xanax, which include:
- The amount of the drug taken per dosage
- How often someone takes the drug
- A person’s individual brain and body chemistry and metabolism
- Combining Xanax with other substances
- A family history of drug or alcohol abuse or addiction
- The presence of any mental illness
- A family history of mental health disorders
- A person’s physical health
- The age they began using the drug
How to Detox From Xanax in Nashville, TN
An individual wanting to learn how to detox from Xanax may have concerns about if they can do so “naturally.” Wanting to detox naturally means detoxing without any accompanying medications. It is best to detox from Xanax while under the supervision of a medical professional. This ensures the individual can safely taper off the drug with someone who understands how to help them transition off of it. Detox Nashville, located in Nashville, Tennessee offers several detox programs that make this difficult process both safe and comfortable for those who need it most.
Our specialists may decide that the person detoxing does not need any accompanying medications; however, if withdrawal symptoms experienced during detox are physically painful, emotionally uncomfortable, or potentially dangerous, a natural plan may not be the best option. Any medication-assisted treatment applied during the withdrawal process will be temporary and used only if it’s in the patient’s best interest.
Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms
One of the keys to understanding how to detox from Xanax is recognizing that many people experience withdrawal symptoms. Once someone addicted to Xanax stops taking it, withdrawal symptoms can happen very quickly. If someone is getting help for Xanax withdrawal symptoms, a professional should take an assessment of an individual’s addiction to Xanax to determine the plan for going off the drug.
Because of the addictive nature of Xanax, someone who has become addicted to it likely will experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it. Some of the withdrawal symptoms are physical in nature and can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Blurry vision
- High blood pressure
- Muscle pain
- Heart palpitations
- Sensitivity to light and sound
Many people can also experience withdrawal symptoms of a psychological or emotional nature. These include, but are not limited to:
- Feeling panicky
Factors that contribute to how a person detoxes from Xanax include how long the addiction has been going on and how much of the medication they usually consume. Some detox plans call for going off the medication cold turkey while others use the tapering-off approach. Because of the potentially serious nature of some of the withdrawal symptoms, a person shouldn’t detox alone and without medical supervision. Detox Nashville’s compassionate team provides expert care throughout the detox process.
Xanax Withdrawal Timeline
Xanax has a short half-life compared to many other benzodiazepines. Its half-life is approximately 11 hours, which means it takes around 50 hours to completely leave the body. A typical dosage of Xanax lasts around 6 hours, meaning the effects of taking it are over after a fairly short time. Withdrawal symptoms can begin within a few hours of the last dosage taken, although they may take longer to appear.
The withdrawal timeline for Xanax is approximately 10 to 14 days. The withdrawal symptoms are usually at their worst during the first several days and begin to taper off gradually after that. While everyone’s withdrawal timeline may vary, a guideline for it is as follows:
Withdrawal symptoms usually begin within 6 to 12 hours after the last dosage. Symptoms can include lethargy, insomnia, feeling restless, anxiety, panic attacks, and mood swings.
The previous symptoms typically increase during this time. For example, mood swings can become more intense. New physical symptoms that may develop include headaches, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, muscle aches, high blood pressure, and a racing heart. Psychological withdrawal symptoms that may begin include feeling hostile, generalized anxiety, depersonalization, and hallucinations.
Most withdrawal symptoms begin to taper off at this point and end around the 2-week mark. Physical symptoms decrease faster, while psychological ones such as depression, anxiety, and moodiness may take longer to die down. Many people who take Xanax for anxiety find their anxiety resurfaces for weeks or even months after they complete the detox cycle. Their doctor can advise them of alternative medications they can use instead, which may be safer and don’t have the same high risk for addiction.
Does Insurance Cover Xanax Detox in Nashville, TN?
Anyone considering detoxing from Xanax or any other substance will want to know what costs they may incur from the treatment. The good news is insurance plans like Cigna, UHC and BCBS cover the cost of detox and related addiction treatment. The first step is to contact the insurance company and ask about what the individual’s plan covers. They may be able to supply the customer with a list of treatment providers they cover. In addition, some insurance companies will also cover part of the treatment cost for facilities outside of that list. We at Detox Nashville work with several insurance companies to make treatment as accessible as possible.
How much of the treatment cost an insurance company will cover depends on several factors. Because of this, it’s important to talk to an insurance representative before beginning any treatment. Many plans require authorization for a specific treatment program, or that individuals give them the name of the provider before they will cover the cost.
Other general factors for coverage include the type of plan the person has, whether or not family members who need treatment are included, and if they have met their deductible. People who do not have private insurance may qualify for treatment through Medicaid. Medicaid recognizes that nearly 12% of their beneficiaries over age 18 struggle with substance use disorders, and they offer coverage for a variety of ways to address it.
Often an individual worries about leaving their job in order to receive detox and other addiction treatment. Fortunately, The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles employees to take unpaid leave for reasons such as medical treatment. According to the Act, an individual’s job is guaranteed to be held open for them post-treatment, and their insurance will continue during their absence. If the person’s company is covered by FMLA, they will be allowed 12 weeks of leave during a 12-month period.
Begin Xanax Detox in Nashville, TN
Living with an addiction to Xanax keeps a person from having a full and healthy life. Drug addiction impacts a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health, making it necessary to receive professional treatment. Our Nashville, Tennessee detox center provides expert, compassionate care that helps ease detox withdrawal symptoms. Moreover, we help to prepare you for a new life of sobriety.
If you or someone you love needs help detoxing from Xanax, there is support available. Give Detox Nashville a call or visit our admissions page today.