Xanax Withdrawal

While many people are familiar with the opioid epidemic, they may not be as aware of another drug abuse epidemic. Addiction to prescription medications known as benzodiazepines has been on the rise since the late 1990s. And in 2013, overdoses from benzodiazepines accounted for 31 percent of the 23,000 prescription drug overdose deaths in the U.S.

Benzodiazepines are tranquilizers and they are often prescribed for conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, seizures, and as an anesthetic given before surgery.

These drugs affect the central nervous system and produce a strong sensation of relaxation. Xanax (alprazalom) is a common type of benzodiazepine. Xanax and other benzodiazepines tend to be highly abused because of the sedative effects they cause and the ease of obtaining them.

If dosing instructions aren’t followed carefully, it can be easy to develop a dependency on Xanax or to accidentally overdose. Withdrawal from it causes very uncomfortable symptoms and can be dangerous to do on your own. Learn more below about Xanax withdrawal symptoms and the stages of addiction treatment.



What Are the Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms?

Xanax withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Insomnia and sleep disturbance
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Shaky hands
  • Sweating
  • Problems concentrating
  • Dry heaves
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and stiffness
  • Seizures
  • Psychotic reactions

What Are the Stages in the Xanax Withdrawal Timeline?

Consindering the xanax withdrawal timeline and other benzodiazepines usually follow a few different stages. Withdrawal from Xanax has been found to be more extreme than from other benzodiazepines. Xanax withdrawal comes in stages may include:

  • Intense anxiety and insomnia during the first four days of withdrawal.
  • Withdrawal syndrome which can last from about 10 to 14 days. This involves additional uncomfortable symptoms, such as tremors, sleep disturbance, weight loss, mood disturbance, sweating, and vision problems.
  • Sometimes, Xanax withdrawal can result in symptoms of psychosis.
  • A protracted withdrawal syndrome may develop. This includes ongoing anxiety and other symptoms that may last for six months or more after going through the severe symptoms of withdrawal. Other symptoms of protracted withdrawal syndrome that linger include:
xanax withdrawal symptoms
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Body tremors or jerking
  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or legs
  • Tension
  • Gastrointestinal problems

Xanax Withdrawal Timeline Chart

Your experience with Xanax withdrawal may vary based on the dose you were used to, the size of your last dose, your size and weight, and if you were using any other substances alongside Xanax. However, your experience will most likely be similar to the following Xanax withdrawal timeline chart:

xanax timeline

Your first symptoms can show up anywhere between six to 12 hours, depending on those previously mentioned factors. If you were used to a high dose of the drug and you quit abruptly, you are more likely to experience your first symptoms more quickly. Quitting cold turkey may also mean experiencing more intense and even dangerous symptoms.

It’s important to note that you are more likely to experience the most dangerous symptoms of withdrawal, like seizures and delirium, within two days. You should avoid quitting abruptly without speaking to a doctor. If you do, you need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible to avoid life-threatening medical complications. After two weeks, your risk of experiencing these deadly symptoms is significantly lowered.

However, symptoms like insomnia and anxiety can be persistent, especially if you started taking the drug to cope with those problems. In some cases, negative emotional symptoms of insomnia won’t go away without treatment. To address these disorders, you may need to go through the full continuum of addiction treatment. Detox can address chemical dependence, but longer lasting care may be necessary to address deeper issues that are often associated with Xanax abuse.

Why Should I Go Through Xanax Detox?

It can be difficult and painful to quit using drugs cold turkey, and in some cases, including Xanax withdrawal, it can be dangerous.

Withdrawing on your own without professional medical help can be very challenging given the difficult physical symptoms. Finding a professional, medically-assisted xanax detox program to support you during Xanax withdrawal ensures that you are carefully monitored in a safe environment while your body goes through the difficult, and sometimes painful, detoxification process as it eliminates the physical need for the drug. Going through a Xanax detox program also gives you a better chance at lasting recovery because of the structured medical and emotional support provided.

What is the Next Step in Xanax Treatment?

Following a full continuum of Xanax treatment begins with the highest and most intense level of care during the detox phase and then progresses through less intense levels of treatment. Going through all stages of treatment will position you better to be successful in your recovery. These stages usually include: detox/inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and alumni or aftercare.


During the first stage of withdrawal treatment, the goal is medical stabilization through Xanax detox. The medical team, which includes doctors, nurses, and support staff, will give you a complete medical assessment to determine your level of addiction and any additional medical needs you may have. This will include a medical exam and urine or blood tests to screen for drugs.

Depending on these results, your physician may also require additional testing such as: additional blood tests, including a CBC (complete blood count), chest X-ray, ECG (electrocardiogram), and testing for other diseases.

Once the doctor has these test results, a detox plan will be created for you. Then, under the care of your medical team, you will begin the detox process. Detoxing from Xanax may also include the administration of other monitored prescription medications such as Valium.

Your treatment plan will also include emotional support as you begin addiction therapy because many people also experience anxiety, depression, and other emotional and psychological challenges as they detox.  


After completing the detox phase of treatment, the next stage is to continue treatment in a partial hospitalization program. You’ll live at a transitional living facility while undergoing a supportive, rigorous, and structured treatment program five days a week for six hours each day. You will be able to participate in individual, group, and family therapy programs to address your emotional and mental health needs.

You will focus on learning positive life skills, coping mechanisms, and techniques to help prevent so that you will be better prepared for long-term recovery. This training will help you begin the process of returning to your life outside the treatment center.  


Each stage of the full continuum of treatment slowly moves you back to life outside the rehab facility while helping you build the skills and resources you need to cope and avoid relapsing. Once you have completed the inpatient program, you will move into the intensive outpatient program (IOP) stage.

Sometimes outpatient treatment is used as standalone addiction therapy, but it is also a key part of a full continuum of treatment. Your therapy sessions at this stage won’t be as frequent and the program will offer more flexibility, but you will still attend intensive therapy sessions and continue with medication management if needed.

This stage of treatment will help you continue to be accountable for your recovery and will also include periodic weekly testing. The main focus of IOP is continuing to build coping skills and prevent relapse.


After you complete the treatment program, you will have the opportunity to join other treatment center alumni during weekly support groups and social events. These opportunities to meet other program graduates can help you develop new friendships and build social support with others who understand the recovery process.

This support network can help you grow and stay focused on your recovery as you continue to adjust to life after the treatment program and take on new responsibilities.  

Detox From Xanax Today!

You may be wondering how to start detoxing from Xanax. Contact the admissions specialists at Serenity at Summit for free and confidential help. They can provide the guidance and support you need to start your recovery by walking you through the process and answering any questions you may have.

After you speak with a specialist, you will know what to expect from our evidence-based services and feel prepared to make an informed decision about your plans for treatment. Our specialists can also check with your private health insurance to see if your treatment costs will be fully covered.

Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. Call us today at 844-326-4514 and let us help you get started on your journey to recovery.