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Can I Detox off Xanax by Myself?

Learn more about Xanax detox, what to expect, and which detoxification option is appropriate for you.


Xanax is a benzodiazepine medication and is the brand name for alprazolam. It is used in the treatment and management of panic disorders and anxiety. Although Xanax is effective in treating and managing panic and mood disorders, it has a significant downside: it can be very addictive.

When benzodiazepines are misused or abused for a long time, the body becomes very dependent on them, eventually leading to addiction. The good news, however, is that Xanax dependence can be effectively treated by detoxification at a
drug rehab center or clinic.1

Importance of Detoxification

Detoxification is an essential stage on the path to recovery, and it's important to note that until the detoxification process has been carried out, further addiction treatment and recovery cannot be done. Some people attempt to detox themselves off Xanax at home, but this isn't a recommended approach. Read on to find out everything you need to know about Xanax detoxification.

What Is Xanax Detox?

Xana detoxification is the medical withdrawal of Xanax from the body. During the detox process, Xanax is removed (following a period of constant use) in a safe and medically acceptable manner. It is the first step to assisting someone to stop using Xanax, especially after prolonged use. Xanax withdrawal must be carried out gradually because the body becomes very dependent on its presence. Any attempt to stop Xanax suddenly will lead to withdrawal symptoms that can be uncomfortable or even fatal.2

Why Do I Need it?

The purpose of Xanax detoxification is to assist you in overcoming your dependence on the drug and to correct any hormonal and chemical imbalances brought about by prescription drug abuse or the excessive use of Xanax.

The Xanax detoxing process will help to manage any unwanted symptoms of detoxing from Xanax. Reducing or stopping Xanax abruptly might result in severe health conditions like seizures, panic attacks, and insomnia, which is why self-detox is not recommended. Withdrawing from Xanax under medical supervision in a drug detox clinic effectively reduces the risk for these issues and makes recovery safer and more comfortable. Additionally, detoxification from Xanax prevents severe health conditions like cognitive impairment, amnesia, and addiction.

What Leads to Xanax Misuse?

Two main factors lead to the misuse of Xanax. The first factor is when someone takes it without knowing its addictive effects. This typically occurs when an individual uses Xanax based on a doctor's prescription but develops an addiction to the drug after an extended period of use. Such individuals will then want to take more without a medical personnel's prescription.

Environmental conditions like peer influence, socioeconomic status, and unemployment also play a huge role in Xanax misuse cases, especially when there's already a genetic tendency or family history of drug abuse or misuse.

How Long Does Xanax Withdrawal Last?

The effect of Xanax withdrawal normally lasts about eight to twelve hours after usage of the last dose, and the withdrawal process is accompanied by unpleasant withdrawal effects. These symptoms are usually worse on the second day and then decrease in severity on the fourth or fifth day. However, some acute withdrawal symptoms can last substantially longer.

Research has shown that about 10-20% of individuals who use Xanax (
benzodiazepines) for a long time experience protracted withdrawal. Protracted withdrawal is a lengthy experience characterized by waves of moderate psychological symptoms that come and go for several months. However, in the case of Xanax, these symptoms can last up to a year.3

What to Expect During Xanax Detox

During Xanax detox, your medical care provider will most likely begin the process by asking you a series of questions regarding how long you have been using Xanax and the type and severity of the withdrawal symptoms you have experienced when trying to quit Xanax on your own. They will also conduct a full physical exam and mental evaluation to detect any potential underlying medical conditions and develop an effective, personalized detox plan for you. The Xanax detoxification process can be accompanied by severe withdrawal effects, so patients are usually placed under constant medical supervision for their health and personal safety.

Examples of Xanax withdrawal effects include the following:

  • Seizure
  • Tremulousness
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hallucinations

Xanax Detox Timeline

Although the Xanax detoxification timeline is generally the same for all patients, there are some Xanax withdrawal time differences for each person, depending on various factors, including:

  • Dose and frequency of use: The time it will take to detoxify a person who has consumed a significant amount of Xanax will be longer than that of a person who has only consumed it in a moderate amount.5 
  • How long you have taken Xanax: The duration of Xanax use also affects the detoxification timeline. For example, if you have been taking the drugs for over a year, it will take longer to complete detoxification than someone who has just taken the drug for a few months.
  • Use of other substances in combination with Xanax: Simultaneous use of other substances, such as alcohol, often leads to detox complications, meaning it'll take longer to detox individuals in this category than someone who only abused Xanax.
  • Other medical conditions: Medical conditions like obesity or liver disease can affect the metabolism, absorption, and elimination of Xanax, which can have a direct impact on Xanax detox timeline.

Can I Detox off Xanax by Myself?

You should not attempt drug withdrawal on your own because it is dangerous and unpredictable. The safest way to stop using Xanax if you are dealing with Xanax detoxification is with a medically assisted detoxification program. Medical detox programs offer personalized programs and round-the-clock medical help to meet your unique needs.

Medically assisted detoxification programs
reduce the chances of relapse since you'll receive consistent professional assistance during every stage of the detox procedure, and the fact that you’ll be residing in a medical environment throughout the detox process means the temptation to give in to urges to consume Xanax is significantly reduced.

Can You Detox From Xanax at Home?

If you ever decide to attempt to detox from Xanax at home, you need to seek guidance from a medical professional, like a nurse or doctor, to monitor the entire process. You should also inform your loved ones to get support to ensure the detoxification goes as planned.

Although home detox is an option, persons with a severe addiction should
seek professional help because detoxing from Xanax can result in life-threatening problems like seizures, which will be difficult to handle in a home setting.6

When Is At-Home Withdrawal Unsafe?

At-home withdrawal of Xanax can become unsafe and cause severe complications. If you engaged in any of the practices or have the conditions listed below, it is recommended that you avoid at-home withdrawal of Xanax.

Inject Xanax

Injecting Xanax is extremely dangerous. It is difficult for the body to absorb, and the intravenous use of drugs negatively impacts your brain. In addition, at-home withdrawal by injecting Xanax exposes you to a number of health risks.

Have Had Seizures in the Past

If you have had a seizure in the past, it is not safe to try at-home withdrawals. This is largely because the home environment simply isn't ideal for effective seizure treatment and management.

Take High Doses of Xanax

You should not opt for at-home withdrawal if you consumed high doses of Xanax during your addiction process. This is because there is an increased likelihood that your Xanax detox process will be accompanied by severe withdrawal effects that are practically impossible to manage properly at home.

Have a Dependence on Other Drugs in Addition to Xanax 

Concurrent use of Xanax with other substances of abuse is also a huge at-home withdrawal red flag because there will likely be severe health complications during detox.

Have an Underlying Psychiatric Condition 

Individuals with an underlying psychiatric condition should not try the home-withdrawal method as it can expose them to different health hazards since their withdrawal effects will tend to be much more severe.

Tried Quitting Xanax Before Unsuccessfully

If you have tried to stop the use of Xanax but it was unsuccessful, it is unsafe for you to try the home-withdrawal method.

Xanax detox

What Happens After Xanax Detox?

Xanax detoxing isn't a "fix-all" because it doesn't change the circumstances that led to addiction in the first place. It only enables you to withdraw from Xanax to overcome dependence. Following detox, it is recommended you enroll in a drug and alcohol treatment facility where you will be exposed to treatment options such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, individual and group counseling, and substance abuse education, all of which address the underlying causes of your addiction and help you develop coping mechanisms for dealing with drug use triggers. Additionally, these Xanax addiction treatment centers offer psychological care to treat symptoms like anxiety that may linger for several weeks or months after Xanax drug detox.7

Coping with Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

Dealing with Xanax withdrawal symptoms can be pretty challenging. However, there are several approaches you can use to make the withdrawal process much less unpleasant for you. Some of these approaches include:

Overcome Xanax Addiction At San Diego Detox

Xanax is highly addictive, due to its powerful anti-anxiety effects, and withdrawal from Xanax can be challenging. If you or someone you know is looking to withdraw from Xanax safely or is experiencing any side effects of Xanax withdrawal, San Diego Detox is the perfect place for you.

At San Diego Detox, we offer a high-quality Xanax addiction
treatment program and a secure environment to help you overcome withdrawal symptoms. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you on your journey to sobriety.

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