Xanax is a brand name for a sedative medication, alprazolam. Doctors prescribe this medication to manage anxiety and panic disorders associated with depression. 

For patients struggling with intense anxiety and high levels of panic, this drug can be helpful, but it can also be highly addictive. As a result, if you have been on the medication and quit taking it, you may experience some Xanax withdrawal symptoms.

The good news is that you can eliminate or avoid the withdrawal symptoms by enrolling in a proven-effective Xanax detox program in California for Xanax withdrawal. While Renaissance Recovery doesn’t have a detox program on-site, we’ll connect you with our detox program partners for this stage of recovery. 

woman looking out at a lake representing alcohol and stroke risk

Phases of Xanax Withdrawal

When you stop taking Xanax, withdrawal occurs over three possible phases. While most people will experience the first two of these Xanax withdrawal phases, not everyone suffers from protracted Xanax addiction withdrawal.

These phases are as follows:

  1. Immediate withdrawal
  2. Acute withdrawal
  3. Protracted withdrawal

1) Immediate withdrawal

The immediate Xanax withdrawal symptoms are often called rebound symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms are named for the way they mirror the same symptoms the drug was treating, anxiety for instance.

Early withdrawal symptoms begin within hours of the last Xanax dose. Withdrawal occurs so quickly because Xanax is a short-acting benzodiazepine.

The employment of drug substitution or drug tapering can help soothe some of the more aggressive early Xanax withdrawal symptoms.

a woman sits with her arms wrapped around her legs to represent the question how to stop drug addiction

Phases of Xanax Withdrawal​ (Cont.)

2) Acute withdrawal

Acute Xanax withdrawal begins immediately following the above phase, with symptoms lasting from a few days to a week.

In some cases, acute withdrawal lingers for months.

Close medical monitoring is advisable during this challenging phase of benzo withdrawal.

3) Protracted withdrawal

In most cases, symptoms will fade once acute withdrawal is complete.

The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology estimates that between 10% and 25% of those using benzos will experience withdrawal lasting for a year or more.

The symptoms of protracted benzo withdrawal include:

  • Depression
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Acute anxiety
  • Lowered libido
  • Impaired focus

These post-acute Xanax withdrawal symptoms can seriously disrupt your overall quality of life and become quite distressing

Now, let’s answer the question: how long until Xanax withdrawals start?

a man sits with his head in his hands to represent xanax withdrawal and detox timeline.

Xanax Withdrawal Timeline

The timeline of Xanax withdrawal symptoms, as well as the severity of those symptoms, depends on the following variables:

  • How long you have using Xanax
  • Your Xanax dosage
  • Whether or not you have been misusing a prescription
  • Whether you have been using Xanax without a prescription, or using someone else’s prescription
  • If you are abusing alcohol or any other substances
  • Any underlying health conditions

6 to 12 hours after last use

The short half-life of Xanax means the effects wear off and withdrawal can commence after as little as 6 hours.

With Xanax leaving your body, you can expect to experience irritability and anxiety that often becomes more pronounced throughout the withdrawal process.

Days 1 to 4 of Xanax withdrawal

Xanax withdrawal symptoms are most intense during the first few days.

During this phase of withdrawal, insomnia and rebound symptoms of anxiety peak. You can also expect to encounter common Xanax withdrawal side effects including sweating, shaking, and muscle pain.

After the fourth day, most symptoms start subsiding.

Days 7 to 14 of Xanax withdrawal

Although Xanax withdrawal symptoms can last for up to two weeks – sometimes more as outlined above – in most cases, symptoms fade after a week.

The worst phase of withdrawal is complete, and the severity of any lingering symptoms should reduce in intensity.

Day 15 of Xanax withdrawal onwards

If you have any persistent symptoms by this stage of Xanax withdrawal, they should be mild and manageable.

icon of 2 hands holding together as a heart

Fight Back Against Xanax Addiction

Get evidence-based treatment to overcome Xanax addiction at Renaissance Recovery. Call our team now to learn more about the process.

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms​

So what does Xanax withdrawal feel like? Some withdrawal symptoms from Xanax you might experience include:

  • Emotional outbursts and irritability
  • Mental fog and inability to carry out simple tasks
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Seizures from xanax and suicidal thoughts
  • Sleep disorders
  • Body and muscle soreness/ pains

However, there are many more symptoms that may present. Click the drop down sections below to learn about these symptoms in detail. 

an image of a stethoscope representing a xanax detox

Xanax Detox

Xanax detox or detoxification is the process of removing the drug from the body while managing withdrawal symptoms. The detox process is an essential first step in treating Xanax addiction and initiating long-term recovery. Attempting to detox from Xanax without medical supervision can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening. The safest and most comfortable way to detox from benzos like Xanax is at a licensed medical detox center or drug rehab facility. 

During Xanax detox, medical professionals will assess your physical and mental health to create a personalized detox plan. The plan may involve tapering off the medication gradually or using medications to manage withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, medical professionals may recommend inpatient detox. Inpatient Xanax detox involves staying at a treatment center for around-the-clock medical care and supervision. 

Xanax withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, panic attacks, tremors, seizures, and insomnia. These symptoms can be intense and challenging to manage without medical help. 

At Renaissance Recovery, we can help provide a drug detox through one of our relationships we have in the area. Our experienced and compassionate team provide personalized care to ensure that each individual receives the most effective treatment for their unique needs. With our support, you or your loved one can safely detox from Xanax and take the next step at our intensive outpatient program.

Xanax Rehab at Renaissance Recovery

Counseling and psychotherapy can be usefully applied to Xanax withdrawal and recovery. Psychotherapies like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) can be useful for helping you keep your symptoms under control without relapsing and reaching for a Xanax prescription.

When the original symptoms you were taking benzos to treat rebound, some prescription medication can be effective. Buspirone can be beneficial for countering severe anxiety symptoms, while flumazenil can ease some withdrawal symptoms.

How to Begin Recovery

You’ll need to schedule an appointment with your prescribing doctor and then you can engage with our services here at Renaissance Recovery’s California rehab center. With a combination of MAT (medication-assisted treatment), psychotherapy, and a tapered reduction, we can help you move away from a life reliant on Xanax.

Before closing, we are compelled to reiterate the advice above concerning the potential danger of withdrawing from Xanax unsupervised at home. While seizures and serious side effects of withdrawal are rare, it’s not worth taking the chance. By engaging with our evidence-based treatment programs, you’ll maximize your chances of sustained recovery.

To get started, speak with your doctor about Xanax withdrawals and then contact our addiction hotline at 866.330.9449.

Our Xanax Addiction Treatment Programs

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Sober Living Homes and Communities