Xanax is a benzodiazepine medication that doctors prescribe for short-term treatment of panic and anxiety orders. If someone uses these medications for too long, it can be habit-forming and lead to drug dependence. Some people don’t realize they need to taper off Xanax, and unmanaged Xanax withdrawal can result in severe symptoms, such as increased anxiety, psychosis, and seizure.
The proper rate for decreasing dosage depends on many factors and should be closely monitored by a medical expert. Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida maintains a specialized detox center to help clients taper off Xanax safely and comfortably. Call us today at 866.294.5306 for more information.
How to Stop Taking Xanax Safely
The exact tapering schedule will be different for each person. Recommendations rely on a variety of factors, including the following:
- The severity of physical dependence
- Co-occurring mental health or medical issues
- Family history of addiction
- Genetic factors
- The use of other substances
- Chronic stress
Other biological information may also influence drug dependence and withdrawal. Customized tapering schedules consider all significant variants to help eliminate the most severe withdrawal symptoms.
Your personalized plan may look different than the plan described below. However, this general outline gives a realistic breakdown of what to expect from Xanax detox.
To help manage withdrawal, your doctor may prescribe a longer-acting form of a benzodiazepine such as diazepam, otherwise known as Valium. To begin with, the rate of replacement is typically 10 mg of diazepam for each 1 mg of Xanax. Diazepam is often used because it is less potent but stays in the system longer than Xanax.
Withdrawal symptoms begin to peak after day three. Symptoms to expect include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure
- Strong drug cravings
- Sensitivity to light, touch, and sound due to heightened sensory perceptions
At this stage, the attending medical professional may adjust the dosage of diazepam.
Weeks 2, 3, and 4
During these weeks, the medical team will continue to decrease your diazepam dosage, as the severity of Xanax withdrawal symptoms also decreases. For example, a client taking 30 mg of diazepam during week two would taper down to 25 mg during week three and 20 mg by week four.
Dosage will remain steady at this time. By this point, most physical symptoms have resolved, and clients begin to feel physically well, but psychological withdrawal symptoms like depression and anxiety may worsen. Behavioral therapies, counseling, and other forms of supportive care can help manage these symptoms.
By week nine, clients using diazepam should have their dosage reduced to around 15 mg per day. Emphasis on relapse prevention and stress management helps clients learn the skills they need to handle anxiety in a healthy way.
As diazepam dosage is reduced again, individuals attend individual and group counseling and therapy sessions. Outpatient support group meetings may also begin.
Diazepam is tapered down to 5 mg per day, and addiction treatment therapies continue.
At this point, your doctor may discontinue the use of medication altogether. The process of tapering off Xanax is complete. Therapies, counseling, and support may continue as outpatient services. Continuing with support services is vital long after finishing Xanax detox. The psychological withdrawal symptoms of Xanax can continue for several months.
Begin Recovery at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida
Recovering from Xanax dependency is possible with careful detox management and support. Our knowledgeable medical staff will develop a personalized Xanax detox plan with your health and comfort in mind. Call Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida today at 866.294.5306 and break your Xanax dependence for good. You can also use our convenient online form to start on the road to recovery.