Jan 16, 2014 | By Tim Stoddart

The Dangers of Xanax Withdrawal

Xanax Addiction

The Dangers of Xanax Withdrawal

When many people think about addiction issues, they often think of alcohol or street drugs. Prescription medications are becoming more and more prone for abuse, however, and Xanax poses a problem for many users.

If you or someone you care about is suffering from a Xanax addiction, you probably know how important it is to kick the habit as soon as possible. You should never try to quit using Xanax without the help of a professional, however. Instead, you should seek treatment at a qualified rehabilitation facility or treatment center if you want to quit your addiction while staying as safe and healthy as possible.

xanax withdrawal

Understanding Xanax Addiction

Xanax addiction can happen for many reasons. For example, you might have been prescribed Xanax by a physician or psychiatrist but became overly dependent on it. It is surprising the number of people who become addicted to this medication or who begin abusing it after obtaining a prescription from a physician.

It is also surprisingly easy to get your hands on Xanax. You might have been given a few pills from a friend to ease “anxiety” or to simply feel good. A lot of people don’t think it’s a big deal to share medications that were prescribed by a doctor, but doing so is illegal and can be incredibly harmful.

As a central nervous system depressant, Xanax slows down the activity of your brain. It can cause drowsiness and help reduce stress and anxiety, but it is easy for your body to build a tolerance for this drug. Over time, you might have found that you needed to take more and more Xanax to achieve the feelings that you were craving. Many people who are addicted to Xanax feel as if they cannot function without it.

Kicking a Xanax addiction is important if you want to live a normal and happy life. Taking this drug in excess can be detrimental to your health and can cause a lot of bad side effects. By seeking the help of a treatment center, you can kick the habit for good. It might not be easy, but it will be worthwhile when you are able to take back control of your body and life.

The Dangers of Xanax Withdrawal

Xanax withdrawal can be incredibly dangerous for many reasons. Because Xanax causes normal function in your brain to slow down, your body can try to overcompensate if you come off of the drug too quickly. This can result in your brain racing out of control. Seizures are common among Xanax addicts who quit using the drug abruptly, and rage, hyperalertness and more can come from Xanax withdrawal as well. You can even die from a Xanax withdrawal, particularly if you stop abruptly after taking large doses of Xanax, even for a relatively short period of time.

You should have an understanding of what to expect with detoxing.

How to Kick a Xanax Addiction

As you probably already know, quitting Xanax is essential if you want to carry on with your life in a normal manner. It isn’t as easy as simply stopping using the drug, however; doing so can cause serious side effects and can even result in death.

Instead, you will need to talk to a physician about gradually lowering your dosage to more manageable levels. Doing so will allow your body to adjust to the lack of Xanax more slowly so that your brain and the rest of your body do not react as violently.

There is still a good chance that you will feel some side effects from quitting Xanax. You will find that the limited dose of the drug will not provide you with the same euphoria as the doses that you are accustomed to taking, which can make you very frustrated and can cause you to crave more. It is important to be under the supervision of a professional during this time period; otherwise, you could be tempted to take more Xanax to help alleviate these symptoms and to gain the same feelings that you are accustomed to.

Even if you slowly take yourself off of Xanax, there is still a chance that very negative and dangerous side effects will occur. This is why it is essential to work with a medical professional who can recognize these symptoms and offer you the medical assistance that you need.

If you are ready to get off of Xanax but want to do so safely, now is the time to check yourself into treatment. If you do, you can get the help that you need to quit using Xanax in a healthy and safe manner.

27 responses to “The Dangers of Xanax Withdrawal

    • michael skewes

      9 years ago

      Yes ,with all ,depending 5 how long you have been taking it ,the absolute best way is to swallow your pride and tel your doctor you are asking for help , they will give it too you .I’ve done this a few times in my life with different things , strating with alcohol and then vicodin and some and when I was finally really clean for years ,I was in a head on collision and when I woke 5 months later ,I had to stay on medication ,but I went back to the doc that knows I’m an addict but it all took 4 years to find the medication that didn’t get me high ,with actual cronic pain I had to find a couple of drugs that would help but not have me running around looking for more to get high! You have to really want this and if you do ,you will get the help you need! This either ends 2 ways ,you don’t have to hit bottom to realize that , and believe me ,bottom is a lot further down then you think it is and it is hell on earth! Or you can ask for help now and take it serious and you will be done ,I’ve been there I know,you are all in my prayers .

  • Raymond,
    Ativan, Xanax, Klonapin, Valium, etc. are all benzos and have the same risks involved in quitting them safely. Quitting them, with medical supervision, is still preferable to being dependent upon them. See a Dr. for detox, and hit an NA mtg. Good luck!

  • Raymond,
    Ativan, Xanax, Klonapin, Valium, etc. are all benzos and have the same risks involved in quitting them safely. Quitting them, with medical supervision, is still preferable to being dependent upon them. See a Dr. for detox, and hit an NA mtg. Good luck!

  • I was addicted to Percocet, but did not realize that I was also addicted to Xanax. When I finally fessed up about my addiction to Percocet, I left out the Xanax part. I was so ashamed of myself. I quit both cold turkey, which I knew that could have severe consequences. Don’t EVER let shame stop you from getting the appropriate help! I was extremely lucky that I did not have any negative side effects from stopping abruptly and have been sober for 2.5 years. It was hard, but I did it and I beat the addiction!

  • I was addicted to very high doses of xanax for several years and had to be hospitalized for 14 days to be taken off xana. I attended 1 1/2 years of outpatient treatment and am now 19 months clean but still fight the crave.



  • I’ve been taking xanax for seven years straight everyday. Idk how to stop.

  • Great article I have we will call her a “friend” who has been in Xanax for years. Her psychiatrist has warned her to stop, tried prescribing a different med which she did not like (of course) she nearly had a breakdown, not surprised about the seizures. she got her gp to prescribe Xanax again. Then she had knee surgery. Adding pain meds seemed to really make thinks more interesting. And now she takes a daily pain med WITH the Xanax. So do we have abuse of Xanax now? And a dual drug addiction?

  • Robert Dold

    9 years ago

    I too am addicted to valium AND xanax. Also smoked weed and drank alcohol with every pill I swallowed. I am now over 10 years sober from drinks or drugs or sex with strangers. Addiction to benzos is a tough thing to overcome but knowing you’ll die if you continue is a good reason to try stopping. I tried stopping by myself many many times always changing one addiction for another. Not until I went to rehab did I start to address the underlying issues (sexual abuse) which caused me to use in the first place.

  • I used xanax for about 4 years. When I came off of them I had seizures, and I still do. I haven’t taken them for a couple years but I still have seizures years later from the initial withdrawal. This really isn’t anything to play with IF YOUR ADDICTED TO BENZOS GET HELP! When I was 15 I lost my father and my doctor prescribed me klonopin to help me cope. I was instantly hooked. I got really bad into any and all benzodiazepines! I spent so much money and time try I.g to get these everyday! I needed them to go to the store, to a party, or to sleep. I always had an excuse with my anxiety disorder. I’m telling you probably don’t even realize your addicted because it has your brain so numb to real life!! If your ashamed or think people with look down on you when you get help because they find our you used xanax FUCK THEM! This is literally for the sake of yourself!! I’m 21 now and I have a great job, an amazing fiancee, and a scholarship for college and I was probably more addicted than ANY OF YOU!! I would still do anything to go back to being able to feel how I did before benzo use! I’m telling you it is the scariest thing in the world wondering if your going to have a seizure everyday.. at work.. at home.. ANYWHERE! and I have them for the rest of my life because of a few years when I was young that I used this drug. This is the worst thing to get addicted to. Please get yourself help and stop using these pills to cure your problems. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!

  • I was on Xanax for 5yrs and now have been off of them for a year and was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I did it and still to this day I crave them and not sure what to do to not have these cravings?

  • I also have taken Alprazalom(?) don’t know if I spelled that right, for about 7yrs and I too don’t know how to stop. (same as zanax)

  • I’ve been taking them on and off for a few years and yes I do feel a little bothered when I stop. About ten years ago I went through a heroine addiction and kicked cold turkey many times. I also never crave It. Xanax withdrawal is nothing compared to that. I guess my body has built a high tolerance to withdraw.

  • I take one 1mg. Xanax at night to sleep. It slows down my over active mind. Will I go through withdrawl for that amount? I never take for or use them for any other reason.

    • I have taken ativan, klonopin and my Dr just changed me to Valium. I’ve been off and on ativan and klonopin a few times. I take a half milligram twice a day, sometimes I don’t take one if I’m not feeling anxious. My psychiatrist told me that some people are prone to addiction than others and most people who have a problem misuse them
      If they are helping you then I would continue. If you notice you are feeling like you need more, talk to your Dr. If you are worried, talk to you Dr.

  • My Dr gave me Xanax 24yrs ago. Lago. 2 us ago I started to take more than was prescribed to me. I was up to 10 pills a day at 1mg. I got of control. I was on the verge off losing my marriage and family. I went into rehab. It was the hardest thing I did in my life. The withdra from Xanax is so painful. I have even2yrs clean this June 2016 and so happy physical and mostly mentally.

  • Was on Halcyon (Triazolam) for sleep. Worst cold turkey withdrawal I’ve ever been through. And I’ve been through a few.

  • I take 15 mg. Of Ativan every day and have for years due to tremors. Can’t stop.

  • M-John Hacking

    8 years ago

    I can appreciate your point and area of focus as Xanax is one of many drugs overused, but one of unique and devastating impact to stop taking. I do understand your feelings, but have a viewpoint I’d like you to to think on, and maybe expand the scope of your opinion. I am 48 yrs old, 5’11’ 260lbs, after 14 years of Mortgage Banking, I was forced to reinvent my Career, I chose to follow a lifelong passion for photography. My father died when I was 18, I was informed 14 hrs away at pre-boot camp orientation for the USMC, during my 1st semester College break. The CO said, ‘Son, you Dad’s dead, I’m sorry we’ll get you transported back to the base where you can drive home. I didn’t speak nor cry until well into my 30’s, I did however develop a unique symptom. From that day on, nearly every nighttime meal I ate, I would expel 5 minutes later, until at 30yrs old as a GenMgr at World Mrtg I was made to seek a Dr. 5 months of testing revealed I had what is now ptsd. After 6-7 medications as well I was re-diagnosed with ADHD, I landed on Aderrall and 8Mg yes 8Mg of Xanax. That was 17 years ago, and I took it am noon pm, I never got high, I never fell asleep, I did lose the searing pain in my stomach. ‘I later reasearched Xanax side effects and wanted to be taken off. A psychiatrist, and a Pharmacologist (precaution as the dose was massive- I needed constant liver function tests, and education on how to take breaks from both Meds to not become so tolerant they wouldn’t work), both informed me that even with intensive therapy I was undergoing, I would need this med for life, because no other medication works the same way shutting down the brain and CNS, BUT we agreed to titrate to 4mg, which I did. That was 10 yrs ago, and subsequent attempts with 2 Dr’s resulted in the same persuasion that I would not be able to manage the underlying issue, so it would only create a worse problem for me, as I have to function at 100% or I lose my job, that’s the industry. I was the top GM on the EastCoast, I raised my son now 24, and I’d anything I missed out on events with him due to Work loyalty never fatigue. FFWD Photography was a mental and physical blessing, my grain was able to flourish in a Creative way, and I certainly got exercise climbing mountains every month.
    I have a very serious point and here it comes, on May 27th I was diagnosed with an AutoImmune pulmonary disease called Sarcoidosis. It attacks through the central nervous system, laying dormant in less than 1/350k people until 1 very stressful, or a lifelong of stress finally breaks the central nervous system, mimicking a heart attack, releasing ‘granulomas’ (cellular growths that turn to irreversible scar tissue in the lungs. It also can send them to other parts of the body, but always the lungs. There’s no cure, and in my case here’s the poignant RUB! I was forced into a new Behavioral Health stucture in my state that replaced the normal Phsychiatric Dr patient relationship. I didn’t even get a Dr. I got an LPN, one who ‘Doesn’t believe in Xanax’, even after my history upon 1st visit 16 moths ago she cut me to 2mg a day then 1.5 mg a day. I’ve struggled with relentless agony, with no relief, so bad I resorted to buying Xanax illegally. So after reasearching my illness, finding from the Head of the best Research Clinic for this specific disease that XANAX is a highly recommended med to assist at calming the body down to stop, in my case 60% losses lung capacity, 4 surgeries to remove giant 3x3cm masses (like 15) from my hands that have crippled my ability to hold a camera, or shake my sons hand, although I blame the health care structure, I blame many dr’s that took 14 months to diagnose this, but I also really wonder if the reduction in Xanax wasn’t ‘my stress ER that started this’, you see I LIVED A GREAT LIFE, I have friends that rival family members in fierce blind loyalty. Friends that flew Marine 1, are Enviromental Lawyers impacting the World in huge ways, and a Wife that is Ride or Die. Even I am a pretty good guy, donating most of my net $ to animal rescue, and amassing nearly 500k followers. Still even facing Death, and 4 Specialists forwarding recommendations (as THEY CANT PRESCRIBE IT THEY ARENT PSYCH dr’s- * for anyone that wants to attack that 1 point, in MY STATE & believe me I am very skilled, there is no way around a full 8 week intake into a BH facility to maybe get this medication, unless you’ve had a dr for 20 yrs, sorry my dr retired- sommultiple calls to this NLP to suggest I need to stop the chaos in my body, that has thrown my blood sugar off, and is allowing this to continue actively, steroids are not possible as my blood sugar issues. I’m not diabetic, literally with an accurate dose to stop the again piercing stomach pain, let alone the burden of what I am now facing, STILL SHE WONT F&$%#& budge.
    So when you write a strongly worded article, ‘you will never live a happy life until you quit Xanax”, would you like to switch with ? What is your happiness? Have you ever had the feeling of being stabbed in the stomach, for your entire life? How do you suggest I forget a learned behavior of survival after my father died and I was a 22 yr old Executive, after putting myself through school? A behavior that in fact allowed my incredible success as I never had a knee jerk reaction to devastating news, allowing me the Cool head to solve problems in, both zcorporate Life and personal life, and now facing being homeless as I’ve exhausted my retirement am unable to do anything as I tend to open wound lesions on my hands, as I care for my wife who’s childhood horseriding accident is now frontal lobe damage and degrading her mind? My son 24, will you be there for him?
    I ask YOU because I’m sorry but it is this exact blanket attitude about Xanax, yet no one questions 90mg of amphetamines p day, (granted I REALLY HAVE ADHD SO I DONT GET SPED UP, I ONLY GAIN SOME FOCUS), but still pharmaceutical cocaine and my life has been stolen in 14 months over 1 women’s, ‘ non belief in Xanax!’ It’s these exact 1 sided viewpoints, and absolute statements of never finding happiness until quitting Xanax. I fully understand the abuse, I’m very aware, like I said I obtained it illegally in urgent times, the fact 10 under 27 young adults have scripts for 90 2mg bars p/month is mindblowing. But to not at least add 1 line that in SOME CASES , SEVERE CASES XANAX CAN BE UNDER TIGHT SUPERVISION A TREATMENT THAT HAS BENEFICIAL OUTCOMES’. Just 1 line, or even that Xanax is so very unique, Ativan, klonopin, Valium, ER al benzo’s are similar but none can do what this medication does, and some patients suffer from mental and physical illnesses that in fact can find relief from yrs of endless pummeling of the bodies nervous system with this medication.
    I can respect that if you could start everyone from scratch, and get implementations of therapy and techniques of stress relief in place early in the ramping up of symptoms, maybe we could be Xanax free, maybe that would somehow effect the World backdrop of terrorism, hatred, senseless killing, and misguided racial tensions, maybe, but I think there’s a much huger issue at play.
    If we as a Society educate people about Health Care from a position of Certain Medications will render you powerless, regardless of illness, to live a Happy , productive, enriched and fulfilled life, we have already lost. Because to not encompass all situations when making those statements, regardless of Being a recovery forum, or not, you are bound by a responsibility to offer truth, when you command the endorsed credulous ability to offer advice of opinion. To do otherwise doesn’t help the greater, you see in fact it cripples the few, while the greater blindly agree never experiencing thevpowerless feeling of severe anxiety. I’m practice eastern meditation techniques, belong to a Sangha, and have reached a Statevof no mind on numerous occasions. What is buried inside me is there never to be cured, as a result I now have months to live, Donyoubthink I’d really be better off without Xanax ? Every single test shows other than this 1 disease ‘I am extremely healthy, the fact I lived of savings for 2 years would speak to my ability to succeed, but also, I’ve learned an important lesson, maybe you could ponder? ‘ Success is Ones own personal inner peace, true pure satisfaction with the simplest of life’s offerings. True Success allows One to offer compassion to anyone in need, even inThe Face of Hatred, in the face of evil, in the weakest of moments to offer anything you have if it relieves another’s suffering in the slightest bit. Achieving that success when you sleep no better in an 8000 sq ft home, or a tent, THAT is the faith in ones ability , faith you’ll find solice everyday, within the selfless act of compassion, for anyone, is success one can only know, not describe, and will bring resolve when you find yourself at your weakest moment. As you know, compassion will be offered to you.
    Be passionate about your work, maybe stop just once in a while and think past the horror of instant addiction, like to a simple otc drub life Afrin, think why was this drug ever formulated? Maybe just maybe it will offer you more insight into why, there is an epidemic today. An epidemic of Apathy, to not act at all, is the only act that can be, ‘Too Small to make a difference’. Thank you.

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