Anxiety disorders are the most commonly diagnosed mental illness in the United States. In fact, approximately 30 million Americans used benzodiazepines in 2017. Benzos are man-made medications that belong to the class of psychoactive drugs used to treat various psychological and neurological disorders including insomnia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), seizures, alcohol withdrawal and panic attacks. The effectiveness of these medications are attributed to their ability to enhance the effect of the neurotransmitter Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA). When a person feels anxious, the brain goes into overdrive, tranquilizing transmitters (GABA) send messages to brain cells, slowing activity in the brain and reducing anxiety. One of the most commonly prescribed and abused benzodiazepines is Xanax. Unfortunately, once you’ve been taking Xanax for a prolonged period of time, it is impossible to safely quit cold turkey.
Xanax is a powerful, fast-acting prescription medication for anxiety. When taken as directed, for short periods of time, it is extremely effective. Although it is intended to be used for only two to four weeks, it appears Xanax is being prescribed for longer durations. Benzos have been labeled America’s other prescription drug crisis. Xanax is often a common denominator found in celebrities’ toxicology reports. Extended use leads to physical dependence and weaning people off the drug can take weeks or months, depending on the dose.
It’s not uncommon for those who have been prescribed Xanax for longer durations of time decide they no longer want to take the drug. There are many reasons why someone would want to discontinue using Xanax. It could be due to unwanted side effect such as drowsiness, memory problems or difficulty concentrating. Regardless of the reasons for wishing to discontinue the drug, it’s important to taper from the drug slowly, under the guidance of a medical professional.
Discontinuing Xanax, especially for durations beyond four weeks, should be done under medical supervision. Why? Because the withdrawal symptoms from Xanax can be deadly. Recently, rapper Lil Xan went public about experiencing seizures after quitting Xanax cold turkey. The young rapper opened up to TMZ about his scare, “I was in the hospital cause I had stopped taking drugs cold turkey. Cause I didn’t want to be on drugs no more, but the withdrawals actually gave me seizures.”
In addition to seizures, quitting Xanax cold turkey puts an individual at risk for:
- trouble sleeping
- worsened (rebound) anxiety
- blurred vision
- panic attacks
If you or someone you love is struggling with a Xanax addiction, we’re here to help. Harmony Ridge Recovery Center is a nationally-recognized drug and alcohol treatment facility. Addiction is a medical disease, and should be treated by medical professionals. Just like you’d want to seek treatment from an oncologist for cancer, you want to receive treatment from experienced addiction professionals. Research shows that individuals who enter and remain in treatment can manage their addiction and quality of life. Are you ready to break free from addiction and live a fulfilling life of sobriety? Give us a call today! (855) 340-8224