Xanax Withdrawal and Detox

Last Updated: September 25, 2023

If you are in an immediate emergency, call 911. If you are looking for more information on substance abuse treatment and it is not a medical emergency, call our 24/7 Xanax Helpline at 855-416-2466.

Xanax, the brand name for alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine medication. Benzodiazepines are primarily used to treat anxiety by stimulating GABA receptors in the brain. When Xanax is used long-term, the brain adjusts by reducing the number of GABA receptors or making them less sensitive. This results in the body needing Xanax to function normally, a condition called dependence.

Xanax detox involves the body slowly ridding itself of the Xanax in its system and readjusting to life without the drug. During this time, you may experience uncomfortable Xanax withdrawal symptoms. A medically supervised detox can make this process as safe and comfortable as possible.

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

During the Xanax withdrawal period, the body and brain may be significantly more active than normal. Until GABA receptors readjust their sensitivity and numbers, they will not be able to relax the body as they should. This leads to several withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium

The symptoms of Xanax withdrawal are the opposite of the drug’s normal effects. Because Xanax is used to help mental health problems, Xanax withdrawal can have negative mental health symptoms.

Xanax Withdrawal Seizure

While Xanax can cause several unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, one potential symptom is more than just uncomfortable. Seizures are caused by abnormal brain activity and can be very dangerous, leading to brain damage or even death in some situations.

Benzodiazepines can be used to treat seizures by causing the brain to relax. Xanax withdrawal can make the brain overly active and sensitive, making seizures more likely. The risk of seizures will depend on many factors, including:

  • The amount of Xanax used
  • The frequency with which Xanax was used
  • How long Xanax has been used
  • How your body responds to Xanax
  • How at-risk you are for seizures normally

If you are about to withdraw from Xanax, you should speak with your doctor about your risk of seizures. Seizures can be fatal, so seek professional addiction treatment if seizures are at all possible. Your medical detox team can monitor and prevent seizures with early treatment as needed.

How Long Does Xanax Withdrawal Last?

Xanax withdrawal can last 5–28 days but lasts for 10–14 days for most people. The precise timeline for Xanax withdrawal will vary based on how much and how long Xanax has been used. Xanax withdrawal may take 6–24 hours to begin after quitting Xanax, and the physical symptoms will peak in 5–14 days.

While physical Xanax withdrawal symptoms only last a few weeks, there may be psychological effects that last months or years. One of the important components of rehab is learning how to cope without Xanax and overcome psychological symptoms.

Xanax Withdrawal Timeline

Everyone’s Xanax withdrawal timeline will look different, but an average Xanax withdrawal experience may look like:

  • 6–12 hours: Symptoms for Xanax withdrawal may start around this timeframe, commonly with anxiety, headache and insomnia.
  • 1–4 days: As withdrawal begins to progress, symptoms gradually intensify. The symptoms that Xanax was initially used for may return more intensely than before. Vomiting, flu-like symptoms, diarrhea and severe agitation may develop.
  • 5–14 days: The most difficult time in withdrawal is as symptoms peak. Medical supervision during this time can help prevent seizures and other dangerous symptoms. Without professional support, relapse can be more likely at this time.
  • Two weeks and beyond: After the symptoms peak, many of the physical symptoms will begin to subside. Mental health-related symptoms may subside more slowly than physical symptoms. The risk of seizures decreases, and inpatient rehab treatment can start to avoid relapse.

Xanax Detox

Detoxing from Xanax should ideally be done in a professional detox facility to avoid medical complications and provide the best chances of success. The length of detox will vary as each person reacts to Xanax withdrawal differently.

At Orlando Recovery Center, your medical team completes clinical assessments and develops a personalized treatment plan before medical detox begins. During detox, patients receive around-the-clock medical care to make the process safer and more comfortable. Medical detox is necessary to prevent and treat dangerous withdrawal symptoms like seizures.

Following detox, clients with severe addictions often enter inpatient Xanax addiction treatment and rehab, where they stay onsite at the facility and attend individual and group therapy alongside their medical care. Those with supportive home environments and milder addictions can participate in outpatient rehab, where they live at home and visit the facility for treatment frequently.

Xanax Detox Facilities in Orlando

Orlando Recovery Center is a 93-bed licensed rehab and detox facility in Orlando, Florida, with a sister facility in Umatilla, Florida. We are accredited by The Joint Commission.

Our licensed addiction specialists are committed to helping people achieve long-term freedom and recovery from addiction. We offer a full continuum of care, starting with medical detox to inpatient and outpatient services to suit your unique needs. Contact us to get your questions answered, discuss treatment options and achieve lasting recovery from Xanax addiction.


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National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Is there a difference between physical d[…]dence and addiction?” December 2, 2020. Accessed December 9, 2021.

Pétursson, H. “The benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome.” Addiction, 1994. Accessed December 9, 2021.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Types of Seizures.” September 30, 2020. Accessed December 9, 2021.

Hu, Xiaohong. “Benzodiazepine withdrawal seizures and management.” Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, February 2011. Accessed December 9, 2021.

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