How To Stop Taking Xanax Safely
Xanax no longer is talked about like it once was in the 80s and early 90s. During the peak of Xanax's popularity, physicians seemed to have little regard or knowledge for the long-term impacts of tranquilizer use. After all, Xanax and other benzodiazepines quashed panic attacks and panic disorders like no other pills had before. They were created specifically in response to even more addictive tranquilizers and were thought to reduce the risk of abuse.
Today, what once was considered a relatively benign prescription has become the most prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States. Even though we now recognize Xanax as a highly addictive substance, with a high risk of abuse, prescription rates continue to rise. More than 45 million prescriptions for alprazolam-containing drugs, such as Xanax, are written in the United States every year.
Doctors just keep writing the prescriptions, fueling an increasingly tranquilized society. Patients who once took Xanax to manage anxiety disorders now are highly addicted. Quitting Xanax is one of the most challenging journeys to take.
How to Quit Xanax Without Side Effects
Physical and emotional addiction to tranquilizers such as Xanax is painfully real. Although "How to stop taking Xanax safely," is a frequently asked question, there are few tangible answers.
First and foremost, anyone seeking to kick the Xanax habit should consult with a supportive physician. Without the support of a qualified doctor, it is very easy to slip back into the addiction cycle again. Voice your specific concerns, ask for advice and get to know the risks of withdrawal. A physician also should help you lay out a step-by-step plan to wean yourself off this powerful drug.
Many people want to quit Xanax cold turkey, but this is the worst way to kick the habit. Cutting it out entirely, without a slow disengagement, is not only difficult but dangerous.
Benzodiazepines have a short half-life compared to similar tranquilizers, meaning their effects don’t linger for long once ingested. The effects wear off so quickly that people commonly experience small episodes of withdrawal between doses. This short lifespan triggers physical and emotional dependence, especially when the drug is taken for long periods of time.
This also makes it dangerous to quit cold turkey because a dependant body will go into full-blown withdrawal syndrome. In some cases, withdrawal can be so severe, it is lethal.
The most effective method for quitting Xanax for good is by reducing the dosage, slowly, over an extended period. Most medical advice suggests reducing dosage as slowly as possible to avoid unnecessary shocks to the system. It's crucial to do this under the guidance and support of a physician who can help monitor side effects and reduce dosage when needed.
But you still might be wondering, “How to quit Xanax without side effects?” Truthfully, a withdrawal or side-effect free detox from Xanax just may not be possible. But that doesn’t mean you need to suffer through the withdrawal in silence. There are many ways to manage the challenging symptoms. Some exciting research has been done on using cannabidiol (CBD) for Xanax withdrawal.
CBD for Xanax Withdrawal
The research into CBD for Xanax withdrawal is inadequate, but there could be much to learn from CBD for more generalized withdrawal symptoms and use with other addictive substances. There are already many initial investigations of CBD for addiction and withdrawal for substances such as opioids, cannabis, psychostimulants, tobacco, and more.
What the current research suggests is that, depending upon the substance, CBD may be beneficial for every phase of addiction: intoxication, withdrawal, and relapse phases. As of yet, there is no information available for alprazolam withdrawal and CBD. However, the data about CBD for opioid withdrawal, in particular, is compelling.
In the intoxication phase, CBD reduces the reward-facilitating effect of the drug. During the withdrawal phase, especially when combined with other cannabinoids such as THC, CBD could have a synergistic impact on the severity of the symptoms. In the relapse phase, for opioids and psychostimulants, CBD potentially reduces the risk of relapse and drug-seeking behaviors.
There is also significant research into CBD for the treatment of anxiety disorders themselves. It's actually one of the most supported areas of CBD research today. Notably, a recent review of the literature confirmed that “Preclinical evidence conclusively demonstrates CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders, including PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD, and SAD, with a notable lack of anxiogenic effects.”
The authors made a point of confirming its relative safety profile, and minimal sedation. Both are characteristics Xanax never can claim to have. So, with further research, not only could CBD lessen the problems associated with Xanax withdrawal, it potentially could treat the underlying anxiety condition as well, all without a high risk of abuse or side effect.
How To Stop Taking Xanax Safely
A quick step-by-step guide to quitting Xanax:
- It can be extremely dangerous to quit any benzodiazepines cold turkey.
- Speak with a supportive and understanding healthcare professional. Voice your concerns regarding long-term Xanax use and request assistance getting off of it.
- Develop a long-term plan to slowly and patiently wean yourself off of the drug, a little bit at a time. Do not rush it.
- Manage withdrawal symptoms effectively.
Cannabidiol, although not yet approved by the FDA for either Xanax withdrawal or anxiety, still is widely used across the country by patients seeking all-natural alternatives to these exact issues. Because there is no federal oversight, people often have to determine the proper dosage on their own.
Before getting started on your journey of trial and error with CBD, explore the essential guidelines on CBD dosage to get started. If you have questions about CBD for anxiety relief, learn everything you need to know about the anti-anxiety mechanisms of this powerful plant-based cannabinoid.
RELATED: The Anti Anxiety Mechanisms of CBD
There is no single answer to the question, “How to quit Xanax without side effects.” Instead, it's much more important to focus on the question, “How to stop taking Xanax safely?” The road to becoming Xanax-free is long, and at times difficult, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel if approached with the right knowledge and management plan.