Benzodiazepines are effective medications for anxiety disorders simply because they hit the bloodstream quickly, say researchers writing in the journal Current Medical Research and Opinion. Unlike therapies, which can take weeks or even months to become effective, pills like Xanax can deliver a change people can feel in mere minutes, and that makes them popular for officials who want to help their patients overcome anxiety.
Even though Xanax pills work quickly, they don’t fade out of the body with that same speed. In fact, it can take a long time for the body to clear out benzodiazepines like Xanax, and that’s something people might discover during detox.
A Detox Game Plan
Xanax is excreted from the body at the same pace in adults and teenagers, according to research published in the American Journal of Pediatrics, so programs for adults and teens may not have different schedules to follow. But those programs may be highly individualized, depending on the needs of patients who come in for care.
When detox begins, teams assess how much Xanax the person is accustomed to taking, and they determine how long that abuse has been going on. With that information, they can develop a tapering schedule.
The idea is to help the brain adjust to sobriety through a series of slow, steady, measurable steps. Instead of thrusting an altered brain into sobriety, teams attempt to help the brain cells adjust to life without drugs in steps that aren’t sudden or harsh. Each day, the person gets a little bit less of the drug, and in time, the person gets no drugs at all.
For some, this is a process that’s measured in weeks. For others, it can take much longer to complete a full detox protocol, and that’s perfectly acceptable. Teams aren’t interested in pushing and rushing people. They’re interested in healing. When people need a little more time to fully heal, teams help that happen.
While some people can go through tapering from Xanax by sticking with the drug, research from Physicians Postgraduate Press suggests that moving to a different benzodiazepine might be wise. Xanax is considered an “intermediate speed” benzodiazepine, as it hits the body quickly. But clonazepam is a slow-acting benzodiazepine. That might make this drug less rewarding and less high-inducing. It could be a better choice for detox.
Other medications that might play a role during treatment include:
- Anti-seizure therapies
- Anti-nausea agents
- Sleep agents
Not everyone needs these therapies, but for those struggling with the detox process, they could be good choices.
It’s vital, however, for anyone using medications as part of detox to take those medications as directed. That means no cheating with dose times and no packing on the dose amounts. People who can’t follow those directions might do better in structured, inpatient rehab so they’ll have supervision.
If you’d like to find out more about how detox works or you need help finding the right detox program, please call the number at the bottom of the page. We have operators standing by to help.