How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?
If you or someone you love has used Xanax or is interested in a Xanax detox, you are probably wondering: how long does Xanax stay in your system? The length of time a drug remains and the possible Xanax side effects can all contribute to the detox and recovery program.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are a group of prescription medications typically prescribed to treat things like anxiety disorders, panic attacks, insomnia, muscle spasms, or alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepines like Xanax must be given with a prescription, but they come with serious side effects and a high risk of addiction.
How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?
However, how long does Xanax stay in your system is much different. Some people mistakenly believe that drugs once used will naturally leave the body as soon as the effects or “high” wear off, but this is not true.
So how long does Xanax stay in your system? For someone who casually uses a prescription for Xanax, the residual compounds might remain in the body for three or four days. But someone who is heavily addicted to Xanax might have residual compounds for up to a week or longer.
What are the Side Effects of Xanax?
With Xanax, there are common side effects, severe side effects, and the most severe side effect of all: addiction
Xanax is one of the most heavily prescribed benzodiazepines, and in spite of how popular it is, there are many common side effects of Xanax, including:
- Slurred speech
- Problems with memory
It is not recommended that you use benzodiazepines of any kind for more than two to four weeks. The longer you use Xanax, the more likely you are to develop more severe side effects, including:
- Decreased motor functions
- Impaired concentration
- Loss of sex drive
- Slower processing
- Poor reaction time
- Memory loss
- Increased depression and anxiety
- Social phobia
Chronic use of Xanax can lead to significant tolerance, dependence on the drug, and eventually drug abuse.
- There is a high risk of tolerance where physical dependence on Xanax happens, and you need higher and higher doses to get the same effect.
- There is a high risk of addiction. Studies indicate that after four to eight months of treatment with Xanax, 40% of patients develop dependence.
How Can Xanax Affect the Body?
So, how long does Xanax stay in your system? This is based on how much you have used and how often. It can also be impacted by any other drugs that have been in your system. Understanding Xanax’s side effects and how long residual compounds remain can give you a better idea of what to expect with a Xanax detox.
GABA and Xanax
Xanax affects the body most significantly by changing what your brain produces. The way Xanax or any other benzodiazepine works is by increasing the effect of GABA, a hormone that is naturally produced in your body and promotes calmness and relaxation. GABA is also used within the body to naturally contain your levels of excitement.
When this balance doesn’t work out on its own, it can lead to overactive minds or bodies, the inability to sleep, and general levels of anxiety or panic attacks. Xanax can be prescribed to improve this balance when the body doesn’t do it naturally, to calm down your levels of excitement and anxiety, and to increase your relaxation and sleep.
However, long-term reliance on a prescription like Xanax means your body stops producing the right level of GABA more and more often and no longer achieves a good balance on its own. When this happens, you end up taking more and more of your prescription to try and achieve the same effect. Long-term, this type of dependence can lead to Serious drug abuse.
For some people, anxiety treatment needs to include coping skills, a way to address the symptoms of anxiety disorders when they arise. This can include a mixture of therapy, medications, and holistic treatments. Holistics treatments and evidence-based practice can teach cognitive-behavioral changes, meditation, yoga, relaxation techniques, exercise, and other ways to naturally manage anxiety when feelings of panic arise.
Let us help you manage your inherited anxiety.