The Dangers of Quitting Xanax Cold Turkey
Going cold turkey means quitting the abuse of drugs or alcohol abruptly with no weaning period and no professional assistance. Many people assume they can stop using a drug just as easily as they began taking it. This is rarely the case when benzodiazepines like Xanax are concerned. Few people who abuse benzodiazepines are aware of how dangerous they can be, even when taken as prescribed.
Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 52 million people abuse a prescription drug over the course of their lifetimes. In truth, FDA approval of a pharmaceutical drug does not mean users are safe from harm.
In some instances, Xanax is considered to be more toxic than other benzodiazepines. In one study published by the British Journal of Pharmacology, the length of stay for 131 people who overdosed on Xanax was 1.27 times longer than people who overdosed on other benzos. Of those who overdosed on Xanax, 22 percent were treated in intensive care units — 2.06 times more than other cases.
How to Quit Safely
If a person has been abusing large amounts of Xanax, the tapering process may take a bit longer. That doesn’t mean that someone who uses smaller doses doesn’t need supervision. Medical detox is the only way to ensure safety and wellbeing during the withdrawal process.
Following detox, it is advisable to seek out a plan for continued care. Overcoming addiction is not as simple as stopping use of the drug. Medical detox is only part of the recovery equation. Sustained sobriety requires a complete treatment plan. Through therapy, individuals can address underlying issues that led to Xanax abuse and build the confidence needed to stay sober after detox.
Therapy for co-occurring disorders is essential for those who ended up dependent on Xanax as a form of treatment for panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. According to Helpguide, 29 percent of all people affected by mental health disorders abuse drugs or alcohol. Alternative treatments are available that can address both issues – the Xanax abuse issue and the mental health disorder.