Ways to Stop Taking Xanax

Ways to Stop Taking Xanax

When it comes to quitting a drug there isn’t just one right way to do it. So how do you stop taking Xanax?

If you've been using Xanax for an extended period, you may have developed a physical dependence on the drug. Quitting abruptly can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, seizures, and even psychosis. To ensure a safe and successful recovery, it's crucial to work with a healthcare professional to develop a tapering plan. Keep reading to learn how.

Understanding Xanax Dependence

Long-term use of benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, can result in physical dependence. The body and mind become reliant on the drug to function properly. When you attempt to stop taking Xanax suddenly, your body experiences withdrawal symptoms as it adjusts to the absence of the drug. These symptoms can be severe and may include insomnia, panic, anxious moods, nightmares, flashbacks, and derealization. It's essential to recognize the risks associated with quitting Xanax abruptly and seek professional guidance for a safe tapering process.

Signs and Symptoms

It's important to note that using Xanax without a prescription or in ways other than prescribed can lead to abuse, dependence, and addiction. Here are some signs and symptoms associated with Xanax use:

  1. Sedation: Xanax is a central nervous system depressant, so individuals may appear excessively drowsy or lethargic.
  2. Confusion: Users may exhibit confusion or disorientation, experiencing difficulty concentrating or remembering things.
  3. Impaired coordination: Xanax can affect motor skills and coordination, leading to clumsiness or unsteady movements.
  4. Slurred speech: Speech may become slurred or difficult to understand due to the depressant effects of Xanax on the central nervous system.
  5. Dizziness: Users may experience feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness, potentially leading to falls or accidents.
  6. Memory problems: Xanax can impair memory formation and recall, resulting in forgetfulness or blackouts.
  7. Changes in mood: Individuals may exhibit mood swings, agitation, irritability, or emotional numbness while on Xanax.
  8. Depression: Prolonged use or withdrawal from Xanax can lead to symptoms of depression or exacerbate existing depressive symptoms.
  9. Social withdrawal: Users may withdraw from social interactions, preferring to isolate themselves or avoid social situations.

The Importance of Medical Detox

Medical detox is a crucial step in safely stopping taking Xanax. It provides a structured and supportive environment where healthcare professionals can monitor your progress and manage withdrawal symptoms. During medical detox, you'll receive appropriate medications to alleviate discomfort and ensure your safety. Dehydration can worsen withdrawal symptoms, so staying hydrated is essential. Avoiding stimulants like caffeine and alcohol is also recommended. Consuming small, bland meals can help with nausea, and high-protein foods can provide the necessary nutrients to maintain strength.

How to Stop Taking Xanax: Developing a Tapering Plan

Tapering off Xanax should always be done under the supervision of a healthcare professional. They will assess your individual situation and develop a personalized tapering plan based on factors such as the dose you've been taking and the duration of your Xanax use. Typically, a minimum of eight weeks is required to effectively wean off Xanax. The dose reduction is gradual and depends on the withdrawal period. For example, if you've been taking 6 mg per day, the dose may be reduced by 25% every two weeks. It's crucial to follow the tapering plan precisely to minimize withdrawal symptoms and ensure a successful recovery.

Supportive Care and Therapies

In addition to medical detox and tapering, supportive care and therapies play a vital role in overcoming Xanax addiction. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Interviewing (MI) are effective therapies that can help you address the underlying causes of addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may also be used to ease withdrawal symptoms and manage cravings. Other therapies, such as EMDR, DBT, individual therapy, and group therapy, can provide additional support during the recovery process.

Dual Diagnosis and Co-Occurring Disorders

Many individuals with Xanax addiction also experience co-occurring mental health disorders. It's crucial to address these conditions simultaneously for a comprehensive recovery. Dual diagnosis treatment programs are designed to treat both substance abuse and mental health disorders concurrently. These programs integrate therapy, medication management, and holistic approaches to address the complex needs of individuals with co-occurring disorders. By treating both the addiction and the underlying mental health condition, individuals have a higher chance of achieving long-term recovery.

Continued Support After Stopping Taking Xanax

Completing a tapering program and detox is a significant milestone, but it's essential to continue receiving support after treatment. Aftercare programs provide ongoing guidance and resources to help you maintain sobriety. These programs may include outpatient therapy, support groups, and relapse prevention strategies. Building a strong support network of friends, family, and peers who understand your journey can also make a significant difference in your long-term success. Remember, recovery is a lifelong process, and ongoing support is crucial for maintaining a drug-free life.

Alternative Approaches to Xanax Withdrawal

Stopping taking Xanax under medical supervision is the recommended approach, some individuals may be interested in alternative methods to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. It's important to note that herbal remedies and over-the-counter detox aids have not been scientifically proven to effectively manage Xanax withdrawal. Combining these substances with Xanax detox can be dangerous and may lead to unpredictable interactions. It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure your safety and the effectiveness of your treatment plan.

Seeking Professional Help for Xanax Addiction

Overcoming Xanax addiction is a challenging journey, but you don't have to face it alone. Professional treatment centers, such as The Recovery Village and Zinnia Health, offer comprehensive programs specifically designed to address Xanax addiction. These centers provide a range of services, including medical detox, therapy, and aftercare support. They work closely with individuals to develop personalized treatment plans and provide the necessary tools for a successful recovery.


Stopping taking Xanax safely requires a structured plan, medical supervision, and ongoing support. It's crucial to work with a healthcare professional to develop a tapering schedule that suits your individual needs. Remember, recovery is possible, and with the right support and treatment, you can overcome Xanax addiction and lead a healthy, drug-free life. Reach out to a professional treatment center today and take the first step towards a brighter future.


Harmon Ridge Recovery Center- How to Stay Positive in Recovery

Array Behavioral Care- The Power of Positive Thinking in Addiction Recovery

Guardian Recovery- 10 Tips for Staying Positive During Drug Addiction Recovery

The smarter way to stay accountable
Real-time group support and personalized feedback to help you overcome addiction — no matter how many times you’ve tried.
Learn Morean iphone with the text identify where boundaries may have slipped

Find Effective, Evidence-Based Treatment for Addiction in the Relay Program

There is help available to you if you or a loved one has a physical dependence or psychological dependence on a behavior or substance. These urges and compulsive behaviors can control your life, but you can take back control. Relay's addiction recovery program provides a comprehensive, outpatient approach to behavioral change - at home, at your own pace. To each new program member, we provide a personalized recovery plan, a peer support group, progress tracking, journaling, and intelligent insights about your behavior patterns, all within a simple and secure mobile app Our proven approach helps program members achieve the best chance at long-term recovery without the time or expense of rehab or therapy. Try the Relay program for free here; if you need help as you get set up, contact us now at

relay logo

Get connected and stay accountable
with peers

Join a team

A better way to recovery, right in your pocket.

a cell phone with a text message on the screen