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How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?

How long does Xanax stay in your system? Are you a Xanax addict? If you are, this may be something you have been wondering. You may be hoping to break the addiction once the drug is out of your system. If this is the situation, you need to understand about addiction to Xanax and what it can do.

It's possible that you're thinking about recovery, but you're worried about Xanax withdrawal. If that's the case, getting an answer to this question is important. Once you know how long Xanax stays in the body, you'll know what to expect when you stop using.

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What is Xanax?

What is Xanax?

This medication is also known as alprazolam.

There are many other uses for Xanax, including for migraine relief, assistance of pain and nausea with cancer and chemotherapy, and for post traumatic stress disorder, among many other conditions. This drug has also been used for people who are detoxing from alcohol to help reduce anxiety.

It’s recommended not to take this medication if you’re pregnant or if you have some types of glaucoma. It’s habit forming which can lead to addiction if taken for long periods of time.

Some people are more likely to become addicted to this medication even if they follow the doctor’s instructions. However, others increase the amount they take without the doctor’s approval. This is a medication that the body can develop a tolerance to which then leads to addiction because they must have more to reduce their anxiety.

Xanax is also found on the street from dealers. It comes in various shapes and colors, which changes the name used. You may hear it mentioned as one of the following:

  • Z bars
  • School bus
  • Bicycle parts
  • Handle bars
  • Footballs
  • White boys or girls

When you hear these terms, you know someone is possibly using this drug without a prescription. If you’re concerned about an addiction for a loved one, this may be a warning sign.

Can You Get Addicted?

It’s a common misconception that a person won’t get addicted to a prescription medication. In fact, it’s possible to become dependent even if you take it as the doctor prescribed, especially if you have a history of addiction. This is one reason why it’s important to tell a doctor about any past issues with drug abuse or addiction. They may change their recommendation for prescription medications if they know your past problems.

Drug abuse and addiction aren’t the same thing, but both can impact your life in a negative way. Even if you only abuse drugs and never become addicted, you can harm your health and cause other problems. You should know what abuse is, how it differs from addiction and the signs of both if you think you might have a problem or have a family member you suspect of an issue.

When a person abuses a drug like Xanax, they begin taking it differently than what it was prescribed or taking the medication when they didn’t have a prescription. They may think they need more to get the results they want or the person may be using it recreationally.

When someone’s abusing a prescription medication, they often think there isn’t any danger. They take it when they feel they need it or when they want to experience the euphoric feeling. They think about the drug even when they aren’t using it. The person may also begin avoiding places where they can’t use or people who will criticize them for their choice to use. If you show any of these signs for drug abuse, you can get help before you reach the point of becoming addicted.

During the stage of drug abuse, the person isn’t addicted. They could stop using if they wanted to. However, they like the feelings they get from the drug, so they have no desire to stop.

With continued use, the abuse will turn to addiction. The brain will crave the feelings that come from the drug and the system won’t know how to operate without it. Once the body becomes dependent on the drug and suffers withdrawal when it isn’t in the system, it can be said that the person is addicted.

Xanax is a powerful drug that doesn’t take long to create an addiction. Just a few weeks on this medication can cause a person to develop a dependence on it. Once they have reached this stage, they may not be able to stop using it without assistance.

When taken orally, alprazolam is absorbed into the system within 45 minutes up to 2 hours. Initial relief of the symptoms this drug is prescribed for usually begins within one hour. It’s metabolized mainly in the liver with most of it going out through the kidneys.

How Long Will Xanax Remain in Your Body After Stopping it?

How Long Will Xanax Remain in Your System After You Stop Taking it?

This is a drug that is frequently prescribed to those who suffer with anxiety and panic attacks. It should only be taken for a short period of time. It should also only be prescribed on an as needed basis. Unfortunately, abuse often occurs more often, resulting in an addiction.

If you have a Xanax addiction, and you want to quit, you have questions. One of those is, how long does Alprazolam stay in your system? To understand the answer to this question, you need to know what the term "half-life" means.

A half-life is the amount of time it takes for half the drug to leave the body. For Xanax, this can range between 9 and 16 hours. After that, half of the remaining part of the drug will leave the body during the same time period. This means that for most people, it can take around four days for alprazolam to be completely gone.

The information provided above is just an estimate. There are a number of factors that influence how long Xanax remains in the body. These factors include:

  • The person's age – Elderly individuals get rid of a drug much more quickly than younger people do.
  • The person's height and weight – People who are either taller or weigh more can get rid of a drug at a quicker rate than people who are smaller.
  • The person's genetic background – Genes definitely have a powerful influence over how quickly alprazolam leaves the body.
  • The person's liver and kidney function – A healthy liver and kidneys will work quickly to rid the body of the drug.
  • The person's drug use history – Using other drugs or alcohol can have an effect on how quickly Xanax leaves the system. Also, long-term use can impact how long it remains.

While these factors can give you an idea of how long it will stay in your system, it’s important to note that it varies by person.

The Alprazolam Half-Life

Additional Xanax Questions

Blood tests are often used by doctor's offices, clinics and hospitals to check Xanax levels. These tests are invasive, but often necessary.

The drug can be detected in your bloodstream within just a few hours after the last dose. If a positive test results, it will remain for up to 24 hours. Because of this short detection window, a urine test might be a better choice.

Urine tests are the most common ways to look for drugs in the body. At a very low dose, users may test positive for as long as four days. For those who use high doses or who use the drug frequently, this window stretches to about a week.

Police stations may use saliva tests to check for drugs in the system. These tests are invasive, but not as much so as blood tests. Saliva tests are actually quite accurate. However, the detection window isn't quite as long as it is for a urine test.

Alprazolam can be found in saliva within a few hours after the last dose. A positive test will be detected for about two and a half days.

Sometimes it is necessary to check for a longer history of drug use. When this type of testing is needed, hair samples can be used.

It can take a few weeks before Xanax can be found in human hair. This is because it takes a while for hair to grow. Once sufficient growth is there, a positive test will remain for around a month. Most tests take hair from your head for testing, but hair from the body can be used if you’re bald. It will have a different timeline though because hair on the body grows at a faster rate than on the scalp..

This type of drug test isn't done very often. This is because it's usually necessary to screen for more recent use. While these tests will tell you if Xanax is present in the system, it may not tell you if the person is abusing the drug or taking it as prescribed if the person was given a prescription by a doctor.

Taking Xanax with Other Substances

It’s highly dangerous to take Xanax with other drugs or alcohol. The risk for fatality increases dramatically when combining two or more drugs. Xanax depresses the central nervous system, which allows you to relax and not be anxious. When you take it with another substance that does the same thing, you’re at a greater risk of stopping essential functions of the body.

You may also experience extreme drowsiness, weakness and fatigue, which puts you at a higher risk for an accident or injury. Some of the most common drugs taken with Xanax besides alcohol include barbiturates, prescription opioids like OxyContin or Vicodin, heroin, methadone or hypnotic drugs like Ambien.

When combining these drugs, you may begin having difficulty breathing and become unconscious. You’re at a greater risk of death in these situations as well. Because you aren’t as mentally alert, you may have trouble recognizing that you need medical attention as well.

Side Effects

You should be aware of the side effects of Xanax whether you’re taking it as a prescribed drug or for recreational use.

How Long Xanax is in the System

Some of the most common side effects include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of balance or loss of coordination
  • Loss of memory
  • Feeling anxious

It may also cause fluttering in your chest, confusion, uncontrolled movements and depression and suicide. It’s important to get help immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.

Overdose on Xanax

It’s possible to take too much of this drug, which can result in an overdose. As your body becomes tolerant of the drug, it may require more for you to get the same results. The amount it takes to overdose may not be much more than what it takes to get the desired results. This is one reason it’s dangerous to increase the amount your taking without doctor approval even if you’re using it for a medical condition.

Overdosing can be fatal. Immediate medical attention is necessary if you overdose.

Signs of an overdose include the following:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Confusion
  • Lack of coordination or balance
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting

Do You Need to Detox with Xanax?

When people think about going through detox, they may automatically picture someone with an alcohol or illicit drug addiction. However, you may need to detox for prescription medications as well if you’ve become addicted.

Factors for Xanax in the Body

To understand the need for detox, you should know how the drug affects your system. When you take these drugs, they impact the chemicals in your brain. They make you feel good or inhibit unpleasant feelings like anxiety. Your brain begins to depend on them for those pleasant feelings. Once the drug is out of your system, your brain sends a signal that it wants more.

As you continue taking the drug, your system begins to be dependent on it to feel good. When the drug is gone, you don’t feel right. You begin to crave those positive feelings which means taking more of the drug. As you increase the dose or frequency, the cravings intensify when it’s not in the system.

If you stop taking the drug on your own, you may experience severe withdrawal symptoms. They could cause you to relapse and start using again or suffer other medical complications. Some of the withdrawal symptoms for Xanax include:

  • Sweating
  • Shaky hands
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Panic attacks
  • Suicidal thoughts

People who have been prescribed Xanax to treat anxiety or insomnia can expect their symptoms to return in higher intensity. As you can see, it’s not easy to stop taking this drug on your own. In fact, it isn’t recommended to try it unless you’re at a detox center where you can get help with this process.

When you go to a drug detox facility, you have two options for detoxing. You may need medical detox to help you get through the worst of the symptoms. With this method, you’re given medications which help reduce the withdrawal symptoms until your body readjusts to life without the drug.

This type of detox is helpful for many, and it often takes away the fear of getting clean. However, these medications often carry a risk of addiction which means prolonged treatment.

The other method of detoxing is holistic detox. With this option, the focus is on nutrition and exercise to help the body get rid of the drug naturally. Getting the right nutrients can help the body fight the symptoms of withdrawal on its own. When you exercise, you release endorphins which help you feel better and may mimic the affects of the drug so you don’t crave it. This method is gaining popularity because it’s natural and safer than other options.

Do You Need Drug Treatment?

Another common misconception for people who are addicted to prescription medications is they don’t need to go to rehab. They may think of drug rehab as a place for people who are addicted to alcohol or heroin. However, there are reasons they became addicted to their prescription drug which need to be dealt with.

Your Options for Xanax Addiction Treatment

Even though you may feel good after detoxing from Xanax, it doesn’t mean you don’t need treatment. You still need to address your addiction, learn what caused it and how to avoid getting into the same situation in the future.

Your Options for Addiction Treatment

If you are addicted to Xanax, you have a lot of options for treatment. Among those options is the choice to go to an intensive treatment program. IOP programs have become very popular in recent years. They provide a higher level of care without requiring an inpatient stay.

Many people appreciate this type of flexibility. It allows them to incorporate drug rehab into their daily lives.

This might be something that you would like to consider. One of the features of this type of program is it gives you more support and therapy than with standard outpatient programs. You spend several hours at a time in treatment, sometimes even all day, before returning home at night.

Others may find that a traditional outpatient program is enough for them. They attend therapy a few times a week until they have completed the treatment plan. This option is best for someone who only abuses drugs or has a mild addiction.

No matter which type of outpatient program you select, you need a strong support network at home. Otherwise, you may find an inpatient drug treatment program the best option.

Inpatient rehab provides a place for you to stay while you receive treatment. You will go through therapy for up to 30 days before you return home. This option is best for anyone who doesn’t have a support system or those who want to get away from temptation while they begin recovery.

Residential rehab is a longer form of inpatient treatment. The person may stay at the facility for several months while they go through a treatment plan. The program is best for those who have been through therapy before and have relapsed or those who have spent years as an addict.

There is no timeline for how long it will take you to go through initial treatment. Every person progresses at their own rate and by taking small steps to reach their goals. It’s important to think about your situation to determine which type of program is right for you.

What Will Happen at Treatment?

You probably may have some idea about what kind of therapy you’ll receive in drug rehab. However, it’s important to know the correct information to dispel any myths you may have.

First, you should expect to go through an assessment which will tell the therapist what kind of treatment plan is best for you. They will also determine if you have co-occurring disorders, which is often the case with a Xanax addiction.

A co-occurring disorder means you have a mental health problem and an addiction. Xanax is often used to treat severe anxiety and other mental health conditions. A person may begin taking it as prescribed and notice an improvement in their symptoms. When the body develops a tolerance for the drug, they may see the symptoms of their condition return. Because they want to get rid of them, the person increases the dosage or takes it more frequently.

With a co-occurring disorder, it’s important to treat both conditions in therapy. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for a relapse when your mental health condition shows symptoms that you cannot bear. You’ll need to attend therapy to learn how to manage your mental health condition and your addiction. You may also need a different medication prescribed to help reduce or eliminate your symptoms.

Most rehab centers include group therapy in their treatment plans. It’s important to have a support system to help you get through recovery and to maintain sobriety after treatment. Group therapy enables you to meet others who are in similar situations. They can offer support and tips on how to deal with specific situations. Sometimes, just knowing someone understands what you’re going through can help you feel not so alone.

Many treatment centers offer alternative therapy. This includes programs such as music or art therapy, yoga, journaling and equine therapy. This type of program is especially beneficial for people who suffer from co-occurring disorders because they may need to learn positive ways to handle their anxiety or other symptoms. Instead of turning to drugs, they turn to drawing, painting, playing music or yoga to help them get through stressful times.

More rehab centers are taking a holistic approach to treating addiction. It’s also a method for treating mental health disorders and their symptoms. In this type of program, the person focuses on improving nutrition and getting regular exercise. They may be lacking nutrients that has caused their body to respond in negative ways.

Exercise is essential to the program as well because it helps the person deal with stress and to feel better. When you work out, you often feel good afterwards because of the endorphins that were released. You may be more confident and positive, which are the same effects you experience with addictive drugs.

Most treatment plans will consist of different methods of treatment to help you reach your goals. They won’t be the same for every person because each one responds to therapy in unique ways.

Evergreen Addiction Rehab

How to Choose the Right Treatment

You should take the time to do some research on the best treatment programs for your addiction. You’ll want to look at a center that treats prescription medication addiction, but you must consider whether you need inpatient or outpatient care and whether an IOP is the best choice to help you get your life back.

You’ll want to compare therapy options at the treatment centers so you know what to expect when you apply. Look for a center with a solid reputation for treating addiction. You should take a tour of the facility and ask any questions you have about the program, treatment or other concerns.

Thanks to changes in the health care system, health insurance is required to pay for drug addiction treatment. This means that people can afford to go for treatment even if they don’t have the money to pay out of pocket. In the past, only those who were wealthy or well-off could seek treatment for a drug addiction. Now, anyone who needs help can get the assistance they need for recovery.

Here at Northpoint Recovery Evergreen, we want you to win the battle with drug addiction. We provide the tools you need to succeed through our intensive outpatient program. We offer a state of the art facility which provides a program similar to what you would get at an inpatient center with more flexibility. You can continue to work a job, go to school or care for your family while getting the treatment you need to move forward with your life.

We create tailored treatment plans for every individual so you know you’re getting the best care possible. Northpoint Recovery takes the holistic approach to drug treatment so you can feel healthy and ready to face life again when you complete your treatment plan.

When you contact us, we can review your information and verify your insurance so you can focus on the most important task, which is starting your recovery. If you feel like you need help with a drug addiction or you’ve been abusing Xanax and need to get in treatment to make changes in your life, contact us today.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

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How Long Xanax Stays in your System