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What is the first step to take to detox from Xanax?

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Lily Bradic Profile
Lily Bradic , Stopped taking multiple anti-anxiety medications this way, answered

The fact that you want to detox makes me think that you're taking more Xanax than a doctor would prescribe, perhaps even recreationally. It's not sensible, but it's still an easy habit to get into with these sorts of drugs, so I can understand.

How To Stop, Or Detox

The best way to stop taking a benzodiazepine-type drug such as Xanax, Valium or Ambien is to taper yourself off gradually.

If you stop cold-turkey, you're going to feel terrible, and will be more likely to start taking them again to stop the withdrawal symptoms, which often take the form of anxiety.

The problem with drugs like Xanax is that you quickly develop a tolerance, and end up having to take them in such quantities that you then become dependent on them.

The good news is that once you're off them (or have drastically decreased your intake), you actually start feeling far less anxious — or at least I did.

First Steps

  • Work out how much Xanax you have left.
  • If you have plenty left, you can taper slowly, and gradually decrease your dose until you're not taking any at all. If you're running low, you'll have to be more careful, and really ration what you have left.
  • You should, based on this, be able to set a 'stop' date. Draw up a plan if you don't trust yourself not to conveniently forget!
  • Try not to assess your state of mind — if you're constantly asking yourself if you're feeling worse for not taking Xanax, you'll end up convincing yourself that you do feel worse. Forget about it, if you can. Keep yourself busy and surrounded by people and projects.
  • Find another way of managing your anxiety. I know it's not ideal, but at times when I used to take Xanax, I now just go to bed instead. Sometimes I end up sleeping for over 12 hours, but if you're going to bury your head in the sand (which admittedly isn't a great idea), it's still better to do so by sleeping than it is by abusing prescription drugs or alcohol!
This worked so well for me that I forgot that I even had any after about 2 weeks, and several months on, I still have a few left over now. I have no desire to take them, but they're good to have around as a safety-net in case of an anxiety attack.
If you think you'll be tempted to take any leftover Xanax, dispose of the pills in such a way that nobody else will have access to them (flush them down the toilet, or something).
Good luck, and remember to stay positive — you can do this!

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