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Will Xanax Help with Opiate Withdrawal?

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When you are trapped in a cycle of opiate abuse, you know that something is wrong. You aren’t happy. You don’t feel good. You are constantly using drugs to escape the anxiety you feel when you consider the state of your life. But, you are trapped.

Opiate use is no longer a choice; it is an urge, a need. You know you need to enter treatment but, you might be freaked out by the idea of detox. How can you make it through the discomfort? How can you truly go without your drug of choice?

Detox isn’t easy. Withdrawals are the worst. And, it’s not unusual for your fear of them to make you avoid getting treated. You might think that the answer is to try it at home first, to see what it is like and evaluate whether or not you can do it.

People who think they will independently detox from opiates generally end up using pretty early in the process just to stop feeling terrible. And, people know this. To solve this problem, people look for medications they can take to alleviate the pain.

Some people try drinking. Other people try to score gabapentin. And still others think some Xanax might be what they need. Ultimately, all of these attempts to ease you suffering are awful and will create more problems than they solve. Why go to all of this trouble to achieve poor results when all you really need to do is enter a professional drug treatment program? Call 800-662-8079 and explore your options. An expert will answer all of your questions and help you to understand what goes into recovery and how you can make it happen in your life.

What Are the Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal?

Before we discuss the reasons people think Xanax will work, it’s important to understand what people in withdrawal have to cope with. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, signs and symptoms of opiate withdrawal include:

Opiate Withdrawal

Taking Xanax for opiate withdrawal relief can lead to addiction.

  • Racing pulse
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • High body temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Bone and muscle pain
  • Abnormally heightened reflexes
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Goosebumps
  • Muscle spasms
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Runny nose
  • Yawning
  • Tearing

Some of these seem like they aren’t too punishing, but opiate withdrawal is truly crippling. This is why people get so anxious to find a way to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Why Do People Think Xanax Will Help?

Xanax belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. These medications act on the central nervous system and brain to create a calming effect. This is achieved by enhancing the effects of GABA, a natural chemical in the body. For this reason, Xanax is prescribed for panic disorders, anxiety disorders, anxiety caused by depression, and other conditions linked to hyperactivity in the brain.

People think that Xanax will be ideal in addressing the anxiety, restlessness, muscle cramping, dysphoria, and insomnia associated with opiate withdrawal. Because it is so soothing, Xanax does help people with anxiety and sleep, but that doesn’t make it appropriate for use in helping alleviate withdrawal.

What’s the Best Way to Ease Opiate Withdrawals?

Why Isn’t Xanax Good for Opiate Withdrawal?

Firstly, it’s important to know that Xanax is a rapid-acting benzodiazepine. It has a very short half-life, so it has to be taken quite often. It typically lasts a mere four hours before its effects are no longer present. Opiate withdrawal is at least 72 hours and often much longer. To administer Xanax every four hours for days means taking a lot of it.

If there’s one thing you don’t want to do, it’s take a lot of Xanax because it is highly addictive. The fact that it is short-acting means that it has a high likelihood of being habit forming. Studies have documented an inverse relationship between the length of a benzodiazepine’s action and its abuse liability. The speedier the onset and offset, the more addictive it tends to be.

Without the supervision of a doctor, the likely outcome of treating opiate withdrawal with Xanax is that you will walk away addicted to opiates and Xanax. Further, there are studies that show opiate and benzodiazepine co-dependence worsens opiate withdrawal. One study found “Co-dependent patients had significantly more severe opiate withdrawal symptoms.”

To learn about the safe, medically sound methods used in drug addiction treatment programs, call 800-662-8079. Don’t try this at home. Let the experts help.

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