Ask & Answer: How long does Xanax stay in your system?
Xanax remains in the human body system for a period of four days. However, different tests can detect previous use of the drug on a variety of timelines as noted below.
Urine test – during this type of test a doctor or lab specialists is required to collect a sample of urine from the patient in question before taking it through a process of analysis. This test is able to detect the presence of Xanax for up to 7 after the last use of the drug.
Saliva test – for this particular test saliva is the main specimen collected from the patient before being subjected to a process of analysis. Unlike in the previously mentioned test, saliva tests can detect presence of Xanax only within 5 days of previous use.
Blood tests – during this type of test specialists collect a small amount of blood from patients before subjecting it to a lab analysis process. For most cases this test can detect the presence of Xanax for up to 6 days after the last instance of use.
Hair tests – during this test specialists are required to collect a small amount of hair follicles from the patient. Hair can be collected from the head or any other part of the body. The test is done on the internal part of the hair follicle and can detect the presence of this drug for a period of up to 90 days after the last instance of use. This makes hair tests some of the most effective in determining the use of substance.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is basically the trade name or brand name for Alprazolam which is a powerful benzodiazepine anxiolytic. In other words it can be termed as a minor tranquilizer. Benzodiazepine is a class of drugs that have a calming effect on the brain and nerves of users. Once taken this substance acts by accelerating the effects of GABA which is a natural chemical produced in the human body.
Xanax is commonly used for the management of various anxiety disorders. It is quite effective when used for treatment purposes because it has sedative, relaxant, amnestic, hypnotic and anticonvulsant properties. It is worth pointing out that Xanax is a habit forming substance. Meaning that anyone who continues using it without strict adherence to doctor’s instructions may end up becoming addicted to it.
What is Xanax used for?
This drug is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders and anxiety that comes as a result of depression. Before taking this drug it is important to consult a qualified doctor for directions. Below is a closer look at some of the conditions that can be treated using Xanax.
Generalized anxiety disorder
This is a group of symptoms that may affect both children and adults. It is characterized by continuous anxiety or worry that actually has the ability to affect normal living. This condition can be managed by techniques such as psychotherapy and medication. Below are some of the symptoms that are commonly associated with the condition.
- Having an extremely difficult time in handling uncertain futures or expectations
- Inability to shake off worry regardless of the personal efforts you put into it
- Inability to make a decision coupled with extreme fear of making mistakes
- Having a difficult time relaxing or being restless most of the times
- Having a hard time concentrating or focusing on important issues
- Paranoia or perceiving situations as being risky even when they are not
- Overthinking plans and solutions
- A persistence of worry and anxiety despite constant reassurances
- Muscle tension and aches
- Sleep disturbances or insomnia
- Feeling fatigued most of the times
- Sweating and trembling
This is a condition that is characterized by unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are basically moments when an individual is overcome by intense fear over something that may pose a real or imagined danger. Some of the symptoms that may occur during a panic attack are noted below.
- Sudden onset of profuse sweating
- Shaking uncontrollably out of fear
- Shortness of breath or a choking feeling
- Mild or severe chest pain
- Feeling nauseated
- Having feelings of overheating or chills
- Becoming dizzy or fainting altogether
- Feeling detached from self or drifting into unrealistic realm
- An extreme fear of losing control or mind
- Worrying about an impending danger, harm or death
- Alterations in heart rate or development of palpitations
- Feeling numb
Anxiety caused by depression
Depression is basically a mental condition in which a victim feels hopeless and loses enthusiasm in daily activity. This condition has the ability to drain individuals of their energy and zeal which are important in making strides with regards to daily living. Individuals that suffer from this condition often develop anxiety which is why doctors may administer Xanax as a way of calming them down. Below are some symptoms of anxiety caused by depression.
- Persistent nervousness
- Fear of the future
- Inability to relax or feeling restless most of the time
- Paranoia or fear of impending danger which may not be real
- Fear of negative outcomes including harm to self or loved ones
- Constant worry even when reassured of peace and safety
How does Xanax work?
Xanax belongs to a category of medicines that are known as benzodiazepines. These drugs work by affecting unbalanced chemicals in the brains of individuals with anxiety related disorders. In essence this drug works by calming down or offering a mild form of sedation to individuals with anxiety disorders. Once an individual takes Xanax the drug enhances the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid. This chemical is capable of minimizing neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system.
Is Xanax effective?
Xanax is one of the most effective drugs when used according to instructions provided by a qualified doctor. Between the year 2005 and 2013 it was the most prescribed drug in the United States of America. This is owed to the fact that its effects could be felt by just about anyone that took it. Worth noting is the fact that individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders are unable to continue living a productive life. The use of Xanax to calm people down inevitably allows them to focus on important issues about life. This ultimately means that individuals are able to get back to daily activity without the fear of panic attacks or other related complications.
How should I take Xanax?
Xanax must be taken according to the instructions that are provided by a qualified doctor. If the drug is purchased in a labelled package be sure to go through all the details included. This will allow you to know exactly how to use the drug. Taking larger amounts of the drug without consulting your doctor is considered drug abuse and can result in dire consequences.
It is equally important to point out that users must never take an underdose as the same may have negative consequences. Only the individual that has been instructed to take this drug should use it. Anyone else must avoid any temptation of taking the drug. Do not stop using this drug before consulting your doctor. This is because individuals that suddenly stop using the drug end up going through unpleasant withdrawal effects.
What if I miss a dose?
If you do not take a given dose for one reason or another be sure to take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next Xanax dose ignore the missed dose and continue taking the drug as if nothing has happened. Do not take more than the recommended number of tablets just to compensate for missing a given dose. Overdosing can have dangerous health consequences.
What if I overdose on Xanax?
In case you or a loved one takes more than the recommended amount of Xanax you should seek medical assistance immediately. Xanax overdose can lead to serious health complications and even death. Some of the symptoms of overdose are noted below.
- Feeling drowsy
- Weakening of the muscles
- Sudden loss of balance
- Extreme confusion
- General body weakness
- Impaired coordination
How should I store Xanax?
Just like any other prescription drug Xanax should be stored away from the reach of children. It should not be stored together with other foodstuffs in the home. Make sure that the container in which this drug is kept has a clear label to make it easy for everyone to identify. Do not keep the drug in a wet environment. Instead store it in a cool dry place. While in storage you should monitor the amount of Xanax tablets available. This is the best way to detect if anyone within the home is taking Xanax in a manner that may cause complications.
How long can effects of Xanax last?
In most cases the effects of Xanax can last for a period of four hours. This drug is a short-acting drug which is why patients with anxiety disorders are required to take it several times within a day.
Why do people abuse Xanax?
Xanax is a drug created for the purpose of treatment. However, there are a number of people that use this drug for other purposes because of the pleasurable effects it induces. Drug abuse basically refers to a situation where a drug is used for any purpose other than what the doctor recommended. In a majority of cases the pleasurable or rewarding effects of using Xanax can be experienced a few minutes after taking the drug. Another point to note about the drug is that it is a short-acting substance which means that abusers can take it repeatedly within a few hours. Below are some of the euphoric or pleasurable effects that are produced by this drug.
- It induces relaxation and causes a sense of calmness
- It leads to feelings of unreality
- It causes hallucinations which may include smelling, seeing and hearing things that do not really exist
- May cause deep sleep which is a desirable effect for people who often have insomnia or sleep disturbances
- Makes users talkative especially those who are often regarded as introverted or shy
- Decreases awareness meaning that users will no longer be disturbed by existing problems
- Boosts sex drive or increases interest in sex
What happens when people abuse Xanax?
When individuals abuse Xanax they put their lives at risk. This drug can react negatively to other drugs or substances such as alcohol. The result may include health decline or death. In certain instances individuals end up developing dependence and addiction to the drug.
It is also important to understand that the use of Xanax for purposes other than treatment is against the law. This means anyone that is found abusing the drug is likely to be arrested and presented in court for prosecution. A judge listens to the presentations of both sides before giving a sentence that may include jail term, community work and payment of a given amount as fine.
What is Xanax dependence?
Xanax dependence is a state in which the human body has become too accustomed to the drug that failure to get a given amount leads to withdrawal effects. Dependance occurs when individuals continue using a potent substance for a long period of time. Some of the withdrawal effects that may be experienced are noted below.
- Development of headaches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chest pains
- Muscle cramps
- Abdominal pain
- Extreme anxiety
- Social isolation
- Insomnia or sleep disturbances
- Trembling or involuntary shaking
What is Xanax addiction?
Xanax addiction is a psychological condition in which an individual is compelled to keep taking the drug despite the negative consequences it causes. People who develop addiction are unable to quit using the drug on their own. It is like they have become captive to the use of the drug. It is important to note that dependance is a physical condition while addiction affects the psychological aspect of the user. Below are some signs and symptoms of addiction to Xanax.
- Inability to stop using the drug despite trying on several occasions
- Developing feelings of guilt after taking the drug
- Experiencing severe withdrawal effects when you go for long periods without taking the drug
- Hiding from other people when taking the drug
- Thinking about the drug and its effects a lot of times
- Being under the influence of the drug for a long time
- Failing to attend important appointments due to the use of the drug
- Becoming irritable or aggressive especially when confronted about the use of substance
- Using a lot of money in trying to get the substance
- Getting the drug from a dealer instead of a qualified doctor
- Continuing to use the drug even when it clearly causes pain to self and loved ones
How does Xanax addiction develop?
Xanax addiction does not occur in an instance instead it takes different stages before an individual is fully addicted. Below are some of the stages involved in addiction.
- Introduction to Xanax
This is the first stage of addiction and it involves getting introduced to the substance. For a number of people this occurs when a doctor prescribes the drug as a way of treating a medical condition. However, there are also individuals that learn about this substance through their friends or relatives. At this stage the use of the drug is done according to the instructions of the doctor. It is also worth pointing out that there is a large percentage of individuals that simply learn about the drug without using it.
- Experimenting with Xanax
This is the second stage of addiction and it involves individuals deviating from the instructions that were provided by a qualified doctor. Those with prescription medication may start taking more than the dosage they were instructed to take. Others may simply take the drug even without experiencing episodes of anxiety. For those who were introduced to the drug by a relative or friend it is at this stage that they make up their mind to take the drug just to see how it will affect them.
- Regular use of Xanax
Once individuals try out this drug and enjoy the pleasurable effects derived from it they are likely to become fond of its use. It is worth noting that Xanax is actually a drug for treating health issues which is why it hardly produces negative effects during the experimentation stage. It is at this third stage that some people will look for dealers who are able to supply them with the drug even without a doctor’s prescription. Regular use of the substance may mean taking the drug every evening or during the weekends.
- Risky use of Xanax
The fourth stage of addiction can sometimes be referred to as problem use. It is at this point that most individuals start losing control over their drug use. They may increase the amount of substance they take or start mixing it up with other drugs as a way of increasing potency and the pleasurable effects they get. Because the body has become accustomed to the use of the drug it actually develops a tolerance. This means that Xanax users must increase the quantity of drugs they take to achieve the results they desire. It is at this stage that some people start missing out on important appointments, fail to go to work or school.
- Xanax dependence
The fifth stage of addiction involves slipping into dependance. Because of the frequency of drug use and the constant presence of the drug in the human system the body mistakes it to be part of the system. This means that when a user no longer has a given amount of the substance in the body the reaction becomes quite unpleasant. In case a user tries to quit using the drug or for some reason fails to get a regular dose he or she may end up going into withdrawal.
- Full blown Xanax addiction
After taking this drug for some time individuals inevitably slip into full blown addiction. At this point they are unable to quit using the drug even when they genuinely desire to. Addiction is a mental condition in which an individual is psychologically compelled to take the substance of addiction. Such individuals may even be aware of the pain that they are causing to their loved ones or themselves but they lack the ability to stop. This is why experts advise substance addicts or their loved ones to seek professional help as soon as they can.
Can Xanax addiction be treated?
Treatment for Xanax addiction is available through rehabilitation centers. The goal of addiction treatment is to stop further use of the drug and help the addict develop skills that are necessary to guard against relapse. Below are some of the things that take place during addiction treatment.
Patient counselling – because addiction affects the mind of the user it is important for a counselor or therapist to hold face to face talks with the patient. This allows the professional to learn about the workings of the mind of the patient before coming up with appropriate tips and solutions to the issues that arise. During counseling professionals help their patients to identify dangerous thought patterns and come up with sound ways of breaking free of them. This ultimately ensures that the patient does not slip back into addiction after treatment.
Detoxification – this refers to the process through which the patient’s body gets rid of the remnants of the Xanax drug. During this process doctors monitor the patient for any serious withdrawal effects and provide alternatives that keep the patient comfortable. Doctors may also recommend a given diet including select drinks to help in the detoxification process.
Medical treatment – prolonged use of Xanax or taking this drug without following instructions provided by a doctor can lead to a lot of medical complications. Some people may end up damaging their internal organs while others may develop allergic reactions. it is also important to note that substance addiction ultimately weakens the immune system. It is because of such issues that doctors may have to carry out medical treatment procedures.
Group therapy sessions – most rehabilitation facilities offer group therapy sessions. During these events individuals are allowed to share their experiences including lowest moments to highlights of breakthroughs in their struggles with addiction. While such sessions are going on other addicts get to learn from the rest of the group. Everyone shares a tip or trick for success while also getting inspired by others in the group.
Aftercare – once an individual has successfully completed treatment he or she is kept under close watch. This allows doctors to monitor medical conditions while offering ongoing support to avoid any instance of relapse. Some recovering addicts may be advised to stay in sober living homes as part of the checks put in place to avoid slipping back to substance abuse.
Does Xanax have any side effects?
Xanax can have a variety of unpleasant side effects which is why patients are encouraged to adhere to the instructions of a doctor. Whether taken according to instructions or not when side effects start developing it is prudent to report the matter to a medical professional immediately. Below are some of the most common side effects experienced by people who take this drug.
- Lack of coordination
- Memory loss or episodes of forgetfulness
- A loss of interest in daily activities or life goals
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplainable weight change which may either be in the form of loss or gain
- Double vision
- Loss of menstruation
- Slipping into depression
- Loss of self control or lack of inhibitions
- Sudden loss of emotions
- According to Harvard Medical School continued use of this drug may lead to increased risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease
How long does Xanax remain in the body?
The duration of time in which this drug remains in the human body may slightly vary in different people. However, the average amount of time is 4 days. There are certain factors that may affect the amount of time each individual has before completely eliminating this drug from the system. These factors are noted below.
- The age of the user
- The height and weight of the user
- The health of the liver
- The metabolic rate of the individual in question
- Kidney function or health
- Urinary acidity or alkalinity
- Possible use of other drugs both medical or otherwise
- The frequency of Xanax use and the dosage
How do you know if you have a Xanax disorder?
There are certain signs and symptoms that can let you determine if you or a loved one has a Xanax disorder. These signs and symptoms are noted below.
- Constantly thinking or talking about the drug
- Being anxious for the next dose
- Finishing up your supply of drug before the stipulated time
- Taking more of the drug than instructed by a doctor
- Seeking the drug without proper prescription
- Taking the drug in a different way than recommended this may include crushing the tablets to sniff or snort
- Having short term memory loss
- Irritability or increased aggression
- Taking the drug secretly
- Feeling guilty after taking the drug