How Can I Stop Xanax?

Question: I have been on Xanax for a year. At first, it really helped my anxiety, but lately, I’m starting to feel like it’s really a problem. How do I know if I’m addicted to it? Can I stop taking it? – Clare

Hi Clare,

Well, you’re definitely not alone. Studies show that over 60,000 adults in America were treated for benzodiazepine addiction in 2011 alone.

Benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium, and Ativan belong to the anxiolytic family. This is a class of drugs that are used to treat anxiety. In spite of the fact that they seem to be a popular prescription, the truth is that medications like Valium and Xanax were never meant to be used long term. While these medications can be effective for treating anxiety, if they are abused, it can actually increase your anxiety.

The body will develop a tolerance to the medication, which causes you to have to use more and more for it to be effective. Everyone will become dependent upon the drug if they take it for long enough. If you have addiction issues as well, it may be a real problem.

Have you noticed any of the following behaviors within yourself?

  • Irritability or hostility towards others
  • Attempting to obtain multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors\
  • Snorting or chewing pills to speed up the effect
  • Apathy towards work, school, and other activities

If the answer is yes, you may have a problem.

Fortunately, there are a lot of different resources available to you for benzodiazepine addiction. There are many rehabilitation facilities that will treat benzodiazepine addiction, and there are also support groups like Narcotics Anonymous that you can join.

The important thing is to realize that you are not alone, and you should never give up. You have everything you need to stop using Xanax. You just need to take the help that is offered to you.