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Why Using Xanax for Opiate Withdrawal Isn’t a Good Idea

a person looks at a bottle of pills wondering why using xanax for opiate withdrawal

People addicted to opiates or opioids often use other kinds of substances, as well. In many cases, the substance in question is Xanax or another benzodiazepine sedative. There are several possible motivations for combining opiates with a benzo. One such motivation is the desire to use Xanax for opiate withdrawal relief. However, this practice has some severe drawbacks. For example, you may eventually need help from a Xanax addiction treatment program. In addition, you increase the odds that you will experience worsened withdrawal symptoms or a life-threatening overdose.

If you require opiate treatment and need guidance on how to get off opiates, contact Northpoint Colorado today at 888.231.1281.

Why Do Some People Use Xanax for Opiate Withdrawal?

Xanax is a commercially licensed form of the benzodiazepine alprazolam. Doctors usually prescribe this medication to treat panic disorders and other anxiety disorders. When you take Xanax, it slows down or suppresses your central nervous system. As a result, you tend to feel calmer and less anxious.

Why do some people take Xanax for opiate withdrawal? A person withdrawing from opiates can experience a variety of symptoms. Two of the most common symptoms are anxiety and mental agitation. Xanax helps to deal with precisely these kinds of problems. Therefore, it might seem sensible to use it as an opiate withdrawal treatment.

Common Medications for Opiate Withdrawal

However, Xanax is not on the list of standard medication options for opiate withdrawal. Instead, doctors typically prescribe medications such as:

  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone
  • Clonidine
  • Naltrexone

Buprenorphine and methadone help ease the overall impact of withdrawal. Clonidine helps ease several withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety and agitation. Naltrexone prevents relapses in people who have gotten opiates out of their system.

Xanax Addiction Is a Danger of Using Xanax for Opiate Withdrawal

Like opiates, Xanax is addictive. If you take it repeatedly, you may become dependent on its effects. This dependence may leave you physically and emotionally reliant on Xanax.

In turn, you may compulsively seek out more Xanax to meet your physical and emotional needs. This chain of events helps explain why using Xanax for opiate withdrawal is a bad idea. Simply put, you may end up affected by an additional form of addiction. In such a situation, you will need Xanax rehab and opiate rehab.

You May Worsen Things by Using Xanax for Opiate Withdrawal

On its own, opiate withdrawal can produce some extremely unpleasant symptoms. If you take Xanax to ease these symptoms, you may end up making things worse, not better. That’s true because the Xanax in your system can actually worsen the severity of opiate withdrawal. Your experience may be even more distressing if you’re also withdrawing from Xanax itself. Why? Xanax withdrawal can intensify the effects of certain opiate withdrawal symptoms.

Overdose Risks when Taking Xanax for Opiate Withdrawal

Like Xanax, opiates slow down your central nervous system. Any time you combine two central nervous system suppressants, your overdose risk increases. Why? You boost the odds that you will slow your system down too far. That’s especially true if you relapse back into heavy opioid use while still taking Xanax.

Opiate Withdrawal Treatment

Opiate withdrawal treatment should be a structured process managed by healthcare professionals in a supportive environment. It’s critical to understand that self-medication strategies, like using Xanax for opiate withdrawal, could potentially compound the issue. Some treatment options include:

  • Medical detoxification — The first step in the treatment process. Medical professionals monitor and manage withdrawal symptoms in a safe and controlled setting.
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) — Key medications like Buprenorphine, Methadone, Clonidine, and Naltrexone are used under medical supervision to manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse.
  • Therapy and counseling — Individual and group sessions provide emotional support, build coping skills, and address the underlying issues that led to addiction.
  • Aftercare support — Ongoing therapy sessions and support groups help those in recovery maintain their sobriety and prevent relapse.

Treatment should be comprehensive, multi-faceted, and tailored to the individual’s unique needs. Always remember that overcoming addiction is a journey, not a destination, and support is available every step of the way.

Learn More About the Risks of Xanax for Opiate Withdrawal at Northpoint Colorado

Want to know more about the dangers of taking Xanax for opiate withdrawal? Talk to the addiction specialists at Northpoint Colorado. We can provide you with a complete rundown of your potential risks. We can also explain how effective opiate detox typically works.

At Northpoint Colorado, we specialize in state-of-the-art opiate detox. With our help, you can safely complete the process of withdrawal. You can also transition smoothly into the next phase of opiate recovery. To learn more about our detox and rehab services, call us today at 888.231.1281. As an alternative, you can fill out our online information form.