Xanax (alprazolam) is a prescription medication prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders. This drug is part of the benzodiazepine (benzo) drug class and is among the most frequently abused prescription substances throughout the U.S.
As with other benzos, Xanax comes with the risk of abuse, dependence, and addiction. People who misuse Xanax are at an increased risk of experiencing the drug’s adverse side effects. One common side effect that individuals may encounter when using Xanax is the feeling of being hungover. This side effect is most likely to afflict those who abuse the drug, although people who take Xanax as directed may also experience this.
A Xanax hangover occurs when a person experiences relatively mild withdrawal symptoms as the drug’s effects subside. The following provides information about the symptoms of a Xanax hangover and how to prevent experiencing this side effect.
Symptoms of a Xanax Hangover
Symptoms of a Xanax hangover can be very similar to those of an alcohol hangover. While not dangerous, these symptoms can be very unpleasant. Effects can be both emotional and physical.
Common symptoms of a Xanax hangover including the following:
- Breathing problems
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Blurred vision
- Upset stomach
- Muscle aches
- Reduced appetite
- Impaired concentration
- Impaired memory
Some people can experience a Xanax hangover even when they are taking the medication exactly as prescribed. Hangover effects are most likely to onset as the body becomes accustomed to the drug. If symptoms persist, it may be necessary to adjust the dosage amount.
People who misuse Xanax are at an increased risk of a hangover. Taking excessive doses of the drug at once or abusing it and then stopping abruptly can result in hangover-like symptoms.
How Long Will a Xanax Hangover Last?
The half-life of Xanax, or the time it takes for half of the drug to be expelled from the body, is between 6-27 hours. Although it takes longer for the entire drug to be eliminated from a person’s system, people usually only experience symptoms for about 24 hours after the last dose has been taken.
Symptoms of a Xanax hangover should lessen once the entirety of the drug is out of the system. However, there are some things that can be done to mitigate the worst effects, such as the following:
Exercise – Exercising regularly can increase blood flow and release natural endorphins, which may boost mood and help a person feel better.
Sleep – Sleeping through the worst symptoms of a Xanax hangover can help reduce the drug’s effects during waking hours.
Eating – Eating foods rich in fiber, fat, and protein and can help move the drug through the system and expel it from the body more rapidly.
Additionally, practicing stress reduction techniques can help decrease the need for larger doses of Xanax.
Preventing a Xanax Hangover
The most effective way to prevent a Xanax hangover is to get the body accustomed to the drug gradually. This may require starting on a low dose and gradually increasing it until the desired effects are achieved.
Additional measures that can be taken to prevent a hangover include the following:
Use Xanax Only as Prescribed – Using only the prescribed dose of Xanax is the best way to prevent a hangover. Using larger doses of the drug or taking it more frequently can increase the risk of Xanax hangover symptoms.
Get Enough Sleep – Getting quality sleep is essential, especially when starting a new medication such as Xanax. Staying well-rested can help prevent extreme emotional reactions and better equip a person to cope with a hangover.
Reduce Caffeine Intake – Consuming caffeine can increase anxiety levels, leading them to take more Xanax to offset this effect. Unfortunately, this can result in a counterproductive pattern of Xanax use and increase the risk of a hangover.
Treatment For Xanax Abuse And Addiction
Because Xanax is a high potential for dependence, many people benefit from professional treatment to overcome alprazolam addiction indefinitely. Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery offer comprehensive programs in both partial hospitalization and residential formats.
Many individuals start their recovery journey in detox programs that help them safely and comfortably quit Xanax with medications to relieve withdrawal symptoms and around-the-clock support.
Subsequent treatment programs offer intensive and individualized modalities for those addicted to benzos like Xanax. Therapeutic services and activities include psychotherapy, counseling, group support, psychoeducation, art and music therapy, aftercare planning, and more.