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Does Xanax Help With Opiate Withdrawal?

Though not specifically designed to help with opiate withdrawal, Xanax can alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms, such as restlessness, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and muscle aches.

If you want to get off an opiate, such as heroin or morphine, Xanax (alprazolam) may sound like an appealing option to treat withdrawal symptoms and keep you comfortable while you detox.

However, using it in this manner can slow down your recovery and make your withdrawal process more complicated than it needs to be.

Here is all you need to know about how Xanax can be used to help with opioid withdrawal symptoms and possible side effects.

How Xanax Helps With Opiate Withdrawal

People trying to recover from an opiate addiction often turn to benzos like Xanax to help them cope with panic disorders, cravings, and withdrawal symptoms.

This is how Xanax works, and why it helps address withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid addictions.

Relapse Prevention

Many people with opiate addiction also have anxiety or depression. These conditions can make it even more challenging to stay clean.

Taking a small dose of Xanax can help keep your moods under control while you’re getting off opioids.

It can also help prevent cravings for heroin or prescription painkillers by keeping your neurotransmitters balanced and reducing stress levels.

Central Nervous System Depressant

When you’re going through opiate withdrawal, your central nervous system is overactive. This causes restlessness, agitation, muscle aches and pains, insomnia, and irritability.

Benzodiazepine prescriptions are central nervous system depressants commonly given to people with anxiety, insomnia, convulsions, or other acute stress reactions.

Taking a small dose of Xanax, which is a sedative, can slow down your brain’s activity and help calm these symptoms so you can feel less anxious, and can get rest or sleep.

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms That Xanax May Alleviate

Doctors may give prescription drugs for opioid withdrawal relief. Typically, these include Suboxone (buprenorphine) and Vivitrol (naltrexone).

However, now they may also include benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium (diazepam).

Symptoms of withdrawal from opioids include:

  • restlessness
  • anxiety
  • muscle aches and pain
  • gastrointestinal distress
  • depression
  • insomnia

You may not be able to avoid altogether uncomfortable symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating. Xanax drug use can make these symptoms more manageable.

Never mix medications without talking to your doctor first.

Risks Of Using Xanax For Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

Taking opioids combined with other drugs, including benzodiazepines like Xanax, can cause physical dependence and addiction.

This means that your body gets used to having these substances and needs them to function normally. When you stop taking them suddenly, withdrawal symptoms occur.

Mixing opioids with other drugs like benzodiazepines or alcohol increases your risk for overdose and can cause respiratory depression (difficulty breathing), leading to death.

While it may seem helpful to take an alprazolam pill for opioid withdrawal syndrome at first, be aware of its potential side effects before making any decisions.

Treatment Programs For Xanax And Opioid Addiction

There are various treatment options for Xanax and opioid addiction:

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) helps people cope with opioid withdrawal by decreasing physical and psychological symptoms.

Medications used for MAT treat withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and block or slow down brain cell activity that causes drug-seeking behavior.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three drugs to treat opioid abuse: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

There is also a non-opioid medication called clonidine that can help ease anxiety during withdrawal.


Detoxification is a process that helps people addicted to opioids and other drugs rid their bodies of substances that are causing physical dependence and addiction.

A medical professional monitors a patient’s progress during the medical detox to ensure safe and effective substance abuse treatment.

Detoxing without medical care or receiving follow-up care at a healthcare or addiction treatment center can lead to a relapse or even a fatal overdose.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient addiction treatment provides a safe and secure environment for people who need help overcoming addiction to opioids and other drugs.

People live at an inpatient facility while receiving medical care, counseling, group therapy, and other forms of support from trained professionals.

On the other hand, outpatient treatment programs provide care outside of a residential setting for people who have completed detoxification or those with milder addictions.

Find Substance Use Disorder Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

If you or your loved one is struggling with drug abuse or alcohol addiction, consider enrolling immediately in an addiction treatment program.

At Bedrock Recovery Center, we offer comprehensive treatment plans for withdrawal from Xanax, opioids, and many other drugs of abuse, as well as follow-up addiction recovery.

Contact Bedrock Recovery Center today to learn how we can help.

Written by
Bedrock Recovery Editorial Team

©2023 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

This page does not provide medical advice.

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