Alprazolam, otherwise known by the medical brand name Xanax, is a medication typically utilized to treat panic and anxiety disorders. Traditionally, alprazolam is one of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine medications in the United States. Benzodiazepine medications, also widely known as benzos, are primarily effective in medically helping treat anxiety and panic disorders. The most common side effects Xanax produces in its medical use often include; a sense of calm, well-being, or drowsiness. Of course, these are not the only side effects that may occur with the help of Xanax. Some symptoms that occur with the traditional medical use of Xanax can prove harmless, and others may become uncomfortable or produce increasingly dangerous adverse effects. Before anyone uses or attempts to use alprazolam, they should consult with their doctor to obtain proper instruction, advisement, and medication prescription. Alprazolam is not for everyday or frequent use.

On the contrary, Xanax helps relieve the mounting effects of extreme anxiety or panic attacks in dire moments. It is not to prevent the circumstance from occurring, but rather can help manage the symptoms, so they do not spiral out of control, allowing the individual time and opportunity to remove themselves from the situation, rest, and recover. Although most individuals who use Xanax do not experience any adverse effects with their use, the medication still comes with a significant warning. This warning informs users that as a form of the drug derived from opioids, Xanax alprazolam also carries a considerable potential for abuse. Sometimes the abuse of Xanax is unintentional, resulting from accidental improper usage of the medication. In other cases, individuals have chosen purposefully to misuse Xanax, chasing the effects of its natural stimulation of relaxation and euphoria. In both accidental and intentional abuse of the drug alprazolam, the potential for a substance use disorder or addiction arises, especially when improper use of the drug continues for an extended amount of time.

In 2013, researchers estimated that nearly 14 million individuals struggled with benzodiazepine use disorders and that 30% of all opioid overdose cases in 2014 related to the use of benzos directly. Benzodiazepine medications like Xanax are Schedule IV controlled substances as a result of this abuse. As of 2017, benzodiazepines were reportedly involved in 11,537 life-ending drug overdose cases, including individuals of all ages. Despite the statistics and the potential for harm, thousands–if not millions–of people in the United States continue to turn to Xanax for a near-immediate relief from personal struggle and the world. With that said, how long does an individual have before Xanax begins to take effect after use? And how long does the drug remain in an individual’s system after consumption?

Alprazolam Can Begin Taking Effect Within Minutes of Use

Drugs and medications of illicit or non-illicit use can affect each person very differently after consumption. An individual’s health, metabolic rate, genetics, diet, and other outsourcing factors can all play a role in how long it takes for a medication to take effect. The amount of pain, anxiety, or other illness or injury-related symptoms an individual is experiencing may also play a role in the drug’s effect and elimination window.

Of course, most drugs and medications, including alprazolam, do not immediately affect a person. But, in some cases with both illicit and non-illicit drug use, individuals may need to take more of a substance to reach the desired effect. Typically, Xanax affects each person differently depending on several biological factors, including:

  • Weight
  • Age
  • Height
  • Metabolic rate
  • Mental state at the time the drug’s consumption

And the size of the dose taken as well. As with other medications and drugs, when individuals take a larger quantity of Xanax, they can experience more intense symptoms and side effects. Typically, alprazolam begins to affect the average human being anywhere from five to ten minutes after consumption. Its effects generally meeting their full strength about half an hour after the individual ingests the medication. The results of alprazolam use may take as long as an hour before making a substantial difference in how the person feels, but this is not a typical occurrence.

Xanax used in illicit settings may take effect even sooner, depending on how an individual consumes the drug. If they consume the medicine orally, likely they will experience the average onset time of Xanax side effects. In some cases, though, illicit Xanax abusers may snort the drug, allowing the medication to interact with their brain’s functioning systems more directly, thus resulting in a speedier onset of symptoms.

The Half-Life of Alprazolam and How Long it Remains in the system

As a medication designed to help individuals find relief from the effects of panic attacks and anxiety disorders, alprazolam begins taking effect quickly. Thus, in a normal situation, after an individual consumes Xanax, they may start to feel relief as soon as five minutes after administration of the drug. Individuals who consume the medication for “recreational” purposes may begin to feel the effects of Xanax even sooner, depending on the dosage they take, how accustomed their bodies have become to the substance, and other outlying factors. Of course, the length of the abuse and increasing quantities of Xanax use can also affect how long it takes for the medication to take effect.

After an hour past consumption, almost all individuals who consume Xanax typically come to experience the medication’s full effects. Typically, alprazolam’s expanse of influence lasts for about eleven to twelve hours before it begins to taper off. Of course, the medication’s half-life behaves similarly to the time Xanax takes to start working after consumption. Depending on the individual processes of the human body, the effects of the medication can either expire more rapidly or take longer to wear off. Regardless of the time it takes for Xanax to begin taking effect or wear off, residual evidence of the drug can remain in the system of an individual for an extended amount of time. Residual evidence of alprazolam use can reside within the human body in several ways, including:

  • In the Salvia
  • In the Blood
  • In the Urine
  • In the Hair

Depending on the testing method, alprazolam can remain detectable in the human system anywhere from two and a half days to three months. Typically it takes the body a few days to eliminate Xanax from an individual’s system. As a result, blood testing may not be the most reliable source to determine whether an individual has used the drug, as the medication’s half-life correlates directly with how long alprazolam will be detectable in a person’s bloodstream. Even so, a more delicate blood test could potentially detect Xanax use in an individual up to four or five days after use. Xanax typically remains in the saliva up to two and a half days after use. A urine screening can find residual evidence of alprazolam use after five days of use. And although a hair follicle test can take longer to develop correctly, it takes for the hair to grow and the drug to run through the other human systems first. Xanax can be detectable even in the hair from three to twelve months after use, depending on the individual.

Of course, these time frames are subject to change based on the person, sample, the dose of alprazolam used, and the test’s sensitivity. Still, it is possible to detect the use of “recreational” or medically used Xanax as soon as two days, and in some cases, three months after consumption. In some cases, Xanax can even prove detectable in a woman’s breast milk, about 14 and a half hours after use. In the end, alprazolam is a potent drug with the potential to leave residual evidence of use months after consumption.

Finding Help in South Florida

Xanax addictions affect millions of Americans across the country. Suppose an individual or a member of their family is found suffering from such a condition. In that case, overwhelming feelings of helplessness and anxiety may make it difficult for them to think or act. The good news is, Xanax addiction is a treatable condition! And in Central or South Florida, one of the best places to pursue a path to healing is none other than St. John’s Recovery Place (SJRP).

St. John’s Recovery Place is a Florida drug and alcohol rehab center dedicated to providing clients, ages 18 and older, with a holistic rehabilitative experience. In the company’s holistic treatments, traditional and alternative or complementary programs are utilized to help cultivate a successful guideline for addiction healing. But residents at SJRP are more than numerical statistics or space holders. Once a client enters an SJRP treatment program, they become a member of the St. John’s community and family.

People are at the heart of all that occurs at St. John’s Recovery Place. And with the help of this exceptional medical team and staff, recovery can be a real option for individuals and their families. No two addiction recovery stories will ever be exactly alike, and the road to healing can prove extremely difficult. The SJRP staff and team are well aware of this fact, and as a result, work to support each client through every setback and triumph they experience throughout their inpatient and outpatient healing processes. Addiction no longer needs to control individuals or their families; healing can be just around the corner! For individuals looking to discover more about SJRP, its staff, and treatment policies, information can be made available if they call 1-833-397-3422 to learn more. Healing is possible. Call SJRP to learn more about how you can start your recovery journey today.