People who drink heavily often suffer from anxiety, and they drink alcohol to cope. Once they stop drinking, they may experience rebound anxiety as their body detoxes from alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal necessitates medical detox because it can bring on life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. In a medical detox program, professionals can manage rebound anxiety. Medications, therapy, and other supports may be used to help clients avoid rebound anxiety altogether.

What Is Rebound Anxiety?

If you drink alcohol often or in large amounts, you may be afraid to quit because of a fear of withdrawal symptoms.

People who drink alcohol every day, who engage in binge drinking, or who are heavy drinkers are likely to experience withdrawal (which may involve rebound anxiety), as the body tries to stabilize itself after alcohol is no longer present. Symptoms of withdrawal can be mild, but they could also be fatal for some people.

Withdrawal is not the same as a hangover that goes away after about a day of rest. It begins with the possibility of mild symptoms and becomes worse as the hours go on. Withdrawal can then worsen over several days.

If rebound anxiety is part of withdrawal, it can sometimes last a few weeks, and others may even develop post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). PAWS include symptoms of withdrawal that last for weeks, months, and even years.

A few things you may face with rebound anxiety are:

Changes in mood

Rebound anxiety often produces the opposite feelings you were getting while drinking. If you drank so you could feel a stress reduction, that stress is likely to come back during withdrawal, and its return will contribute to rebound anxiety.


Withdrawal means your body is responding to no longer having access to alcohol. You may crave alcohol so you can continue masking negative emotions and feel better.

Sleep issues

Rebound anxiety often causes people to have insomnia. Even if you are tired, you may be unable to sleep due to anxiety.

Additional symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

Vomiting or nausea

Stomach discomfort and intestinal issues are common during alcohol withdrawal.

Tremors, shaking, and other agitation

Physical symptoms are known to affect people going through withdrawal include shaking, tremors, and an increased heartbeat. If you start feeling these symptoms, get immediate medical attention to prevent worse symptoms, such as seizures.

Delirium tremens and hallucinations

These are some of the more serious effects of withdrawal, and most people will not experience them. Hallucinations can often be negative, and some people may develop psychosis as a result of what they see during withdrawal.


Though uncommon, seizures are possible during alcohol withdrawal. They require immediate medical attention.

Preventing Rebound Anxiety

Rebound anxiety mostly affects people who binge drink or who drink heavily regularly. You are not likely to experience it if you are a moderate drinker.

Moderating your drinking can help you avoid rebound anxiety. If you often drink alcohol to deal with negative emotions, it might be time to evaluate your relationship with alcohol to prevent further problems down the line.

If alcohol is not a crutch to deal with your anxiety, you won’t experience rebound anxiety when you stop drinking.

You can ask for help at any point with your drinking even if you do not fit the stereotypes people have about alcohol misuse. There are many healthy ways to deal with the anxiety that do not involve substance abuse.

What Is Xanax Rebound Anxiety?

What Is Xanax Rebound Anxiety?

As was mentioned above, rebound anxiety is a worsening of symptoms caused by the discontinuation of treatment when compared to baseline symptoms. Xanax’s rebound anxiety is no different. When someone abruptly stops the use of benzodiazepine treatment in those with generalized anxiety, it induces rebound anxiety and other minor physical symptoms.

A study released looking into newer high potency prescription drugs like Xanax found they produce much stronger anxiolytic effects than the initial benzos developed. During testing, Xanax reigned superior over the use of placebo drugs for treating panic disorder. 

Due to the sheer strength of Xanax, rebound anxiety is more common during withdrawal. It typically happens between two to three days after a taper, or it can occur because someone stops using Xanax abruptly. Rebound reactions have the ability to push a person into relapse because of their severity. Nearly ten to 35 percent of those going through Xanax withdrawal will encounter rebound anxiety symptoms, especially panic attacks.

Xanax Rebound Symptoms

Xanax Rebound Symptoms

When you’re recovering from sedative drugs like Xanax, you’re going to encounter withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, one of those symptoms is rebound anxiety, but you may wonder what that means. A person that is using Xanax to treat their anxiety will feel symptoms much more severe than the baseline. It can lead to a whole host of mental health issues and could require treatment to overcome. If you’re dealing with any of the following symptoms, it means you must seek professional medical help.

  • Severe anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Panic attacks
  • Nervousness and restlessness
  • Extreme overactivity in the brain, which could lead to seizures

These drugs work to calm brain signals but can lead to dependence and tolerance. If you’re using benzodiazepines for more than two weeks, you’ll need to be tapered off safely. You’re also at increased risk of needing the drug to feel normal, otherwise known as addiction. Addiction can be serious and cause even worse anxiety upon cessation. For this reason, it’s vital for you to seek professional help. Without the proper care, Xanax withdrawal can have devastating effects. 

How Do You Recover From Xanax Rebound Anxiety?

How Do You Recover From Xanax Rebound Anxiety?

Xanax is a potent benzodiazepine that can lead to severe or even fatal withdrawal symptoms. Although rebound anxiety is standard during withdrawal, it can range from mild to severe, including the onset of seizures and delirium tremens (DTs). For this reason, the best way to prevent rebound anxiety or other severe Xanax withdrawal symptoms is to seek medical detox and remain under the care of addiction specialists. It’ll help you immensely as you recover from Xanax addiction. During your stint in detox, you’ll be slowly tapered off Xanax to offset the worst withdrawal symptoms and rebound effects.

Some side effects of Xanax withdrawal include suicidal thoughts, so a clinician will prescribe a medication to combat these horrific thoughts and transition you safely into sobriety. Once you complete detox, you’ll be moved into the next level of care best suited for your needs. 

Depending on how severe your Xanax addiction is and how badly your rebound anxiety is, it could be the difference between being placed in a residential treatment center, an intensive outpatient facility, or outpatient care. The clinicians will decide whether you can fulfill your treatment obligations outside the walls of treatment. If they decide on residential, it could mean you’re living on-site for a period of up to 90 days. If you’re placed in outpatient, you’ll be involved in various therapy types you’d experience living on-site, except you’ll have the freedom to go home once they’re complete. 

Reach out to a professional today to see how they can help.

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