Xanax (alprazolam) is a common drug prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Although it can be effective for short-term relief of anxiety or panic, chronic use can lead to dependence.
Xanax dependence can occur in people who abuse the drug or take it as prescribed. People taking Xanax as prescribed may develop tolerance to its effects over time. This requires taking higher doses to feel the same effects and can increase a person’s risk for Xanax misuse and addiction.
Many people also abuse Xanax for its euphoric effects, which include an overpowering calm and sense of relaxation. It can also be mixed with other drugs, such as opioids, to achieve a more intense high.
Xanax dependence can cause withdrawal symptoms quickly, within hours of a person’s last dose. This can make it challenging to get through the day without taking multiple doses. Severe dependence can disrupt both a person’s personal and professional lives, making it difficult to work or think about anything other than getting or taking more Xanax.
Addiction is complex and can be difficult to face alone. Seeking professional treatment can help a person overcome the physical, mental, and emotional toll of their problem. The starting place for many people is to begin treatment within an addiction rehab center.
Treatment Options For Xanax Abuse And Addiction
There are several treatment options for overcoming Xanax addiction, including inpatient and outpatient programs.
The most effective way to treat Xanax addiction is to develop a plan that is personalized to meet each person’s personal and financial needs.
People that are dependent on Xanax should not stop taking it all at once. Xanax withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and may require medical support. For this reason, medical detox is often the first step in the recovery process.
Xanax Withdrawal And Detox
Long-term use and abuse of Xanax can lead to drug dependence. This can cause the body to go through a process known as withdrawal after the effects of the drug have worn off.
People that have been abusing Xanax should not stop taking it all at once. This can cause serious withdrawal symptoms, including life-threatening seizures. Other severe symptoms, such as delirium and psychosis, can also occur during Xanax withdrawal.
Due to these safety concerns, coming off Xanax requires a gradual tapering and withdrawal process. The safest and most effective way to determine an appropriate weaning schedule is to seek professional help for medically assisted detox.
Medically Assisted Detox
Medical detox can help patients manage the first few days of Xanax withdrawal – a period is known as acute withdrawal. Entering medically assisted detox allows patients to be monitored around-the-clock and receive medicine to ease uncomfortable symptoms.
Acute detox from Xanax typically lasts between 3 to 5 days. Following this, some withdrawal symptoms may linger as the tapering process continues. This can last for several weeks to months, depending on the severity of the drug dependence. Other factors, such as addiction to multiple drugs, can also affect the withdrawal timeline.
Entering a substance abuse inpatient program can be a helpful way to manage withdrawal symptoms. This can both prevent relapse and treat the underlying triggers and causes of a person’s substance abuse.
Inpatient Treatment For Xanax Addiction
Inpatient treatment programs for substance abuse and addiction provide a safe and structured setting that involves 24-hour supervision. Xanax rehab programs commonly involve individual therapy, group therapy, and other treatment services.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common behavioral therapy used to treat Xanax abuse. This approach focuses on changing how a person’s emotions and thoughts influence their substance abuse behaviors, with the goal of adopting healthier coping skills.
Other treatment services offered within an inpatient program may include:
- family counseling
- 12-step programs
- medication-assisted treatment
- relapse prevention
- aftercare support
Xanax rehab programs typically last between 30 and 90 days. The length of a person’s inpatient treatment stay varies based on each patient’s progress, insurance coverage, and other personal needs.
Outpatient Treatment Programs
Most people will need to continue their treatment on an outpatient basis following rehab for aftercare support. In some cases, people with a milder Xanax abuse problem, or those that lack inpatient insurance coverage, may begin with an intensive outpatient program.
Unlike inpatient rehab, outpatient treatment programs do not require living in a rehab facility. The time commitment for outpatient treatment can vary based on each patient’s needs. Most often, this includes counseling sessions once or twice a week and meetings with other specialists as needed.
Group therapy can also be helpful as a way for people to connect with others recovering from similar struggles. Many rehab centers offer support groups for substance abuse and addiction, and groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) often meet in other community settings as well.
Some people recovering from multiple addictions or who have other mental health problems may take medications as part of their treatment plan. These are prescribed on a case-to-case basis and may be used to ease drug cravings and treat other psychological or medical concerns.
Get Help For Xanax Abuse And Addiction Today
Xanax addiction is not a struggle you have to face alone. If you are concerned about you or a loved one’s Xanax use, don’t wait to seek help.
Contact one of our treatment specialists to find Xanax addiction treatment options that suit your needs today.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Prescription CNS Depressants