Xanax is a common drug used in the treatment of anxiety. While it is highly effective for offering relief for panic or anxiety, it also has addictive properties, and continuous use can lead someone to become physically dependent.
Dependence can develop in people who take Xanax as prescribed or abuse the drug. Prolonged Xanax use can also lead to tolerance over time, causing people to increase their intake to get the same euphoric effects. This increases the likelihood of misusing Xanax and developing an addiction.
Most people also misuse Xanax due to its euphoric effects, including a feeling of relaxation and calm. People can combine it with other substances like opioids to get a more intense high. However, the withdrawal symptoms from Xanax dependence can develop quickly, even hours after taking your last dose. This makes it challenging to go through an entire day without taking several doses. Extreme dependence on Xanax can affect your professional and personal life, making it hard to do or focus on anything other than getting the drug.
Xanax Addiction Treatment Options
The lasting effects of Xanax addiction are harmful to the body and the mind. Drug addiction treatment helps affected individuals stop abusing Xanax, so the body can start healing. The longer you wait to get addiction treatment, the more complex the recovery process becomes. The best way to deal with a Xanax addiction is to establish a personalized plan to meet the individual’s financial and personal requirements.
Withdrawal and Detoxification
Long-term Xanax abuse can result in physical dependence since the body goes through withdrawal once the drug wears off.
Xanax addiction treatment also includes withdrawal. However, withdrawal from Xanax needs to be done fast enough to reduce any additional damage by the drug on the body without causing severe withdrawal symptoms. This can be especially difficult because Xanax has a short half-life.
Treatment for Xanax addiction revolves around the gradual withdrawal of the drug. Stopping cold turkey is possibly fatal and highly unsafe. Also, every failed attempt to quit drug use makes it even harder to stop in the future.
To increase the likelihood of long-term recovery, medical professionals use a gradual treatment method. This includes slowly weaning the patient off the drug while going through counseling therapy to help them deal with the dependence. Certain prescription drugs are also given to the patient to help them taper off of the Xanax.
There are two methods used to wean patients off of Xanax: substitute tapering and direct tapering.
The substitute tapering approach involves progressively transitioning to a substitute drug like Diazepam from Xanax. The principle is to replace Xanax, which has short-acting effects, with a longer-acting drug like Valium. This is when the tapering happens. It is considered easier to taper from Valium than Xanax. Direct tapering involves taking Xanax in maintenance doses and reducing the amount taken over time to nothing at all.
During tapering, the patient also takes over-the-counter medications, and prescription drugs to relieve withdrawal symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea.
Medically Supervised Detox
Medical detox is beneficial for helping patients get through the initial withdrawal period from Xanax, also referred to as acute withdrawal. Patients in medically assisted detox need to be monitored throughout and given the required drugs to help them manage the distressing symptoms experienced during this time.
Acute Xanax detox usually goes for 3 to 5 days, after which the patient may continue to experience withdrawal symptoms as they taper off of Xanax. This may go on for a few weeks or months, depending on how severe their drug dependence is. The timeline for withdrawal can also be affected by other factors, including the abuse of several drugs at the same time. Another good way to deal with the withdrawal symptoms is to get into an inpatient addiction treatment program. These facilities have qualified medical professionals who can help individuals suffering from addiction to treat the hidden causes and triggers of their Xanax abuse and prevent relapse.
Inpatient treatment for Xanax addiction and abuse offers round-the-clock supervision in a structured and safe environment promoting recovery. These rehabilitation programs often include group therapy, individual therapy, and other treatment approaches. Other treatment methods in inpatient addiction recovery programs include aftercare support, medication-assisted treatment, family counseling, relapse prevention, 12-step programs, and dual-diagnosis.
The most common therapeutic approach for treating Xanax abuse and addiction is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. This method includes modifying how an individual’s thoughts and emotions affect their substance addiction behaviors, and it aims to help them take up healthier coping mechanisms.
Inpatient rehab programs addressing Xanax addiction commonly have a duration of 30 to 90 days. The period of an individual’s treatment stay will depend on their personal needs, insurance coverage, and recovery progress.
Most people have to go on with their Xanax addiction treatment in an outpatient setting after rehabilitation for aftercare support. In some cases where individuals do not have insurance coverage or have a moderate Xanax abuse problem, intensive outpatient treatment may be an ideal option.
Outpatient drug addiction treatment programs do not require the affected individual to stay in a facility for a specified period. The patient’s time commitment for treatment depends on their needs and their schedule. The treatment frequently involves a couple of counseling sessions and meetings with specialists in a week as needed. Group therapy can also help people suffering from Xanax addiction connect with other individuals suffering from the same issues.
Some individuals with multiple addictions or co-occurring mental conditions can also take prescribed medications as part of their recovery treatment. These drugs are often prescribed depending on each individual’s unique circumstances and can treat other medical or psychological conditions and ease cravings.
Once the patient is done with the rehabilitation program, they also need to implement aftercare support to prevent relapse. Aftercare helps them use alternative approaches to avoid giving in to any future temptations to use Xanax again. In case, one relapses it is crucial not to give up. You can try rehab again as many times as you require to stop using the drug.