Addiction is a physically and mentally debilitating disease. There are several addictions in the world. Although many prescription drugs are designed to help individuals, some of their properties can make a person dependent on them; Xanax is one of them. When our brain becomes accustomed to the presence of a certain substance, whether it’s prescription drugs or illegal drugs, a person is bound to experience withdrawal symptoms. This is because our brain is sensitive to change and the presence of a drug becomes the new normal for it. Likewise, Xanax can be potentially addictive. If functioning without Xanax is a problem, you could potentially be addicted to Xanax. But don’t worry, you can get through Xanax addiction treatments. In this article, we review treatment options for Xanax addiction.
What is Xanax?
Alprazolam is sold as Xanax. Alprazolam is classified in a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Xanax is responsible for activating the central nervous system (CNS) to produce a feeling of calmness. This is done when the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA is increased. Xanax can cause memory loss, depression, and even coma when taken in high doses.
Why is Xanax used?
Xanax can potentially help those struggling with depression by producing euphoric feelings and calmness. Those suffering from anxiety disorders tend to seek relief due to low levels of GABA. Xanax works to ease this problem and make patients feel better. Although this drug can help, it can be addictive. In fact, people use it recreationally to get a temporary high. Xanax is used to treat the following conditions:
- Panic attacks
- Anxiety. It can also be prescribed to people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
- Withdrawal due to AUD treatment
It is important to know that it should be taken only as directed by your doctor.
Although it is a prescription drug, people abuse it for reasons other than just experiencing a sense of calm. While some people abuse Xanax (Alprazolam) for the sense of calmness and relaxation it causes, others abuse it by taking higher doses or combining it with other drugs or alcohol to achieve the desired high. However, mixing the two is very dangerous. While this can put you at risk for depression and anxiety, it can also cause you to lose consciousness and affect your cognitive abilities in the long run.
Xanax addiction symptoms
Xanax is not the only sedative that is addictive. In fact, there is a term that covers this type of addiction known as “sedative use disorder.” Signs and symptoms of Xanax addiction include:
- Not being able to come off Xanax
- Always take Xanax
- Changes in speech
- Poor attention and memory
- Vision problems
- Even though you know Xanax does more harm than good, you take it anyway.
- wanting to increase the dose due to increased tolerance
- inability to fulfill work and family obligations
- Asking people around you for Xanax pills or buying them on the street
- If you stop taking Xanax, you will experience withdrawal symptoms.
Although Xanax may seem like a harmless drug, it has been found that about 40% of people who use it are at risk of becoming addicted to it. Knowing the signs will help you know if you too are developing an addiction. The sooner the addiction is removed, the better.
Xanax Addiction Treatment Options
As with other addiction treatments, you’ll find a wide range of options out there for Xanax addiction recovery. Some work on a physical level, meaning physical symptoms are relieved, while others address the psychological effects of the drug. Both are equally important.
Two of the most popular physical therapies are:
Once you decide to stop taking Xanax, you will experience extreme withdrawal symptoms that can be distressing. Withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and cramping can be severely felt. This is where medical detox comes to the rescue. Detox is a process in which a doctor will cleanse your body of all the toxins left in the body as a result of abuse, while also helping to relieve withdrawal symptoms. This is done to acclimate your brain to life without the drug in question. Your healthcare provider’s goal will be to ensure that withdrawal symptoms are minimized as best as possible.
Basically, in a detox situation, a handful of medical professionals are present in the room to provide proper care to the patient. At this stage, the doctor may give you medication to ease withdrawal symptoms and the urge to consume more and more Xanax. You can’t get off the drug right away, because the body reacts badly when stopped. Therefore, mostly detox is done to bring the body to a point where withdrawal symptoms are somewhat reduced and a person is ready for other treatments such as medication and therapy, so it is the first step in treatment. This is necessary, because over time, the dose of the drug must be gradually reduced. Detox for Xanax can take longer than for other drugs.
Use of less addictive drugs
Xanax is highly addictive, so withdrawal symptoms can be severe. This is because of Xanax’s ability to induce sedation as quickly as it wears off. To replace Xanax, the patient may be prescribed other neurodepressants such as gabapentin. In addition, depending on your assessment and needs, your doctor may also prescribe long-acting benzodiazepines, which are absorbed slowly so they can stay in the body longer. Like long-acting benzodiazepines diazepam has a longer half-life from alprazolam (Xanax). These drugs can offer effective treatment for Xanax withdrawal symptoms by blocking the triggering of certain receptors by the drug.
Another way to treat Xanax addiction with medication is to gradually reduce the dose and allow the body to become less and less dependent on Xanax. It is highly recommended to use medical treatment while tapering off Xanax dosages over a period of at least eight weeks. This is because Xanax withdrawal symptoms are quite intense, so having concurrent counseling services during this phase is also important to minimize the risk of relapse.
Let’s explore some psychological treatment options for Xanax:
Counseling and therapeutic services complement other physical treatments the Xanax addict receives. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), group therapy, etc., can be used to provide a holistic treatment. such therapies help the patient to cope better with the addiction. The support of a therapist or counselor emphasizes the effects of detox and drugs and makes it relatively easier for the patient to cope with withdrawal symptoms. Like any addiction treatment, Xanax treatment requires a holistic approach. To this end, there are a variety of behavioral interventions that can be selected.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) addresses addiction by examining the reasons why a person became addicted to Xanax in the first place. By getting to the root cause, a therapist will deal with the addiction accordingly. After the patient is evaluated, a therapist will suggest certain strategies to help overcome drug addiction,
Individual and Group therapy
Individual conversations with a psychotherapist are conducted during individual therapy sessions. Xanax addiction can be difficult to manage and there are many different ways to approach it. One of the best ways to enhance the effects of addiction is through therapy while a person is undergoing drug and detox treatment. Addicts often face many other issues, from anxiety to depression to social isolation, and it can be overwhelming to deal with all of these alone. Therefore, with the support of a therapist, this problem can be solved. But they also don’t want to be at the mercy of their addiction, which means they may be reluctant to seek help.
For some people, group therapy can work well. Some people may require professional help from group therapy or a support group for Xanax addiction. This type of therapy works well because it provides an environment where everyone comes together to share their feelings and experiences with each other. In this way, a patient struggling with Xanax addiction does not feel alienated. In fact, they may feel well understood. It can inspire a sense of wanting to be better.
Xanax Addiction Treatment Key Takeaway
Xanax addiction is a serious problem that can easily get out of control if you don’t address it early. However, withdrawal symptoms can be alleviated with treatment methods. To best avoid the Xanax withdrawal process, it is important to avoid abrupt discontinuation of the drug. Be sure to discuss all of your options with your doctor to prepare yourself for the best possible treatment. This way, you will have all the information you need to make an educated decision when choosing which Xanax addiction treatment plan is right for you.
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