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Xanax Addiction Treatment

Xanax addiction is defined as the continued use of Xanax (alprazolam) in spite of negative consequences to health, wo

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Xanax Treatment Helps

Xanax is the brand name of a medication that contains alprazolam. Xanax affects the central nervous system by decreasing the abnormal excitement in the brain. However, it is also habit-forming. Xanax triggers calming feeling and can easily become a drug of abuse, which can lead to addiction. In fact, Xanax addiction may destroy your life, and you can end up with nothing.

What are the signs of Xanax addiction and how is it treated? We explore here. Then, we invite your question in the comments section at the end.

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What Is Xanax Addiction?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) created by the American Psychiatric Association, any drug addiction is classified as a chronic brain disorder. Addiction occurs after ongoing use of Xanax, and can destroy normal ways of life including work, social interactions, and school. It is really an inexplicable desire to use Xanax in the face of negative consequences, often including obsessive thinking.

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The main signs of Xanax addiction include:

  • Obsessive thinking about Xanax.
  • Intensive drug cravings.
  • Loss of control over Xanax use.
  • Continued use regardless of the negative consequences.

Xanax Addiction: What’s It Like?

As a psychoactive drug, Xanax can impact every part of your life.  Xanax addiction feels like a constant agony and a strong need for ongoing use. Below are excerpts from some Xanax addicts’ stories. This is how a people with Xanax addiction explain their experiences:

“…There is a significant risk of seizure, strokes, heart attacks, or hallucinations if you stop tranquilizers suddenly.”

“…Two years later, still not convinced that this was the harmless drug her doctor said it was, Cheryl took herself off the tranquilizers. The withdrawal was rough. Cheryl experienced all kinds of symptoms, including anxiety, mood swings, and poor concentration… “

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“…Cheryl managed to stay off tranquilizers for a whole year, and was feeling stronger all the time. Given enough time we know she would have done well. It takes about 2 years for patients fully recover from the effects of tranquilizers. But Cheryl’s mother fell ill and Cheryl took on the responsibility of her medical care.

“…One night, Cheryl suddenly woke up with her heart pounding in her chest. She had difficulty breathing, and she thought she was going to die. She went to the emergency room, and after a full examination was told that there was nothing wrong with her. She had experienced another anxiety attack…”

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“…The irony of tranquilizers is that they’re prescribed for anxiety and sleep. But the longer you take them the more they increase your anxiety and disturb your sleep…”

“…Constant use of Xanax may bring you many disasters in your life. In one word, Xanax addiction will destroy everything you’ve worked for…”

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Keep in mind that Xanax addiction can occur even when you are prescribed the medication by a doctor. Many people develop dependence on Xanax after taking it for a period of 4-6 weeks. These users experience Xanax withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking or cut down on drug doses. Still, dependence is not the same as addiction.

Some side effects associated with Xanax addiction include:

  • Abdominal and muscle cramps
  • Compulsive behavior
  • Convulsions
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased performance at work
  • Obsessive thinking
  • Poly-drug use
  • Seek for more
  • Strained relationships
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

Treatment For Xanax Addiction

The basic aim of treatment is to help Xanax users gain control over their lives without the need for mind-numbing drugs. One-on-one therapy, educational sessions, and support groups are common in treatment programs. Outpatient programs average around 10 weeks with the option of continuation to 3 months or a year, while inpatient programs last 28-90 days with requirement of residential accommodation with medical surveillance.

Some of the methods used in Xanax addiction treatment include:

1. Behavioral treatment is a type of therapy that focuses on treating mental health disorders. The philosophy of this therapeutic approach to addiction is that all behaviors are learned from the environment and people’s close surrounding. The belief of this therapy is that unhealthy behaviors can be changed. The focus of treatment is often on current problems and finding a way to change them.

2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is problem-solving oriented therapy. By making changes in the thinking process and belief system people learn how to handle their problems in a different way. When you profoundly change the way you view problems, you’ll find other ways to solve them which do not include reaching for psychoactive substances.

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3. Contingency Management (CM) is a therapeutic approach based on refers to the application of the three-term contingency (or operant conditioning), which uses stimulus control and positive reinforcement to change behavior.

4. Education on the science of addiction is one of the most important parts of the recovery process. Learning how Xanax affects your mind and body will greatly help you view your addiction problem from a whole new perspective.

5. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is practice that helps those with addiction problems deal with their indecision or uncertainty and find motivation to accomplish their recovery goals.

6. Psychotherapy sessions (individual, group, and/or family) greatly contribute to the recovery process in a way that you get the chance to share all your experiences during your treatment period. These sessions provide the opportunity to examine any possible obstacles which may arise during your recovery, or simply have the chance to reflect your recovery experiences with a trained professional.

7. Support group facilitation (12 step, SMART Recovery, etc.) is a way of connecting with others who share similar problems as your own. Joining these gathering may help you find strength and motivation to keep the recovery roll bowling.

When we are talking about addiction, the risk of relapse is always possible. This is why Xanax detox is simply not enough to quit for good. You need to explore the mental and behavioral patterns that compel you to take Xanax if you want long-term sobriety.  If you don’t deal with both the emotional and psychological aspect of Xanax abuse…it’s very likely that you return to Xanax as a crutch.

Xanax Addiction Questions

Reaching out for help might be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. When your life is at stake, why make compromises?

We hope to have answered your questions about addiction to Xanax. In case you still have a question, please contact us in the comments section below or via contact us page. We try to respond to all legitimate queries personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: Addictions and recoveries: Benzodiazepines, Tranquilizers, and Sleeping Pills
NIDA: The Essence of Drug Addiction
NIH: What is Addiction?
National Institute of Drug Abuse: The Science of Drug Addiction
FDA: Xanax
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