Xanax is sometimes described as “beer in pill form,” as the little pills can produce a sense of relaxation and sedation that’s akin to the effects a person might feel after downing several alcoholic beverages. Some communities have become so concerned about the abuse unfolding within their borders that they’ve banned the sale of Xanax altogether, according to The New York Times, which has plunged people who need the medication for mental health concerns into a state of crisis. Thankfully, there is another way to deal with the issue.
In fact, there are a number of wonderful therapies available that could help people with a Xanax addiction to take control, so they can live lives that aren’t controlled by the abuse of drugs.
Recovering from an addiction to benzodiazepines like Xanax means getting targeted help from the right team of experts. Often, this means that families must delve into the background of the person’s addiction, so they can understand how the problem developed and what might be required in order to make it go away. Usually, this means determining whether or not the addiction developed in response to a verifiable mental illness.
Families might also need to determine how long the addiction has been in play. People who abuse drugs for very long periods of time tend to have a number of habits that support their addictions, and their rituals might include:
- Routes taken to work
- Private parts of the house
- Drug dealers
Similarly, some people who have Xanax addictions mix the drug with other substances of abuse. For example, in a study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers found that heavy users of cocaine were more likely to develop benzodiazepine addictions when compared to people who didn’t use cocaine. People who mix drugs like this might need more intense monitoring in the early stages of recovery, as they may have a significant amount of cellular damage to overcome, while someone who abuses only Xanax might not need this intense and multifaceted type of help.
Most people who have Xanax addictions don’t have a valid prescription for the drug. But there are some people who begin to abuse Xanax after they’ve been given a diagnosis of panic disorder. The drug seems to calm their overactive brain cells, and sometimes these people move from medication use to abuse in a short period of time. People like this might need to access therapies that address both their addictions and their mental illnesses, which means they’ll need so-called “dual diagnosis” programs. People who have no such mental illnesses might succeed in more streamlined programs that touch only on issues of addiction. Determining where the person in need falls on this spectrum is vital.
These rituals must be broken in order for the addiction to abate, but someone who has behaved in the same manner for decades might find this kind of reformation difficult to achieve. Someone like this might need a more advanced level of monitoring, when compared to someone who is somewhat new to Xanax abuse.
Will Rehab Cure Addiction?
The question of curing addiction is one of the most commonly asked by newly recovering addicts. Addiction is a disease without a cure at the present time. This does not mean that there is no hope for someone suffering from Xanax addiction. There is hope and a good chance that Xanax addiction can be controlled and treated with the proper, personalized therapy and lifestyle changes.
As with other incurable disorders, the recovering addict must make a conscious decision to remain sober and drug-free. With the right frame of mind and the proper tools, the recovering addict can enjoy the rest of his or her life without the influences of Xanax and other depressant drugs.
These Tools Include:
- Education. Understand your disease, how it works and what the long-term effects are.
- Counseling. Accept that you are a human being and, by definition, fallible and susceptible to anxiety and stress.
- Commitment. Make the decision that you will live free from the ravages of drug abuse and be an example to others who also suffer.
- Supportive relationships. Surround yourself with individuals who are as committed to their recovery as you are, and make new relationships with healthy individuals who are less likely to discourage your good decisions.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
The amount of time that Xanax rehab will last is different for everyone. There are myriad factors that influence this:
- How long has the disease of addiction been present?
- How severe is the addiction?
- Are there any other addictions that need to be addressed, as well?
A positive mental attitude toward recovery is the key to making the most of the time you spend in Xanax rehab. An individual who is ready and committed to recovery will see progress more quickly than someone who is not sure they are ready to be well. The timeframe may also depend upon whether an individual has been ordered to attend rehab by the court system, checked into rehab by their parents, or is a voluntary inpatient or outpatient ready to succeed.
Ultimately, the decision of how long a recovering addict will spend in treatment is one made in collaboration with doctors, psychologists, counselors and staff, and the recovering addict or his family. Studies have shown that long-term residential treatment offers the greatest chances for success.
Xanax Rehab Settings
Everyone who abuses Xanax needs at least some form of monitoring during the addiction recovery process, as withdrawal can sometimes lead to seizures. This reaction can take place in people who abuse the drug, but it can also take hold in people who take the drug for therapeutic purposes, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. As a result, everyone who takes Xanax for a long period of time needs to work with a doctor in order to get better. Typically, that work involves taking a smaller and smaller dose of Xanax over a period of weeks, until the person is taking no drugs at all. This taper allows the brain to adjust at a slow and safe pace.
Some people recover by enrolling in outpatient programs, and they visit with their teams in a series of appointments. But people with complicated recovery arcs might need to enroll in inpatient programs, so they can ensure that they don’t slide into bad habits while they’re living at home. An inpatient program takes them out of their comfort zone, and the supervision can ensure that they stay on track with recovery.
When the person is sober, a team of experts can provide remarkable help, and that team might include:
- Social workers
- Peer support group leaders
- Peer sponsors
- Alternative therapy providers
Therapies Used in Xanax Rehab
Most addiction recovery programs are built on a foundation of education. People need to really understand how their problems developed and what they’ll need to do in order to keep from using drugs in the future. Xanax rehab programs are no different, but some people who abuse Xanax might need additional therapies that help them to deal with anxiety and nervousness.
People who abuse Xanax in a misguided effort to keep feelings of anxiety at bay need to learn new techniques that can soothe their mental distress. In a study of the issue in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, researchers found that a form of behavior therapy was responsible for freeing 87 people with panic attacks from the disorder. They learned how to control their minds, and they were less likely to use drugs as a result. This could be a remarkable therapy for anyone who has been medicating with Xanax.
Some people with Xanax addictions also benefit from alternative therapies. Biofeedback sessions, for example, help clients to explore how their thoughts impact the physical reactions of their bodies. By thinking relaxing thoughts, they can slow their heart rates and breathing rates, and they might feel soothed as a result. It’s a form of mental health training that could reduce a client’s need for any kind of benzodiazepine at all, and it might be quite helpful for some people with addictions.
At Axis, we use a number of therapies like this to help our clients recover from Xanax addiction. For our clients with panic disorders, we develop treatment programs that involve meditation and other forms of self-soothing, and for our clients with less complicated addictions, we explore the root causes of the abuse and develop customized therapies that can help. All of our work is done in a luxurious inpatient setting that can provide remarkable comfort and relaxation. We’d love to tell you more about it. Please call, and we’ll explain how work at Axis begins and how we can help to ban Xanax from your life for good.