Xanax Addiction Treatment

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What is Xanax?

Xanax (also known as alprazolam) is the trade name of a prescription medication classified as a benzodiazepine that affects the central nervous system. Medications in this class of pharmaceuticals (also including Ativan, Valium and Klonopin) are commonly prescribed for short-term management of anxiety, panic or sleep disorders.

Xanax was the most commonly prescribed psychiatric drug in the U.S. in 2013, and is among the most popular of abused drugs in the world. Misuse of Xanaxis becoming increasingly prevalent. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the number of patients treated for benzodiazepine addiction in the United States almost tripled from 1998 to 2008. From 2005 to 2011, the number of ER cases dealing with Xanax abuse more than doubled. Other studies by the agency found Xanax was the thirteenth most commonly sold medication in 2012, and the most commonly prescribed psychiatric medication in 2013.

Xanax dependency is easily developed due to the drug’s rapid rate of action and habit-forming capabilities, the body’s tendency to quickly build up tolerance and the euphoric and relaxation feelings associated with the drug.

Effects and dangers of Xanax

It is relatively easy to develop a Xanax addiction. Some of the characteristics that make the drug highly addictive also contribute to its popularity, such as the rapid onset of effects, which occur within half an hour of taking the drug. Dependency is often developed through recreational use. The risk and severity of addiction are generally greater in users taking higher doses over extended periods of time.

Long-term usage of Xanax can result in a number of unpleasant effects, including:

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Flashbacks
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Uncontrollable muscle twitches
  • Migraines
  • Seizures
  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression

Alcohol and prescription opiates (such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and heroin) are often combined with Xanax or Ativan, which can result in a potentially fatal overdose. This behavior also increases the likelihood of becoming dependent on not only Xanax, but other substances as well.

Signs and symptoms of Xanax addiction

The signs and symptoms of Xanax addiction are different for each individual, but chronic use or abuse of benzodiazepine sedatives such as Xanax  and Ativan (especially with misuse like crushing and snorting pills) is associated with depression, psychotic experiences, aggressive and impulsive behavior, delirious states and cognitive deficits, including memory loss or amnesia. High doses of benzodiazepines can produce more serious side effects. Symptoms of benzodiazepine overdose may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Amnesia
  • Lack of coordination
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coma

Signs of chronic Xanax abuse can be difficult to recognize, but include changes in appearance and behavior that affect relationships and work performance. Chronic abuse of benzodiazepines can lead to symptoms that resemble many of the indications for using them in the first place, such as anxiety, insomnia, anorexia, headaches and physical weakness.

Xanax withdrawal symptoms

A person with a Xanax addiction will experience Xanax withdrawal symptoms if they abruptly stop using the drug. Symptoms can set in quickly, usually within a few hours. Strength of dosage and length and frequency of use contribute to the intensity of the Xanax withdrawal symptoms which may include:

  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Increased anxiety and nervousness
  • Tremors
  • Intense sweating
  • Memory issues
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Mood swings
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Delirium Tremens – a life threating, emergency medical condition

Xanax addiction treatment in Dallas/Fort Worth

An evidence-based combination of therapeutic and pharmacological addiction treatment can help those with Xanax addiction regain a stable and productive life. Research shows that integrating both types of treatment is the most effective approach to restoring a degree of normal function to the brain and addressing underlying issues.

Enterhealth Ranch provides supervised drug and alcohol detox (also known as withdrawal stabilization) services for Xanax addiction, which includes anti-addiction medication therapy and medical staff available at any hour of the day. Xanax detox is so dangerous that it should always be done at an experienced inpatient facility. The drug and alcohol detox process is a crucial beginning step to recovery and should only be done under the supervision of a physician with formal training in alcohol/drug addiction treatment. Due to the body’s dependency on the drug, stopping abruptly can be life-threatening, because of both seizures and Delirium Tremens. It is very important to understand that the withdrawal stabilization phase of treatment is not considered treatment. It is only a medically sophisticated protocol to get the alcohol or drugs safely out of the body.

Consequently, after the Xanax withdrawal symptoms are stabilized and Xanax detox is complete (usually between 10-21 days), Enterhealth Ranch and Enterhealth Outpatient Center of Excellence offer the full continuum of care including residential and outpatient treatment options, both integrated together for the patient’s individual situation. During the residential phase of treatment, patients live at our 43-acre ranch facility while undergoing treatment. Among many other treatments, patients attend addiction recovery therapy sessions that are specialized to each individual’s addiction challenges. Upon completion of the residential rehabilitation phase, the patient can transition to our outpatient facility, where patients receive continued, medically-supervised treatment while living at their own residence.

Xanax addiction treatment, however, goes beyond drug and alcohol detox and treatment. Through therapy and counseling, the psychological aspects of dependency can be better understood by the patient and addiction can be completely overcome. Counseling may be individual or group-oriented, and may also include the family. Continuing Care programs are also available, as they are essential to provide counseling and continued support over a number of years.

Xanax rehabilitation with Enterhealth

Based in Dallas, Texas, Enterhealth Ranch and Enterhealth Outpatient Center of Excellence provide a leading drug and alcohol addiction treatment program. Enterhealth Ranch offers a premier drug and alcohol treatment center in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that includes exclusively private rooms and bathrooms.

Proven to be more effective than traditional twelve-step programs, the Enterhealth advanced evidence-based approach is designed and administered by experience, board-certified addiction psychiatrists, physicians and other experts.

Anyone can become addicted to Xanax. Our goal is to understand each individual’s causes of addiction and provide them the tools for a complete, lifetime of recovery.