Xanax Addiction Treatment: Options & What to Expect
Xanax, the brand name for alprazolam, is a prescription medication to treat specific anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, and seizure disorders. Xanax is classified as a benzodiazepine, which are sedative hypnotics. This class of medications are known as central nervous system (CNS) depressant because they inhibit the activity of the CNS.1 Therefore, taking Xanax can make a person feel sedated and calm, lessening their symptoms of anxiety and improving their quality of sleep.1
The long-term use of Xanax is concerning because of the risk that Xanax may be misused as it can have desirable sedating and calming effects. If Xanax is misused or used for a long duration, it has the potential to cause physical dependency and potential withdrawals. Withdrawals from benzodiazepines (and alcohol) are dangerous and can potentially be deadly.1
Dependence is a physiological adaptation of the body to a substance, wherein the body becomes so used to the drug being present in the system that when the individual cuts back on their use or quits, withdrawal symptoms emerge. With significant levels of physiological dependence, a person may continue to compulsively drink or use drugs to avoid unwanted withdrawal symptoms.
Around 4.8 million people in the US, aged 12 and older, admitted to misusing benzos, including Xanax, in the past year.2 In addition, around 1.2 million people met the criteria for a substance use disorder (SUD) related to some type of benzodiazepine or another form of sedatives or tranquilizers.2
If you or your loved one is struggling with Xanax addiction, there is support and treatment available through several approaches.
Xanax Addiction Treatment Programs
The specifics of Xanax addiction treatment will vary depending on the person involved, as well as the rehab program. When you first go to a treatment program, you should undergo a thorough assessment, which can help determine what your needs are for rehab, and the facility should create an individualized treatment program for you.5
Many people who have become physically dependent upon Xanax will need to undergo detox and it is not recommended that they go through benzo withdrawal without medical supervision.6 When a person experiences Xanax withdrawal, they may have symptoms that can include:1
- Cravings for Xanax
- High blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and body temperature
It is important that you do not attempt to detox from Xanax at home as Xanax withdrawals can result in seizures, as well as delirium.6 It is recommended to detox from Xanax in a supervised medical setting with the help of a healthcare professional. Often, a taper of benzodiazepines will be prescribed to slowly wean the individual off Xanax to help prevent any dangerous or life-threatening withdrawal effects.6 The process of Xanax detox may take weeks.6
In addition, some people who are dependent on Xanax may also misuse other substances such as alcohol or opioids, and this is known as polysubstance misuse. Withdrawing from multiple substances can be even more dangerous compared to withdrawing from one substance and as a result, it is always recommended to undergo withdrawal from multiple substances in a supervised medical setting.6
Inpatient Xanax Rehab
Depending on the severity of Xanax misuse or Xanax addiction, inpatient rehab might be needed. If you have been taking a high dosage of Xanax for a longer period, it is generally advised to enter an inpatient treatment center.6 In addition, you should be aware that Xanax tends to have a more severe pattern of withdrawal than other benzos, even when tapered according to guidelines.4
Inpatient rehab for alprazolam misuse offers different modalities of treatment that may include:9
- Behavioral therapy, both individual and in group.
- Assessment and treatment for co-occurring mental health conditions.
- Various medications.
- Family therapy.
There are various lengths of stay for Xanax inpatient rehab, with the most intense, 24-hour-a-day, closely supervised medical inpatient typically designed to only last as long as a person needs treatment to become stabilized.9 There are longer-term inpatient treatment programs, including residential rehab for Xanax addiction, which may last 6 to 12 months for people who need this level of treatment.7 These rehab programs may also be referred to as therapeutic communities, and the peers and staff all work together to help people change their attitudes and behaviors associated with Xanax and other drug use.7
Some of these longer-term programs address a person’s needs that can affect their ongoing recovery, including housing assistance, employment, job training, and legal assistance.7 Recovery housing is another treatment option that is helpful for many people. Recovery housing offers a structured, supervised place for a person to live, typically after leaving inpatient or longer-term residential treatment, where they can be drug-free, get connected to recovery resources in the community, and transition back into society.7
Outpatient Rehab for Xanax
Some people who need Xanax addiction treatment may be able to get help in an outpatient program. As mentioned earlier, inpatient detox is recommended for many people with a Xanax addiction, but ongoing treatment in an outpatient setting might be possible in some cases, including as a step down from inpatient treatment.6,9 In some cases, a person may have all their Xanax addiction treatment in an outpatient setting.6
The intensity of outpatient treatment varies, with some programs meeting just a few hours per week, and other programs, which are called partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), that meet up to 20 hours per week.9 Most outpatient Xanax rehab programs will offer:9
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Recreational therapy
- Educational groups
- Family therapy
Everyone seeking Xanax addiction treatment has unique needs. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of Xanax rehab programs and facilities that can offer such specialties as:10
- Luxury rehabs for Xanax addiction, with such amenities as private rooms, massage therapy, and gourmet chefs on staff.
- Dual diagnosis, or co-occurring treatment programs that address both Xanax addiction and mental health conditions in an integrated way.
- Programming that is specific for veterans and first responders.
- Xanax rehab centers that specialize in treating people in the LGBQTIA community.
You can research and speak to various rehab programs to see if they offer a specific option that you may be seeking in your Xanax rehab center.
Aftercare for Xanax Addiction
When a person enters a treatment program for Xanax addiction, it is a lifelong journey rather than a one-time event. Aftercare is an important component to help people achieve long-lasting recovery from Xanax addiction or any type of substance use disorder.11
Aftercare programs vary but can include such programs as mutual support and 12-Step groups, which have been shown to increase rates of abstinence after leaving formal treatment.11
Getting a Loved One into Xanax Rehab
If you believe that your loved one has a problem with Xanax addiction, try to get them into treatment as soon as you can. It is difficult to approach someone who doesn’t seem to want help, and sometimes you cannot persuade them to enter treatment. However, you can try to approach them about getting help for Xanax addiction by:12
- Finding a good time and place to talk that is private.
- Expressing your concerns in a direct way.
- Listening openly, without judgment, and validating how they feel.
- Offering to help research programs and offering to take them for an assessment.
- Being patient. It may take more than one time to get your loved one to think about rehab.
Finding a Xanax Addiction Treatment Center
Every treatment center is different and trying to find the best program for you or your loved one for Xanax addiction is important. There are several things to consider when seeking out a Xanax treatment center, including:
- Do you want to be close enough to visit, or does the person need to get away from people and places that encourage Xanax use? Can you afford to travel if the Xanax rehab program is far away from where they live?
- What type of insurance benefits and coverage will cover Xanax addiction treatment. Are there programs that are covered by your plan, as an in-network Xanax rehab program is likely to cost less than an out-of-network rehab facility.
- The various levels of care offered, such as inpatient and various levels of outpatient care.
- The amenities and types of programming that may fit your needs and preferences.
Find Out if Your Insurance Plan Covers Xanax Addiction Treatment
American Addiction Centers can help people recover from benzodiazepine misuse and benzodiazepine use disorders (AUDs), including Xanax. To find out if your insurance covers treatment for you or your loved one at an American Addiction Centers facility, click here, or fill out the form below. Your information is kept 100% confidential. You can also click here to find a rehab near me.