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Xanax Addiction Treatment

Xanax is a brand name for the drug alprazolam, one of several in a group of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines act on the brain and central nervous system by producing a calming or tranquilizing effect. Xanax is commonly prescribed for the treatment of panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder or social anxiety disorder.1 While some people have debilitating clinically diagnosed mental health disorders, Xanax abuse has soared in recent years due to a consumer culture amenable to “taking a pill for whatever ails you.” Moreover, people have the misconception that prescription drugs are less harmful than illicit drugs.2

Treatment for Xanax Addiction

At The Right Step, treatment for Xanax addiction starts with 24/7 medically supervised detox. Since Xanax is frequently abused with other drugs, detox may also entail eliminating other substances from your system. Our medical team will regularly monitor your vital signs and help ease withdrawal symptoms with research-backed medications. Once you’ve progressed through detox, we’ll help you address the underlying reasons for your Xanax drug addiction and develop healthy coping skills to stay sober. Some of our treatment approaches include individual and group therapy, family counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, fitness and proper nutrition, addiction education, art and music therapies, as well as Positive Recovery®, an empowering, strength-based approach to recovery developed by our chief medical officer.

If you or a loved one is struggling with Xanax addiction, get the help you need to change your life. We offer evidence-based treatment and both inpatient and outpatient programs. Call us for a free, confidential consultation 844-877-1781.

Xanax Addiction and Abuse

According to two clinical studies, the majority of people that are prescribed Xanax by a medical professional do not develop a substance use disorder. However, it is fairly common for users to become physically dependent, which equates to Xanax addiction. Physical dependence means the body has become accustomed to the drug and escalating doses are required to attain intended results.3 At recommended doses for the treatment of transient anxiety and anxiety disorder, Xanax side effects and psychological dependence are well documented, even after a short period of time. Some users experience considerable difficulty reducing and discontinuing use of the drug, especially at higher doses for extended periods of time.4 Data suggest that the risk of dependence and severity appear to be more pronounced in clients treated with doses of more than four mg/day and in excess of 12 weeks.3

Stats and Facts

  • From 2004 to 2009, Xanax saw the second largest pharmaceutical increase in production, with rates increasing 148%. The only drug that saw higher levels of production was oxycodone.5
  • According to the American Psychiatric Association,11-15% of all adults in the U.S. have a bottle of Xanax in their medicine cabinet.6 In teens addicted to Xanax, seven out of 10 obtained these pills from their home medicine cabinets.5
  • In a 13-year period, the number of Xanax prescriptions increased from 29,900,000 in 2002 to 39,250,000 in 2015.7
  • Among teens, 49% took Xanax with alcohol, 3.2% reported Xanax was their first-ever drug taken for recreational purposes and one in 11 high school seniors said they abused the drug at some point in their lives.7
  • The estimated number of alprazolam-related emergency department (ED) visits involving nonmedical use of the drug doubled from 57,419 in 2005 to 124,902 in 2010, but stabilized in 2011. Of these ED visits, the incidence of concurrent use of other drugs was as follows: 39% with one other drug, 21% with two other drugs and 21% with three or more drugs.8

Relapse Prevention

Xanax is fast acting, therefore cravings can begin a few hours after stopping use. At The Right Step, clients undergo detox supervised by medical professionals around the clock, an essential first step in recovery due to dangers of sudden withdrawal. During drug rehab, cognitive behavioral therapy and other forms of therapy focus on modifying thoughts, expectations and behaviors to help prevent relapse. Clients also work on building multifaceted coping mechanisms to deal with various life stressors.

  1. Xanax: Side Effects, Drug Information. Medical News Today website. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263490.php Updated February 4, 2016. Accessed October 11, 2016.
  2. Prescription Drug Abuse. National Institute on Drug Abuse website. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/director Updated November 2014. Accessed October 11, 2016.
  3. Xanax Effects and Withdrawal Symptoms. Drug Rehab Treatment Help website. http://drugrehabtreatmenthelp.com/drugs/xanax/ Published 2010. Accessed October 11, 2016.
  4. Daily Med Label: Xanax – alprazolam. National Library of Medicine website. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=388e249d-b9b6-44c3-9f8f-880eced0239f Updated March 24, 2015. Accessed October 11, 2016.
  5. 20 Profound Xanax Addiction Statistics. Health Research Funding website. http://healthresearchfunding.org/20-profound-xanax-addiction-statistics/ Published February 1, 2015. Accessed October 11, 2016.
  6. Is Xanax Dangerous? What’s Hype and What Are the Real Threats? http://www.alternet.org/story/154165/is_xanax_dangerous_what’s_hype_and_what_are_the_real_threats Published February 15, 2012. Accessed October 11, 2016.
  7. Xanax Addiction Statistics. Statistic Brain website. http://www.statisticbrain.com/xanax-addiction-statistics/ Published February 16, 2016. Accessed October 11, 2016.
  8. Bush DM. Emergency Department Visits Involving Nonmedical Use of the Anti-Anxiety Medication Alprazolam. The CBHSQ Report. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2013-2014 May 22.
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