Xanax is a commonly prescribed medication if you have insomnia, anxiety, or panic attacks. It is usually safe if you take it strictly following your doctor’s recommendations. However, it’s still possible to get addicted. In fact, about 40 percent of people who take Xanax daily will develop an addiction to it.
If you happen to be addicted to the drug, don’t lose hope. There are lots of treatments available to you.
Before we dive into those treatments, it’s best for you to know the signs of Xanax addiction first.
How do I know if I’m addicted to Xanax?
Xanax addiction shows some clear signs. One of them is called drug-seeking behavior, where you want to spend more of your time finding and taking the drug. This behavior takes the place of your hobbies, and soon enough, your responsibilities too. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself spending nearly all of your time on Xanax.
Another sign that you’re addicted to this drug is hanging out much less with your friends and family. Drug-seeking behavior will also take the place of your close relationships, and pretty soon, those relationships will be strained. Your friends and family would notice, and they may express concern, but you would not want to listen to them. Later on, you’d end up isolating yourself from the people who care about you.
You may also gain a new circle of friends, all of which are suffering from addictions themselves. With that, you’ll be more encouraged to take more Xanax, spiraling you further into the addiction.
I’m addicted to Xanax and I need help. What should I do?
Like any other addiction, this one can be treated. But treatment is not the real first step. Rather, the first step is to recognize that you have an addiction and you need help. Acceptance is key, and it will help you be more committed to the rehab process later on.
Next, you should get in touch with an addiction recovery professional near you. Be very honest about what you feel and your current situation. If they ask you questions about your drug habits, also do your best to tell them the truth. Hiding any important information will make it harder for them to design a treatment plan for you. Also, they can’t give an accurate diagnosis if you don’t tell them everything.
If you forget some details, it’s okay. You can tell them if there are things you don’t remember. What matters is you do not intentionally hide anything from them. The rehab professionals are there to help you, so you can trust that they will keep your information to themselves.
After that initial talk, they can then recommend treatments appropriate to you.
What treatment options are there for me?
Treating Xanax addiction is not a one-step process. Also, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment that works for everyone. The treatment regimen depends on the level of addiction and other circumstances surrounding it.
Regardless of the case, treating Xanax addiction, in general, involves two dimensions: the physical and the mental. The treatments must take away your physical urges to take Xanax as well as your mental cravings to seek more of it.
How is the physical aspect addressed?
To remove that “itch” in your body that compels you to take more Xanax, you must undergo a treatment called medical detox. The goal here is to wean you off the drug as painlessly as possible.
This is important because if you try to suddenly stop taking Xanax, you would experience withdrawal, which is really unpleasant. In some cases, Xanax withdrawal could lead to seizures, which can be fatal.
In medical detox, doctors give you medications to counteract the effects of Xanax. These are designed to minimize withdrawal as well, so as you take less and less Xanax, you won’t experience much discomfort.
Pretty soon, you’ll end up taking no Xanax at all. This deals with the physical cravings.
But there is still the mental aspect that needs to be taken care of. If not, you could relapse and go back to your old drug habits.
How are the mental aspects addressed?
The next crucial part of treatment deals with the damage that Xanax has done to your mind. Rehab professionals use a range of behavioral therapies here, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
During CBT, rehab professionals help you realize patterns of thoughts and behavior that led to your addiction. In turn, you will find out its root causes, and you’ll also learn how to deal with them in healthier, more positive ways. CBT will also teach you useful coping strategies to fight the urge to take Xanax.
CBT is widely used and highly effective. It helps you control your drug cravings and lets you taper off your use of Xanax.
After rehab is over, am I clear of the addiction for life?
Rehab for Xanax addiction can last for one to three months. After the program is done, you will have the skills you need to live a normal life once again.
But you must be aware that relapse is quite possible. More so if you’re not careful once you’re out of rehab.
Knowing that, it’s important to seek aftercare once rehab is over. Aftercare addresses your new life after rehab. Professionals will coach you on how to stay on the drug-free path in the outside world. They could also check up on you regularly, which helps you stay committed to staying sober.
Aftercare sessions will also teach you to identify triggers of drug cravings. Once you know them, you can also find ways to avoid them. It’s important to stay away from those triggers, as it only takes one small mistake to trigger a relapse.
What can I do to prevent relapse myself?
There are lots of things you can do to keep yourself clean after rehab. Here are some examples:
- Take part in fulfilling activities, like volunteer work
- Prioritize self-care
- Change the way you think about yourself
- Live a healthy lifestyle: have regular physical activity, eat a balanced diet, and get enough sleep