Xanax is an extremely powerful drug that causes profound changes in the brains of people who take it on a regular basis. In fact, the drug is so powerful that people cannot simply stop taking the drug on their own without some form of medical help. Those who try to do so may experience seizures or other life-threatening complications. The best way to manage an addiction to Xanax, according to an article in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, is to slowly taper the amount of drug the person takes until, slowly but surely, the person is not taking any Xanax at all. This process, the article reports, takes about eight weeks to complete, on average.
When this detoxification process is complete, the person will have no active molecules of the drug left, but the underlying addiction is far from cured. In fact, the opposite might be true. Deep down inside the person, the addiction lurks, waiting to come back to life with the right opportunity. With treatment, however, people can get control of their addictions to Xanax. Often, this means they must enter formal Xanax rehab programs.
The Assessment Phase
Two people who have an addiction to Xanax may have developed the disease by following two very different paths. One person might have been provided with a prescription for the drug, while the other might have purchased the drug from a street dealer. One might come from an affluent background and hold a stressful job, while the other might be homeless and unemployed. These two sets of people might need two very different types of interventions in order to heal, even though they both have the same disease of Xanax addiction.
During the assessment phase of a Xanax rehab program, therapists take the time to get to know their patients, learning more about the stresses they face at home and the issues they feel stand in the way of complete sobriety. Therapists also attempt to determine if their clients have any underlying mental health issues that should be addressed during the course of therapy. With all of this information in hand, therapists can design a completely customized and tailored program that could help the client to move forward with life.
Therapists might also ask their Xanax-addicted clients about the other drugs they take, just to ensure that there aren’t hidden issues that could sabotage a full recovery. According to an article in JAMA, Xanax has become a popular drug of abuse among people who also take methadone, as Xanax allows these people to obtain a significant high without feeling sleepy or sedated. People who are addicted to opiates like methadone need different forms of therapy than people who take Xanax alone, so this information is important.
By now, most people have heard about standard therapies for addiction. Here, people work with a counselor in a variety of settings, including:
- Counselling Settings
- One-on-one meetings
- Group meetings
- Family meetings
- Touch-up sessions
With each interaction, their knowledge of how the addiction process works and how it can be controlled tends to grow and grow, and they develop a set of skills that can be useful when therapy is over. The healing involves more than just the client and the therapist, however. In fact, some research suggests that people in rehab programs benefit from lessons provided by their peers, who are also engaged in addiction care. According to some addiction researchers, including a researcher writing for the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, addictions begin when people have difficulty developing healing relationships with others. People blame themselves for this lack, and soothe their pain with substances of abuse. It becomes a never-ending cycle, unless therapy can help people to explore new patterns. In group therapy sessions, and support group meetings, people can learn how to improve their social skills and make friendships built on caring and understanding, not on drugs.
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Xanax rehab programs also tend to incorporate self-help meetings, such as those developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. These meetings are designed to help people to share with one another and learn from one another in an open and caring environment, where no professionals are present, dictating how the conversation should progress. Support group meetings can be intensely valuable for people recovering from a Xanax addiction, as it can take months or even years for symptoms of withdrawal, and cravings for Xanax, to disappear. Since support group meetings are held in the community, and participation is free, people can lean on these groups in the months and years following their addiction treatment program. It’s a great way to keep the process moving forward.
Addressing Mental Illness
As mentioned, Xanax is often provided to people who have real, identifiable mental illnesses, such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. Those mental health issues must be addressed in order for people to avoid a relapse to Xanax abuse, or the abuse of any other drug. In fact, mental illness is one of the top reasons that people relapse once their addiction programs have been completed. For example, a study in the Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy found that 75 percent of people who have relapsed to substance abuse also have symptoms of depression. It’s a very large risk for a return to drug use.
Techniques used to combat mental illness will vary, depending on the mental illness the person has. People with depression, for example, might benefit from therapies that allow them to calm their minds and let go of memories that trouble them and play through their minds in an endless loop. People with anxiety, on the other hand, might benefit from therapies in which they’re asked to confront the source of that anxiety head on, in a supportive environment, and learn that the source doesn’t really have the power to harm them. By addressing these underlying causes of addiction, therapists can help to improve the mental health of their clients and keep a relapse to drug use from occurring.
A Social Disease
Xanax and other benzodiazepines can cause damage to the brain’s ability to process new information. According to a study in the journal Psychological Medicine, this damage can stay in place for six months or more, meaning that people in recovery from an addiction might need a little extra help from friends and family as they recover. Unfortunately, these people may have damaged their relationships during the course of the addiction. That’s why people who have addictions to Xanax might also benefit from family therapy. Here, the entire family can come together and learn more about how addictions form, and what can be done to keep them under control. The family can also discuss the trauma that may have taken place as the addiction moved forward, and they can process the hurt and pain that they feel. When this course of therapy is complete, people will have a tight-knit support group that can help them as they move forward with sobriety. When they’re tempted to use Xanax, they can lean on their family members for support.
Some people also need assistance in rebuilding other areas of their lives.
They might need help with:
- Legal issues
- Parenting skills
Addiction programs might link clients with community resources that can help them to rebuild their lives when their addiction programs are complete. With a stronger foundation for their lives, built through the help of the community, they might be less inclined to lean on Xanax in the future.
We Can Help
At The Orchid, we combine all of the techniques mentioned above to develop a personalized, custom-made program to help people struggling with a Xanax addiction. The women who come into our program are also provided with access to art therapy, massage and other treatments that can help them to relax, open up and share their own personal stories of addiction and recovery. We also keep our staff-to-client ratios low, allowing our clients unparalleled access to medical staff members who can make a difference. We’d like to help you. Please call our toll-free number today, and we’ll help you get started.