How to Help a Xanax Addict
- Table of ContentsPrint
- How to Approach a Xanax-Addicted Loved One
- Addiction Treatment
- Is Xanax Addictive?
- What Are the Signs of Addiction?
- Am I Addicted to Xanax?
- Call Our Hotline Today
If you or someone you care about is fighting an addiction to Xanax - a drug commonly prescribed to treat anxiety—you don't have to fight the battle alone. Treatment centers provide those suffering from Xanax addiction the support they need to find and maintain recovery.
How to Approach a Xanax-Addicted Loved One
Xanax abuse can cause a number of disorienting symptoms in the user, including sleepiness, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems. Because of these effects, you want to approach a person abusing it while they are sober.
When you finally find the right moment to talk with your loved one, make sure you come to them with a compassionate and understanding mindset. Addiction is an all-consuming problem that is difficult to overcome alone, so the stronger the support system, the more likely the chances of overcoming addiction and maintaining sobriety.
Professional guidance can be very helpful in preparing you for this important conversation. One program that has been shown to result in successful treatment enrollment is called Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT). A therapist will teach you effective coping strategies to deal with the stress that can come with a loved one’s addiction and what kind of language will be the most effective to get the person into treatment.
Overall, you want to approach a person addicted to Xanax with the intention of communicating your support of their sober efforts. Make sure you are not only telling them how you feel but also listening to what they have to say—how they are feeling, why they use it to the extent that they do, and what they need from you to help them maintain abstinence.
People successfully recover from Xanax addictions using both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. However, people with more severe addictions might need the stability of an inpatient treatment center to recover. The detox and withdrawal from Xanax can cause deadly seizures, so professional guidance is vital during this time of treatment. It's important that you consider all of your options and choose the treatment program that's right for you.
Outpatient treatment may require a stronger sober resolve because you will be living in the original abuse environment. This type of treatment will involve check-ins at a facility a couple times per week for therapy and medical health. Because you don't live at the treatment facility, it's common for drug abuse counselors to give you random drug tests to ensure you're on the right track. Outpatient programs are better suited for those in the early stages of abuse.
Inpatient treatment programs allow you to recover in an environment that is free from temptation. The centers have medical staff on hand to help you through the detoxification process, as the withdrawal from Xanax can elicit dangerous seizures in severe instances. Close medical supervision will be required for these special cases. After detox, your day revolves around your recovery.
A typical day could include:
- Group therapy sessions.
- Individual therapy sessions.
- Recreational activities that promote socialization and interaction without drugs.
- Educational lectures about drug abuse.
The main form of therapy that is used to help a person addicted to Xanax is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which teaches the patient how to address their own psychology surrounding their drug abuse. It teaches clients how to cope with relapse temptations and life stress in a productive and abstinence-friendly manner.
The main goal of Xanax addiction treatment is to safely stabilize the person while they transition to sobriety and make sure they have the tools and skill set to prepare them for returning to their day-to-day situations that might challenge their sobriety.
Is Xanax Addictive?
Xanax is a benzodiazepine that comes in either tablet or capsule form. It's used to manage anxiety and panic disorders. Sometimes called "purple footballs," "bars" or "Z-bars," this drug can cause a high that includes feelings of intense relaxation and drowsiness.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Xanax is addictive if it is used over a prolonged period of time. Anyone who takes Xanax can become addicted, even when taking it for legitimate medical need. For example, you may begin taking the drug and discover you no longer feel the effects as strongly as when you first began taking it. This phenomenon is described as tolerance and, as a result of developing tolerance to Xanax, you may end up taking larger and larger amounts.
The development of tolerance is a major factor that drives a new substance addiction. You may take so much to overcome your tolerance that you quickly become dependent on the effects of the drug—using dangerous amounts in the face of negative health and personal consequences. This is a defining characteristic of addiction.
Xanax abuse and addiction has become a major problem in the U.S., with many people taking it recreationally and sometimes in combination with other drugs.
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What Are the Signs of Addiction?
Xanax abusers show signs of addiction in nearly every aspect of their lives. It is common for those struggling with Xanax abuse to miss work. You might also notice that a user sleeps more often than normal, since the drug tends to elicit drowsiness. You might also notice:
- The user is disoriented.
- The user appears drunk (but has not been drinking).
- The user is slurring his speech.
- The user is especially anxious when not using (rebound anxiety).
Addiction can also affect the person's personal relationships. Addicted individuals may develop strained relationships with significant others, close friends, and family.
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Am I Addicted to Xanax?
There are certain questions you can ask yourself to get a sense of whether you have a problem with Xanax use. These include the following:
- Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when you don't use Xanax?
- Do you have an uncontrollable urge to use Xanax?
- Does your Xanax usage affect other areas of your life—including work, school or interpersonal relationships?
- Do you hide or disguise your Xanax addiction from other people?
If you answer yes to any of these, it's time to seek help.
Learn about treatment programs.
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Call Our Hotline Today
You don't have to battle your addiction to Xanax alone. If you're addicted to this drug, our hotlines are ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help you. Simply call 1-888-744-0069Who Answers? to speak with a caring professional who can find a suitable recovery program for you.
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- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Treating addiction to CNS depressants.
- Meyers, R. J., Smith, J. E., & Lash, D. N. (2005). A program for engaging treatment-refusing substance abusers into treatment:CRAFT International Journal of Behavioral and Consultation Therapy, 1(2). 90-100.