January 6, 2024

Xanax Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment

woman looking out at sunset representing Polysubstance abuse

Xanax, a potent benzodiazepine, is commonly prescribed for conditions such as GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), panic disorders, and insomnia. However, its high potential for addiction, especially with prolonged use, raises significant concerns about Xanax abuse and dependency. Xanax is the most prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States. If you are concerned about becoming addicted to Xanax, read on to learn all about Xanax abuse and discover how addictive is Xanax.

Is Xanax Addictive?

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Xanax is a rapidly acting benzodiazepine, inducing significant changes in the brain quickly. This characteristic positions it as one of the most addictive benzodiazepines available. The risk of addiction is heightened, especially in people taking doses exceeding 4mg per day for more than 12 weeks, but anyone engaging in drug abuse may be susceptible to benzo addiction.

Tolerance to the medication forms rapidly, meaning that its effects diminish. This prompts many people to start increasing the dose or frequency of doses. Abusive patterns of consumption are likely to hasten the development of physical dependence. Xanax dependence means that a person requires the medication to function and experiences uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms in its absence.

Xanax Addiction Signs

The development of tolerance and withdrawal are Xanax symptoms indicative of addiction. Once someone becomes addicted to Xanax, daily obligations like school, work, or family responsibilities are neglected as focus shifts towards drug-seeking behavior.

Xanax abuse symptoms may include:

  • Persistent use of Xanax despite its contribution to personal challenges.
  • Inability to halt Xanax use despite the expressed desire to do so.
  • Diminished interest in activities once found enjoyable.
  • Preoccupation with obtaining and using Xanax.
  • Loss of control over the quantity of Xanax consumed.
  • Legal issues arising from Xanax use.
  • Engaging in risky behaviors, such as driving while under the influence of Xanax.

Xanax Addiction Symptoms

Xanax addiction is diagnosed as a substance use disorder, based on the criteria outlined in DSM-5-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). These are the DSM addicted to Xanax symptoms:

  • Taking more Xanax than planned or using the benzo for longer than intended.
  • Trying and failing to control or discontinue the use of Xanax.
  • Spending significant time using Xanax and recovering from its effects.
  • Experiencing intense cravings for Xanax.
  • Withdrawal symptoms arising in the absence of Xanax.
  • Failing to meet personal and professional commitments due to benzo abuse.
  • Continuing Xanax use despite problems in relationships.
  • Sacrificing social and recreational activities for Xanax use.
  • Using Xanax in potentially hazardous situations.
  • Persisting in Xanax use despite causing or exacerbating a physical or mental health condition.
  • Developing tolerance, requiring increased Xanax dosage to achieve the same effects.
image of woman representing xanax abuse symptoms

Xanax Addiction Treatment

Addressing Xanax addiction requires a comprehensive approach that combines medical intervention, psychological support, and lifestyle adjustments. Seeking Xanax dependence treatment at a specialized treatment center can streamline the recovery process.

Supervised medical detox

The first step in Xanax addiction treatment often involves medical detoxification. Under the supervision of healthcare professionals, individuals gradually taper off Xanax to minimize withdrawal symptoms and ensure a safe detox process. Although detoxification addresses the issue of physical dependence on benzodiazepines, ongoing treatment is typically required to address the psychological aspect of Xanax addiction.

Inpatient or outpatient rehab

People with severe addictions, unstable home environments, or co-occurring mental health disorders usually benefit from inpatient rehab (residential rehab). Inpatient Xanax rehab involves remaining at a treatment facility for 30 to 90 days and engaging in intensive, immersive treatment. Outpatient programs provide flexibility for individuals with milder addiction or those transitioning from inpatient care. These programs offer counseling, therapy, and support while allowing participants to maintain daily responsibilities.

Psychotherapy or talk therapy

CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and other talk therapies help people identify and modify thought patterns and behaviors contributing to Xanax addiction. These therapeutic approaches promote long-term recovery by addressing the root causes of addiction.

 

Dual diagnosis treatment

Many people with Xanax addictions have co-occurring mental health conditions. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both addiction and underlying mental health issues simultaneously for comprehensive care and the most favorable treatment outcomes.

Support groups

Participation in support groups, such as 12-step programs or secular alternatives, can be beneficial for many people in recovery. Connecting with peers who share similar experiences provides a sense of community and encouragement.

Aftercare and ongoing support

All effective Xanax addiction treatment includes comprehensive aftercare planning. This involves developing a strategy to maintain sobriety after completing formal treatment. Aftercare may include ongoing therapy, support group participation, and lifestyle adjustments.

Individual responses to treatment vary, and a personalized approach is essential for successful recovery from Xanax addiction. If you or a family member is struggling with Xanax addiction, seeking professional assistance is the first step toward reclaiming a healthy and fulfilling life.

FAQs

How long does it take to get addicted to Xanax?

The speed at which you can get addicted to Xanax varies, but dependence can develop after just a few weeks of regular use. This is why the medication should be prescribed only for short-term alleviation of symptoms.

Can you get addicted to Xanax?

Yes, Xanax has a high potential for addiction due to its fast-acting nature and the calming effects it produces. Long-term use or misuse increases the risk of developing a physical and psychological dependence.

How do I get off of Xanax?

Gradual tapering off Xanax under medical supervision is the safest method of discontinuation. Abrupt cessation can trigger the presentation of withdrawal symptoms and rebound anxiety. Healthcare professionals can guide you through an individualized tapering plan to manage the process effectively.

An image of a woman using addiction hotline's to find xanax dependece treatment

Call Addiction Hotline Today for Help with Xanax Addiction

If you have developed an addiction to prescription drugs like Xanax, you may have no idea how to connect with appropriate treatment. Since most addictions get worse over time unless treated, taking prompt action is advisable.

You can call Addiction Hotline at any time of the day or night. Enjoy a confidential conversation with a trained and experienced professional who’s dedicated to finding you the most appropriate treatment and resources.

For those who are ready to begin their recovery right away, hotline staff can provide a variety of referrals. Whether you need local support groups, medical detox centers, inpatient rehabs, or outpatient facilities, we’ll put you in touch with the most suitable options near you.

Call 855-701-0479 whenever you are ready to unchain yourself from addiction.

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Compassionate Care for Substance Abuse Treatment

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