Xanax Detox Program

XANAX OVERVIEW

People have been using mind-altering substances recreationally for thousands of years. One of the first substances to be used recreationally was alcohol, which was being created as much as 9,000 years ago. Of course, alcohol is far from the only substance that’s currently available.

There are dozens — if not hundreds — of other addictive intoxicants that are in widespread use, most of which are divided into one of three categories: 

The latter group has become particularly problematic in recent years as rates of alcohol, opioid, and benzodiazepine addiction have skyrocketed. With regard to benzodiazepines, there’s one particular drug that’s become extremely popular among recreational drug users and that drug is called Xanax.

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WHAT EXACTLY IS XANAX?

While stimulant drugs “stimulate” the central nervous system, depressants “depress” the central nervous system. In other words, depressants cause an individual to experience a major decrease in his or her energy level. Over the course of human history, there have been a number of depressant substances to become popular, with the first being alcohol.

While some would say that alcohol is the most dangerous depressant due to its legal status, the many prescription depressants that have been developed were spread liberally throughout the U.S. and abroad, resulting in a number of pharmaceutical drugs reaching epidemic-like levels of abuse. Xanax, in particular, is one of those pharmaceutical drugs that became and remains a major issue to this day.

Benzodiazepines

By the mid-twentieth century, people were realizing the dangers of the class of drugs known as barbiturates, which could be considered a predecessor to benzodiazepines. Among their many other drawbacks, barbiturates had a much stronger potential for dependency. Therefore, a number of chemists and pharmaceutical researchers were attempting to develop substances that could be used to treat similar things as barbiturates while minimizing the amount of danger that they’d put patients in. 

Likewise, the psychological community was noticing a great need for medications that were relatively mild but could assist with symptoms of mental disorders. The benzodiazepine, alprazolam — most familiar by its trade name Xanax — was created in the late 1960s. However, it wasn’t until 1981 that it was actually made available to the public. 

Anxiety Treatment

Initially, the purpose of Xanax was to treat insomnia and depression, as well as to have similar properties as muscle relaxants. Since then, we’ve come to realize that the drug has a number of different applications. In addition to being an anxiolytic (treatment for anxiety), Xanax is also an: 

Perhaps not surprisingly, Xanax had a difficult time getting approved, which is why it took over a decade for the drug to be made available. While the drug had been partly intended to be an antidepressant, it ended up being approved as an anti-anxiety medication. This is largely how Xanax is used today. 

After its approval, Xanax grew rapidly in popularity over the next several decades. In fact, Xanax was the 12th-most-prescribed pharmaceutical drug in the United States in 2010. Somewhat ironically, it has been favored by medical professionals because Xanax isn’t as harsh on the body as barbiturates and even other benzodiazepines, but it has also quickly become one of the preferred pharmaceutical drugs of substance abusers.

Understanding the Effects of Xanax Dependence

How Xanax Affects the Brain

As is the case with virtually any mind-altering chemical substance, anyone who takes Xanax frequently for an extended period of time becomes physically dependent on the drug. The reason this happens is attributed to how Xanax affects the brain. Xanax increases GABA activation in the brain, which induces feelings of calm and relaxation. 

GABA is a natural chemical messenger in your brain. It reduces the brain activity in the areas responsible for:

The brain is overstimulated when a person feels anxious. Then, when Xanax is taken, the brain sends signals to counteract the stimulation. This is how the symptoms of anxiety are reduced.

Since the Xanax causes excess GABA activity, the brain decides that it’s getting enough GABA from the Xanax and either stops producing or cuts back its production of GABA. 

This means that the brain is relying almost solely on Xanax for the GABA, which is a very dangerous situation. Eventually, the continuous use of Xanax causes the brain to become reliant on the Xanax to maintain a minimum GABA level.

When a person addicted to Xanax goes for a period of time without it, the brain experiences a major GABA deficit with potentially catastrophic consequences. At best, the individual will experience Xanax withdrawal with some of the most common symptoms being blurred vision, slurred speech, difficulty/irregular breathing, weakness, seizures, and/or coma.

Common Uses of Xanax

Currently, the most common (legitimate) uses for Xanax include:

The reason Xanax is so effective for anxiety-related conditions is because of how it affects the brain. In fact, Xanax has a similar effect on the brain as alcohol. When a user takes Xanax, the drug acts as the neurochemical GABA in the brain, causing feelings of relaxation and calm.

Side Effects of Xanax

When a person takes Xanax, some of the most widely experienced effects include: 

If the individual has taken an excessively large dose — likely for the purposes of abuse — Xanax is known to cause:

  • Euphoria 
  • Dizziness 
  • Confusion 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Depression 
  • Skin rashes 
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation

Information About Xanax Abuse and Addiction

Xanax Addiction Symptoms

When taken as prescribed, Xanax and other benzodiazepines are valuable, effective treatments to help relieve anxiety, insomnia, and other disorders. However, once tolerance has built up and it takes more of the drug to achieve the initial effects, the individual becomes dependent. This then becomes a physical and psychological addiction. Signs of an addiction to Xanax include:

More serious symptoms include:

Withdrawal Timeline

Each person may experience withdrawal differently. There is no definitive guide to the symptoms, timeline, or severity of withdrawal. It is dependent on these factors:

Possible Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Anxiety and panic
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Seizures
  • Sleep problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Feelings of unreality
  • Headaches and muscle pain
  • Agitation and restlessness

Overcoming Xanax Abuse Through Detox and Treatment

Being addicted to Xanax is scary. Of course, not everyone who uses Xanax becomes addicted. Experts recommend that those who receive Xanax for legitimate medical conditions only receive the drug for brief periods of time. However, for those who have become addicted to Xanax, there are a wide variety of recovery resources available.

Medications

Currently, there aren’t any medications specifically approved to treat benzodiazepine use disorders. However, medical supervision is important to treat symptoms of withdrawal, such as antidepressants for depression and sleep issues, as well as mood stabilizers and other medication as needed for any medical emergency that might occur.

Xanax Addiction Treatment

After detoxing, the individual is often encouraged to enroll in an actual treatment program, which consists of: 

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is sometimes called “talk therapy.” Problems that are helped by psychotherapy include:

These are all issues that may be underlying causes of substance abuse.

Behavioral Therapy 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most commonly used therapy for benzodiazepine dependence. Evidence shows that it actually produces change in the short-term, unlike many other forms of psychological treatment which may take years. CBT involves training to change thinking patterns and efforts to change behavior patterns. 

Group Therapy

Group therapy is generally preferred over individual therapy because in a group, the individual is likely to be challenged and receive support from people who are also going through treatment.

Individual Therapy

During individual therapy, the therapist and counselor develop a trusting relationship and work together to identify the deep-rooted causes of the person’s drug abuse.

Life Skills Training

The idea is to help individuals accumulate the tools and strategies they need to overcome Xanax addiction and remain sober indefinitely.

Treatment Programs

To overcome Xanax addiction, most experts recommend beginning with a detox program, which will ensure that the patient detoxes in a safe, supervised setting. This is crucial because it ensures the individual’s safety during the process. During detox, withdrawal symptoms are severely uncomfortable and may become life-threatening. A medically assisted detox is necessary for a safe and complete detoxification. 

There should be no one-size-fits-all program for any addiction, including Xanax addiction. That’s why different treatment programs are developed. As usual, the treatment program an individual needs depends on: 

Common treatment programs include:

Time to Make a Difference

Finding the right help for a Xanax addiction can be an overwhelming and stressful process. We can remove those stresses by helping you find the right rehabilitation facility. Contact us today. You can have the life you want, so don’t wait any longer.

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Jodi Silverman Goldberg
Jodi Silverman Goldberg
2022-03-21
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It been almost a year!! Thank y’all
Matthew Mcnulty
Matthew Mcnulty
2022-03-07
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This is the top tier Rehab/Detox center in Southeast FL. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them. Their attention to detail is impressive. They specialize in treating alcohol abuse among several other conditions. If you or a loved one are looking for a blueprint on how to sober up…Coastal Detox will lead you there.
Mary Katz
Mary Katz
2022-02-26
Verified
My experience with Coastal has been one of empathy, kindness and family. From Admissions to Nurses to techs I have never felt so cared for. Food and drink 24/7. Coastal is a place I went twice. First time 14 days next 6days later for another 11. At 59 and umpteen detoxes Coastal by far is Heaven Sent! As a Nutritionist and Trainer, I'm so happy to be back....the Mary ,who was lost:)
vicky ehr
vicky ehr
2022-01-29
Verified
Great place . Helped me so much I am a 64 year old woman and this place got me sober with dignity and kindness. I highly recommend it plus the food is incredible. Rooms are really well laid out. 2 guys to a room . Each bed has its own t.v with head sets so you dont bother your roomate. Take an extra pillow and comfort blanket from home. At least 3 pairs of pj’ s sock and shoes and comfortable clothing fit. You do your own laundry there. I will send you the link to look at. After thinking all morning this is hands down the place for you. Lots of young people and fantastic therapists. For my wonderful son who suffers. From addiction the way I do.
Melissa Lorina
Melissa Lorina
2022-01-13
Verified
I am the mom of an addict. My son arrived at Coastal Detox on his own...very torn...very broken...tired of being sick and tired.I can not rave about this place enough. From the 1st phone call, it all went great! Great staff, great nurses, very helpful at all times...very caring and loving. He has chosen to go forward with a program...which is amazing to me...this is a break through for sure! If your reading this and are trying to decide wether to come here or not...hands down...the answer is yes!!! This place is amazing and changed my world for sure! I pray all that enter these doors, finds recovery! It is possible and this place is amazing!!! They should have 10 Stars!!! Awesome experience for me to witness the 1st day of the rest of my son's life sober!!! I am so grateful for this place...pick them...pick recovery!!!💜💜💜💜💜💜💜
John Doe
John Doe
2021-12-02
Verified
The staff is very caring it’s extremely clean with delicious food ( healthy and comfortable). It’s 4 stars because the administration just needs some work. It’s still one of the best places I’ve been too. Thank you to ALL the staff you made me feel loved , safe , and helped me through some very difficult times. If you need a detox that cares this is the place to go!

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