Xanax is the brand name for the prescription medication alprazolam. As a fast-acting benzodiazepine, this medication is prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders and panic attacks. When taken in large doses or for an extended period of time, Xanax has a high potential for addiction.
Street names include: zannies, xanbars, z-bars, benzos, bars, handlebars, and blue footballs.
Prescription drugs are often very addictive and have a high risk of abuse. This is the reason the DEA Scheduled many of the prescribed medications so that only the people who really need it are able to easily get a hold of the drugs. However, with drugs such as Xanax, even people who were prescribed the medication for a panic or anxiety disorder can abuse the drug for the effects that it gives. When this happens, treatment is often the only option as the addiction takes hold. Xanax addiction treatment can help with mild to severe dependencies through proven methods of treatment.
There are two aspects of an addiction to deal with – the psychological and the physical addiction. Each is approached in a different way to in order for treatment be effective. The physical addiction is addressed through detoxification. A patient can have a medically assisted detox, during which they are given medication to counter the withdrawal symptoms. For example, if the person is having trouble sleeping, they can be given a non-addictive sleeping tablet. During a medical detox, other medications can be used to slowly wean the user off the effects of the drug by giving them weaker version of the drug in a controlled manner.
To deal with the psychological aspect of the addiction, a patient must participate in behavioral therapy. The therapy helps to establish behavioral problems and replace poor behavior that leads to drug use with positive behavior. Different therapeutic techniques can be employed depending on the individual such as motivational incentives whereby the patient is rewarded for good behavior to motivate positive changes.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed statistics showing that between 40 and 60 percent of recovering addicts relapse after rehabilitation. This alarming statistic shows the important of relapse prevention training. During these sessions, patients are taught to notice the stages of relapse so that they can respond appropriately. For example, if a patient started to feel overwhelmed by their work, they would go to a support group or individual therapy and express their emotions in an effort to diffuse the anxiety that may lead them to drug abuse again. Undoubtedly, recovering addicts will be faced with these challenges once they leave rehab, which makes the relapse prevention strategies important for long-term recovery. Support groups are available for recovering individuals and they are encouraged to go on a regular basis as a part of their relapse prevention strategies.
A highly successful way to help patients that are coming out of and inpatient program is to enter into a sober living environment. Houses are run privately or by a rehab facility where several recovering addicts can stay together, going to meetings and supporting each other in a drug-free and safe environment. These houses can help patients stay away from friends that still abuse drugs and places where drugs are freely available, helping them stay clean. Residents are expected to abide by the rules of the house as well as do chores.
- Xanax – Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions | Everyday Health. (n.d.). Retrieved August 30, 2016, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/xanax
- Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings [PDF]. (2014, September). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Last updated on July 7th, 2017 at 07:32 pm