How to Get Help for Xanax Addiction

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It’s possible to become addicted to Xanax, even when the fast-acting benzodiazepine is used as directed by a healthcare provider. Xanax addiction, like all substance use disorders, is a chronic but treatable condition. Read on to learn more about the addictive potential of Xanax and discover how to connect with effective and compassionate care.

Is Xanax Addictive?

Xanax (alprazolam) is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance. Although substances under this schedule are considered to have a low potential for abuse, more than 800,000 U.S. adults had diagnosable sedative-use disorders involving drugs like Xanax in 2022.

Xanax is addictive due to its mechanism of action in the brain, its short duration of action, and the strong calming and anxiety-relieving effects it produces, which some individuals may misuse. Additionally, suddenly stopping Xanax can result in withdrawal symptoms, potentially prompting a cycle of persistent use and increasing doses to mitigate these symptoms.

Over time, tolerance to Xanax can develop, meaning that higher doses are needed to achieve the initial effects, further increasing the risk of physical dependence. Dependence on Xanax – both physical and psychological – can lead to addiction.

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Signs of Xanax Addiction

Developing an awareness of Xanax addiction signs can inform timely and appropriate intervention. Addiction can manifest through an array of behavioral, physical, and psychological symptoms:

  • Increased tolerance: Needing larger doses of Xanax to deliver the original effects indicates a growing tolerance, a diagnostic criterion for substance use disorder.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: Experiencing withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, sweating, tremors, and nausea when not taking Xanax suggests the development of physical dependence.
  • Loss of control: Finding it difficult to control Xanax use – taking the medication more frequently or in higher doses.
  • Preoccupation with the medication: Spending lots of time obtaining and using Xanax.
  • Continued use despite adverse outcomes: Ongoing use of Xanax even when it leads to personal, professional, or health problems.
  • Neglecting responsibilities: Failing to meet obligations at home, work, or school due to Xanax use.
  • Social sacrifices: Giving up important social activities because of Xanax use.
  • Engaging in risky behaviors: Engaging in dangerous activities like driving while under the influence of benzos.
  • Using Xanax without a prescription: Taking Xanax without a prescription for non-therapeutic purposes or obtaining the medication through illegal means.
  • Experiencing mood swings: Experiencing dramatic changes in mood, including irritability, aggression, or depression.
  • Changes in appearance: Noticeable decline in personal hygiene or physical appearance.

Recognizing these signs in yourself or someone you care about can be the first step toward seeking help and treatment for Xanax addiction.

Xanax addiction symptoms are outlined in DSM-5-TR – the latest revised edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). If you notice many of the signs above in yourself or a loved one, consulting the diagnostic criteria for addiction can help you determine whether you require professional help to address benzodiazepine use disorder.

Xanax Addiction Treatment

Treating Xanax addiction requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both physical dependence and the psychological aspects of addiction.

  • Medical detoxification: The first step in treating Xanax addiction often involves medically supervised detoxification to safely manage withdrawal symptoms. Medical professionals can provide medications to ease discomfort and monitor health conditions during the detox process. Detox also facilitates the transition to ongoing treatment.
  • Inpatient or outpatient rehab: For those with severe Xanax addictions and co-occurring mental health conditions like anxiety, inpatient rehab offers a structured and trigger-free environment for recovery. Research shows that intensive outpatient treatment can be just as effective for many people with mild and moderate benzo addictions. Both inpatient and outpatient rehab offer access to broadly similar treatments.
  • MAT: MAT (medication-assisted treatment) may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and to treat any co-occurring mental health disorders like anxiety or depression. MAT is most effective when blended with behavioral interventions.
  • Behavioral interventions: CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is proven effective for treating addictions, helping people to change self-defeating patterns of thoughts and behaviors. CBT also imparts healthy coping techniques, enabling people to deal with life’s stressors without reaching for prescription medications like Xanax.
  • Family therapy: Addiction affects not just the person using substances but their entire family. Family therapy can help heal relationships, improve communication and conflict management, and establish a more supportive home environment.
  • Holistic therapies: Most of the best Xanax rehabs supplement evidence-based interventions with holistic treatments like meditation, mindfulness, and yoga.
  • Addiction support groups: Support groups like NA (Narcotics Anonymous) or SMART Recovery provide a community of individuals who share experiences and offer mutual support to those in recovery from addiction.
  • Relapse prevention and aftercare: All effective Xanax addiction treatment involves an aftercare component to promote ongoing recovery and minimize the risk of relapse. This may involve ongoing counseling, access to alumni clubs, or participation in peer support groups.

It can feel overwhelming to get help for Xanax addiction, but reaching out for the right support could mean the difference between long-term recovery and ongoing substance abuse or relapse.

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Get Premier Treatment for Xanax Addiction at Ohio Recovery

Although Xanax addiction is disruptive, it’s also treatable. At Ohio Recovery, we offer intensive outpatient treatment of benzo addictions at our rehab center in Cincinnati, OH.

Engaging with our supervised medical detox program streamlines the Xanax withdrawal process. Access to medications, a tapered reduction in dosage, and continuous clinical care helps you overcome dependence on Xanax and transition to ongoing outpatient treatment.

Although intensive outpatient treatment at Ohio Recovery is highly structured, you can still fulfill your everyday commitments at home, work, or school. The unique aspect of all addictions means that treatment plans are personalized. Therapies may include MAT (medication-assisted treatment), psychotherapy, family therapy, individual counseling, and holistic interventions. Aftercare is also integral to all treatment plans at Ohio Recovery to reduce the risk of relapse.

Call 877-679-2132 today and begin your recovery from Xanax addiction right away.

Table of Contents

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn