Written by: Lee Spinks
Medically Reviewed by: Dr Mateen Durrani – MBBS, DPM, MSc, BCPsych
Last Updated: January 3rd, 2023
Prescription drugs like Xanax, also known as alprazolam, are often mistaken as harmless – after all, you can get them from your doctor. However, benzodiazepine drugs like Xanax are responsible for 16% of drug misuse deaths in England and Wales, with numbers markedly increasing over the past three years. The prevalence and growth of Xanax abuse is largely due to the accessibility of the drug online, with the UK being responsible for 22% of online trades – the second largest market for online sales of Xanax in the world.
Xanax addiction is a continually growing problem that sees more and more people needing professional help to escape it. If you have found yourself falling down the slippery slopes of addiction, Xanax rehab can help you to overcome your drug use and get your life back on track.
What is Xanax addiction?
Xanax is a powerful sedative that is usually prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders, as well as insomnia. Taken for its calming effects, Xanax will slow bodily functions and increase the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This prevents brain signals that provoke anxiety or panic, and can also trigger the brain’s reward system as the user experiences pleasant relaxation.
With regular use, the brain will start to rely on Xanax to supply its GABA levels and this will therefore result in a chemical imbalance should you try to quit. You may therefore experience withdrawal symptoms at this stage, as tolerance and dependence on Xanax begin to build and Xanax addiction eventually takes hold.
On top of this, ease of access makes Xanax all the more tempting. The ability to quickly and cheaply order the drug online means that the potential for abuse is considerably higher. For this reason, adolescents and young people are at an increased risk of developing a Xanax addiction, as well as individuals suffering with mental health issues who are attempting to self-medicate.
As with any drug, an addiction to Xanax can come to dominate your life as you become increasingly focused upon the consumption of the drug to the exclusion of everything else. If you have tried to reduce doses or quit taking Xanax but failed, or continue to consume the drug despite knowing the negative impact it is having, it is possible that you have an addiction to Xanax. In this case, Xanax rehab can assist you in getting clean and rebuilding your life – call us on 0203 553 9263 to discuss your treatment options.
Signs and symptoms of Xanax abuse
Long-term Xanax abuse can result in the development of both physical dependence and psychological addiction. Physical dependence to Xanax can become so profound that withdrawal can result in death if not correctly treated by experienced medical professionals. The psychological addiction, meanwhile, can leave you feeling totally reliant upon Xanax to get through daily life and can cause severe depression if you ever attempt to stop using.
Xanax misuse presents many concerning repercussions to your health and wellbeing. Some of the short-term effects of Xanax use may include:
- Slurred speech
- Disinhibited behaviour
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Impaired coordination
- Twitches and tremors
Some of the long-term effects of Xanax use may include:
- Changes to behaviour
- Mood swings or aggression
- Impaired cognitive function
- Memory loss
- Damage to internal organs
- Damage to brain cells
- Suicidal ideation
- Susceptibility to diseases, such as Alzheimer’s
The potential cognitive and behavioural issues that can arise out of Xanax misuse are not only problematic, but life-threatening. It is imperative that help is sought if you are experiencing any of the above signs and symptoms of Xanax abuse.
Xanax addiction treatment
If you or someone you know is suffering from Xanax addiction, you should first and foremost speak to your doctor. With them you will be able to discuss treatment options available to you, such as private addiction counselling, NHS services, and local support groups. It is important to choose the right treatment programme for you, bearing in mind the severity of your addiction and the known effectiveness of treatment.
The consensus amongst the medical community is that Xanax rehab is the most effective course of treatment for long-term recovery, as it provides a holistic combination of an assisted detox, a variety of therapy models, dietary and fitness plans, peer group support, and reliable confidentiality.
Xanax rehab has proven successful in helping countless individuals achieve and maintain sobriety. As Xanax has become more and more prevalent and damaging across the UK, an ever-greater number of Xanax addicts are finding the help they need in rehab.
Xanax detox and withdrawal
Detoxing from Xanax and going through the withdrawal process can be a pretty daunting prospect, especially if you are unsure of what to expect. Often our clients are a little nervous about the withdrawal symptoms they will experience as their body tries to adjust to a new normal with no Xanax.
Xanax withdrawal symptoms typically start within 24 hours after your last use, and may last up to two weeks. Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Irritability and mood swings
- Muscle aches and spasms
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach cramps
- Memory loss
Although Xanax detox can be an unpleasant experience, Primrose Lodge is here to make it easier for you. We can provide you with comfortable surroundings, and ensure you remain safe and avoid potentially risky side effects.
What can I expect from Xanax rehab?
At our Primrose Lodge facility, our team provides the highest level of support and care throughout your stay with us. We offer a comprehensive plan designed to tackle both the physical and psychological aspects of your Xanax addiction, and teach you vital relapse prevention techniques that you may carry through to everyday life outside of rehab.
Your Xanax rehab will begin with an assisted detox whereby your body will begin to expel any drugs from your system. Our experienced team will be on hand 24/7 to ensure you are safe, and any withdrawal symptoms you experience manageable, during this time.
The next stage of Xanax rehab will focus on figuring out the root cause of your addiction, and here you will analyse thought patterns and behaviour that may have led you to abuse drugs. As you learn more about these specific causes, you’ll find yourself better equipped to deal with any triggers going forwards. With a variety of cognitive and behavioural therapies, both in group sessions and one-to-one, Xanax rehab will give you the tools required to sustain a clean and healthy life.
Richard, our Recovery Lighthouse patient, shares his rehab experiences:
“You are understood and accepted straight away, which is a revelation because you’ve spent so long thinking nobody understands you. The first session was really frightening but listening to others made me understand I needed to be there. I didn’t like it but knew I was in the right place.”
Our Primrose Lodge team is proud to offer a non-judgmental space where you will be surrounded by others in similar circumstances. Building connections and having support from a like-minded community will be crucial in your recovery.
How long does Xanax rehab take?
At Primrose Lodge, we typically recommend a 28-day treatment programme. This course of treatment guarantees you the best chance of a successful recovery, as you will learn to replace your old habits with new, healthy ones instead. Completing a rehab programme is not the end of your journey, however, as addiction recovery is often a long-term battle that requires a lot of ongoing work. The importance of aftercare is therefore significant and it is highly recommended that you find a local support group to help keep you on the right path.
Xanax relapse prevention
It is important to remember that your recovery will have both good days and bad days, and many ups and downs. Xanax relapse is unfortunately part of the process of recovery, but should not be considered a failure. There are ways in which we can reduce the likelihood of relapse, however, and these may include:
- Avoiding triggers – this may include certain places or people
- Implement mindfulness or meditation techniques
- Keep busy – participate in other activities, exercise, or hobbies
- Talk to someone
- Stay positive and remind yourself that cravings will pass
- Attend aftercare programmes and support groups
Maintaining sobriety is tough – if you do relapse, don’t feel disheartened. Instead, use relapse as a learning curve and allow it to give you the motivation you need to continue with treatment and recovery.
The next steps
If you are struggling with Xanax addiction, or know someone who is, you are by no means alone. Thankfully, help is available. Xanax rehab is a viable treatment option that can assist you in regaining control of your life. Our inpatient facility provides a great level of expertise and can help lift the burden from your shoulders.
If you are ready to take the first step and start your journey, get in touch with our Xanax addiction specialists today by calling 0203 553 9263.
Frequently asked questions
- Stay open-minded and be willing to try everything
- Participate in every session – listen and share your experiences
- Be ready and determined to work hard
- Stay the course – don’t leave Xanax rehab early