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Xanax Detox Centers

Medically Reviewed By: Benjamin Caleb Williams RN, BA, CEN

Written By: Gary Bowers

Article Updated: 01/24/2021

When someone is ready to take the first step towards recovery from Xanax addiction, the teams at Xanax detox centers will be there to help. Understanding when a detox center is recommended, what medical care and psychiatric treatment look like, and how to move forward with therapy can help you take that next step. This guide will answer those questions and more.

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When Is A Xanax Detox Center Recommended?

Professionally administered detox would be recommended in many cases where Xanax addiction is involved. Xanax belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, or benzos. Benzos are extremely addictive, both psychologically and physically, and withdrawal symptoms can be deadly.

It doesn’t take long for Xanax to take command of the body and mind, and this can even occur when it is used as prescribed. When Xanax has been abused the risks are amplified. Xanax affects brain chemistry, enhancing the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). Over time, the brain begins to rely upon Xanax for the activation of GABA receptors. At this point, suddenly quitting Xanax can lead to simple discomfort, psychosis, and seizure, or even potentially fatal consequences depending on the amounts someone was using.

There can be significant risks involved during the detox process. Medical care can reduce these risks, lessen the discomfort, and improve the chances of long-term recovery. Several risk factors could create serious complications. In these cases, the support of a Xanax detox center would be highly recommended. Detox for Xanax could take 5-7 days or longer depending on the progress of treatment, and the issues described below.

Some situations that may indicate a Xanax detox center is especially recommended may include:

Prior History of Relapse

Xanax can be a very difficult drug to stop using because of the physical and psychological effects it produces. These challenges intensify with prolonged or excessive use of Xanax. The fear of withdrawal symptoms can lead someone to continue using Xanax, even when they want to quit. Xanax detox centers will provide 24/7 treatment of detox symptoms and access to a variety of therapy options designed to address the underlying issues affecting Xanax use.

Co-Occurring Physical Health Issues

Anyone with pre-existing health concerns should consider treatment from Xanax detox centers. Although there are some consistent symptoms of withdrawal from Xanax, it’s impossible to know exactly how the body will respond to the removal of the drug. In addition to anyone with a history of neurological problems, anyone with diabetes, heart problems, or liver problems would be at high risk for complications. Additionally, when someone has reached the point of addiction and dependency, stopping Xanax use suddenly can result in dangerous neurological symptoms, such as potentially fatal seizures.

Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues

Anyone with a history of mental illness will be particularly vulnerable to the challenges of Xanax detox. Severe depression, intense anxiety, irritability, and suicidal thoughts are often associated with Xanax detox. This can be especially troublesome for someone who has been taking Xanax for anxiety or to treat panic attacks. Without medical care, it can be difficult to differentiate the symptoms of detox from the symptoms that prompted someone to use Xanax to begin with.

The Intake Process

The intake process at Xanax detox centers is all about gathering information and setting the stage for proper care. Individual processes may vary, but the goal will be to initiate care as soon as possible to mitigate any complications. During check-in, intake staff will gather information as necessary. This would include insurance information, personal information, and information on current medical care providers, if applicable.

Following the check-in process, a thorough medical assessment will be completed. The information gained from this medical assessment will be used by the Xanax detox center staff to assist in creating future care and treatment plans. There is also a sense of urgency as staff will want to initiate treatment as soon as possible. Some of the information they will gather at this time would include:

  • Vital Signs & Blood Work: The staff will begin by taking vital signs such as pulse, blood pressure, and body temperature. Routine blood work may also be performed. Blood tests can help doctors recognize and treat issues related to Xanax use.
  • Signs and Symptoms of Xanax Withdrawal: Xanax withdrawal symptoms will start to present themselves somewhere between 6-11 hours after the last dose. The staff will begin observation and assessment of Xanax withdrawal symptoms. Some of the early visible signs of Xanax detox symptoms include shaking/trembling and sweating.
  • Information on Pre-Existing Medical Conditions: Withdrawal from Xanax can be dangerous, and pre-existing medical conditions can complicate the detox process. Some information will be collected through the paperwork collected at check-in. Detox center staff will likely also conduct a mental health and wellness check interview.

The priority is to stabilize the patient. Once immediate dangers have been ruled out, treatment can begin in earnest.

Medical Monitoring of Xanax Detox Related Dangers

24/7 medical monitoring is one of the greatest advantages of Xanax detox centers. The risks cannot be understated and having staff on hand to monitor the entire detoxification process could potentially save a life. In spite of the dangers, the symptoms of Xanax withdrawal are treatable. Medical and psychiatric staff will be on hand for scheduled treatment, and interventions as necessary.

Below is an overview of symptoms that detox center staff will be treating:

  • Seizures
  • Psychosis (can lead to strange, and potentially dangerous, behaviors)
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Tremors/Shaking
  • Trouble Concentrating

These symptoms can be dangerous, but when under the care of medical professionals at Xanax detox centers, they can be treated. In addition to physical symptoms, there are several psychological symptoms of Xanax detox. These symptoms can be concerning, but with treatment and observation, they can be managed.

  • Severe Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Mood Swings
  • Suicidal Thoughts

Xanax detox centers will offer exposure to various forms of therapy that can address some of the psychological impacts of Xanax use and withdrawal. With effective care and necessary intervention, these issues can be addressed. With the help of professional detox centers, recovery is always possible!

Xanax Withdrawal Timeline

Medications Used By Xanax Detox Centers

Medications used by Xanax detox centers can ease the pain of detox, and promote healing. There are no FDA-approved medications for treating Xanax withdrawal, however, there are medications that can treat individual symptoms. Doctors will likely initiate a tapering schedule for Xanax that involves taking smaller and smaller does of Xanax until the drug has been removed from the system. Other medications will be used to treat symptoms of Xanax detox.

  • GABA Agents: GABA agents will work to minimize neurological activity. Xanax severely alters brain chemistry, and these medications can help restore balance. GABA agents also have anticonvulsant and antiseizure properties. These medications may be part of a long-term treatment plan.
  • Anti-Anxiety Medications: Doctors may prescribe non-benzo anti-anxiety medications to treat episodes of anxiety. Buspirone is commonly used because of its effectiveness and minor side effects. Antihistamines can also be used in this capacity.
  • Antidepressants: Antidepressants will alter brain chemistry to improve mood. The most commonly prescribed antidepressants are SSRIs – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – such as Zoloft, Paxil, and Prozac. These medications may also be used to treat chronic anxiety. Antidepressants typically work better over time, and would likely be part of a long-term treatment plan.
  • Sleep Aids: Sleep is often disrupted during Xanax detox. Sleep medications can help restore a natural sleep pattern. Sleep is sometimes an underrated component to overall health, and doctors will take this seriously. There are many different medical approaches doctors can take when addressing this issue, and medical treatment can change over time. For example, doctors may prescribe stronger sleep medications like zolpidem (Ambien) early on, and switch to other medications as detox progresses.

Therapy During Xanax Detox

Behavioral therapy is an indispensable part of treatment at a Xanax detox center. When combined with medical therapy, talk therapy can improve the outcome of detox. Substance use disorder is a complex issue. Recovery depends upon a willingness to tackle the problem from a variety of different angles.

Here are some forms of therapy frequently offered by Xanax detox centers:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is used throughout the world in a variety of forms. CBT usually begins with a problem the patient needs to address. It could be substance use specifically, or it could be something seen as an underlying issue contributing to substance use. Connecting someone’s thoughts and emotions with actions and behaviors is a key component of CBT. For someone who has been using Xanax, stressful situations may trigger a desire to use. CBT can implement thought/behavior interventions that can help someone choose a different path, cope with stress, and manage emotions.

Support Groups

Support groups can be a very helpful form of therapy when dealing with Xanax use. It is common for people with substance use disorder to experience isolation or loneliness as a result of their drug use. Support groups can offer a chance for someone to break the cycle of isolation and connect with others who understand their situation. Support groups may be less formal or structured than other forms of therapy.

Holistic Detox Therapy

Holistic detox therapy is becoming very popular as people seek non-traditional and non-medical approaches to healing and recovery. Holistic therapy would aim to heal the entire person; mind, body, and soul. Many detox centers are incorporating things like yoga, meditation, art therapy, and physical exercise into their programs. Like other forms of therapy, the skills gained from holistic detox therapy can be applied in the future to strengthen the individual and help prevent relapse.

Continuing Xanax Addiction Treatment

Completing a Xanax detox program is a major milestone, but there remains important work to be done. Continuing treatment for Xanax addiction will be crucial for long-term recovery. Inpatient treatment centers are an integral part of the recovery process. A Xanax inpatient treatment center would offer 24/7 medical observation and support, as well as therapy and psychological care. One of the biggest advantages of an inpatient treatment center is that – for 30 to 90 days on average – someone struggling with an addiction to Xanax can focus entirely on recovery. With no outside distractions, intensive treatment, and a ‘community’ focused on recovery, inpatient treatment centers are often a logical next step for anyone seeking a life free from Xanax addiction.

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