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Putting Recovery On The Map

Drug Rehab for Xanax Addiction

Compared to other disease, addiction is quite unusual. After decades of research and study, we realized that addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease that resembles something like diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease in numerous ways. But what’s made addiction so hard to treat is that fact that it’s such a variable disease; in other words, an individual suffering from addiction can exhibit a wide variety of different physical, psychological, and behavioral traits, depending on whether he or she is addicted to alcohol or Xanax, for example.

Over the past several years, the most highly-publicized type of substance has been opioids. In fact, the term “epidemic” is frequently used to describe the high rate at which people are becoming addicted to opioids. On the other hand, there are still numerous other substances that continue to pose a threat today, including a pharmaceutical drug known as Xanax.

With the success of addiction treatment being dependent on the extent to which the treatment is able to target a specific type of addiction, it’s important for individuals to be knowledgeable about Xanax rehab and the treatment of Xanax addiction. In particular, how does Xanax rehab work? Are there medications used as part of treatment at a Xanax rehab? Will your health insurance cover the cost of Xanax rehab? And, perhaps most importantly, does Xanax rehab really work?

How Xanax Rehab Works

Before we can discuss Xanax rehab, we must first take a moment to discuss Xanax as an addictive mind-altering substance. Of course, many of us are aware that there are different types of drugs with most falling into one of two categories: stimulants or depressants. With the former, the drugs cause an increase in the functioning of the central nervous system, triggering a marked increase in things like heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and overall energy level. By comparison, depressants have the opposite effect, reducing the functioning of the central nervous system and causing a decrease in energy level. Xanax is a drug that falls squarely within the depressant category.

But Xanax isn’t only a depressant. Specifically, Xanax is a drug that’s referred to as a benzodiazepine. Also commonly called “benzos” for short, benzodiazepines are psychoactive depressants that work by changing the brain’s neurochemical levels. When an individual ingests a benzodiazepine like Xanax, the brain experiences a significant increase in the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (or “GABA”), which is a naturally-occurring chemical that helps an individual feel more calm during times of anxiety and stress. However, Xanax and other benzodiazepines artificially trigger elevated GABA levels, which is why this type of drug causes individuals to exhibit drowsiness, reduced energy levels, lethargy, decreased cognitive functioning, slowed speech and movement, and other similar effects.

When a person misuses Xanax frequently for a period of time, his or her brain becomes accustomed to frequently having elevated GABA levels. In fact, being in a state of elevated GABA becomes the new “normal” for someone who has become dependent on Xanax, resulting in unpleasant effects when the individual doesn’t have Xanax in his or her system and, consequently, GABA levels drop. These are called withdrawal symptoms and they can range from merely unpleasant to intense and potentially life-threatening when the substance to which the individual is addicted is Xanax or one of numerous other benzodiazepines.

As such, the ultimate goal of Xanax rehab is to help an individual who’s become physiologically dependent on Xanax to regain his or her sobriety and learn how to maintain that sobriety for the long-term. Xanax rehab is able to help individuals achieve this by providing a combination of psychotherapy, group and individual counseling, and numerous complementary therapies. Each component of a program offered at a Xanax rehab is meant to counteract some facet of Xanax addiction, helping an individual overcome Xanax addiction by addressing the circumstances through which he or she became addicted and teaching the individual ways of avoiding potential relapse triggers in the future.

What Medications Are Used to Treat Xanax Addiction?

There aren’t inherent dangers involved in the treatment of all forms of addiction; rather, only addictions to certain types of substances require the utmost caution and preparation. Xanax — which, as mentioned above, is a benzodiazepine — is one of the forms of addiction that can potentially be life-threatening. In fact, this is why most professionals discourage individuals addicted to Xanax and other benzodiazepines from attempting to get sober on their own. Instead, it’s recommended that individuals only attempt to overcome benzodiazepine addiction under the supervision and care provided by an actual Xanax rehab.

Although there are numerous reasons why attending a Xanax rehab is so highly recommended, one of the most significant is the fact that Xanax rehabs sometimes employ medication as part of the recovery process. Of course, we tend to associate recovery with the goal of becoming free from all substances, but with the more dangerous types of addiction, the use of medication may be necessary.

When an individual has become accustomed to elevated GABA levels in the brain, he or she may be in danger when Xanax is unavailable as the GABA levels will drop. Especially during detoxification when the patient has only just ceased his or her use of Xanax, the use of medication can help to ensure that he or she doesn’t experience life-threatening symptoms resulting from the sudden drop in GABA levels. As such, there are a couple different ways to use medication as part of the detoxification process at a Xanax rehab. One way would be to help the patient taper his or her Xanax usage rather than an abrupt cessation; this would give the brain more time to return to a state of neurochemical balance and begin producing GABA naturally.

Another possibility is to utilize other, milder benzodiazepines to alleviate some of the severity of Xanax withdrawals. Even if the side effects of sudden Xanax cessation aren’t life-threatening, the use of milder benzodiazepines — i.e., diazepam (Valium) or clonazepam (Klonopin) — will make the patient more comfortable during detoxification. Similarly, muscle relaxants are sometimes used to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. For patients who have trouble getting to sleep or sleeping through the night, the use of sleep aids like sedatives or hypnotics are other types of medication that might see use at a Xanax rehab.

Does Xanax Rehab Actually Work?

Since there are many different ways to treat addiction, it goes without saying that not every method of treatment is effective for every individual; however, with addiction treatment programs, there’s a large degree of individualization and customization, which allows treatment programs to be customized to each patient’s specific recovery needs. In other words, rather than forcing patients to adhere to a specific treatment regimen, treatment programs can consist of various types of therapy and treatment that are mixed and matched according to a given patient’s particular circumstances and symptoms.

When it comes to Xanax rehab, the reason that it’s effective is because of the aforementioned personalization combined with a foundation of psychotherapy and counseling. Through individual or one-on-one psychotherapy, an individual is able to learn why he or she came to become addicted to Xanax; typically, these are circumstantial or environmental factors such as exposure to substance abuse during childhood or having access to Xanax and other addictive substances. Once an individual better understands what led to his or her addiction, psychotherapy helps him or her to learn ways to compensate for those factors, which serves to minimize the individual’s potential for relapse in the future.

The other forms of treatment offered as part of Xanax rehab play important roles in recovery, too. Group therapies are designed to give patients opportunities to learn important skills for recovery, including relapse-prevention skills, socialization and relationship-building skills, practical knowledge of the Twelve Steps, and so on. Additionally, there are often some alternative and complementary treatments incorporated into a Xanax rehab, ensuring that even the most unique and specific recovery needs are addressed over the course of rehabilitation.

Does Insurance Cover Xanax Addiction Treatment?

It used to be that virtually the only way to pay for treatment was to pay out of one’s own pocket; fortunately, that’s no longer the case. With the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2011, substance abuse was made an essential health benefit, meaning that most private and government health insurance plans began to offer some level of coverage for addiction treatment. However, even those individuals without health coverage have options to pay for treatment.

Beyond paying out of one’s own pocket and receiving coverage via a health insurance plan, many addiction treatment centers have begun to offer more flexible payment options. Specifically, rehabs occasionally offer patients the ability to pay for treatment in monthly installments or at a lower rate by subsidizing the cost of treatment according to one’s financial need and ability to pay for treatment.

There are numerous scholarship and grant options available, which are often awarded based on financial need. But another resource of which many are unaware is the numerous financial institutions that offer loans specifically for addiction treatment. These financial institutions have designed these loans so that individuals can receive treatment and then have a grace period upon completing their treatment programs; this can mean having as much as six months to return home and get back on one’s feet before needing to make the first payment.