Xanax Detox in Kokomo, Indiana
From 2019 to 2020, both fatal and nonfatal drug overdoses increased in the United States. Although opioids are often the main focus of overdose reports, benzodiazepines are also dangerous and lead to unnecessary deaths. Compared to the second quarter of 2019, the 2020 second quarter benzodiazepine deaths were 43% higher. In 2020, the number of visits to healthcare providers for benzodiazepines increased. Health experts in the United States say that benzodiazepine misuse is a hidden part of the country’s overdose epidemic.
Benzodiazepine misuse has especially been growing in Indiana during the last several years. In 2017, benzodiazepine overdoses increased by 48%, which was a bigger increase than opioid overdoses. Various counties in Indiana report overdose deaths, and numbers continue to grow in many areas. For instance, by the end of the second quarter of 2022, Howard County reported 11 overdose deaths. Four of the cases involved benzodiazepines. Xanax is one of the most common benzodiazepines that people misuse. It is important to understand how it works and how to break an addiction to it.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax is the popular brand name for alprazolam, which is a benzodiazepine that is a tranquilizer. Its common form is a bar-like tablet that has four scored sections. Every section contains 2 mg of the substance. Since people tend to take varying doses based on individual needs, the scores make them easy to break. Medical professionals often prescribe alprazolam to treat seizures, muscle spasms or anxiety. Usually, doses start small and increase until the patient’s symptoms improve. The substance works as a depressant and helps create feelings of relaxation or sedation.
How Does Xanax Work?
Xanax affects the central nervous system to produce its sedating effects. It enhances GABA effects in the body. GABA is one of the human body’s natural chemicals that lowers excitability and affects behavior. When a person’s body does not produce enough of the substance naturally, Xanax helps restore a proper balance. If Xanax starts to lose its effectiveness over time, a person may become more irritable and anxious. Someone who takes it for seizures may notice a return of symptoms.
When a person’s symptoms return, it is often a sign of developing a tolerance to Xanax. Tolerance will be explained more in the next section. Health professionals adjust doses as necessary and may recommend different medications eventually.
Why Is Xanax So Addictive?
According to health experts, one of the reasons why Xanax is so addictive is its low tolerance threshold. With daily use, tolerance can appear within a little over a month in many people. Research shows that up to 44% of people become dependent on the substance, and 40% reach that point after six weeks. When a person develops a tolerance, reduces the dose or stops taking Xanax, withdrawal starts. The symptoms of withdrawal can be so unpleasant that overdose risks become higher. This is because a person may intentionally take a higher dose to stop the physical and mental discomfort.
It is important to understand that tolerance, dependence and addiction are three different things. When a person develops a tolerance, it means that the current dose does not produce the same effects. A person must take doses more frequently or take higher doses to produce the same effects. Dependence happens when a person’s body relies on the substance, and negative symptoms occur without it. A similar example is coffee. Many people depend on a cup of coffee every day, and they often feel tired or sluggish without it.
Addiction differs from dependence because it means a person cannot stop taking the substance. This is true even though the individual understands the negative effects or harm it has on the body. Tolerance can lead to dependence when a person takes higher doses, and dependence can lead to addiction.
Signs of Xanax Addiction
When a person becomes addicted to Xanax, there are several common signs. These are some top signs to watch for:
- Intense urges or cravings to consume more Xanax.
- Continually needing to increase dose size or frequency to maintain the same effect.
- Spending a lot of time obtaining, using or recovering from the effects of Xanax.
- Withdrawing from important family or social obligations.
- Performing poorly at school or work.
- Taking Xanax for much longer than intended.
- Feeling unable to stop using it despite personal problems increasing.
- New legal troubles or financial difficulties tied to Xanax use.
If an addicted family member is behaving in a hurtful way, it is important to remain patient. Family members can still set healthy and clear boundaries while they try to help in several ways. Keeping an open line of communication can help. In some cases, an intervention may be necessary to encourage an addicted loved one to seek treatment.
What Is Xanax Detox?
When a person is misusing Xanax or becomes addicted to it, detox is the first step of treatment. Detox is the process of the body removing the substance. This is a necessary step for successful treatment and recovery. After a person finishes detox, the body adjusts to living without the substance.
Depending on a person’s individual health needs, detox may also involve using a different substance. For example, if Xanax is too harmful to a person who has anxiety, treatment is still necessary for the anxiety. Health professionals can find a suitable alternative for the individual. However, someone who does not have a medical need for the substance may have a different treatment plan.
Why Is Supervision Important While Detoxing From Xanax?
People who try to detox on their own at home face a higher risk of relapse. Detoxing in a treatment facility is safer because medical detox involves 24/7 supervision by professionals. These professionals are trained to understand the potential risks of withdrawal. In addition to the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, trying to quit alone can lead to psychological distress. As discussed earlier, Xanax affects GABA production. Without it, brain activity changes and can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts and more. Convulsions, seizures and paranoia can also present potential dangers.
What To Expect During Xanax Detox
People entering detox often do not know what to expect. Detox facilities are clean, comfortable and quiet. Professional support means that patients have medical assistance whenever they need it. This may include medications, which are discussed in an upcoming section. Patients have nutritious food and laundry service provided for them as well.
As the body adjusts to functioning without Xanax, there are several things that can happen. These are some common Xanax withdrawal symptoms:
- Vivid and disturbing dreams.
- Insomnia, restlessness and waking up frequently.
- Feeling tension or anxiety after waking up in the morning.
- Possible auditory or visual hallucinations.
- Depressed mood, anxiety or irritability.
- Feeling a loss of interest in daily activities.
- Muscle aches and tension.
- Feeling forgetful or demonstrating poor memory.
- Higher heart rate or blood pressure.
- Sweating or runny nose.
- Abdominal cramps, diarrhea or constipation.
As previously noted, suicidal thoughts, convulsions or seizures are also possible. While they may not happen to everyone during Xanax detox, they can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous without medical supervision.
There are several phases of detox. The first is a medical assessment, which is necessary to learn each person’s unique needs. Professionals create a treatment plan that may include medications. Withdrawal from Xanax is the next step. During the withdrawal period, professionals monitor patients closely. Along with medical staff, support staff strives to keep patients as comfortable as possible. At the end of the detox phase, a treatment plan starts. Proper treatment is necessary to beat addiction.
Medical professionals provide medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms. For instance, a professional may give a person with anxiety a different medication to treat it. If a person experiences constipation or diarrhea, there are supportive medications to correct those problems. There are also medications that can help people sleep better during detox. Each person’s medication regimen depends on the symptoms they experience and their individual health history.
Symptoms of withdrawal usually start within a day or two of the last dose. After about three to six days, symptoms usually reach their peak. In most cases, symptoms become more tolerable after about a week. However, symptoms may persist beyond that. For instance, as a result of stopping, people often experience strong cravings. Those can last for weeks or much longer. With professional addiction treatment, people learn how to cope with cravings and change behaviors.
What Happens After Detox?
After detox, treatment continues to include behavioral therapy. If a person has a co-occurring disorder like anxiety or depression, treatment includes dual diagnosis therapy. This approach treats both the mental health issue and addiction together. As a result, people typically notice better outcomes. This is important since unmanaged mental health issues can lead to substance misuse. People may go through inpatient or outpatient treatment depending on their history, living situation and other factors. Treatment often includes family, individual and group therapy.
After therapy, it helps to participate in 12-step groups. People with mental health issues may also need ongoing behavioral therapy. Our center for Xanax addiction treatment in Kokomo, Indiana provides comprehensive care that helps people start the path to recovery and increase their chance of maintaining sobriety.
Xanax Detox and Addiction Treatment in Kokomo, Indiana
If you or someone you know is suffering from Xanax addiction, First City Recovery Center is here to help. We offer medical detox, dual diagnosis treatment, behavioral therapy, inpatient treatment and much more. Our comprehensive approach ensures people have support at every step for Xanax addiction treatment. We also offer other addiction treatment services and sober living resources. To learn more about Xanax detox and treatment in Indiana, please contact us.
Dr. Vahid Osman, MD is a psychiatry specialist in Indianapolis, IN.
Dr. Osman completed a residency at Austin State Hospital. He has over 32 years of experience in Psychiatry & Behavioral Health. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.