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Xanax Addiction Intervention and Treatment in California



Xanax addiction intervention and drug rehab options in California include proper medical drug detox, residential or outpatient drug rehab, and aftercare support. Prescription drug addiction is a common problem in California and across the United States. Drugs like Xanax are abused because of the sedating effects. Addiction to Xanax often requires extensive drug rehab. When searching for drug rehab options in California, there are some resources for families to consider. Initially, families should access drug rehab through their private or state health insurance plans.

Most health insurance covers some part of drug rehab. However, the extent of coverage and what is paid for by health insurance differs depending on the health insurance plan type. Another option for families is an addiction assessment with a qualified healthcare professional, drug rehab referral agency, or certified family interventionist. The purpose of an addiction assessment is to determine the extent and severity of addiction to recommend suitable drug rehab options in California that meet the needs of the addict.


What is Xanax, and How is it Used?

Xanax or alprazolam is a sedative or central nervous system depressant medication prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia, and agitation. Xanax is classified as a benzodiazepine and is one of the most widely prescribed benzodiazepines in the United States. The primary effects of Xanax include a reduction in feelings of anxiety or stress, sedation, an immediate slowing of the functioning of the central and peripheral nervous system. Xanax also causes a relatively quick onset of the effects of the drug and a relatively short duration of action. Xanax was designed primarily as a replacement for Valium and was believed to have far less abuse potential.

However, the drug is widely abused and used in combination with other drugs. Xanax is taken orally in tablet form, and it is also abused in this form. Most people that abuse Xanax do not have a prescription for the drug. Chronic abusers of Xanax get them from family or friends, steal them, or buy them illicitly. Xanax addiction often requires a medically supervised drug detox before therapy and counseling.


What are The Signs and Symptoms of Xanax Addiction?

Benzodiazepines like Xanax cause dangerous physical and psychological addictions. Xanax is categorized as a tranquilizer or anxiolytic and is an appealing drug of abuse. Some of the most common signs of Xanax addiction include slurred speech, blurred vision, poor motor coordination, drowsiness, inability to reduce intake, and doctor shopping. Other signs and symptoms of Xanax addiction include asking family and friends or colleagues for their Xanax medication. Someone addicted to Xanax will buy the drug or other sedatives from streel level drug dealers, spend significant time using, getting, or recovering from drug use, and engages in risky behavior after using the drug.

Xanax abuse happens easily, and besides recreational drug use, many addictions begin because a prescription was taken too long. Prolong Xanax use causes tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Some of the signs and symptoms of Xanax use include slurred speech, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, blurred vision, lack of motor coordination, difficulty breathing, and even coma. Physical dependence and addiction occur because the brain and body habituate to drug use over time, making it difficult to stop using the drug.


What are the Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Xanax Use?

The short-term and long-term effects of Xanax differ depending on the amount used, underlying conditions, and other drugs. Some of the common short-term effects include sedation, reduction in anxiety and perceived stress, lightheadedness, reduction in the speed of thinking processes, reduction in reflex actions, reduction in impulse control, ability to make rational decisions, decreases in rates of respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure, and rapid development of tolerance. Most effects are short-lived if Xanax is used for a short time. When used in conjunction with other drugs that are central nervous system depressants like alcohol or other benzodiazepines, the risk of overdose increases.

The continued use of Xanax or long-term use results in alterations in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. Someone abusing Xanax takes larger amounts, uses it with other drugs, and often binges on the drug. Some of the changes associated with long-term use of Xanax include changes in the neuropathways of the brain, potential changes in behavior, susceptibility to chronic conditions or diseases, and increased tolerance that can lead to the development of physical addiction. Xanax use also affects brain functions and causes cognitive and behavioral side effects. Drug users experience long-term issues with attention and concentration, issues with the ability to form new memories and retain information, and increased susceptibility to stress.


Xanax Addiction Treatment and Detox in California

Xanax addiction treatment and drug detox in California involve multiple steps, and the first step is a drug detox to manage withdrawal symptoms and ease cravings. Someone who becomes addicted to Xanax and other central nervous system depressants experiences withdrawal symptoms. Common withdrawal symptoms include seizures, shakiness, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, overactive reflexes, increased heart rate, blood pressure, increased temperature, hallucinations, and severe cravings. Typically, medically supervised detox programs are needed to manage withdrawal symptoms. However, drug detox should not be considered the only approach to treat drug addiction.

The next phase of drug rehabilitation involves residential or outpatient drug rehab with behavioral counseling or non-traditional therapy approaches. Behavioral counseling includes cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, contingency management, 12-step facilitation, and family therapies. Most drug rehab programs in California also utilize holistic drug rehab and faith-based programs. No single form of drug rehab is right for every person, and treatment settings and interventions should meet the needs of the addict. It is also critical for families and addicts to consider aftercare support like 12-step meetings, peer support groups, and sober living homes. Aftercare support is an important part of the recovery process.  


Family Intervention for Xanax Addiction in California

Family intervention in California is an effective option for families to consider with a loved one addicted to Xanax. Family intervention motivates an addict to seek out treatment and drug rehab. Family, friends, and a professional interventionist come together to confront the drug-addicted individual about their drug use and how it is impacting the family and addict. A family intervention is a carefully planned process and helps the family regain control and save the life of their loved one. According to the California Health Care Foundation, about 8% of California residents or 2.7 million people met the criteria for substance use disorders, including prescription drugs like Xanax and other central nervous system depressants.



NIDA. “Prescription CNS Depressants DrugFacts.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 6 Mar. 2018, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-cns-depressants

California Health Care Foundation. Substance Use in California. October 2018. https://www.chcf.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/SubstanceUseDisorderAlmanac2018.pdf