Four Xanax Addiction Treatment Options

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Treatment options for Xanax addiction generally include medical detox using a tapered approach and behavioral therapy. While the first stage of medical detox often requires a few days of inpatient care, Xanax addiction can be treated in an inpatient or outpatient setting.

Xanax (the brand name for alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine (benzo) prescription drug used for the short-term treatment of anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and panic disorders.

It works by increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain, and this increase leads to a decrease in activity in the central nervous system.

But while Xanax is not as addictive as other drugs, it can still lead to physical dependence and substance use disorder. 

Luckily, there are multiple forms of addiction treatment to help those struggling with Xanax addiction. Here are four.

1. Medical Detox

The first part of Xanax addiction treatment is likely a medical detoxification program. In a medical detox program, you receive support and supervision while you manage Xanax withdrawal.

The symptoms or side effects of Xanax withdrawal can include:

  • insomnia
  • restlessness
  • anxiety
  • confusion
  • drowsiness
  • muscle spasms
  • headaches
  • seizures
  • cravings

If some symptoms occur during the withdrawal process, a healthcare provider may prescribe a different benzodiazepine with a longer half-life like diazepam or clonazepam. It has been shown that those who are taking a benzo with a longer half-life are less likely to drop out of the recovery process.

2. Tapering

Tapering consists of continuing to take Xanax under medical supervision in lower and lower doses over time until you can stop taking it entirely without feeling intense Xanax withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms can be significantly reduced with tapering, especially compared to abruptly stopping the drug entirely (cold turkey). Tapering is especially beneficial for those who have been abusing Xanax for a long period of time.

3. Behavioral Therapy

With individual therapy, a therapist can help look at what factors may have contributed to your drug abuse and Xanax addiction. They can help you find ways to overcome triggers, prevent future relapse, and help you learn coping strategies to live a full life without drug use.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the primary forms of therapy used for addiction. With CBT, a therapist helps you analyze your thoughts and behaviors and learn how to change them to be more positive and healthy.

With group therapy, you’re able to connect with people going through the same struggles you are and share your stories. You benefit from sharing your story yourself and are able to learn from others’ stories as well. You can also build up communication skills during this type of treatment.

4. Inpatient Or Outpatient Care

Inpatient treatment is one of the more intensive forms of Xanax addiction treatment.  With inpatient care, you stay at a residential treatment center with other people living with substance use disorder. 

While there, you may go through individual therapy and group therapy, participate in wellness activities, receive medical care, attend support groups, and learn more about addiction and coping strategies to help with relapse prevention. 

Medical detox and dual-diagnosis care for co-occurring disorders can be a part of this type of treatment as well.

With outpatient treatment, you travel to and from a treatment facility to receive therapy and other treatment services. Two common forms of outpatient treatment include partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs).

Access Addiction Treatment Today

If you or a loved one are struggling with Xanax abuse, contact Ohio Recovery Center to learn about our inpatient substance abuse treatment options today. 

  1. Australian Prescriber
  2. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus
  3. New England Journal of Medicine
  4. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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