Is It Time to Treat Your Addiction to Xanax?
Xanax is intended to help patients with symptoms in connection with anxiety and panic attacks. It’s also used to treat patients with sleeping disorders and seizures. Although it’s widely prescribed, it’s often dangerously misused.
High Potential for Abuse and Addiction
Xanax and other medications like it are in a class of drugs that are known as benzodiazepines (benzos). They comprise about 20 percent of all prescribed controlled substances. It’s dangerous and addictive because of the short time that it takes to have maximum effectiveness after a single dose. That’s because it has a relatively short half-life. What that that translates into is that Xanax has a high potential for abuse and addiction.
When to Recognize and Treat for Addiction
GABA is a chemical in the brain that helps send messages. It binds to neurons, and when that happens, it reduces their activity. There is strong medical evidence that GABA operates to quickly control fear and anxiety after brain neurons become overexcited. When a patient ingests Xanax, it metabolizes and moves to his or her brain. That’s when GABA activity increases. What comes to issue is that when people start using benzos regularly, their natural production of GABA decreases. When that occurs, patients believe that they have to take higher doses of Xanax in order to get the same effect as they got when they first started taking it. That’s when it becomes time to recognize Xanax addition and start treating for it.
Withdrawal from Xanax Addiction
Even if used as prescribed, a person can still become addicted to Xanax. Addiction isn’t the only possible danger of abusing Xanax though. Along with addiction come long-term symptoms like loss of memory, emotional issues, speech difficulty, respiratory issues, paranoia and suicidal ideation. In the context of heavy use, there are likely to be withdrawal symptoms when a person abruptly stops using the drug. That can lead to a significantly increased heart rate, insomnia, depression, cognitive impairment, and in its severest forms, psychotic episodes and seizures.
Depending on how long a person has been using Xanax and the amount of the medication that he or she is taking, a person might be advised to either stop Xanax use immediately or start weaning off of it over a period of time. In either case, professional help is likely to be needed.
Considering addiction as anything but a disease is wrong. It is a disease that finds its way into the community and kills it slowly, an individual at a time. The biggest problem with this disease is that it doesn’t come from one source, but a myriad of sources. It’s safe to say that every addict is a unique case and it has to be approached with a different mindset. This presents a huge issue as the number of addicts that require rehabilitation is increasing every second.
A lot of research has been poured into finding an easy way to process the addict and to return them to the society. The goal is never to see them again. But the capitalistic side of the business sees organizations releasing addicts into the world even though they are not ready for that. A lot of said research looks for answers that would ensure that no addict goes back to their bad habits once they go through the rehabilitation process.
Addiction – A subject worth researching
The addiction has to be at the center of the focus of the research because it represents a considerable threat to the advancement of the society. It lures people away from successful careers and satisfying lives by false promises. This is why research has to unravel all details that surround the addiction and try to come up with conclusions and solution that will make addiction treatment a bit easier than it is.
One research dabbled into the question of whether the willpower has any effect on resisting a drug or alcohol. The answer is no, and willpower has but a small impact on the individual’s ability to resist temptation. Drugs and alcohol give an individual a sense of enjoyment both on the physical and psychological level. Prolonged use of either of them will create a craving for the same.
In some cases, the craving is purely mental as the mind wants to return to the state of high (being drunk is included). In the worst cases, the addiction is physical. This means that the body craves for the drug. If it doesn’t get it, then the addict experienced everything from mild discomfort to excruciating pain. The sheer willpower isn’t enough to resist the temptation as it represents the easiest way to relieve the pain. That is why research has to make progress in dealing with addiction in a way that would make it easier for addicts to throw away the drugs and alcohol and live a life free of any dependencies.
A sheer will is usually not enough for an addict to stop taking the poison and shortening their life. No, an individual needs reasons to live a healthy life. This, of course, means that addicts don’t have a strong reason to quit. Finding it is the ultimate goal of our organization.
Now, the goal is to help an individual find a strong enough reason to quit their addiction and live a happy life. Doing that requires a lot of effort from the patient, his friends, and family and us, the link between all parties. Our job goes even further, as one of the steps is to find the element (or elements) that pushed the patient into the addiction.
Addiction destroys all aspects of a life
Addicts don’t consider seeking help because they think that they have control over it. Or, in some cases, they believe that it only affects them and no one else. If this were true, then there wouldn’t be as many addicts are there are now as the majority of them would go through rehabilitation and never turn back to addiction.
But the addiction hurts everyone that knows the addict. Friends and family have to watch as the poison slowly destroys both the body and the mind of the addict. Those that are close to you will try to warn you and get you to seek help, but the ultimate decision is up to you. No one can force you to get clean. You have to decide to get help and give it all never to drink or take drugs after we finish with you.
Support is essential in overcoming the addiction
No addict will try to get rid of the drug (or alcohol) if there aren’t people around them that will stand by their side. But just standing around is not enough and family has to take an active role in the rehabilitation process. Therapies that involve family members proved to be highly effective in keeping the addict away from the poison of their choice. This is why we always try to include close friends and family of the addict. Their presence and their support mean a lot to the patient.
No therapist, no matter how good they are, can offer the level of mental support that can come close to the support of family and friends. However, some patients started taking drugs (or drinking) because of the family, and that presents a problem. The secret in dealing with patients like that is to unravel the cause of the issue and try to solve it. If the issue can’t be resolved, then it is best to distance the patient and the individual that pushed them toward addiction in the first place.
Learning Sobriety Together (LST) is the umbrella term that is now used to capture not only Behavioral Couples Therapy (BCT) for alcoholism and substance abuse, but also all of its variations. Thus, LST subsumes all of the different elements and themes that are part of family- and partner-involved therapies, founded upon the principles of BCT, used to treat alcoholism and substance abuse. LST/BCT is among the most empirically supported treatments for alcoholism and other drug abuse; studies spanning three decades have demonstrated its broad and robust efficacy in multiple domains of functioning, including:
- reduced drinking and drug use
- improved dyadic adjustment
- reduced levels of domestic violence
- improved psychosocial functioning of children
Given these powerful findings, LST/BCT should be the treatment of choice for married or cohabiting substance-abusing patients. To meet this end, however, information about LST/BCT must be more widely disseminated. Thus, it is incumbent on research groups who have been working in this area to put the tools of LST/BCT into the hands of those who can make the most use of them; namely, treatment programs and providers who work with substance-abusing patients and their family members.
What you can find on the website
This website includes general information about the BCT/LST approach and the Addiction and Family Research Group (AFRG). In different sections of the web page, you will find our group’s mission statement, BCT/LST treatment manuals, BCT/LST training resources, downloadable publications, citations, frequently asked questions, and so forth. This web page is part of our ongoing effort to bridge the gap between science and practice by using our accumulated research findings (from years of large scale federally-funded clinical trials) to inform, guide, and make recommendations about clinical practice. As such, we hope to provide the tools necessary for treatment programs and providers to introduce and use BCT/LST with their substance-abusing patients and their family members.
We can and we will help you
We have created Addiction and Family so we could help addicts that seek assistance in getting clean. The secret is the system we use to unravel all the causes that lead to addiction and solve them with the help of the patient. Helping the patient go through withdrawal process is also something we do thanks to the system.