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Helping a loved one struggling with addiction may be one of the most difficult tasks a family ever takes on. This is especially true for helping a loved one struggling with Xanax addiction. The good news is many effective tips, tools, and techniques can help families and friends get their loved ones the help they need to achieve and sustain lasting recovery from Xanax and other addictive substances.

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Xanax is the brand name of alprazolam, which is a highly potent benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are depressants, a class of medications used to treat anxiety and help reduce the chance of seizures.

Though benzodiazepines are widely prescribed, they are also highly misused and addictive. According to The Mental Health Clinician, “BZD [benzodiazepine] misuse and abuse is a growing problem. Approximately 2.3% to 18% of Americans have misused sedatives or tranquilizers for nonmedical use in their lifetime. Nearly 10% of these individuals met the criteria for abuse or dependence.” 

Better Understanding Xanax Misuse and Xanax Addiction

Many people are overprescribed Xanax and rely on the prescription to function normally in daily life. Over time, however, such overprescribing can make individuals vulnerable to misusing and abusing Xanax by using it in a way other than what was prescribed by a doctor. Others may try to misuse, or abuse Xanax recreationally, which can make them vulnerable to developing Xanax addiction. 

Many young people use Xanax to enhance the effects of alcohol and other substances. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), “Abuse is frequently associated with adolescents and young adults who take the drug orally or crush it up and snort it to get high. Abuse is particularly high among heroin and cocaine users. Additionally, opioid users often co-abuse benzodiazepines to enhance euphoria.” Unfortunately, many individuals who misuse Xanax quickly develop an addiction to it.

Signs and Symptoms of Xanax Addiction

There are many signs and symptoms that family members can look out for if they suspect that their loved one may be addicted to Xanax. These include:

  • Regularly acts out aggressively
  • Exhibits regular mood swings
  • “Doctor shopping” for Xanax from multiple sources
  • Appears excessively drowsy and lethargic
  • Often complains of headaches, muscle aches, and gastrointestinal problems
  • Has trouble with short-term and long-term memory
  • Appears jittery, sweaty, and nervous
  • Expresses feeling excessively anxious and/or depressed
  • Has trouble communicating and thinking clearly
  • Exhibits slurred and slowed speech

If any, many, or all of these symptoms are present, there is a likelihood that a loved one is struggling with Xanax misuse or Xanax addiction. When a loved one is struggling, it is important to seek professional help sooner than later. Doing so can help a loved one avoid many adverse long-term side effects.

How to Help Someone Addicted to Xanax

The key to helping a loved one with Xanax addiction is to be open and honest with them. It is important to let them know that the family is aware of the issue and wants to get them help. One effective way of doing this is by staging an intervention.

Staging an intervention is also an ideal way to show a loved one that boundaries will be enforced if they choose not to get help. This may feel difficult, but it is critical to avoid enabling the addiction any further. Boundaries may include cutting off funds, not allowing access to the home if they are using, and refusing to interfere if they get into any legal trouble due to their risky behaviors.

Many people addicted to Xanax are looking for help but are too afraid to speak up. These people will quickly say “yes” and benefit from an intervention. When an individual says yes to treatment, it is important to connect them with the right recovery center to meet their needs. For Xanax addiction, one of these needs will most likely be a safe and secure detox before heading into residential care or a partial hospitalization program (PHP).

Healing the Whole Family at The Phoenix Recovery Center

At The Phoenix Recovery Center, we know that addiction is not just a disease but rather a family disease. Likewise, we know that family diseases require family solutions. This is why our comprehensive and individualized recovery plans include the tools and treatments needed to heal the whole family.

It is important to remember that getting help from a loved one is also the start of getting the family the help they need. A family that recovers together from the start stays recovered together in the long term.

Getting a loved one the help they need is challenging.; however, out of this challenge can come the change of a lifetime. This is a change toward a healthier future that the individual and the family deserve.

It can be daunting and difficult to address a loved one with Xanax addiction. However, there are many effective ways to help a loved one with Xanax addiction, like staging an intervention, dealing with their insurance, and getting them into a safe and secure detox. It is also important to focus on Xanax relapse prevention after a loved one gets out of treatment. If you feel like you or a loved one are struggling with issues of addiction, mental illness, or both, we can help get you on the positive path toward recovery. For more information about helping a loved one with Xanax addiction, please reach out to The Phoenix Recovery Center today at (801) 438-3185.

The Phoenix Recovery Center
489 W. South Jordan Pkwy
Suite 400
South Jordan, UT