How to Cut Back on Xanax Use When Addiction Sets In

In an effort to avoid what some fear will be a horrible experience in Xanax detox, many patients in early recovery attempt to barter when it comes to drug use and treatment. Common questions include:

  • Do I really have to stop taking Xanax completely? Can I just cut back on my dose?
  • Can I at least drink/smoke marijuana/take Xanax (or other sedatives) if I feel anxious or to de-stress?
  • Can I try to detox at home? Do I have to go to a rehab program?
  • Once detox is over, can I go home?

The fact is that physical dependence is just one component of Xanax addiction and patients who are diagnosed with addiction – and not just a physical dependence – will be far better off by choosing immediate abstinence rather than attempting to slowly cut back on their dose over time. In order to avoid withdrawal symptoms, especially for those patients who are taking a large amount of Xanax each day, this can be a long, slow process and constant access to the medication can open the door to relapse.

Are you concerned that your loved one may be taking unnecessary risks by continuing to take large doses of Xanax? Are you worried about their risk for health problems, accident and a loss of quality of life? Contact us today at Axis and learn more about how we can help.

Is It Possible for Your Loved One to Cut Back on Their Xanax Dose?

Certainly, it’s possible. But if Xanax addiction is an issue for your family member, then it’s more than just a physical issue. Physical dependence is very common with a number of different types of drugs prescribed for a multitude of reasons. When it’s time to stop taking the medication, the doctor addresses this issue over a few days or weeks, by simply prescribing the patient an increasingly smaller dose of the drug. If he has no psychological cravings for the medication, it’s a simple process that is achieved at home alone. But when the patient experiences cravings and wants to get “high,” it just doesn’t work.

The Benefit of Full Abstinence

If it’s possible to slowly wean off Xanax with a minimum of withdrawal symptoms, why go through a difficult and physically uncomfortable – if not, painful – Xanax detox? The biggest risk of slowly cutting back on a Xanax dose when addiction is an issue is relapse. Relapse during sobriety is always a huge concern, but when the body is in flux and adjusting itself to a steadily decreasing level of Xanax in the body, tolerance is an issue. The patient may believe that their body can handle their former dose of the drug, and when he relapses, that’s the dose he takes. But even just a few days of being drug-free can alter the tolerance level and what was formerly a “safe” dose is now an overdose, and the patient can inadvertently lose his life when he is unable to conquer his cravings for the drug.

When addiction is an issue, abstinence from all substances – even legal ones like alcohol and prescription medications – is the goal. Without it, the line between appropriate use and addiction can get blurry and, too often, patients find themselves right back where they started if they don’t simply make a solid rule against all substance abuse.

Choose a Medically Supervised Detoxification Program

It is never recommended that a patient attempt to manage his prescription or addiction to any prescription drug, including Xanax, alone. If there are underlying medical issues, withdrawal symptoms could trigger complications, and it’s best if there is a provider there to help if necessary. Additionally, a medically supervised detox can provide non-addictive prescription medications that can help ease some of the discomfort associated with detox.

Also, once in an inpatient detoxification program, the transition into psychotherapeutic addiction treatment is seamless.

Detox Is Not Treatment: Psychotherapeutic Intervention Is Necessary

Detox only addresses the physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms that are associated with Xanax addiction. The psychological dependence requires far longer and more intensive intervention. Without it, it is only a matter of time before a return to active addiction occurs.

A wide range of traditional and holistic treatment programs can address issues that are underlying addiction, including:

  • Trauma
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Childhood issues
  • Relationship problems

Learn more about how we can provide your loved one with the comprehensive Xanax addiction treatment necessary to treat both the physical and psychological dependence upon the medication. Call now.