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Treatment for Xanax Addiction

Treatment for Xanax addiction generally involves a tapered approach to detox, individual therapy, and supportive options. The intensity of the treatment will depend on the severity of the addiction.

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In 2018, doctors wrote 21 million prescriptions for Xanax (generic name: alprazolam). The medication is useful for people struggling with anxiety and insomnia, but it causes dependence very quickly. And some people become attached to Xanax’s powers and develop an addiction. 

People with Xanax addiction have several treatment settings to choose from, and their doctors can use multiple tools to help them recover. The best programs are personalized to meet the unique needs of each client.

Xanax Addiction Treatment Settings 

Experts say finding the right setting is critical to a person’s ultimate success in managing addiction. Some people need one type of care, while others benefit from a different version. These are the options typically provided:

Outpatient Care

Continue to live at home or move into a sober living facility. Maintain your connections with home, work, or school. But work on your addiction in a series of regular appointments. 

Outpatient care can take many forms. Some involve meeting with a professional just a few hours per week, while others require an almost full-time commitment to care. The severity of your Xanax addiction can help your team decide which setting is best for you.

Inpatient Care

It’s difficult to recover from a Xanax addiction when you’re surrounded by temptation. Your dealer, drug-using friends, or drinking family members could make your drug cravings too overwhelming to ignore. And sometimes, you need close monitoring for your Xanax addiction. 

An inpatient program involves moving away from your home and into a facility to work on your addiction full time. Some inpatient care involves hospital-like settings, which could be appropriate for people with Xanax detox difficulties. But others work more like dormitories or schools.


Whether you choose inpatient or outpatient Xanax addiction treatment, you will need aftercare to support your sobriety. Some people continue accessing counseling, and others use support groups to learn from peers. An aftercare program could last indefinitely, as long as relapse risks exist.

Xanax Addiction Medications

Brain cells adjust to drugs quickly, and quitting abruptly can lead to life-threatening problems. Tapering off benzodiazepines can help. 

Most people reduce their Xanax doses by 25 to 30 percent and then reduce their dose 5 to 10 percent per week. Doctors supervise this process and ensure it’s not moving too slowly or quickly. If difficult withdrawal symptoms appear, your doctor may temporarily raise your dose and slow your taper.

Each person is different, and some people need unique therapies. For example, if twitching begins, you may need anti-seizure medications. And if you’ve been using opioids, you may need drugs like buprenorphine. 

Enrolling in care ensures that you have a professional available to both write your prescriptions and confirm you’re recovering well.

Xanax Addiction Therapy

Psychotherapy can help you build new habits and feel more comfortable with your thoughts and triggers. Therapy is a critical part of the recovery process, and while it might seem time-consuming, it can’t be skipped. 

Two counseling settings exist, including the following:

  • Individual: Meet with a licensed therapist in one-on-one settings to discuss your drug use, treatment history, and relapse risks. These sessions are typically private, but sometimes, counselors include family members. 
  • Group: One therapist holds a meeting with several people who are all in recovery. A professional is always in charge, but people can share tips and ideas with one another. You may find that you learn quite a bit from your peers. 

Types of therapy your team might use include the following:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy to help you change your thoughts and automatic reactions
  • Dialectical behavior therapy to help you develop new behaviors 
  • Experiential therapy, such as art therapy, to help you connect with your emotions

You may move between these settings and therapy types as you recover. New lessons and needs may become apparent as you gain more freedom in your recovery.

Life After Rehabilitation

Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disorder. People can recover, and they often do. But it takes time and vigilance to ensure you don’t succumb to your individual triggers. 

Some people find that working with a therapist, even just once or twice per month, can be helpful. You can discuss new triggers, highlight troubling thought patterns, and get advice on moving forward with your new life. If you feel your relapse risks rising, your counselor could also help to connect you with a treatment program that could help. 

Support group meetings, including those in the 12-step model, can be helpful. Meet with peers in recovery from substance abuse and study literature about how recovery works. Some programs offer one-on-one mentoring, so you have someone ready to help in a crisis. 

Building a new life in recovery can also mean making new friends and developing new hobbies. Sober allies can help you to stay grounded in sobriety, and you can tackle things together, including holding sober outings. 
Your addiction treatment program should create an aftercare program for you and link you with local resources that can help. But if you’re struggling, don’t discount the power of a good internet search. Many organizations publish detailed schedules that help you understand the help available to you. 

Updated August 31, 2023
  1. Number of Alprazolam Prescriptions in the U.S. from 2004 to 2020. (October 2022). Statista.
  2. Principles of Effective Treatment. (2011). Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health.
  3. Effective Treatments for PTSD: Helping Patients Taper from Benzodiazepines. (January 2015). National Center for PTSD.
  4. Treatment Methods and Evidence-Based Practices. National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers.
  5. Pathways to Long-Term Recovery: A Preliminary Investigation. (2002). Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.
  6. Experiences With Benzodiazepine Use, Tapering, and Discontinuation: An Internet Survey. (April 2022). Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology.
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