When considering addiction treatment programs, we face some decisions. One of the first is whether to participate in outpatient detox or inpatient detox. Detox is the initial treatment stage for those who have not yet fully withdrawn from the substance of abuse. Detox assists in the process by eradicating all remaining traces of the drug within the physical body while also minimizing discomfort. Although there are benefits to both options, the choice ultimately rests with the individual seeking help and their unique situation. If detox is needed, they will not be able to enter an addiction treatment program until detoxification has been successfully completed. This is especially true for the prescription drug Xanax.
What is Xanax
Xanax is also known by its clinical name, alprazolam. It is a prescription benzodiazepine commonly used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. This drug is the most frequently prescribed among benzodiazepines, of which prescription rates have increased dramatically in the past decade and a half. According to data collected by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number of adults filling a benzodiazepine prescription increased 67%, from 8.1 million to 13.5 million between 1996 and 2013. Xanax and its chemical components bind to the brain’s GABA receptors, creating a sense of calm. Due to this sedative quality, Xanax is at high risk for abuse and addiction. Medical experts advise taking Xanax for no longer than four weeks, as that is the time dependence begins to develop. Although overdose fatalities from Xanax or other benzodiazepines are not common, the prescription drug is very dangerous when combined with other addictive substances such as alcohol or opioids.
Signs of Xanax Abuse
Prescription drug addiction can often be insidious due to the legality of the substance. As a substance that is at high risk for abuse and addiction, there are several indicators to watch for if you suspect a loved one is abusing Xanax. If they display the following signs, Xanax abuse is likely occurring.
- Excessive fatigue
- Slurred speech
- Impaired motor skills
- Muscle weakness
- Weight gain/loss
- Extreme mood swings
- Memory loss
What is Detox?
Detox is the first stage within a professional addiction treatment program. If an individual has entered a program and has not already thoroughly withdrawn from their substance of abuse, detox must be completed before they can move forward. Some treatment centers allow partial client involvement in classes or therapies before successfully completing detox, while others facilities adhere to more rigid protocols. Regardless, the ultimate goal of supervising clinicians is to make the individual feel as safe and comfortable as possible during the detox process. The length of the detox process depends on the substance being abused and the length of abuse. If an individual has only been using a substance for a few months, the detox process will be quick and side effects should remain mild. If an individual has been abusing a substance for a decade, detox will take much longer and the symptoms are likely to be very uncomfortable. Professional detox treatments are either offered as inpatient or outpatient services, depending on the center. But, which is most effective? Lately, outpatient detox has been an increasingly popular option. By examining the advantages of outpatient detox as well as its disadvantages, you will be prepared to make an informed decision for yourself or a loved one seeking this service.
Pros and Cons of Outpatient Detox
As a crucial first step for those entering an addiction treatment program, deciding which detox service works best for you is very important. Like most other facets of treatment, there are advantages and disadvantages depending on an individual’s unique situation. The same applies to outpatient detox. The main advantage of entering an outpatient detox program is the flexibility. This option is very appealing to individuals who have to fulfill various obligations, whether it be work, family, or medical complications, among others. Outpatient detox requires a small portion of the day and allows the client to return to their daily life. Outpatient detox tends to also be more cost-effective. Rather than paying for 24/7 care, most detox clinics charge per session, making the service much less expensive.
In contrast, there are various disadvantages to outpatient detox. While the service offers flexibility and doesn’t impede on an individual’s pre-existing obligations, the client must be returning to a home that supports sobriety, is stable, and encourages the continuation of treatment. If the client receiving these services returns to a home where substance abuse is occuring, inpatient detox may be a better option. Another disadvantage to outpatient detox is the risk of relapse. This is especially true with addictive benzodiazepines like Xanax. Relapse is most likely during these early stages of recovery, so inpatient detox may be more effective in prevention, especially if the individual is living in an unstable home. Considered one of the most dangerous drugs to withdraw from, Xanax is known to cause life-threatening seizures when use is abruptly stopped. In almost all cases, medical professionals recommend inpatient detox for Xanax abusers as constant monitoring and assistance is usually necessary for long-term users. Other than seizures, withdrawing from Xanax can be painful. Inpatient detox ensures that clinicians will be available to make the client as comfortable as they can.
Outpatient Detox For Xanax: Conclusion
Xanax is a highly addictive benzodiazepine that produces unpleasant, and sometimes life-threatening, side effects when abused. Many individuals seeking help for this addiction have begun to consider outpatient detox. Detox is usually the first step in an addiction program as it rids the body of all residual traces of the addictive substance, preparing the client for treatment. Some advantages of participating in outpatient detox are the lower cost of service and the flexibility to continue on with daily life and its many obligations. Disadvantages of outpatient detox include the possibility of returning to a home where drugs or alcohol may be present after sessions. There is also the risk of relapse and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms such as seizures. If you or a loved one is struggling with Xanax abuse and are interested in outpatient detox as the first step towards recovery, Blue Hills Recovery is here to assist you with your decision. We have trained addiction experts who are experienced in the detox process and ready to answer any questions you may have. At Blue Hills Recovery, we believe that everyone is entitled to information regarding their treatment. With us, you are not alone. Call us today to find out more.