Xanax Rehab Aftercare and Relapse Prevention

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  1. What Happens After Xanax Rehab?
  2. The Benefit of Xanax Relapse Prevention
  3. Xanax Abuse is a Chronic Condition
  4. Continuing Care Options
  5. Supporting Family and Friends With Methamphetamine Recovery

Is Xanax Rehab Aftercare Necessary?

Recovery from Xanax addiction is a process that involves interplay between individual’s thoughts, mood and actions; societal expectations and reactions; and negative life events.

This is a long lasting process that can be facilitated by ongoing counseling and support. Known as ‘aftercare’, this phase of addiction treatment strives for preventing relapse by offering support.

Is Xanax Rehab Aftercare Necessary?


What Happens After Xanax Rehab?

Relaxation training, psycho education for benzodiazepine withdrawal, teaching strategies to reduce anxiety and insomnia have been found to be effective in reducing benzodiazepine abuse. 

  • Similarly, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has also shown to improve the effectiveness of gradual dose taper – a recommended strategy for benzodiazepine discontinuation.

The Benefit of Xanax Relapse Prevention

Relapse has been identified as a likely outcome in the process of recovery from addiction. In fact, in spite of high quit rate of up to 70-80 percent among benzodiazepine abusers, around 60 percent tend to relapse. Relapse prevention is aimed at helping the individual prepare to deal with the high-risk situations likely to lead to relapse. The high-risk situations can be internal (mood states, thoughts related to drug use, etc.)

or external (interpersonal or other environmental stressors).Craving and use in high doses have been identified as potential risk factors for relapse to benzodiazepine use. Aftercare services for Xanax addiction are expected to improve retention in treatment and contribute to better outcome. Behavioral and psychological interventions have shown to improve the treatment outcome among those with benzodiazepine abuse.

To know more about the how aftercare is incorporated into Xanax addiction treatment, call to speak with a treatment support advisor at  1-888-993-3112Who Answers?.

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Xanax Abuse is a Chronic Condition

Drug addiction is often conceptualized as a chronic relapsing disorder. It tends to run a long course with periods of abstinence interspersed in-between. Abstinence, in spite of being the preferred outcome, is not the only goal of addiction management.

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There is more to the process of recovery. A large proportion of long term benzodiazepine users and abusers are successful in quitting. However, relapse is not an unlikely outcome and a large proportion tends to relapse.

  • Addiction shares various commonalities with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension.
  • Biological variables such as genetic factors and behavioral variables such as ‘personal responsibility’ have been implicated in causation and outcome of both addiction and chronic medical disorders.

Ensuring therapeutic adherence is also a challenge for both the conditions with less than 60 percent of individuals diagnosed with diabetes fully adherent to the treatment. Similar low rates of treatment compliance are seen among those battling addiction as well.

  • Almost 30-50 percent of adult patients with type 1 diabetes have a recurrence of symptoms each year.
  • A high relapse rate of close to 60 percent has been reported among benzodiazepine abusers.

These high rates of relapse highlight the importance of continued care in form of ‘aftercare’. Treatment for benzodiazepine abuse requires sustained efforts at relapse prevention.

However, relapses are inherent to the concept of chronic medical conditions as well as addiction and offer an opportunity to revisit the management plan and opportunities for improvements.

Continuing Care Options

Continuing care for Xanax abusers refers to interventions offered beyond the initial phase of treatment with an aim to prevent relapse and encourage drug-free lifestyle. Counseling and support is continued during the aftercare.

Counseling Interventions/ Group Therapy

  • Various counseling, psychological and behavioral interventions have been used for management of benzodiazepine abuse.


These include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), relaxation training, motivational interviewing, self-monitoring of consumption, goal setting, management of withdrawal and coping with anxiety.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, when offered as an adjunct to gradual dose taper, has been found to be effective in achieving successful discontinuation at three month follow-up.

Relaxation training has also been reported to be associated with successful benzodiazepine discontinuation at three months of follow-up.

Psychological treatment such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety and insomnia, self-monitoring of consumption, goal setting offered in conjunction with gradual dose tapering have been found to be more effective for benzodiazepine cessation as compared to routine care as well as gradual dose tapering alone.

12- Step Facilitation Treatment

  • 12-step facilitation treatment is a self-help program that is based on a set of guiding principles outlining course of action for tackling addiction. Such 12- step programs have been found to complement the benefits of professional addiction treatment.

Recovery is sought in physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual domains. One admits their problem with addiction, accepts being powerless and works through the subsequent steps.

One learns from the experience of others as members are encouraged to share their process of recovery and associated problems.

The approach has been found to be effective with users of various drugs including stimulant and sedative drugs.

Follow-up Medical Care

Supervised medical management is recommended for those with a history of benzodiazepine abuse.

  • The medical care is indicated not only for the initial withdrawal management but also for the subsequent aftercare as well. Long-term benzodiazepine use, especially in higher amounts, can lead to various physical and psychological complications.These include:

    • Memory deficits
    • Cognitive decline
    • Motional blunting
    • Teratogenicity (if used during pregnancy)

Effective management of these health conditions shall warrant follow-up medical care. Also, benzodiazepine abusers are likely to have a higher prevalence of various psychiatric disorders.

Life-time major depressive disorder and panic disorder have been reported to occur in up to one third of individuals with severe benzodiazepine dependence.

Some would have tried to self-medicate with Xanax for their anxiety and/or sleep problems. Leaving these psychiatric disorders unattended can contribute to the risk of relapse.

It has been recommended to address co-occurring psychiatric disorders among those with addiction. Some of the interventions mentioned above such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been found to be effective in managing insomnia and anxiety among those with a long standing benzodiazepine use.

Sober Living/ Therapeutic Community

  • A therapeutic community typically comprises a long stay residential facility that offers a structured program. The individual remains in a residential setting for an extended period of time. Therapeutic community offers a long stay facility to recovering individuals who have quit drug use and look forward to a drug free life.

The residents play various roles and help others in the process of getting helped. The roles assumed by the residents during the stay include:

  • Client
  • Role model
  • Counselor
  • Supervisor
  • Tutor

One tries to strike a balance between therapy, autonomy and democracy. One learns through the social interactions and crisis situations.

Successful accomplishments during the stay help build the self-esteem and self-efficacy of the residents.

While the retention in treatment remains a major challenge for therapeutic community, it has been reported to be effective in improving outcome across various domains including improving employment, legal and psychological outcome among the residents.

Additionally, there is reduction in drug use. These residential programs have been found to work for those with co-occurring psychiatric disorders as well. Also, there is evidence to support its effectiveness in prison setting as well.

Contingency Management

  • Contingency management(CM) is a behavioral therapy based on principles of positive reinforcement. It is aimed at preventing or reducing drug use by making positive reinforcement contingent on drug free behavior.

It has been reported to be an effective intervention in management of addictive disorders. 

Contingency Management, when offered alone or in combination with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, has been found to improve retention in treatment, more drug free urine samples and longer period of abstinence for various drugs of abuse.

Supporting Family and Friends With Methamphetamine Recovery

Family support
Family and friends of Xanax abusers can play important role in facilitating the process of recovery from addiction.

It is recommended to involve family and/or significant others to help implement the client’s aftercare plan.

You can get educated on Xanax abuse, as that shall help you understand the problem better.

You can help improve therapeutic adherence by reminding your loved ones of the appointments with the aftercare team.

Additionally, addiction adversely impacts the family and significant others. Caring for a recovering addict can be challenging and emotionally draining.

Sharing your feelings with significant others can be of help. You can also seek support from self-help groups established for the family members and friends of drug users.

If you’re concerned that you or a loved one may be suffering under the weight of Xanax addiction, call 1-888-993-3112Who Answers? to speak with someone about various addiction treatment options.


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