Dealing With A Benzo Addiction
Drugs in the benzodiazepine family, or benzos, are used to help patients with a wide range of medical issues. Because this classification of drug is psychoactive, it changes brain function to alter mood, cognition, or behavior, and as such, can be quite addictive. Attempting to detox from any Benzo without professional help is difficult, which is why we recommend reaching out to the addiction specialists at a qualified rehabilitation treatment center near you. Here at Ambrosia Treatment Center, we utilize the latest Benzo abuse treatments, including contingency management and cognitive-behavioral therapy. These treatments have proven to be effective for substance abuse issues, like Benzo addiction. We also offer motivational enhanced therapy, which helps people understand and focus their energy on the benefits of continued abstinence from drug use instead of on the drug itself. And in cognitive behavioral therapy, individuals can learn skills to help them deal with addiction-related situations as they arise. These effective strategies help to significantly reduce the probability of patients falling back into a cycle of abuse.
If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to a controlled substance like benzodiazepines, there is help. You don’t need to feel ashamed or feel as though you have to do it on your own. Ambrosia’s Pennsylvania and Florida rehab centers offer a holistic and supportive approach within our nationally-recognized rehab program, focusing on each one of our client’s individual needs.
Our state-of-the-art treatment facilities provide a serene environment perfect for benzo addiction rehabilitation and recovery. We’ve developed Benzo addiction treatment modalities to help you recover and stay drug-free while mitigating Benzo withdrawal symptoms and decreasing the odds of relapse.
What are benzodiazepines?
The most commonly prescribed type of psychoactive drug, benzodiazepines are used to increase the function of the GABA receptor by releasing larger doses of neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA. GABA creates a sedated, calming sensation, so benzodiazepines are considered minor tranquilizers and are prescribed for many medical issues, including;
- alcohol withdrawal
- anxiety or panic attacks
- muscle spasms or tension
- seizures including Status Epilepticus
For the most part, benzodiazepines are considered safe when prescribed in the short term, which is why it is incredibly important to follow the dosage and usage instructions laid out by the prescribing doctor. They are, however, habit-forming and prone to abuse as tolerance to the drug can develop quite quickly, necessitating the need to up the dosage to achieve the same effects.
Are there several types of benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs, and many medications fall under the category of benzos. These are created with slightly different chemical structures that enable them to target various medical issues. The most common benzodiazepines are listed below.
- Diazepam: Zetran, Diazepam Intensol, Valium, Diastat Acudial, Diastat
- Estazolam: Prosom
- Quazepam: Doral (Pro)
- Alprazolam: Niravam, Alprazolam Intensol, Xanax/Xanax XR
- Clorazepate: Tranxene, Tranxene T-Tab, Tranxene SD
- Clonazepam: Klonopin
- Chlordiazepoxide: Librium
- Clobazam: Onfi
- Oxazepam: Serax
- Lorazepam: Lorazepam Intensol, Ativan
- Flurazepam: Dalmane
- Triazolam: Halcion
- Temazepam: Restoril
- Midazolam: Versed, Nayzilam, Seizalam
*Generic Drug Name: Brand Name
All of these drugs also have a wide range of street names. For example, Valium tablets are known as Jellies or Xanax as Xanies. Benzodiazepine street names include Benzos, Nerve Pills, Blues, Bars, Footballs, Planks, Downers, and Zanies.
What are the side effects of benzodiazepines?
Because there are so many variations of benzodiazepines the side effects that can accompany using these drugs are quite extensive. It is important to watch for any of the following and to seek medical attention as soon as possible should they occur:
- Drowsiness, fatigue or sedation
- Changes to mental state such as confusion or memory impairment
- Impairment to gait
- Increase or decrease in appetite
- Lightheadedness, nausea or vomiting
- Weight gain
- Dry mouth
- Reduced libido
- Difficulty Breathing
- Depression or suicidal thoughts
- Changes to heart rate fast or slow
- Severe low blood pressure
- Dependence and abuse
How do you know if you need benzodiazepine rehab?
Benzodiazepines alter the chemistry in the brain, providing an overall calm feeling. The longer a person uses this type of drug, the more their brain will need it to feel steady. When used correctly under a doctor’s supervision, it is possible to keep benzos from becoming habit-forming. However, many people end up dependent or addicted. Generally speaking, withdrawal symptoms can appear anywhere from three days to two weeks after discontinuing use.
Some of the signs to watch for to understand if a person is dealing with addiction to benzodiazepines include:
- Needing a larger dose to feel the drug’s effects
- Heightened anxiety or insomnia
- Weakness or chronic headaches
- Cravings for and obsessive thoughts about the drug
- Sustained usage beyond doctor’s recommendations
- Continued use at the objection of friends and family
- Feelings of isolation and hiding usage from friends and family
- Ignoring daily obligations and responsibilities
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
When you quit using Benzos withdrawal symptoms cannot be avoided, but professionals in the field can help.
Some of these withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Cramps in the abdomen
- Increased physical anxiety resulting in heart palpitations, sweating, trembling, and muscle tension
- Fear of the crowd
- Sleeping pattern
- Poor ability to concentrate
- Weight loss
Also affected are the senses, including the sense of sight, smell, hearing, and touch. Sudden withdrawal from Benzos may cause severe physical and behavioral problems in most patients.
Some examples of the affected senses due to benzo withdrawal include:
- Seeing or hearing noises that others cannot
- Agitation and deliriums
Being up to date on these signs and symptoms can help a person take quick action if there is the slightest sign of abuse. Drug treatment centers can answer and support all the patient’s needs. The essential first step on the road to recovery is a detoxification program, which lets a patient get rid of all impurities and toxins left after prolonged drug abuse.
Benzo Detoxification Process
An effective way to overcome Benzodiazepine addiction is through the detox process. The use of Benzodiazepine detox helps patients safely and successfully remove signs of Benzodiazepines or Benzos dependence from the body so that they can proceed to the next stage of addiction treatment. Professional medical supervision can help achieve the desired result from the treatment.
It can take the form of prescribing lower doses or a less potent Benzo, which decreases dependency until it ceases entirely.
Stages of the Benzodiazepine Detox Treatment
Benzodiazepine Detox treatment involves two stages, Acute Withdrawal Stage and Protracted Withdrawal Stage. Each step needs a medically supervised detox that can reduce discomforting withdrawal (sometimes overlapping) and gradually reduce over time.
How to choose a drug rehab for benzodiazepines?
Whether you started using benzos for insomnia relief, anxiety, or you began as a recreational user; Ambrosia Treatment Center can help. Struggling with benzo addiction isn’t something to hide or try to deal with on your own. If you or a loved one needs assistance with benzodiazepines abuse, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Making the decision to get clean from the use of benzos or some other drug is a brave and tough one. At Ambrosia Treatment Center, we can help you get through benzo detox, and help you with the emotional healing and mental wellbeing needed for a lifetime of sobriety.
Get your life back on track. Speak with one of our highly skilled and compassionate detox and rehab specialists today.