Benzodiazepines, more commonly known as benzos, are a class of sedative drugs. Commonly prescribed brands you may have heard of include Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and Ambien. Benzos are typically used to treat insomnia and other conditions. However, they are most commonly used to treat severe anxiety disorders and mental health conditions.
The sedative and euphoric effects of benzos lead them to be abused or misused quite often, which results in an increased risk of addiction. Using benzos for an extended period of time causes dependence. Dependence eventually progresses to severe withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop or eliminate benzo use.
Due to the severe withdrawal symptoms, benzos are considered one of the most dangerous drugs to withdraw from. Benzo addiction should always be treated in a medical setting to prevent serious complications.
About Benzodiazepine Addiction
Benzo addiction can be difficult to identify, especially when the benzos are being prescribed, rather than bought off the street. If someone is unable to stop using benzos, they have a dependence and are likely addicted.
Due to the high risk of addiction, some people are addicted to benzos without even being aware of it. Some people get a prescription for benzos from their doctor, unaware of the serious risks of withdrawal. They are also unaware of the negative side effects of benzodiazepines that come with long term use. These people can easily form a chemical dependence and addiction through continued use without being aware of it.
Others take benzos recreationally and enjoy the euphoric or sedative effects. They will progressively take more and more as their tolerance builds, trying to achieve the same effect. As time progresses, these users begin to experience dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
Once people become addicted to benzos, they build a physical and psychological dependence. Their bodies need the drug to function normally. The physical dependence causes withdrawal symptoms, while the mental side effects include increased anxiety.
Withdrawal from Benzos
Benzodiazepine abuse comes with some of the most serious withdrawal symptoms and side effects. The withdrawal symptoms can even be life threatening in some cases. Those who take high doses of benzos will experience more severe withdrawal symptoms.
Once someone is addicted to benzos, their body needs more of the drug to function normally. Without it, they experience severe withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms from benzos are worse than most drugs. Common symptoms include sweating and chills, anxiety, depression, and irritability. More serious benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms include seizures and lowered blood pressure.
If you experience these symptoms when stopping benzo use, you have a dependence or addiction. This usually means it is time for professional help. Thankfully, a medical detox can alleviate these symptoms and safely detox people from benzos.
Unfortunately, many people experience prolonged symptoms even after detox called post acute withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and insomnia. A professional medical detox and taper can help minimize these symptoms. After detox, it is important that each individual builds a support network to help them when cravings and other situations arise.
Benzo Addiction Treatment
Trying to treat a benzo addiction at home can be life threatening and should not be attempted without medical guidance. The more serious symptoms of benzo withdrawal include seizures, hallucinations, and psychosis. Due to these serious, complex symptoms, it is vital that benzo addiction and withdrawal be treated by medical professionals.
Benzos are often paired with other drugs like alcohol and opiates, which compounds the issue and only increases the dangers of overdose. Individuals can easily become overly sedated when taking benzos with other drugs. Combining other drugs with benzos can result in overdose, or death in severe cases.
The most effective and safe benzo treatment begins with a safe medical detox program. It is very common for people to require further residential care with 24 hour medical supervision. This is to ensure the safety and stabilization of those coming off of benzos.
Once someone is stabilized properly, they can be effectively treated with behavioral therapies and other techniques. Our programs use evidence based therapeutic modalities to help people overcome the underlying causes of addiction.
Treatment for benzo addiction varies depending on the person and their specific needs. Some people require a longer period of stabilization and inpatient care. Others may require a 7 day detox and can then step down to an outpatient level of care like partial hospitalization.
For long time users, a longer stabilization period after detox is often required. During this stabilization period, therapy and treatment can begin. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used to help identify behavioral patterns that lead to drug use. We also use individual and group therapy to help identify irrational thought processes.
Length of Stay for Benzo Treatment
Multiple factors play a role in dictating the length of treatment for benzo addiction. At the Haven Detox, we understand that everyone’s needs are different, which is why we create and utilize individualized treatment plans. Benzo detox commonly lasts around 7 days, followed by a 1 to 2 week stabilization period in residential care. Afterwards, further inpatient care or outpatient care is utilized as medically necessary to effectively treat and help overcome addiction.
We offer a state-of-the-art medical detox with 24 hour care from doctors and nurses. Following detox, we offer continued inpatient care in a residential setting for comfort and effective stabilization while beginning therapy and treatment. We also create aftercare plans for those who complete our program.
Our experienced therapists and psychologists work with every one of our patients using evidence based treatment models. We often use cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and other treatments in individual and group settings. Our programs continue beyond residential at our outpatient program the Recovery Team, which offers partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient treatment.
We understand that identifying a problem and finding the best treatment option can be a difficult process. We are here to help. Our admissions counselors have worked with thousands of people struggling with addiction and helped them get into our effective and comfortable program. Call us today for more information at 561-328-8627