Sometimes the solution to a problem can cause new and unexpected issues down the line. Benzodiazepines are prescription drugs that are used to treat anxiety and insomnia, but chronic use can lead to physical dependence and even addiction. Addiction to Benzodiazepines can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms like depression and seizures. Treating an addiction to benzos requires a holistic approach that not only detoxifies the body but treats the underlying reasons responsible for developing the condition in the first place
What Are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines, or ‘benzos’ as they are commonly known, are a type of sedative drug. They are given with a medical prescription and depending on your condition, you are likely to be prescribed a different kind.
- Xanax, Tranxene, Librium, Valium, and Ativan are all used to treat generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks.
- Ativan, Valium, Klonopin, and Tranxene are all used for seizure disorders.
- Halcion, Restoril, Doral, Dalmane, and Prosom are all used to treat insomnia and other conditions that disrupt sleep.
The different kinds of “benzodiazepines” vary in how quickly they take effect and how long the effect lasts. For example, Xanax, one the most frequently prescribed benzodiazepine, has an immediate but shorter effect, while Valium, Librium, and Dalmane are long-acting agents lasting up to three days.
All versions of ‘benzos’ work by changing your brain chemistry. In particular, they change the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine, which is responsible for feelings of reward and joy, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which controls nerve activity. Their significant role in the central nervous system means misuse or prolonged consumption can cause addiction. The effects of benzodiazepine use vary from person to person. Various factors, like weight, pre-existing conditions, general health and the frequency and dose you are taking, can all influence the side effects you may experience. Some of them include:
- Impaired thinking
- Brain fog
- An intense feeling of tranquillity
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
Although the chance of developing an addiction if you strictly follow a doctor’s prescription is very low, in a considerable amount of cases, you may get addicted if you continue taking the drug for a significant amount of time or take too many doses in a short interval of time. If benzodiazepines are taken continuously for longer than a few months, suddenly stopping can lead to some of the following withdrawal symptoms:
- Muscle cramps
- Loss of orientation
- Mood swings
- Symptoms of depression
The safest way to stop taking benzos is to follow a medically prescribed tapering regime where you gradually reduce your intake, or rely on replacement medications under constant supervision.
What Is Benzodiazepine Addiction?
Benzodiazepine addiction happens when you consume large quantities of the drug, either in a short amount of time or gradually over a long period. Medical professionals are very careful with prescribed benzodiazepines, so substance abuse usually happens due to misuse or after the drugs have been purchased illegally.
Even when strictly following the recommended dosage, some people may develop benzodiazepine dependence and start craving more of the drug’s calming effect. The more you intake the drug, the more your body will grow a physical dependence, and the stronger and more persistent the cravings will become.
Just as with any other addiction, the longer you wait before getting help for a potential benzodiazepine abuse, the harder it will be to recover successfully. While cravings may be manageable in the beginning, over time, they will grow stronger and, at times, may even become overwhelming, making you forget about anything else, especially when you are emotionally down and mentally exhausted.
The best way to treat benzodiazepine addiction is by seeking help through a reputable drug rehabilitation facility with a strong track record of helping people to recover and remain sober once they are out. Under a supervised benzodiazepine addiction treatment, you will get valuable guidance and support from trained professionals and therapists that will assess the nature and severity of the addiction, help identify any co-occurring conditions that may also need to be treated during the rehabilitation process, and craft an effective personalized programme.
As with any drug, detoxing from benzos can be an uncomfortable process due to the benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms that you are likely to experience. Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person and depend on a range of factors, such as the specific type of drug you were addicted to, the duration and the severity of your addiction, and any other underlying physical or mental health disorder you may suffer from. Similarly to alcohol withdrawal symptoms, they can be both physical and psychological, and symptoms range from mild to severe. Although the experience is different for everyone, the longer you have been using benzodiazepines, the more uncomfortable the detox process will be.
Physical withdrawal symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle aches
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Racing pulse
Psychological withdrawal symptoms include:
- Visual and auditory disturbances
- Slurry speech
- Brain fog and cognitive impairment
- Loss of memory
The readjustment process is uncomfortable because your body slowly cleanses itself from any traces of the drug and starts to gradually adapt and function without relying on benzos. It’s important to know that even if the process is painful, it won’t last forever, and after the first few days, the symptoms will get milder or start to disappear altogether.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be very dangerous when not monitored by professionals. Tapering, or safely reducing the number of benzos you take, should be overseen by a medical professional. Otherwise, there is a risk that people who quit benzodiazepines without a structured tapering regime may go into life-threatening seizures, delirium, and other serious symptoms that can significantly harm their health and prevent them from being able to call for help.
Throughout the detox and treatment process, our main priority is always to keep clients safe and comfortable while they deal with the benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. By undergoing detox within our private residential rehab, the chances you will successfully complete detox are much higher since you are following a strict evidence-based approach. Furthermore, you will be in a completely new environment where your mind doesn’t associate with old triggers that can make you relapse, and you won’t have access to the drug even if you get tempted. Once through the other side, you are free from the physical dependence that held you hostage. However, just because your body is free doesn’t mean the fight against addiction is over. In many cases, underlying problems push you toward addiction, and your mind may have developed a psychological dependence on the drug.
Benzodiazepines Addiction Treatment
Here at the Providence Projects, we understand how scary benzodiazepine abuse and seeking treatment can be. You must admit to yourself and others that you’ve developed an addiction and confront its consequences on your physical and mental health. It’s vital to recognise that there is nothing shameful in seeking help for drug abuse and that you are not alone in your struggle. We want you to know that recovery is possible and help is available. Our private rehab clinic has helped thousands of people recover from addictions to commonly abused drugs. Even if you feel as though your case is hopeless and there is no way out, we ask a leap of faith in the chance that, soon enough, you can be clean and sober again.
The benzodiazepine addiction treatment we offer at Providence Projects is a holistic way of healing both your body and mind. Our comprehensive inpatient treatment programme involves:
- Initial Consultation and Assessment
- Therapeutic rehab programme
- Relapse Prevention
Each person enrolling in Providence Projects begins with a thorough assessment of their physical and psychological health. We will craft a personalised plan that fits your needs based on your current health, the type of addiction you are fighting, and whether there are co-occurring conditions and your preferences.
In the beginning, you will go through detoxification in a safe and controlled environment under the supervision of skilled professionals. Alongside the treatment of physical dependence, we offer a wide variety of science-based approaches that can improve your mental health and resolve the underlying psychological reasons behind your addiction. We have a highly qualified team of addiction counsellors and therapists who’ve dealt with similar cases and have a combined experience of more than 100 years in recovery from addiction. They use only science-based approaches, like cognitive behavioural therapy, to treat those battling addiction. You can enrol in individual, group, family, or any other type of therapy that you want to try and believe will be effective for your circumstances.
Through therapy, you will get a safe environment to share your struggles, find emotional support when struggling, and find more about yourself and the problems that negatively influence your mental health. Alongside therapy, we offer a wide variety of useful activities where you can learn valuable skills that can pave the way for successful long-term sobriety, like how to start and maintain healthy habits, what to do during an emergency, and how to control and cope with cravings.
Traces of your benzodiazepine dependence can remain once you return to your home and old environment, which may be full of places you associate with familiar habits, and triggers that create cravings that you had forgotten about. For that reason, we also offer an aftercare programme, which can help you stay on track with your goals by offering accountability checks, continued support and guidance with an addiction counsellor, and assistance if you want to enrol into support groups like 12 step.
How Long Do I Need to Go to Benzodiazepines Rehab For?
Addiction does not happen overnight, it’s an extremely complicated condition that comes with a lot of emotional baggage, other co-occurring conditions and underlying mental health issues that ought to be addressed. Patterns of behaviour take a lot of time to change, and habits take between 4 to 6 weeks to form if practised consistently.The amount of time each individual requires in rehab treatment can vary greatly depending on the severity of the addiction, their receptiveness to therapy and feedback from therapists and counsellors, and the time it takes to change their mindset and build healthier habits. In general, the longer someone stays in rehabilitation, the greater their chance of successfully overcoming their addiction.
We initially recommend a minimum stay of 28 days at our detox and rehab clinic, which is the minimum amount of time necessary to tackle the addiction’s core physical and psychological elements. Residents can complete up to 12 weeks of treatment, followed by up to a further three months in our aftercare programme. Both programmes use science-based addiction treatment techniques and are tailored to the needs and circumstances of the individual since we know that what works for one addict won’t necessarily work for another.
To find out more about our Benzodiazepine detox and rehab programmes, as well as our other treatment options, call our admissions team today. Alternatively, fill out this quick and easy contact form, and one of our team will call you straight back.
Benzodiazepines Addiction Treatment – FAQs
Why Are Benzodiazepines Addictive?
Benzodiazepines are addictive because they alter your brain chemistry and, over time, create a physical dependence. The more you use various kinds of benzodiazepines, the more your body gets used to them and starts to develop cravings that increase the chance of getting more addicted. Furthermore, the soothing effect of the drug leads to a psychological addiction if used to cope with trauma, mental health problems, or other personal struggles.
What Is Residential Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment?
Residential addiction treatment involves a holistic programme that begins with a comprehensive assessment of your physical and mental health, followed by a detox process and therapy that seek to address the physical and psychological dependence you’ve developed toward benzodiazepine.
Is Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatable?
Yes, no matter how severe the addiction may appear, there is always hope for you to treat and recover from benzodiazepine addiction. To maximize your chances of success, especially if you’ve been using the substance in very high doses or for a very long time, it’s strongly advisable to enrol on an inpatient programme to get professional medical help while you manage the withdrawal symptoms.
How Long Does It Take To Heal From Benzodiazepine Abuse?
Removing your physical dependence on the substance is usually achieved once the detoxification process is over, which will take a maximum of four weeks. However, the therapy needed to address the underlying psychological issues that led to substance abuse usually takes more than that, and the chance of relapsing never goes down to zero, which is why addiction should be viewed as a lifelong fight.
Can Benzodiazepine Addiction Be Treated in One Week?
No, addiction does not happen overnight, and it can’t be fixed that quickly, even if we wish to. In much the same way, you gradually get addicted and develop both a physical and psychological dependence, cleansing your body and mind will take a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks to see considerable results.
Can I Get Treatment for Benzodiazepine Addiction Without the 12 Steps?
Yes, here at Providence Projects, we offer a personalized rehabilitation programme that keeps your preferences and other relevant factors in mind. You can get a treatment plan that doesn’t involve the 12 steps since you can try a wide variety of therapeutic approaches.
How To Help Someone With Benzodiazepine Addiction?
Helping someone who’s suffering from an addiction requires a very sensible and careful approach. You should bring up the issue in a non-intrusive way by gently explaining the effect on their physical and mental health that addiction has and why they should seek out help. It’s important to emphasize the fact that they are not to blame, and there’s to be ashamed of while also stressing that they should take action now before it potentially gets worse.