Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment
Just because you can get it at a pharmacy, that doesn’t mean it’s safe. Benzodiazepine addiction can have a lasting impact on individuals and their loved ones. Yet, there is a way out — and it starts with education
What are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are a class of prescription medications commonly prescribed for anxiety, insomnia, and similar conditions. The most common include pills like Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. They work by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, resulting in a calming effect. These are often prescribed to individuals struggling with anxiety or depression. However, long-term use or abuse can lead to addiction.
Benzo Addiction: The Signs and Symptoms
Benzodiazepine addiction causes various signs and symptoms. These may include increased tolerance for the drug, cravings, withdrawal symptoms, continued use despite negative consequences, neglecting responsibilities, and changes in behavior or mood. Identifying these warning signs is crucial in seeking help.
Drug addiction — or substance use disorder — exists on a spectrum, from mild to severe. The DSM-V (a guide used by doctors to diagnose diseases) includes guidelines for determining the severity of one’s disorder. Ask yourself if any of these statements relate to you:
Your drug of choice is often taken in more significant amounts or over a more extended period than was intended.
There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control drug use.
A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain drugs, use drugs, or recover from using drugs.
Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use drugs.
Recurrent drug use resulting in a failure to fulfill significant role obligations at work, school, or home.
Continued drug use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of drugs.
Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of drug use.
Recurrent drug use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
Drug use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by drugs.
Tolerance, as defined by either of the following: a need for markedly increased amounts of drugs to achieve intoxication or desired effect, or a markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of drugs.
Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following: the characteristic withdrawal syndrome for drugs, or another drug (or a closely related substance,) is taken to relieve or avoid drug withdrawal symptoms.
If even one of these statements seems familiar, you may have a problem with your pill use. If you answered “yes” to two or three, however, your disorder is mild. (Of course, drug use is progressive, and it’s likely to get worse.) Four or five “yes” answers is a sign of a moderate disorder, and six or more is severe. How do you feel about your own results? Only a doctor can diagnose you, but reviewing these statements can give you insight into your benzodiazepine use.
Withdrawing from Benzos in Detox
What if you are ready to stop taking benzos? Quitting may not be that simple. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be uncomfortable, difficult, and potentially dangerous. Abruptly stopping or even reducing your use of benzodiazepines can cause severe withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, insomnia, tremors, seizures, and even death. Seeking professional assistance for detox and withdrawal management is essential — both for your safety and for the longevity of your recovery.
Benzodiazepine Addiction & Your Health
Ongoing benzodiazepine use can have serious effects on your mental and physical health: Memory issues, cognitive difficulties, trouble breathing, depression, and even overdose are all possible. If you are struggling with benzodiazepine addiction, the best thing you can do to ensure a healthy, happy future for yourself is to seek residential addiction treatment.
Treatment for Xanax Addiction
Recovering from benzodiazepine addiction requires professional support. You can’t do it on your own — and you shouldn’t have to. At Owl's Nest Recovery, we offer comprehensive, customized programs that address the needs and goals of individuals struggling with benzodiazepine addiction. Our compassionate team of experts provides a safe and supportive environment for detoxification, therapy, counseling, and aftercare planning.
Addiction treatment approaches for benzodiazepine addiction may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), individual and group counseling, holistic practices, and medication assisted treatment. Overall, we aim to identify the underlying causes of addiction, heal any underlying trauma, and develop healthy coping strategies for a brighter future.
Life After Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment
Recovery from benzodiazepine addiction is possible. Our comprehensive continuum of care offers end-to-end support for your recovery, including aftercare programs, relapse prevention strategies, and ongoing guidance on how to successfully transition into life after treatment. Our goal is to empower clients to maintain sobriety, develop a support network, and lead a fulfilling life — in recovery.
We understand the challenges of benzodiazepine addiction because we have been there — and we’ve made it through. Our experienced team — many of whom are Owl’s Nest alums — can give you the guidance, resources, and confidence you need to start your recovery journey.
Contact us today to let hope take flight.