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Rehab for Benzo Addiction

Benzos, or Benzodiazepines, are highly addictive prescription sedatives/depressants typically prescribed to treat anxiety, panic attacks, seizures, and insomnia. Compared to other medications, these drugs are widely prescribed— in the tens of millions— so it is extremely easy to acquire and abuse benzos.

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Benzodiazepines differ in how quickly they start working and the duration in which they work. Most benzodiazepines can be used interchangeably, certain conditions are more effectively treated through the use of particular benzos.

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    If you or a loved one are struggling with benzo addiction, you are not alone. Please contact us by filling out the short form to your left, and we will get in touch within 24 hours. We are always here for you, Because We Care.

    For more information about benzodiazepine rehab, please visit our page 9 Questions to Ask Your Provider about Rehab.

    Signs of a benzodiazepine problem may include:

    • “Doctor Shopping” for Multiple Prescriptions
    • Snorting or Injecting Pills to Increase Effects
    • Using Benzos in Conjunction with Other Drugs, like Opioids
    • Engaging in other High-Risk Behaviors
    • Loss of Interest in Activities
    • Continuing to Use Despite Negative Effects
    • Withdrawal Symptoms and/or Cravings

    If you recognize any of these signs in yourself or others, you may suffer from benzo addiction and require medical detox. It is important to recognize the development of your physical dependence on benzos in order to safely detox from benzodiazepines without the dangerous risks of benzo withdrawal.

    How Do People Become Addicted to Benzos?

    While people often enlist the help of benzodiazepines to provide relief from anxiety and seizure disorders, the drug often leads to abuse. Benzos are extremely addictive in nature, often causing an individual to seek out ways to acquire more of the drug in order to maintain their addiction. Drug abuse can present in a myriad of ways, but there are common behaviors that can indicate you are suffering from benzo addiction.

    What are the Side Effects of Benzos?

    Benzodiazepines, like many other drugs, can elicit adverse effects that cause harm to the individual taking it. In fact, many people take benzos to decrease their anxiety levels, and an ironic and unfortunate reaction to the drug can be increased anxiety. Despite the calming effect the drug typically produces, taking benzos is an incredibly dangerous road to walk when you consider the negative side effects. 

    Short-Term Effects of Benzodiazepine Use May Include:

    • Tolerance
    • Drowsiness
    • Dizziness
    • Panic Attacks
    • Impaired Coordination and Confusion
    • Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea
    • Memory and Cognitive Issues
    • Mood Swings

    Long-Term Effects of Benzo Use May Include:

    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Suicidal Thoughts
    • Irritability
    • Cognitive Dysfunction

    Abusing benzodiazepines may cause amnesia, hostility, irritability, vivid or disturbing dreams and slow down the central nervous system (Drug Enforcement Administration). Over 30% of opioid-involved overdoses also involve benzodiazepines, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Combining benzos with other drugs or alcohol is common and what makes them especially dangerous, and chronic misuse can lead to tolerance and dependence.

    What are the Most Common Types of Benzos?

    Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin are three of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepinesEach of these medications can treat individuals for anxiety, seizures, and insomnia. However, the potential for abuse is high due to the euphoric experience, or “high”, they produce.

    Comparing the Use and Effects of Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin:

    Xanax

    (alprazolam)

    • Intermediate Onset
    • Intermediate-Acting Agent (11-20 hours)
    • Treats Anxiety Disorders

    Valium

    (diazepam)

    • Fast-Acting Onset (30-60 minutes)
    • Long-Lasting Agent (1-3 days)
    • Treats Anxiety Disorders
    • Treats Seizure Disorders
    • Aids in Muscle Relaxation
    • Used as an Anesthetic

    Klonopin

    (clonazepam)

    • Intermediate Onset
    • Long-Lasting Agent (1-3 days)
    • Treats Seizure Disorders

    While these benzos range in activation time, duration of effect, and treatment, each one can replace the other rather easily. Depending on genetics and brain chemistry, Klonopin, prescribed most commonly to alleviate seizures, can be used for treating anxiety or muscle relaxation. Due to the fact that benzos interact similarly, their level of addictiveness is a straight line across the board. All benzos have the potential to cause side effects and physical dependence, regardless of name or brand.

    Warning Signs of Benzo Addiction

    Benzodiazepine addiction can have different warning signs from person-to-person. The reason for the differing effects that benzodiazepines can have on one individual versus another has to do with multiple factors.

    Factors that impact benzo addiction warning signs:

    • an person’s genetics/family history
    • benzo use history
    • pre-existing disorders
    • the dosage of benzodiazepines
    • the type of benzo
    • where the benzo was sourced (i.e. pharmacy, street, etc.)
    • a person’s tolerance to benzodiazepines

    Warning Signs of Benzo Abuse Include:

    • Changing friend groups
    • Avoiding family
    • Avoiding friends
    • Loss of memory
    • Inability to recall details from earlier that day
    • Inconsistent hygiene
    • Seemingly tired all the time
    • Erratic behavior
    • Slurred and loud speech
    • Misplaced anger resulting in seemingly illogical arguments
    • Quick mood changes
    • Sleeping at strange times
    • Inability to maintain responsibilities

    Withdrawing from Benzos

    Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Can Be Life-Threatening Without Proper Medical Supervision

    Benzodiazepines are one of the very few substances that have life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Improperly detoxing from benzos, or abruptly discontinuing the use of benzodiazepines, without a doctor-advised plan to medically taper off the drug can result in seizures or death.

    Withdrawal from benzos is physically and emotionally taxing, and withdrawal symptoms vary in severity. Typically, a “rebound” stage of anxiety and insomnia will take place 1-4 days following abstinence, with more serious withdrawal symptoms lasting 10-14 days (U.S. National Library of Medicine). Our goal at Royal Life Centers is to make detoxification from benzos as smooth as possible, which is why our guests are monitored through and after detox and our medical staff is on site 24/7 to ensure safety and comfort.

    Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

    • Cravings and Drug-Seeking Behavior
    • Increased Tension and Anxiety
    • Panic Attacks
    • Irritability
    • Aggression
    • Sleep Disturbance
    • Muscle Pain
    • Hand Tremors
    • Restlessness
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea
    • Headaches
    • Avoidant Behaviors
    • Difficulty Concentrating
    • Hallucinations
    • Paranoia
    • Disorientation
    • Memory Impairment
    • Grand Mal Seizures

    Benzodiazepine Use Disorder Levels of Severity

    Mild

    Moderate

    Severe

    Frequently Asked Questions about Benzo Addiction and Rehab for Benzodiazepine Addiction

    Can you die from benzo withdrawal?

    Yes, you can die from improperly detoxing from benzos. There are many severe symptoms of withdrawal that can arise during a benzodiazepine detox process, and some side effects can result in death. Some of the most severe withdrawal symptoms include grand mal seizures and stroke.

    What medications are recommended for benzo withdrawals?

    Firstly, we would like to say that you should always consult with a doctor to determine which medications would work best for your case. With that being said, common detox medications for benzos usually include a more mild benzodiazepine, an anti-convulsant medication, a blood pressure medication, and various over the counter medications. These medications (apart from the anti-convulsant) are used in a detox setting short-term, and only to mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal. For many cases, an anti-convulsant or anti-seizure medication(s) should be continued for quite some time after detox, as a precautionary measure.

    How long does withdrawal from benzos last?

    The physical symptoms of withdrawal from benzos usually last around seven days when you undergo a professional medical detox. Benzodiazepines can have longer-lasting effects that could last up to 14 days, which is why these symptoms should be managed with medication and require follow-up visits with a medical professional.

    “Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms” can occur far beyond the detox process. Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS) are reactive physical symptoms brought on by cognitive triggers of drug use. These symptoms can last for around three months and are managed using targeted therapy to address triggers and learning coping skills.

    How much do you have to use to become addicted to benzos?

    Medications affect everyone’s body differently, however, taking a consistent dose of benzos for around a month consecutively can easily cause physical dependence. This process is different for everyone, as it may take one person months of use to become physically dependent, while it may take another person who has been abusing a large amount of benzos for a couple of weeks to become physically dependent.

    It is very much possible, and extremely common, for individuals who are not abusing prescription benzodiazepines to develop a physical dependence. Some individuals are just following doctors orders to take their prescribed medication(s) and will have severe withdrawal symptoms if they are without their medication.

    Physical dependence is influenced by your medical history, the volume and frequency of use, in addition to factors like pre-existing conditions and a family history of addiction.

    Can benzo addiction have long term effects?

    Yes, being addicted to sedatives can have long terms effects apart from physical dependence, including:

    • memory loss
    • heightened “rebound” anxiety
    • cognitive damage

    Is there a rapid detox from benzos available?

    No, you should not expect that any “rapid” benzo detox is a trustworthy or viable option. Benzodiazepines are not a substance that you want to mess with trying to self-detox from, or find a quick-fix solution to. Improperly detoxing from benzos can result in death.

    You should expect any legitimate detox program to be at least 4 days, and that is if you do not require a medically-assisted detoxification using detox medications like Librium. Your symptoms during detox will lead medical staff to determine your medical plan and an appropriate length of stay for a successful recovery.

    What can I take to help benzo withdrawals?

    Benzo withdrawals should be monitored by a medical professional, who has the ability to prescribe medications to lessen your symptoms and prevent more severe (life-threatening) symptoms from occuring. A proper medical detox will provide you with all necessary medications to make your detox safe, comfortable, and effective.

    What do benzos do to the body?

    Benzos are a sedative, which sedate the body in order to calm physical and mental effects of anxiety or other conditions. Benzos will relax the body, which effect an individual’s motor skills and functioning, reaction time, and slows down thought-processes. Depending on the dosage, benzos can have various effects on the body at different intensities.

    Detox from Benzos

    Withdrawal from benzos will effect you both physically, emotionally, and have a strong impact on your cognition. Symptoms of withdrawal can range in severity, with more severe symptoms being fairly common for individuals who meet the criteria for a severe benzodiazepine use disorder— however, individuals who have been prescribed benzodiazepines for many years and following the prescription’s instructions are not exempt from experiencing the most severe withdrawal symptoms if he or she stops using the medication. You do not have to be severely misusing benzodiazepines to experience symptoms of withdrawal when you discontinue use.

    Detox Medications for Benzo Withdrawal:

    • A milder benzodiazepine like Librium, to taper down safely
    • Keppra (anti-convulsant/anti-seizure medication)
    • Clonodine (to treat rebound anxiety and high blood pressure)
    • Over-The-Counter medications to address short-term symptoms

    Benzo Detoxification Process

    Benzodiazepine detoxification refers to the medically assisted removal of benzos from the body. Medical professionals assess the circumstances surrounding your benzo addiction and provide the care and comfort to lessen your withdrawal symptoms as the drug leaves your system. Due to the dangers surrounding benzo withdrawal, professionals will monitor your symptoms during detox to ensure your safety. In order to prevent benzo withdrawal-induced seizures, which can lead to permanent brain damage or death, staff will prescribe you with a mild form of benzodiazepine along with anticonvulsants, like Keppra. Benzo detox medications should only be used on a short-term basis to prevent individuals from forming a dependence on yet another benzodiazepine.

    While benzo detox medications aid in the detox process by lessening the symptoms of withdrawal, addiction recovery is most efficient and successful when included alongside a comprehensive treatment program. Medication-assisted detox and rehabilitation is most effective when it includes a recovery-sensitive therapy program.

    Benzo Rehabilitation

    Following medical detox at Royal Life Centers, guests will begin a comprehensive, collaborative approach to substance abuse treatment designed to support physical and mental wellness and promote a lasting, sober lifestyle. Our addiction specialists, from our therapists and case managers to our facility staff, are dedicated to providing the best in care and support. Our holistic, evidence-based approach to psychotherapy incorporates individual and group sessions and activity, movement, and adventure therapies into one program that treats mind, body, and spirit.

    Guests may begin their recovery journey in our residential inpatient program and continue with us through PHP, IOP, OP, and sober living at our grad housing residences. At Royal Life Centers, the guest is always our top priority, and we consistently do all we can to effect lasting change, that they might continue to lead healthy, sober lives long after they have left our care.

    LOOKING FOR A REHAB FOR BENZO ADDICTION?

    We can help you get started right away. We work with most private insurance policies and we have affordable private pay rates if you do not have insurance. Give us a call and we will figure out the best treatment plan for you or your loved one.

    We know how stressful it can be to find help for yourself or a loved one who is struggling with an addiction. This is why we will always be here to offer 24/7 support over the phone. If you need advice, help getting admitted, or need any other resources for addiction rehabilitation— please give us a call.

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