Benzodiazepine rehab is a sequence of addiction treatment programs to help patients to recover from benzodiazepine addiction. The first program in the sequence is medical detox. It would be best if you had the expertise of medical professionals to oversee the medical detox. The essence of medical detox is to remove the benzodiazepines out of your body.
Inpatient treatment is the next step in treatment. You will reside in a hospital or rehab facility for the period of your recovery. Medical professionals are present and provide medication to ease withdrawal symptoms, and therapy to facilitate mental and emotional healing.
Partial hospitalization is third in the rehab programs. You will visit the rehab facility during the day and go home for the night. Partial hospitalization program focuses more on therapy and may offer medication where necessary.
The relationship between benzodiazepine and addiction has raised concerns over the last 50 years. Research shows that people have a challenge quitting benzodiazepines. When This is one of the reasons why the last program, the outpatient program, is necessary. The outpatient program focuses more on relapse prevention. You will participate in various support programs, such as group therapy or anonymous groups.
List of Common Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines cause persistent chemical changes in the brain which makes them dangerous when you are addicted. There are many benzodiazepines available but there has been significant concern over the following:
1. Xanax (alprazolam)
Medical professionals prescribe Xanax if you suffer from anxiety or panic disorders. The dosage will determine the strength of the drug. Users experience its effects for a long time. Pills in crushed form tend to produce stronger effects.
Its effects are also instant. This is why the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) classifies it as the most dangerous benzodiazepines.
2. Klonopin (clonazepam)
A prescription of Klonopin aims to help a patient overcome seizure disorders or panic disorders. You will get a dosage of either 1 mg or 2 mg. Klonopin’s duration of action is intermediate and, as a result, has to be prescribed and given by a medical professional.
3. Ativan (lorazepam)
Medical professionals prescribe Ativan for panic disorders. You can get either a pill or a liquid prescription. For liquid Ativan, you will use a syringe and needle to take it through your veins. Ativan has a short and intermediate-acting period.
4. Valium (diazepam)
Valium is a prescription medication for muscle spasms, anxiety disorders, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It has been around longer than most benzodiazepines. Valium effects have a long-acting period.
5. Ambien (zolpidem)
Ambien prescriptions are usually for sleeping disorders because it is a hypnotic drug. Hypnotic means it makes you fall asleep. People abuse Ambien at a lower rate because they will miss the high experience when they are asleep.
Understanding Benzodiazepine Abuse
There are three types of benzodiazepine abuse. The abuse case could be either pharmacological, self-prescribed, or recreational. Thus, everyone is at risk of abuse and addiction.
Pharmacological benzodiazepine abuse is defined as abuse that develops as a result of the pharmacological use of benzodiazepines. It is a natural dependence as your body will adjust to the presence of the benzodiazepines in your body. Doctors anticipate this change and control pharmacological dependence until it ends.
They will control and end it using methods such as tapering, medical switching, and augmentation of medication. Patients with chronic anxiety will receive long term treatment. Low dosages are given for long term treatment. Long term treatment is not a form of abuse and addiction.
Self-prescribed abuse is where a patient takes benzodiazepines without the guidance of a doctor. They may take benzodiazepines to try and treat their condition, for example, anxiety. Patients could also take benzodiazepines, contrary to the doctor’s prescription. It is usually more than what was prescribed.
Recreational abuse is the use of benzodiazepines to achieve feelings of euphoria and relaxation. In recreational abuse, people often abuse benzodiazepines as a secondary drug. This means that they take them to increase or dampen the effects of another drug, which is the primary drug.
Dangers of Benzodiazepines Abuse
Constant abuse of any drug leads to addiction. Your body will adapt to the presence of the drug to the point where you need it to function. Furthermore, addiction leads to other dangers on this list.
Too much of almost anything is dangerous. A high number of overdose cases lead to death. Benzodiazepine overdose has caused thousands of deaths in the United States.
Your chances of getting dementia increase by 50% with benzodiazepines abuse.
4. Career or Academic Failure
Addiction is a compelling disease. You will prioritize on drug abuse over your work and academics. Career or academic damage may arise due to health, legal, or social complications.
5. Relationship Damage
Drug abuse has a high affinity for relationship damage. This is one of the reasons why family therapy is included in most drug abuse and addiction treatment programs. Drug abusers want to spend most of their time alone. Furthermore, relationship damage may come about due to wasting or stealing assets to finance your drug indulgence or career and academic damage.
6. Legal Liabilities
Benzodiazepines such as Ambien and Xanax are Schedule IV drugs. The national and California law stipulates that a doctor must check the national database system for prescriptions before they prescribe any Schedule IV drugs.
Side effects of benzodiazepine abuse and addiction are both physical and mental. These side effects are also either long term or short term. The following factors influence the side effects:
- Period of benzodiazepine abuse
- Frequency of abuse
- Type of benzodiazepine abuse
Victims of benzodiazepine abuse and addiction usually experience short term side effects within a short period. They include:
- Generalized pain
- Slurred speech
- Libido loss
- Anterograde amnesia
- Mental confusion
- Sexual impotence in men
- Slowed reaction time
The long term side effects are:
- Career damage
- Alzheimer’s disease especially in old age
The same factors that determine the side effects such as amount, or type of benzodiazepine, also determine the withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms will be both mental and physical. They are:
- Muscle spasms
- Weight loss
- Sleeping disturbance
- Panic attacks
- Generalized seizures
- Sensitivity to loud noise
- Abnormal body sensations.
Stages of Benzodiazepine Rehab
Benzodiazepine rehab and recovery progresses in stages. You will experience a set of withdrawal symptoms for each stage.
1. Acute Withdrawal Stage
Benzodiazepines were made to help with anxiety. Ironically, anxiety is the withdrawal symptoms most individuals in this stage experience. As the anxiety increases, it will develop to hypersensitivity. You may experience swaying sensations or distorted hallucinations.
The acute withdrawal stage takes between 5 and 14 days. You will experience other symptoms like:
- Sensitivity to sound and light
- Sleeping disturbances
- Muscle pain
- Panic attacks
- Feelings of Excitement
2. Protracted Withdrawal Stage
Your body starts to get used to the absence of benzodiazepines in this stage. This stage will take between 12 and 18 months. You may still feel some of the symptoms in the previous stage, but their intensity will be lower. The symptoms of protracted withdrawal stage include:
- Mild insomnia
- Mood swings
- Diminished appetite
- Poor concentration
Long-term Benefits of Rehab and PHP
Apart from getting the drugs out of your system and preventing relapse, the following are some of the long-term benefits of rehab and Partial hospitalization program PHP:
1. Heal Physically and Mentally
Side effects and withdrawal symptoms affect benzodiazepine users, both mentally and physically. Rehab offers both mental and physical treatment and recovery programs to enhance long term recovery.
2. A Sense of Accomplishment
You will be able to adopt positivity as you advance through the various treatment programs.
3. Make Informed Decisions
You will adopt cognitive skills in rehab to help you make the right decisions when you deal with temptations and challenges.
4. Reconnect With Peers and Your Social Life
You will participate in various therapy sessions for peers and family. You will be able to learn how to reconnect and reestablish your social life.
5. Be a Mentor to Others
There are alumni programs offered by rehab facilities such as 310 RECOVERY Drug & Alcohol Rehab in Los Angeles, CA. You will be able to share your story and mentor others to sobriety.
310 RECOVERY | #1 Drug & Alcohol Rehab in Los Angeles, CA, offers multiple tested, and effective treatment programs for benzodiazepines abuse and addiction. Available treatment programs available:
1. Withdrawal Treatment
We offer withdrawal treatment in our inpatient program. Medication-assisted treatment and counseling are part of withdrawal treatment.
2. Emotional/Mental wellness
We have trained therapy professionals to focus on your emotional and mental wellness. You will take part in sessions like cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, spiritual therapy, trauma-informed therapy, and more.
3. Holistic Treatment Sessions
We offer holistic treatment to create a balance between physical and mental wellness. Examples include yoga, tai chi, and more.
4. Nutritional treatment
Healthy nutrition helps you to recover much faster. Our inpatient and PHP programs focus on nutritional treatment.
Benzodiazepines were developed over 50 years ago. They were initially developed to help counter anxiety. However, there has been concern over their abuse and addiction. Most commonly abused benzodiazepines include Xanax, Ambien, Klonopin, valium, and Ativan.
Abuse of benzodiazepines is possible and manifests in various ways. They include pharmacological abuse, self-prescribed abuse, and recreational abuse. Benzodiazepines have both physical and mental side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Moreover, both side effects and withdrawal symptoms are either long term or short term.
Some of the side effects include paranoia, restlessness, irritability, and headaches. Some of the withdrawal symptoms are moodiness, tremors, anorexia, and weight loss. Rehabilitation is necessary to help you overcome addiction, the side-effects and withdrawal symptoms. We offer medical detox, inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization program, and outpatient treatment among many other programs to help our patients recover fully.
Contact us today and let us answer any questions you may have concerning benzodiazepine addiction treatment.