When doctors prescribe medications, most patients take them with absolute faith in their ability to solve their problems. Few people expect these same products to wreak havoc on their lives. Unfortunately, many of the most commonly prescribed drugs are highly addictive. This is certainly the case with benzodiazepines. Also known as benzos, these drugs can lead to chemical dependence within just six months of starting them.
Benzodiazepine abuse is incredibly common among people with sleep disorders and symptoms of anxiety disorders. These drugs have an instant calming effect on the brain and body. Taking them while in a state of panic will result in a rapid release of feel-good chemicals, and total mind and body relaxation. If other therapies for alleviating discomfort are not introduced early on, benzo users may come to believe that they cannot function without them.
Benzo addiction treatment in Florida offers medically necessary interventions for safely weaning the body off of these drugs. It also provides alternative strategies for managing anxiety-related mental health disorders and general sleep disorders. When you complete our benzo addiction rehab at Recovery Bay’s substance abuse treatment center, you can safely eliminate your physical reliance on benzos.
What Are Benzodiazepines?
Often used for treating insomnia, panic attacks, anxiety, and seizures, benzodiazepines are both highly effective and highly addictive. In fact, approximately one-third of all benzodiazepine users will develop a physical dependence on these products shortly after starting them.
Although benzos are only legally available by prescription, many benzo users maintain their supplies by purchasing them illicitly. This is frequently the case even for people whose benzo use was started due to benzodiazepine prescriptions. The two most prevalent benzos on the illegal market are Xanax (Alprazolam) and Klonopin (Clonazepam). Other benzodiazepine drugs include:
- Valium (Diazepam)
- Ativan (Lorzepam)
- Librium (Chlordiazepoxide)
- Serax (Oxazepam)
- Doral (Quazepam)
- Tranxene (Clorazepate)
Who Abuses Benzos?
Anyone with chronic psychological pain, chronic sleep disorders, or seizures who’s been prescribed benzos is at high risk of misusing them. Countless elderly adults, successful professionals, and high-performing students have dealt with benzodiazepine addiction. Addiction to benzos can happen to anyone.
Given the incredibly high risk of benzo addiction, benzodiazepines are usually for short-term use only. They offer an instant way to alleviate psychological anguish and sleep disturbances that other medications cannot.
In young, generally healthy patients, long-term benzo use is rarely supported by prescription. When short-term prescriptions run out, these individuals try to obtain new supplies by:
- Working with multiple doctors or “doctor shopping”
- Buying benzos illegally
- Asking for pills from family and friends
Why Are Benzos Addictive?
Although benzos are prescribed with the intention of improving a person’s condition and life quality, prolonged use frequently causes more harm than good. When people run out of these medications or attempt to abstain from them, the withdrawal symptoms are severe. In fact, stopping benzo use suddenly can lead to cognitive difficulties, memory loss, shaking, sweating, and even death. Without medically assisted detox or an appropriate weaning program, benzo detox is always a dangerous and incredibly painful process.
So why are benzos addictive, and why does the body respond so strongly when they are no longer present? According to research, benzos create the physical and neurological conditions for addiction much in the same way that opioids, alcohol, and the popular club drug GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) do.
The very characteristics that make benzos so effective for alleviating pain and producing a sense of calm are the same characteristics that make them habit-forming. These drugs incite a neurological reaction known as a dopamine surge.
Dopamine is a feel-good chemical that the brain’s cells naturally produce. With even short-term benzo use, dramatic surges in dopamine release cause people to feel calmer and more relaxed than they would if working to alleviate anxiety and stress in other ways. Moreover, repeated dopamine surges caused by repeated benzo use actually wear dopamine-producing cells out.
Dual Diagnosis in Benzo Addiction Treatment
Dual diagnosis treatment is a very important part of rehab for many benzo users. This is an element of addiction treatment that looks at both substance use disorder and any possible co-occurring mental health disorders or other comorbidities.
In dual diagnosis treatment, patients receive:
- Clear and accurate diagnoses of their underlying conditions
- Access to alternative, non-habit-forming anxiety medications
- Training in the use of natural stress management techniques
- Access to therapeutic activities and skill-building workshops
- Cognitive behavioral therapy for encouraging a positive, proactive approach to anxiety management
With dual diagnosis treatment, rehab centers like Recovery Bay are able to set the stage for long-term success in benzo recovery.
Inpatient Treatment for Benzos
The physical effects of benzodiazepine abuse can be just as alarming as the symptoms of benzo withdrawal. When people take more benzodiazepine medications than their prescription allows or when they begin using illicit benzos that they purchase on the street, they can also suffer from:
- Slurred speech
- Muscle weakness
With benzodiazepine addiction, using benzos no longer feels good, but stopping benzo use feels infinitely worse. Our benzo addiction treatment makes it easy for people to break away from these medications.
We offer multiple options in medical detox support, dual-diagnosis treatment, various options in talk therapy, and many other services and tools for expediting the return to overall balance and good health. Our inpatient treatment program gives patients new coping tools, and new and healthier ways of managing their sleep disorders, anxiety disorders, or other conditions.
A Benzo Addiction Treatment Program in Panama City, FL Can Help
Our inpatient addiction treatment effectively removes people from all outside stresses and triggers and places them in a safe, supportive environment. With numerous, specialized medical professionals on staff, we’re also able to streamline our care to meet the unique needs of each individual.
If you’re struggling with benzodiazepine addiction and need help in finding a way out, we’re here to provide it. Call Recovery Bay today at 833.991.2955 to find out more about our inpatient rehab program and all other addiction treatment services that we offer.