Benzodiazepines (benzos) are a class of drugs that doctors prescribe for a range of health conditions. They can treat moderate to severe anxiety, epileptic seizures, panic attacks and certain withdrawal symptoms. However, they can be addictive and dangerous. When substance use disorder is present, benzo addiction treatment is necessary.
More About Benzo Abuse
Benzos bind to GABA receptors in the central nervous system to relieve mental stress and slow overactive brain function. Most benzos come in tablet form. However, some come in clear liquids for intravenous use. Some of the most common brands include Ativan, Halcion, Klonopin, Librium and Valium.
These are all legal forms of benzos when you have a prescription for them. Under the Controlled Substances Act, benzos are schedule IV drugs. This label means that the government greatly regulates them. However, there’s a black market for benzos, which go by names such as downers or tranqs.
The Risk for Substance Use Disorder
Whether you take benzos legally or illegally, there’s a risk for substance use disorder. Some people with a prescription might start taking the drugs outside of their doctor’s’ instructions. This abuse may include crushing the pills and snorting the powder to amplify the effects. Many people who obtain the drugs illegally also use this method.
Abusing benzos for a prolonged period can lead to addiction, the most severe form of substance use disorder. The reason is that these drugs change the neurochemistry of the brain, causing mental and physical dependencies. If you reach this point, you need benzo addiction treatment to recover.
Benzo Addiction Treatment
You can benefit from drug treatment no matter your level of substance use disorder. Because of the changes that benzo abuse cause in brain chemistry, benzo addiction treatment includes detox, rehab and aftercare. The specific services that you receive vary from others depending on your health and level of addiction. The services also vary depending on the treatment center and program that you choose.
Detox is the first step to recovery because you need to cleanse your body of benzos. This process involves tapering or stopping drug use, which can cause withdrawal and dangerous side effects. Medical supervision is necessary for you to stay safe and get relief during this process.
At a detox center, doctors and nurses monitor symptoms to prevent complications such as seizures and suicide as a result of depression. They often provide medications to ease symptoms that can cause these issues. Without tapering, benzo detox can take 15 days or longer. If you choose the taper-down route, you could spend 10 weeks or longer in detox.
After detox, rehab is the next step in benzo addiction treatment and offers the best chance for a full recovery. Residential and outpatient programs are vital resources for learning life skills and making lifestyle changes.
Many people choose inpatient rehab because it offers a drug-free environment with few distractions. Research shows that residential inpatient rehab increases the rate of ongoing sobriety. Such a program can last for 30 to 90 days or even longer depending on the facility and your needs.
If you have a mild benzo addiction, however, outpatient rehab may work for you. This type of program minimizes the disruption to your daily schedule. You can continue working, going to school or caring for family members while you get treatment.
Either way, behavior and cognitive therapies are a big part of rehab. Therapists use these techniques in one-on-one and group sessions. They even use them in family therapy to help you build a support system at home.
Continuing therapy and attending support groups is the final step of benzo addiction treatment. Recovery requires a lifelong commitment to sobriety to avoid relapse.
If you’re not ready to return home after residential rehab, talk to your rehab center about joining an aftercare program. Sober living services, for example, ease you into your daily routine. Even outpatient programs make good step-down treatments to make the transition easier. Seeing a private therapist and going to support group meetings can help as well.
Get Help for Benzo Addiction at The Dunes
Do you want help for a benzo abuser? The Dunes in East Hampton is a luxury treatment center for executives who struggle with drug use. Many executives deal with unbearable amounts of stress, and we understand their needs. Our programs provide options to meet those needs, including:
The Dunes’ luxury estate offers shared and private rooms for residents. All of our residents have access to acupuncture, meditation and yoga. In addition, we offer sober activities including bowling, kayaking and hiking. While you’re working on recovery, you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful, nutritious meals prepared by our in-house chef.