Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment
What is Benzodiazepine Addiction
Benzodiazepines or “benzos” are a type of drug that affects the central nervous system. They are prescription drugs that may be used to treat a range of issues, including seizures, anxiety, and even alcohol withdrawal. Unfortunately, benzodiazepines are often used recreationally as well.
This is very dangerous and disconcerting because they affect the brain by blocking nerve signals and other key areas of the central nervous system.
There are many types of benzodiazepines, and while they all have similar effects on the brain, they vary in how long they last and how strong they are. This is why some benzodiazepine drugs work better for some conditions versus others.
Common Types of Benzos
Perhaps the most well-known benzodiazepine is Xanax. It’s a very popular street drug with a number of nicknames, including “Xan-ies”, “totem poles”, etc. Other commonly abused benzos include:
- Alprazolam. The most common brand name for this drug is Xanax. It is most often prescribed for panic disorders and anxiety, although occasionally for insomnia.
- Chlordiazepoxide. Also known as Librax, this drug may be prescribed for either anxiety disorders or alcohol withdrawal.
- Clobazam. The brand name is Onfi, and this drug is almost exclusively prescribed for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
- Clonazepam. The brand name is Klonopin, and it is a drug usually prescribed for seizures, nerve pain (neuralgia), and panic disorders.
- Clorazepate. Also known as Tranxene, this benzodiazepine is used for some types of seizures, anxiety, and for helping with alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
- Diazepam. Better known as Valium, this drug is used for a variety of conditions, including anxiety, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, muscle spasms, seizures, and sedation. It is one of the most commonly used benzodiazepine drugs among recreational users.
- Lorazepam. Also known as Ativan, this drug is prescribed for short-term insomnia treatment, sedation, anxiety, and seizures.
- Temazepam. The brand name is Restoril, and it is prescribed for short-term insomnia treatment.
- Triazolam. Also called Halcion, this drug is also prescribed for insomnia in short-term situations.
Why Are Benzo’s So Addictive
Muscle relaxers like benzos are frequently abused because they are easy to obtain (both legally and illicitly). Used properly, they are an excellent tool to help people live a normal life. But to someone prone to addiction, the ready availability of Benzos, combined with the euphoric feeling they provide can be hard to resist and highly addictive.
Like most abused substances, prolonged use of Benzos can lead the user to develop a tolerance for the drug. When a person’s tolerance to a drug increases, they need more of it to feel the same effects they did previously. Benzos are well known to produce significant tolerance when used over a long period of time, which leads to dependence and addiction.
Dependence occurs when the brain and body become used to functioning with a particular drug in their system, and they become ‘rewired’ to only work properly when that drug is present in the body. The longer a drug is used, the more potential it has for causing dependence. Both these effects combine to make Benzodiazepines one of the most abused and addictive prescription drugs.
Symptoms of Benzo Addiction
There are some unique and potentially dangerous side effects that come with Benzo addiction. One of them is a strange sleeping issue, which is like a form of amnesia that keeps the user from creating new memories and can significantly impact the users short term recall.
Benzo addiction can lead to a depression of the respiratory system, particularly if taken in high doses or in conjunction with other CNS depressants such as alcohol, Opioids, or barbiturates. This can ultimately be a deadly combination.
Long-term Benzo abuse has also been linked to a negative impact on cognitive thinking and reasoning.
Common Side Effects Of Benzodiazepines May Include:
- Impaired Coordination
- Vision Problems
The biggest risk is addiction and dependency. Triazolam and lorazepam are stronger drugs and are likewise the most addictive. Withdrawal symptoms from decreasing or stopping use can come on quickly.
Like any addictive drug, Benzodiazepines detoxification comes with withdrawal symptoms.
Symptoms of withdrawal from Benzo addiction may include:
- Muscle tension
- Blurred vision Insomnia
- Panic attacks
- Shaking and trembling
- Slight amnesia
- Heart palpitations
- Muscle pain
Because of the long list of withdrawal symptoms and the potential dangers of detox, addiction professionals recommend a medically-monitored detoxification program for the safety of the patient.
Medically Monitored Detox for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Detoxification is a critical first step in the Benzo Addiction Rehabilitation process. The physical, emotional, and psychological impact of ridding your body of addictive substances can be significant, and that is why it’s critical to do it in a safe, comfortable, medically-monitored environment.
Because there are many types of Benzos, each with different withdrawal symptoms, it is important to undergo your rehabilitation with the support of trained professionals.
Treatment for Benzodiazepine Addiction
Benzo addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs at TOPSAIL integrate a range of treatment, therapy, and educational programming and follow-up care.
Following a thorough assessment with an addiction treatment professional, there are several options for treatment for Benzo addiction. They fall into 3 categories.
- Full-Day Treatments – Comprehensive treatment programs that meet 5 times a week at our facility in Andover, MA.
- Intensive Outpatient Treatment – An immersive treatment program that helps individuals with substance abuse and addiction problems while they live at home.
- Outpatient Treatment – Customized treatment plans that accommodate work, school, or other responsibilities living at home.
Does Insurance pay for Benzo Addiction Treatment?
With recent changes in healthcare law, most insurance carriers will pay for some, if not all, of the cost for addiction treatment under their behavioral and mental health coverage. This can include Detox, Outpatient Programs, Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), and Full-day Therapy/Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP).
TOPSAIL accepts all major insurance plans and will work with you to understand how your insurance may cover your treatment.