Benzodiazepines – informally referred to as ‘benzos’, are prescription drugs that are prescribed for a variety of medical issues. For example, they may be prescribed to treat mental health issues – for example, to treat anxiety disorders or sleeping disorders.
Benzodiazepines are a group of depressant drugs, including medications such as diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), and etizolam.
Benzodiazepines affect your mind and body by impacting your central nervous system, affecting the GABA receptors in your brain. This is what causes the calming effect of the drug.
However, like any prescription medication, benzodiazepines can be addictive – and it can be difficult to overcome an addiction without the right support. But what exactly does benzodiazepine rehab entail? And how can I find the right rehab for me?
That’s what we’re going to explore in this post. Continue reading to learn more about benzodiazepine addiction, and what to expect from the benzodiazepine addiction treatment process, from detoxification to secondary treatment.
Although benzodiazepines are prescription medications, they can still be extremely addictive. If you take ‘benzos’ for a long time, you can develop a tolerance to the drug.
This means that you’ll need to take a higher dose to feel the same effect. Ultimately, increased tolerance is a leading cause of developing a benzodiazepine addiction.
Drug addiction refers to the lack of control over taking a drug. It’s a chronic and relapsing brain disease that can impact your life, including your physical health and mental health.
If you experience withdrawal symptoms when you lower your dose or stop taking it, or you feel like benzodiazepines are taking over your life, you should seek addiction treatment.
Abusing your benzodiazepine prescription also hugely increases the risk of becoming addicted. Read on to learn more about benzodiazepine abuse, including the risks of abusing benzodiazepines.
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Substance abuse doesn’t just refer to illicit substances. Benzodiazepines can be abused, just like illicit substances such as cocaine or heroin.
Benzodiazepine abuse can refer to excessive benzodiazepine use, taking more of the drug than prescribed, taking somebody else’s prescription medication, taking benzodiazepines to get ‘high’, or mixing benzos with other drugs or with alcohol.
Generally speaking, taking benzodiazepines in any way other than prescribed by a medical professional can class as prescription drug abuse.
Benzodiazepine abuse is often associated with young adults that take the drug to feel relaxed. Likewise, cocaine and heroin users appear to be more likely to abuse benzodiazepines, along with those who take other opioids.
Not only can abusing prescription drugs increase the chance of developing an addiction, but it can increase the risk of having an overdose. A prescription drug overdose requires medical treatment – if you think you are having an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.
Likewise, ‘street benzos’ can also lead to death – these are illicitly sourced benzodiazepines that a doctor has not prescribed.
Some symptoms of a benzodiazepine overdose include:
When you are physically dependent on a substance, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop taking it (quit cold turkey), or when you go from a very high dose to a low dose.
Some benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms include:
Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be unpleasant and can be dangerous if you withdraw from the drug suddenly without the right support. In some cases, you may experience severe symptoms or intense withdrawal symptoms. This is why many people prefer to undergo a medical detox.
Symptoms of withdrawal can vary from person to person. However, the general rule of thumb is that the more severe the dependence, the more severe withdrawal symptoms you’ll experience.
Some severe withdrawal symptoms include psychosis, tremors, hallucinations, burning sensations, and high blood pressure.
These symptoms can begin as soon as a few hours after your last dose and can persist for a long period. The length of the withdrawal process can also vary, often depending on your addiction history alongside personal factors.
You may experience ‘rebound’ symptoms shortly after stopping taking the drug. Then, you may experience full-blown benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, which typically lasts between 10 to 14 days. After this, you may experience anxiety symptoms that can persist until addressed in therapy.
Addiction treatment can vary from clinic to clinic, and can vary depending on a person’s circumstances.
With so many treatment options, it can be difficult to determine the best course of action for you. For example, there are private residential rehab centres, rehab centres for NHS patients, and luxury rehab centres.
We hope to make things a little easier for you by sharing some information about the rehab process, including the different types of benzodiazepine rehab and the benzodiazepine rehabilitation process, from detoxification to aftercare.
There are two main forms of rehabilitation – inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. If you opt for outpatient rehab, you’ll live at home and go about your day-to-day life as usual, attending regularly scheduled rehab sessions.
Many people prefer outpatient ‘benzo’ rehab as it allows them to continue going to work, looking after their children, etc.
With inpatient rehab/ residential rehab, you’ll reside in a rehab facility throughout your course of rehab. Your meals will be provided for you, and you’ll attend rehab sessions in the same facility.
This is a great option if you have a severe addiction, as you’ll have medical professionals and addiction specialists around you at all times.
The length of time rehab can take varies depending on your addiction, your personal circumstances, as well as the clinic. Check out this page to learn more.
The first stage of rehab, whether it be for cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, alcohol addiction, or prescription drug addiction, involves detoxification. This is the act of cleansing your body of the drug, addressing the physical dependence on the substance.
During a prescription drug detox, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. However, the more severe symptoms should begin to ease once your body is cleared of the substance.
A benzodiazepine detox only focuses on the physical addiction – it doesn’t address the psychological, social and behavioural aspects of addiction. This is something that is explored through addiction therapy.
Therapy isn’t just for those with mental health disorders – it’s an important stage of rehab. Addiction therapy has a range of purposes – it can:
Likewise, therapy is essential if you have a dual diagnosis. This is when you have a mental health disorder alongside addiction – for example if you have depression as well as benzodiazepine addiction.
Some forms of addiction therapy include cognitive behavioural therapy, group therapy, family therapy, counselling, and many more. Your therapy will be tailored to your circumstances – one size does not fit all when it comes to therapy.
The support you receive doesn’t end once you complete your rehab program. As the recovery process continues, you’ll continue receiving support in the form of secondary treatment.
The aim of secondary treatment is to provide you with ongoing support, helping to prevent relapse and support you in the event that you do relapse.
Secondary treatment, also known as aftercare, can include telephone or online support, ongoing counselling, and more. Some people attend support groups when they leave rehab, which can be beneficial to one’s recovery journey.
At Help4Addiction, we understand that seeking treatment can be daunting. We are here to support you throughout the process.
First of all, we’ll listen to your story – including your needs and preferences – to find the right benzo rehab treatment plan for you. We’ll discuss your treatment options and locate the best treatment facility that matches your needs in your local area.
If you wish to seek treatment in the form of prescription drug rehab, contact us today. We can get you connected with only the best rehab centres, and get the ball rolling on the admissions process.
Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.
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