Making the choice to enter a benzodiazepine detox can is an incredibly brave and courageous step. Unfortunately, as overdose continues to remain a leading cause of death, benzodiazepines are a major concern. While used to treat anxiety disorders, benzodiazepines that are misused can be addictive and ultimately lead to a substance use disorder. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be physically uncomfortable and even life-threatening, so it’s important to seek out the help of a medical professional when going through Benzo detox. At Magnolia City Alcohol and Drug Detox in Houston, our benzodiazepine detox offers a professional, comfortable, and safe detox to help you undergo the process of detox.
Benzodiazepines are sedative/hypnotics often used to treat anxiety disorders. They have anxiolytic effects and reduce anxiety by increasing GABA activity at the GABAA receptor. Some benzodiazepines are more effective than others. For example, diazepam (Valium) is considered one of the best benzodiazepines available. Diazepam works quickly but it takes time to build up in your system. This makes it useful for treating acute anxiety. However, if you take too much over a period of time, you become physically dependent on the drug.
Benzodiazepines are a class of medications that have been used as sedatives since the 1950s. They are often prescribed to treat anxiety disorders or insomnia. The most commonly prescribed benzos include alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), oxazepam (Serax) and temazepam (Restoril). These drugs are not recommended for use in children under 12 years old. And all can be addictive and have their own side effects, which can vary person-to-person.
These types of benzos stay in your system longer than other types. This means they may cause more side effects over time. Examples and commonly prescribed dosage:
Short acting benzos are usually prescribed for only one week at a time. Some examples include:
The rate at which benzodiazepines can progress from misuse to dependence to addiction can be concerning. Taking a pill daily past the recommended short-term use can result in long-term consequences.
In addition, there are two common ways that people abuse benzodiazepines:
Long-Term use. Long term use means using benzos for more than four weeks. This may lead to tolerance or dependence. Tolerance means that the body needs higher doses of the drug to get the same effect as it did before. Dependence means that the person has developed a need for the drug to function normally. The person may experience cravings for the drug even after stopping.
Using the drug recreationally. Recreational use usually refers to using benzos at parties, clubs, bars, etc.
Both forms of benzodiazepine abuse can cause severe withdrawal symptoms if not treated properly.
When someone has developed a physical dependence on Benzodiazepines, they will experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit. Withdrawal symptoms are caused by the body being denied benzos for a long period of time – causing physical changes. Benzodiazepine withdrawal is extremely uncomfortable and can be dangerous and life-threatening if not treated under medical supervision.
Some symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal can include:
Benzo withdrawal symptoms can be felt within 24 hours of the last dose. Symptoms can last up to a number of months depending on the severity of use. During the first few days of withdrawal, the person going through detox can experience symptoms of the condition that the benzo was used to treat. For example, symptoms of anxiety may return and become worse in the first few days of detox.
Withdrawal symptoms peak between one to four days after the last dose. This phase, known as “acute detox,” is often considered the most difficult and the most crucial time that individuals should be monitored by medical professionals.
After the initial detox period, individuals may experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome or PAWS. PAWS is a number of withdrawal symptoms that periodically show up following the acute phase of detox. Some PAWS symptoms can include but not be limited to:
When you step into Magnolia City Detox Center, you become part of our family. The first thing that happens in our detox programs in Houston is we conduct a medical evaluation to understand what you’ve been using, the frequency, and understand your medical history to determine any complications during your detox. Our staff may prescribe you medications to help alleviate any uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. During this time, all. of our clients participate in individualized and group therapy to begin to uncover the root cause issue of your addiction while monitoring you medically to ensure your vitals remain stable.
Attending a medical detox in Houston is the most effective way to treat benzodiazepine addiction. In a detox and rehab facility, patients go through various therapies including individual therapy, group therapy, and 12 step programs. These therapies help addicts learn coping skills and deal with emotions related to their addictions. Patients also receive counseling to help them cope with life outside of the program.
Medication assisted treatments (MAT) are another option for treating benzodiazepine addiction, but they don’t always work. MAT involves giving patients medications that reduce their cravings for the drug. For example, naltrexone blocks the effects of opiates, which makes heroin users less likely to crave heroin. Clonidine reduces the amount of dopamine released by the brain. This causes the user to lose interest in addictive substances.
Medications used in MAT include methadone, buprenorphine, and naloxone.
Inpatient treatment programs provide intensive medical supervision and therapy. They allow patients to focus on recovery from addiction during an extended period of time. Many facilities offer residential programs where patients live together in a controlled environment. Others offer outpatient programs where patients stay in a sober living house or halfway house.
Outpatient treatment programs require patients to attend weekly sessions with counselors. During these sessions, patients discuss their progress and plan future goals. Some programs also provide daily meetings so that patients can continue to develop new habits.
Magnolia City Detox in Houston can help you overcome benzo addiction. Our staff ensures a safe detox with the best care possible and makes sure you feel comfortable throughout your stay. Reaching for help is incredibly scary, but one of the best decisions you can make. Learn more about our admissions process and detox cost today.
The only way to completely get rid of the physical dependence on benzos is to stop taking them altogether. Stopping taking prescribed medication is something that should be first discussed with your doctor.
If you think you may be addicted to benzos, ask yourself some questions. Do you find yourself thinking about using benzos even when you aren’t planning to use them? Have you ever tried to quit benzos without success? Are you afraid of missing out on something good? Do you experience anxiety or panic attacks when you try not to take benzos? Does it seem like you’re having trouble controlling your thoughts while you’re trying to avoid benzos? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you might be addicted to benzos.
Benzo addiction is extremely difficult to beat on your own. Benzo detox is also highly dangerous. Therefore, we recommend that anyone dealing with benzo addiction should attend an addiction treatment program. There’s no harm in checking out a few options before deciding to go to rehab. In fact, benzo users may prefer to detox at a detox center like Magnolia City Detox. We offer a comprehensive program that includes everything you need to get clean in a supportive and helpful environment. It is best to be supervised when detoxing to ensure you remain safe throughout the process.
Yes, you should be able to function normally after you’ve gotten off benzos. Benzos affect neurotransmitters in the brain, but they don’t cause permanent damage to the brain.