Benzodiazepine Withdrawal and Detox
Medications for the right reasons are miracles. They help to correct many of the problems and maladies we are faced with. This is the case with benzodiazepines, medications that treat insomnia, lessens anxiety disorders and offers seizure control. Medications when they are abused for the wrong reasons can be a nightmare. This is also a concern with benzodiazepines. There is a high risk of being abused. Benzodiazepine withdrawal and dependence can be very difficult and requires a medically supervised detox and addiction treatment program. In the case of anxiety disorders, dual diagnosis is recommended to more effectively treat the maladies of mental health problems and addiction.
What are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines or benzos are also called central nervous system depressants. According to the Controlled Substance Act they are a Schedule IV medication, requiring a heightened doctor's prescription to obtain. These medications vary in drug names and name brands*. It is often regarded that such medications should be a short-term solution for a health issue due to their tendency to be abused. Overdosing on benzos can result in respiration problems, weak and rapid pulse, coma, and possible death. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can also result in difficult and even lethal struggles.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
Because of the severity of withdrawal from Benzos, stopping "cold turkey" without medical assistance is NOT recommended. These symptoms can be a physical and emotional struggle and even life threatening in some cases. They include:
- Muscle Aches
More severe symptoms can involve experiencing:
- Anxiety / Panic Attacks
Individuals who use/abuse benzos to treat anxiety issues can experience a rebound. This can result in greater and more intense anxiety and panic attacks when the drug is no longer in the system. This can make the individual highly volatile, vulnerable and they may exhibit suicidal behavior.
When withdrawal starts and how long it lasts depends on different factors. Some medications are faster acting and so withdrawal symptoms can manifest themselves in 6-8 hours. Longer acting benzos like diazepam can take 24-hours or longer before withdrawal can occur. The duration of these symptoms depends on the individual. Severe cases of dependence can result in extended and lengthier symptoms. With other drugs these symptoms tend to subside in 3 days to a week. Benzodiazepines can take longer, sometimes withdrawal can continue for 2-4 weeks. There is also a situation with benzos known as protracted withdrawal, where someone dependent can experience these symptoms months after quitting.
Medically supervised detox is recommended when ending use/abuse of benzos. An individual must be monitored to manage the more severe struggles and withdrawals like seizures and suicidal behavior that can occur with anxiety/panic attacks. Treatment professionals can help to reduce a lot of the discomfort that comes in the detox process and make sure that more difficult situations do not arise. When they do, medical staff has experience in treating and reducing the concern.
With benzo detoxification a common practice is to taper off the addict and not cut them off "cold turkey." Less potent benzodiazepines are used to reduce the risk while other medications are used to treat discomfort and symptoms. Tapering off medications can result in a longer detox stay, but is regarded as a safer method at reducing medical risks.
Addiction Treatment for Benzodiazepines
Detox is an effective and safe way to eliminate the drug from a person's system, but it does not do much in reducing the craving or the struggles of addiction. After completion of benzo detoxification a person should immediately be involved in an addiction treatment program. Through these treatments, one can come to terms with their substance abuse problem and can take a closer look at the situations that have led to the addiction.
Dual diagnosis is also a must in treating someone who is dealing with benzodiazepine addiction. Anxiety disorder is a serious concern that the medication was intended to treat. However, this resulted in abuse of the drug. Addiction treatment provides professionals who can help with dual diagnosis and therapies for both the anxiety disorder and the substance dependence. Less potent prescriptions are introduced to lessen anxiety while therapies are used to get a stronger handle on the disorder.
Cirque Lodge Benzo Treatment
Cirque Lodge is regarded by many professionals as one of the leading addiction treatment programs for prescription drugs such as benzodiazepine. We work tirelessly to help individuals and their families overcome the struggles of alcohol or drug dependence through a nurturing and fully involved program. This begins with a very effective, medically supervised drug detoxification process. We offer a caring and comfortable environment to do this in. Our medical staff provides around the clock monitoring and supervision to help reduce the struggles of benzo withdrawal.
When benzo detoxification is completed, we strive to provide a seamless transition into our addiction treatment program at the Studio or the Lodge. Personalized therapies are used in treating the addiction. Also, we provide a very effective and integrated dual diagnosis care from mental health professionals to address any existing anxiety disorders or similar concerns.
Treatment for benzos also incorporates the healing power of nature at Cirque. Our majestic mountain setting provides a number of venues to get out and experience nature. There is a power in this healing that cannot be described, but we have found that it has helped many to recover. If you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to benzodiazepine medications, please give us a call today at 1-800-582-0709.