Benzodiazepine Addiction

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Benzodiazepine Addiction

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are a group of sedative drugs that work by having a calming effect on the brain and central nervous system. Doctors usually prescribe them to treat anxiety, insomnia, and other mental disorders.

If you take benzodiazepines in high doses, you may experience feelings of relaxation and euphoria. Some kinds of benzodiazepines are relatively easy to obtain. According to a 2018 report by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 12.5% of adults in the United States have used benzodiazepines.

While short-term use of benzodiazepines can be an effective medical treatment, long-term use can be dangerous. You can develop a dependency in as little as two weeks. While addiction is more likely if the substance is used for its pleasurable effects, it can develop even if you take it exactly as your doctor prescribed.

Benzodiazepine addiction is when you compulsively take the substance despite knowing the negative consequences to your mental and physical health. Long-term effects of benzodiazepines include an increased risk of dementia and brain damage. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can also be hazardous. If you withdraw too quickly, it may even result in death.

If you or your loved one is struggling with an addiction, the road to recovery may seem hopeless and even scary. At Cirque Lodge, we are here to reassure you that recovery is possible.

Surrounded by the majestic scenery of the Rocky Mountains, Cirque Lodge is a luxurious and innovative addiction treatment center. We combine experiential therapy, behavior therapies, and support groups and create a personalized treatment program to suit your needs.

Medical professionals design and lead our programs to ensure your detox and recovery are entirely safe. Our treatment programs combine comfort with adventure, and we support you completely as you rediscover your love of life and move towards lifelong recovery.

Benzodiazepine Addiction Overview

What Are Some Commonly Used Benzodiazepines?

Xanax (Alprazolam)

Xanax is a potent benzodiazepine that doctors prescribe to treat anxiety disorder, insomnia, and panic attacks.

Xanax is the most common benzodiazepine in the United States. Doctors prescribed Xanax to 50 million people in 2013. It is also one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Xanax abuse is currently on the rise, especially among young people.

Valium (Diazepam)

Valium is a benzodiazepine that doctors prescribe for anxiety, muscle spasms, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It can also be taken before medical procedures to reduce anxiety and relieve pain.

Valium is a long-acting benzodiazepine. You feel its effects sooner and for longer than other drugs such as Xanax.

Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam)

Rohypnol is a sedative that can make you forget what happened when you were under its influence. It is only prescribed in rare cases because of its use in sexual crimes.

Klonopin (Clonazepam)

Doctors mainly prescribe Klonopin to treat epilepsy, but it is also an effective treatment for anxiety and panic disorders.

Ativan (Lorazepam)

Ativan is a powerful prescription medicine for seizures, alcohol withdrawal, and mania.

Your Journey To Recovery Begins Today

What Are Benzodiazepines Prescribed For?

Benzodiazepines’ sedative and tranquilizing effects make them an effective treatment for various mental and physical disorders.

Doctors usually prescribe the drug for anxiety disorders, insomnia, seizures, and alcohol withdrawal.

Some other uses of benzodiazepines include:

  • Managing shortness of breath for patients with advanced illness
  • Treating restless leg syndrome
  • Treating some cases of obsessive-compulsive disorder

Why Are Benzodiazepines Addictive?

Benzodiazepines are addictive because of the euphoric feelings they can produce.

Taking them in high doses results in feelings of relaxation and happiness. You can become addicted to taking the drug to experience these pleasurable sensations.

When taken over a short period, benzodiazepines are an effective treatment for many different illnesses, symptoms, and disorders. Long-term use of the drugs, however, quickly leads to addiction and abuse.

If you take benzodiazepines repeatedly, you can quickly develop a tolerance and need higher and higher quantities of the drug to feel the same effects. Benzodiazepine tolerance can form in as little as two weeks.

As you take higher doses of the drug, your body gets used to it, and you develop a dependence on the substance. It is possible to develop such a dependence even if you take the drug exactly as the doctor prescribed.

Stopping use can result in a range of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, which may cause you to start using the drug again to relieve them.

Recovery Is Possible

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Benzodiazepines Addiction?

It can be challenging to tell if you or your loved one has a substance use disorder.

Below is a list of signs and symptoms of addiction.

If you recognize any of these signs, please call us immediately. We offer compassionate, non-judgemental advice and guide you through what you should do next.

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Changes in behavior
  • Changes in your friendship groups
  • New financial problems
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Problems in relationships with friends and family members
  • Physical and mental health issues, including depression
  • Different sleeping and eating patterns
  • Loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed

Cross Tolerance

Benzodiazepines work in the same way as many other sedative drugs and can lead to cross-tolerance.

Cross tolerance is taking one drug to help relieve the withdrawal symptoms of another. For instance, doctors can use benzodiazepines to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Cross-tolerance also has negative consequences. If you have a tolerance to one of these drugs, you will possibly already have a tolerance for others. You may be more likely to take higher doses of these drugs as well, increasing your chances of dependency, addiction, and abuse.

Benzodiazepine Detoxification

To begin your journey to recovery from substance use disorder, you have to go through the detoxification process.

When you stop taking benzodiazepines, you will experience several withdrawal symptoms.

Many of the withdrawal symptoms you may experience are similar to anxiety symptoms. There are also more severe symptoms such as convulsions and psychosis. Stopping benzodiazepines suddenly without medical guidance is very uncomfortable and can be hazardous. It can even result in death. It is much easier to stay safe with help and professional support throughout the withdrawal process.

At Cirque Lodge, we offer 24-hour medical care in our detoxification facility. Our trained and licensed medical experts are always on hand to make the process as easy and comfortable as possible. If needed, they may prescribe other medicines to help relieve your withdrawal symptoms.

Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment

While detoxification removes the substance and toxins from your body, the impulses to use the drug can remain.

Addiction treatment involves changing the thought patterns and behaviors that cause you to take a substance. It requires healing the whole person to overcome the harmful feelings and habits that fuel addiction.

Cirque Lodge offers a combination of behavioral therapies, experiential therapies, and support groups tailored to suit your individual needs. You will develop the skills needed to cope with addiction and reinforce them through enriching practical activities. The spectacular mountain scenery surrounding the facilities will inspire you on your journey.

For more information on our treatment program, please click here.

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Cirque Lodge offers a combination of experiential, behavioral, and group therapies to provide a holistic and enriching treatment experience.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, please contact us today. We can help.

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