MAT at Cirque Lodge involves evaluating the withdrawal symptoms of our clients and prescribing medication to alleviate any harmful effects.
We sometimes administer other benzodiazepines at safe doses to treat acute withdrawal symptoms before slowly tapering out over the course of a few weeks for a more gentle detox. We also prescribe other forms of medication approved to treat anxiety and its collection of related symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms sometimes peak in a few days, but they may also carry on for weeks or months. Medical detox in a supervised facility gives our clients access to ongoing support and continual evaluation during this period.
Stabilization with Long-Acting Benzos
Benzo abuse implies extreme peaks and falls in the user’s GABA levels, which can shock the system and challenge healing. When our medical team recommends tapering treatment, the objective is to initially stabilize the client’s GABA levels before slowly reducing the dose amount to allow the body to recover.
The first step we take in the detox process is to assess our clients’ tolerance level to benzo use. After this, we will prescribe a drug from this family, often switching to a longer-acting type that will not produce a rush.
The two long-acting, slow-onset medications we are most likely to prescribe are:
Rapid reduction is not always wise, so we may initially prescribe a lower or equivalent dose depending on the case.
After this, we slowly lower the amount of the drug we prescribe, typically by about 10% per week. Our team of medical and psychiatric staff supervising the process may choose to adjust this depending on your particular needs.
Other Treatments in Our Program
Not every case of benzo addiction requires a taper method to recover. Sometimes it is more appropriate to prescribe beta-blockers, antidepressants, or other medications approved to treat anxiety. This is particularly true in clients who have not developed a high degree of dependency on benzos, but every individual is different.
Some other medications that we may prescribe include:
- Flumazenil: A GABA receptor antagonist originally developed to treat overdose that has been found to be effective at reducing most benzo withdrawal symptoms.
- Buspirone: An anti-anxiety medication without many side effects, used to treat some symptoms of withdrawal.