What Are Benzodiazepines? 

Benzodiazepines, which are also known as benzos, are a class of pharmaceuticals that are prescribed commonly for insomnia, anxiety, or seizures. Benzos are considered to be the most widely prescribed depressants in the United States. The most negative side of benzodiazepines is the fact that they are extremely addictive and they are difficult to stop dependence on. 

Benzo’s original agenda was to replace barbiturates, which are considered to be another class of drugs that are intended to treat anxiety disorders or seizures. The abuse of barbiturates has rapidly grown into more of a significant societal problem because doctors thought benzodiazepines would offer a similar relief with lower potential to abuse. Nonetheless, doctors discovered addiction and dependence on benzos could develop among individuals who are appropriately following their doctor’s instructions. 

Prescription Benzodiazepines

Research suggests that benzodiazepines can be effective for an individual for a couple of weeks at low doses. No evidence is available to date confirming that these medications will effectively work for anxiety over a long time. Regardless of all recent information discovered, doctors still do prescribe these medications for over months, years, or even decades. 

Nonetheless, the expanding concerns that relate to benzo complications and general use of the prescriptions still skipped around about 6.7% between the years 1996 and 2013, from 8.1 million to 13.5 million. The US Drug Enforcement Administration classified benzodiazepines as controlled substances. It is important to remember that these types of drugs have the potential for abuse. 

According to the SAMSHA, benzodiazepines are often the most misused drugs, alongside being utilized in conjunction with the following:

Once the above-mentioned drugs are utilized together, the overall effect of the substances is generally magnified. Approximately one in eight adults in the US, which rounds up to about 30 million, engaged in benzodiazepine use in 2018. From that same study, about five million of the same individuals reported misuse. 

What Are Some Common Benzos That Are Prescribed?

There is a variety of common benzos that are prescribed and include various concepts. All of the benzodiazepines have the potential to be able to affect similar neurochemical pathways, but each one works differently depending on each method. Some benzos are more suited towards treating panic attacks and anxiety disorders, while others benzos are more suited to treating insomnia. Some benzos can assist individuals in reducing depression symptoms or halt seizures. Benzos also can differ in the following areas:

  • Their overall tendency build yet remain in an individual’s body
  • How long do the effects last?
  • The potency 
  • How quickly do they take effect?

Xanax

Xanax, also known as alprazolam, is one of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines. This medication is prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It comes in various strengths. This drug is considered to be especially threatening because it works abruptly, generating significant changes all at once. 

Valium 

Valium, also known as diazepam, is one of the oldest benzos on the market. It treats muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and anxiety disorders. Valium comes in different strengths, and a couple of them releases its effects over an outstretched period. It’s vital to note that this particular drug doesn’t produce a speedy high. 

Ativan 

Ativan, which is also known as Lorzapaem, treats panic attacks. It comes in pill forms and liquid, which can be taken intravenously. This medication has what’s considered a short-to-intermediate effect, therefore producing a vast and edifying rush in numerous individuals. 

Klonopin

Klonopin, also known as Clonazepam, is utilized to treat the following conditions:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Seizure disorders
  • Panic disorders
  • Social phobias
  • PTSD 
  • Mania

Ambien 

Ambien, also known as Zolpidem, is considered to be a fulfilling drug utilized to treat insomnia. There is a sedative effect of this drug that can induce sleep, while the added ingredients can help people forget what occurs when they are sleeping. This medication isn’t nearly abused as much as the other benzodiazepines. Even though this drug does act swiftly, numerous individuals aren’t able to stay awake long enough to even take more than one dose. 

Halcion 

Halcion, also known as Triazolam, is a widely prescribed drug utilized to treat the following:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Aggression 
  • Tourette’s
  • Insomnia 
  • Anxiety 
  • Suicidal behavior 

This medication comes in tablets. Some doctors prescribe Halcion as an attempt to ease a person’s anxiety before their medical procedures are performed. The drug can induce similar feelings to alcohol intoxication. Generally, it takes effect more rapidly than the majority of the other benzodiazepines

Restoril 

Restoril, also known as Temazepam, is another fulfilling and hypnotic medication that can slow down an individual’s electrical activity in their brain. When a person takes this drug, they can sleep in simply a moment. Nonetheless, these same individuals normally tend to engage in activities such as driving, cooking, and having sex in an exceedingly sedated state. The above-mentioned scenario occurs without the individual even being able to recall any of their actions upon awakening. 

Librium 

Librium, also known as Chlordiazpoxide, is considered a psychoactive medication utilized to treat the following conditions:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Insomnia 
  • Seizures 
  • Anxiety 

This medication comes in capsules with varying strengths. Nonetheless, the actual contents of the capsules are often mixed with water or even snorted. This drug is taken intravenously. 

How Do Benzodiazepines Affect the Body?

Although it holds that benzodiazepines can affect a person’s body, numerous scientists aren’t 100% sure on the full mechanisms of how they entirely work. Nonetheless, they do generally agree that these medications do interact with GABA, which is gamma-aminobutyric acid, and a neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that can interact with a person’s neurons in their brain and spinal cord. 

GABA acts as a prohibitive neurotransmitter and hinders a person’s overall brain activity. When this process happens, people begin to feel sleepy and relaxed. The majority of conditions that are treated by benzodiazepines, such as anxiety and seizures, are considered to be triggered by a person’s neuron’s rapid activity. As a result, the drugs provide an overall sedative effect to ease the symptoms. 

Short-Term Effects

When a person engages in short-term use of low or moderate doses, the following effects can be induced.

  • Respiratory depression 
  • Impaired motor function 
  • Slurred speech 
  • Vision problems
  • Depression 
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vertigo
  • Tremors

Long-Term Effects

When a person engages in benzos with a higher dosage, it can lead to inconsistent behavior along with thinking in an overall euphoric state, and reflexes being slowed down. The above-mentioned effects can sharpen the overall appetite for abuse. A misuse of benzos can result in the following troublesome side effects:

  • Memory impairment and judgment
  • Heightened risk of falls, especially among the elderly
  • Menstrual issues in women 
  • Greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease 
  • Physical weakness
  • Disorientation or confusion 
  • Severe itching 
  • Libido changes
  • Jaundice 

Another occurrence that appears from benzo use might include anterograde amnesia, the inability of a person to recall events that happened after the drug has been consumed. Paradoxical disinhibition also can transpire, marked by antisocial and violent tendencies. 

Can Benzos Cause Anxiety or Psychosis?

Benzodiazepine-induced psychosis is possible if a substance is consumed by being mixed with various other substances or even taken in huge amounts. Since benzodiazepines do affect neurotransmitters, they do have the capability of creating visual distortions in an individual. The visual distortions have the capability to progress further into hallucinations.

In some cases, benzodiazepines can worsen a person’s psychiatric symptoms indirectly, such as:

  • Psychosis
  • Irritability 
  • Mood 
  • Anxiety 

There have been studies that have suggested that the above-mentioned is an effect of the actual substance worsening a person’s quality of sleep. When an individual engages in long-term benzo use, there might be a similar impact to long-term alcohol use. Nevertheless, prolonged benzo use, may worsen or cause some of the following conditions:

  • Similar mental health problems
  • Sleep disorders 
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Mania

What Are Signs and Symptoms of Addiction and Withdrawal for Benzos? 

If you are trying to spot the signs of benzo use in a loved one or trying to figure out whether your loved one might need rehab for benzodiazepine addiction, the following will help figure out if benzo addiction treatment is needed. 

  • Repeated and unsuccessful attempts of cutting back and eliminating drug consumption
  • Using benzos while at work, driving, or various other dangerous situations 
  • Intentional benzodiazepine use with other drugs or alcohol 
  • Foregoing any previously enjoyed activities to engage in drug use
  • Frequently thinking about obtaining benzos or using benzos
  • Denial despite needing benzodiazepine addiction treatment
  • Ignoring responsibilities due to the drug use
  • Doctor shopping to get more benzos
  • Taking more benzos than what’s prescribed

When an individual needs rehab for benzodiazepine addiction or benzo addiction treatment, it will often lead to panicking consequences for many users and their families. This is why it’s critical that benzo addiction treatment is pursued upon the first signs of benzo use. The family issues that generally occur include child neglect or divorce. 

Financial difficulties can arise due to the following:

  • Mismanagement of money
  • Job absenteeism
  • Loss

 A little too often, people will resort back to their criminal behavior and ways in order to support their benzo addiction lifestyle. Once a person’s first signs of benzo use begin, rehab for benzodiazepine addiction needs to be arranged asap. Benzo detox recovery is definitely attainable with effective benzo addiction treatment, especially during early dependence stages.  

What Does the Withdrawal Timeline Look Like? 

The benzodiazepine withdrawal timeline typically reaches the peak within 36 to 72 hours and generally declines after five days significantly. There are various different symptoms that benzo withdrawal includes. The potential benzo withdrawal symptoms are the following:

  • Vomiting and/or nausea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Hallucinations 
  • Sweating 
  • Seizures 
  • Agitation 
  • Anxiety 

What Are Options After Benzo Addiction Treatment?

There are various options after completing benzo addiction treatment at a rehab for benzodiazepine addiction. It’s imperative to remember that people with benzo addiction often need the help and support of family and friends in order to break free fully. After a thoroughly planned intervention takes place, the person struggling with benzo addiction will be brought to a better realization of how their addiction has deeply affected those around them.

Partial Care Program 

Detox is the first step when it comes to benzo addiction treatment at a rehab for benzodiazepine addiction. If an individual strives to reach benzo detox recovery, this step needs to be done upon the first signs of benzo use. Close monitoring is pivotal during the detox process to ensure that the professionals are able to not only spot but further address any withdrawal symptoms before they skyrocket out of control. 

The partial care program specializes in the removal of patients’ temptations and further guiding the patients to benzo detox recovery. Our highly trained and compassionate team thoroughly customizes benzo addiction treatment at our rehab for benzodiazepine addiction. We make sure to tailor it specifically to each individual and work with their social, physical, and mental background. 

Our partial care program also includes individual and group counseling, in conjunction with coaching, to deeply understand and uncover roots and cultivated tools for a successful benzo detox recovery

Outpatient Care

Benzo addiction treatment and detox recovery is rarely an easy fix at a rehab for benzodiazepine addiction. This is why it’s so crucial to address a loved one’s needs upon noticing the first signs of benzo use. Our outpatient care treatment program will further aim to build a solid foundation for long-term sobriety. 

The outpatient care program will accommodate the individual living at home or sober living. Our patients will still have the opportunity of engaging in the same groups they attended in intensive outpatient or partial care. The main difference is that outpatient care will be once or twice a week, and the scheduled groups will be 3 hours a day.

Rehab for Benzodiazepine Addiction Is at Chapters Recovery

If you or someone you know is struggling with benzodiazepine addiction, contact us today to hear more about our rehab and programs. Recovery is possible. Freedom awaits you.