There are many effective non-benzodiazepine options for addicts and alcoholics in drug rehab. Many drug rehabs and addiction treatment facilities will not allow their patients to be prescribed benzodiazepines for anxiety symptoms.
One of the drugs more often used by addiction treatment centers to treat anxiety is Buspar (Buspirone). Buspar, or Buspirone, is a psychoactive drug that works on the serotonin neurotransmitter as opposed to benzodiazepine, GABA(a) receptor site agonists that are much more addictive.
Many addiction psychiatrists and addiction medicine specialists use buspar treatment or beta-blockers as a way to help with anxiety-related symptoms and management of anxiety disorders. Beta blockers are wonderful inventions that do not affect a person emotionally. That is to say, after taking a beta blocker, the person does not “feel” the drug’s effects. Beta blockers are great for performers and people who have stage fright. They help with stage fright symptoms such as sweaty palms, increased respiration, pounding heart, etc. Buspar treatment coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy and addiction treatment therapy can often alleviate anxiety in addiction treatment patients who are experiencing anxiety.
The anxiety medication, Buspar, is used for treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which the National Alliance on Mental Illness classes as a person experiencing excessive anxiety or worry for at least six months. Some other symptoms include restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension and sleep disturbance.
According to an article published in the Western Journal of Medicine, among those with generalized anxiety disorder who take Buspar, 54% have significant clinical improvement. It is effective when taken regularly and has few adverse effects (headache, nausea and dizziness). Unlike benzodiazepines, Buspar doesn’t impair memory, cognitive performance or driving skills. It has no potential for dependence, withdrawal symptoms or rebound anxiety after drug withdrawal.
Many are still concerned with the question: Is Buspar Addictive? The good news is that Buspirone or Buspar Treatment has been proven effective for treating anxiety and does not run the risk of dependency among its users.
Anxiety and Addiction
Frequently, those suffering from addiction also have an anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, that anxiety can exacerbate (or even cause) addiction and manifest in feelings of shame, fear, or unworthiness. At Northbound Treatment Services, we help treat anxiety and addiction in Orange County, putting the sufferer on the path to a full and lasting recovery.
The first step in treating an anxiety disorder is to understand it. Individuals suffering from a generalized anxiety disorder need not be ashamed. Oftentimes, anxiety is caused by a preexisting biological condition that has been made worse by drugs and/or alcohol. For instance, a person who takes Xanax every time he or she feels uncomfortable is on the path to developing severe anxiety alongside an addiction.
At Northbound, our message is that those suffering from anxiety can live more engaged and fulfilling lives. Therapy and medication are the two important components of our effective treatment program. This is not to say that we see medication as the answer. Rather, taking medication for anxiety, under the direction of a psychiatrist, is like taking cholesterol meds that prevent heart attack; diet and exercise habits also need to change.