Benzodiazepine Addiction

Benzodiazepines are some of the most widely abused and dangerous prescription drugs in the world. Some of the most popular types of benzos are Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Xanax. When abused, benzos can become both physically and psychologically addictive, meaning that individuals often need to check into a benzo detox center such as ours in Orange County, California, to get the treatment needed to overcome their dependency issues.

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines, more commonly known as “benzos,” are a large class of psychoactive drugs that include Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Xanax, as previously mentioned. They are prescribed to treat a variety of disorders and symptoms, such as anxiety, panic disorders, muscle spasms, sleeplessness, and seizures. They usually produce feelings of sedation and relaxation in the person taking them. When an individual ingests a benzo, it slows down the individual’s brain activity. Since Benzodiazepines are proven to increase the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid, also known as GABA, the medication works to completely slow bodily nerve impulses. There are many variations of benzos; however, two of the most common categories are short-acting and long-acting.

  • The long-acting strands of benzodiazepine tend to stay in the user’s body for a longer duration of time (several hours). Two examples of long-acting kinds of benzos include Valium and Librium. 
  • The short-acting strands of benzos stay in the user’s body for only a few hours. Examples of short-acting benzos include Ativan and Xanax.

Benzos are usually taken in the form of a capsule, tablet, or pill. They are very rarely administered to a patient as an injection. 

Each category of benzodiazepines is prescribed for an individual’s specific needs and is therefore classified by the DEA based on their dangerous potential for addiction. 

While some people benefit from a careful and thought-out course of benzodiazepine drugs, others are easily addicted, because benzos are habit forming. Long-term use can lead to tolerance, which means that lower doses will become ineffective and patients will need higher doses. That’s why benzos are some of the most widely abused and dangerous prescription drugs in the world. 

Causes of Benzodiazepine Addictionand Abuse

Benzodiazepines are a form of habit-forming sedatives which essentially means that gaining an addiction to them is possible if not taken exactly as directed. Individuals who begin to take this drug excessively may begin to feel a certain kind of high, which can lead to a sensation of an unsafe level of relaxation. 

Eventually, a user’s tolerance to the drug’s effects builds as they attempt to emulate the high they felt initially. 

Unfortunately, because the drug itself has become so easily available to the public, it has led to an overall increase in benzodiazepine addiction. 

Signs and Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Abuse

Benzodiazepines are powerful depressants that have a profound effect on one’s behavior and physical appearance. Symptoms of abuse greatly depend on one’s length of use, frequency of use, and the quantities taken of the drug. Many of the effects of benzodiazepine addiction cause serious disruptions in the life of the user, as well as the lives of his or her loved ones. Both physical and psychological side effects occur because benzos impact the body and the mind, which is what causes severe dependency.

Some of the most common symptoms of benzo addiction that drug detox and treatment centers work to treat include:

  • Irritability
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Impaired judgment
  • Hostility
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Poor coordination and balance
  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Memory impairment
  • Reduced libido
  • Increase or decrease in appetite
  • Fainting
  • Slow or fast heart rate

If left untreated, the long-term effects of benzodiazepine addiction can be devastating in every area of a person’s life. Some problems resulting from chronic benzodiazepine abuse include:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Seizures
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Memory problems
  • Sexual problems
  • Depression
  • Cognitive dysfunction

The risk of death also increases if an individual uses these drugs along with other mind-altering drugs, such as opioids. 

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Treatment for Benzodiazepine Addiction

The withdrawal symptoms associated with Benzodiazepines can be considered quite severe. Because of this fact, it is not advised for individuals to attempt detoxification without the active supervision of an addiction specialist or specific medical personnel who are trained to care for addiction emergencies. An addiction specialist is well versed on how to gradually reduce the amount of the drug in the user’s system on a daily basis until the drug usage is safely and ultimately discontinued.

This slow and steady process helps to minimize the severe withdrawal symptoms so that the ultimate comfort and safety of the patient is constantly maintained. 

What is Detox?

Detox or detoxification is the process of ridding the body of all addictive substances such as illicit drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol. For both physical and psychological reasons, it is essential that a client be substance-free when participating in addiction treatment. Abstinence allows clients to meaningfully access and address the deep-seeded emotional, psychological, and social issues that underpin addiction, while minimizing safety risks.

Depending on the severity and type of addiction, the length of time in a detox center can vary. Detox addresses the physical withdrawal symptoms of substance use through individualized interventions and 24/7 monitoring by qualified professionals. Therapeutic groups, classes, sessions, and assignments are also provided so that clients may begin healing their minds as well as their bodies. Drug detox is only the beginning and should not be utilized as a standalone treatment. The next phase of the recovery journey typically involves either residential treatment or an outpatient program to facilitate long-lasting recovery.

What to Expect During Drug and Alcohol Detox

Overcoming drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms is a challenging part of recovery and something that can deter individuals from getting the help that they need. Oftentimes individuals will revert back to drug or alcohol use early in the process to cope with difficult withdrawal symptoms. During drug and alcohol detox, the body rids itself of toxins and begins relearning how to function without their negative influence.

Common withdrawal symptoms experienced during detoxing include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Drug cravings
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia

Our staff aims to minimize or alleviate these symptoms and reduce cravings to empower each client to make it through this difficult phase. Medication-assisted treatments , group and individual counseling, drug and alcohol education, 12-Step meetings, and peer support all help clients through this process. As the body heals, the mind clears, and the soul becomes stronger, both cravings and withdrawal symptoms typically become less intense, and clients are well-prepared to face the next phase of their healing journey.

Why You Should NOT Detox at Home

It can be tempting for individuals to try to detox at home. They believe that if they stop using drugs or alcohol cold turkey, they can facilitate their own recovery. However, this can be a very dangerous decision. Withdrawal symptoms vary in severity from person to person and can range from uncomfortable to deadly. More severe symptoms can include delirium tremens (DTs), hallucinations, seizures, rapid heart-rate, cardiac arrest, and other symptoms that can worsen quickly.

When detoxing at home, clients do not have access to immediate care, and their health is not being closely monitored. At a drug and alcohol detox center in Orange County like Northbound’s 180, staff is available to help alleviate symptoms of withdrawal, keep clients more comfortable, and provide immediate treatment in emergency situations.

Get Detox and Rehab Treatment for Yourself or a Loved One Today

Set yourself or a loved one up for safety and greater success in recovery by entering a supervised detox program today. Northbound provides clients with the care, support, encouragement, and guidance they need to make recovery a reality. From the detox center, our clients can transition into one of our residential treatment programs, outpatient programs , or another program that aligns with their needs. Make drug detox a safer, more comfortable experience at Northbound, and build a solid foundation for your recovery.

The Benefits of Our Benzo Detox

Our Detox Drug Addiction Treatment Orange County locationoffers detox services that have a variety of different benefits for a benzo user. Some of the benefits that come from participation in benzo detox centers in Orange County, California, include the following:

  • Removing physical threat – When someone is abusing benzos, they quickly put themselves in a position where their physical health is at risk. The continued use of benzos can cause digestive issues, respiratory depression, headaches, muscle weakness, and even death. By participating in Northbound’s Detox Program, an individual can begin ending their use, so they can reclaim their physical health by no longer contributing to producing these side effects.
  • Restoring mental clarity – When they’re enrolled in Detox,individuals can gradually wean themselves off of benzos, so they experience fewer withdrawal symptoms, but also detox properly. Doing this can help an individual rid their body of the presence of benzos in a safe and nurturing environment prior to moving forward with additional therapy.

Detox is usually the first stop on the road to sobriety for an individual who is abusing benzodiazepines, because not only will this process help clear their systems safely, but it also helps lay the foundation for a successful recovery. At our 180 Detox center located at our drug addiction treatment orange county locationindividuals can remove the physical threat that they are placing upon themselves through their continual use, as well as start restoring their mental clarity in ways that will promote long-lasting treatment. These benefits, plus many more, help individuals struggling with benzo addiction get the help they need to move forward in their recovery efforts.I

Learn More About What We Treat

Getting Off Heroin

Heroin is an illegal drug derived from the opium poppy plant and made from morphine. Heroin’s street names include dope, smack, horse and junk, and it can appear as a white or brown powder or a sticky substance called black tar heroin. Heroin addiction is a rampant disease that claims thousands of lives every year. It’s only getting worse, as many people use heroin as a last-resort drug to feed their prescription painkiller addiction. The opioid epidemic has taken the United States by storm, and many people are dying from overdose every day. Though prescription painkiller addiction and abuse cases are currently much higher than heroin addiction cases, the numbers can shift easily due to the chemical similarity among the opiates.


Opiates and Opioids Addiction Help

In the past, the term “opiate” was used to describe only substances naturally derived from the opium poppy plant, such as heroin, whereas the “opioid” label comprised synthetic and semi-synthetic drugs that are modified versions of these opiate building blocks, such as the medically prescribed OxyContin and Fentanyl—prescribed under brand names Duragesic, Actiq, and Fentora—and Fentanyl’s street drug, the extra-deadly, widely available Carfentanil. In more recent years the terms opiate and opioid have been used interchangeably, with opioid being the more common blanket term that refers to all opiates, including those that are natural, synthetic, and semi-synthetic.


Addiction to Prescription Drugs

Aside from opioids such as OxyContin (see above), common prescriptions that become addictive include Vicodin, Morphine, and Valium. Some people obtain these prescriptions illegally while other people become addicted through no fault of their own; they take their pills like the doctor ordered, and then find that when it’s time to go off medication, that they are faced with withdrawal symptoms. In any case, addiction to prescription pills is as serious an addiction as any other and requires substance abuse treatment.


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