What are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are a class of prescription sedatives with a high potential for abuse. Commonly referred to a “benzos”, these drugs contain chemical compounds that slow down the central nervous system, inducing feelings of calm and relief from stress and anxiety. Some of the most prevalent types of benzodiazepines include Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Xanax.
In addition to being prescribed for anxiety, benzodiazepines may also be prescribed to treat seizure disorders or insomnia. Coinciding with the opioid epidemic are what many people are referring to as the Xanax epidemic, spurred in part by a rapid increase in benzodiazepine prescriptions. Between 1996 and 2013, prescriptions for drugs like Xanax and Ativan increase by 67 percent. And between 1999 and 2015, fatal overdoses from benzodiazepines multiplied sevenfold.
The Dangers of Benzodiazepine Dependence
It is not always easy to tell when benzodiazepine use turns into an addiction, though any regular use is considered to be a cause for concern. Signs of dependency may include:
- memory problems
- intense fatigue
- impaired motor functioning
- impaired cognitive functioning
Less obvious signs may include headaches, dizziness or weakness, sleep disturbances, fevers, and a lowered pulse or blood pressure.
What Is Benzodiazepine Syndrome?
Benzodiazepines are dangerously addictive for two reasons. To start, they are easy to build up a tolerance to. While drugs like Xanax are most useful for managing severe anxiety symptoms like panic attacks, many users rely on them instead for day-to-day mood maintenance, quickly finding it difficult to function on an even keel without them. Benzodiazepines are also frequently mixed with other substances like drugs and alcohol, which increases their potency and amplifies their risks. This danger becomes particularly common as individuals rely on benzodiazepines for daily anxiety management.
When stopped abruptly, benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can include grand-mal seizures, severe insomnia, psychotic reactions, and other incredibly serious complications. Benzodiazepine withdrawal is one of the most dangerous detoxes, and must be done under the care of professional medical providers. Done improperly, withdrawal can cause long-term complications or even death.
Get Professional Detox Now
At Retreat, we approach Xanax addiction treatment and treatment of all other benzodiazepines with a process that starts with a closely monitored and managed detox. Under the supervision of trained professionals, individuals receive medical monitoring in comfortable rooms, as well as on-sight psychological care and 24/7 nursing assistance. After the detox process, patients are transitioned into our rehabilitation program, where they can begin the journey to a sober life.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Xanax addiction, Ativan addiction, or addiction to any other type of benzodiazepine, we encourage you to seek professional assistance. Because of the severe dangers of the benzodiazepine withdrawal process, expert care is required for safe detoxification and to navigate the difficult road of recovery.
Retreat Behavioral Health provides patients with individualized treatment programs designed to address their unique needs and objectives. After detoxification, patients will receive comprehensive psychological and holistic care, with therapeutic modalities that include cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and group therapy. We also offer additional alternative treatments such as culinary therapy, gardening therapy, equine-assisted therapy, and massage.
Benzodiazepine tolerances and dependencies build up fast, so whether you are dealing with a current problem or feel that you might be on the brink of one, the time to get help is now. We accept admissions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are always on hand to answer questions or concerns. For more information, please contact us at 855.859.8810.