Commonly known as tranquilizers, benzodiazepines affect the central nervous system in order to reduce anxiety and create feelings of intense relaxation. Doctors prescribe benzodiazepines in extremely large numbers, and they rank among the most commonly used drugs in the U.S. The most recognizable benzodiazepine brand names include Ativan, Halcion, Librium, Valium, and Xanax.
Benzodiazepines can be used to treat insomnia, seizures, anxiety, or alcohol withdrawal. For years they were touted as a safe alternative to opioids because—when taken without other drugs—it is difficult to overdose on benzos. However, adding any other psychoactive drug greatly increases the chances that a person will experience an overdose. Typical side effects of benzo addiction include:
- Severe adverse reactions to alcohol
- Slurred speech
- Blurred vision
- Trouble breathing
In some cases, taking benzodiazepines in high doses can even cause coma, respiratory failure, and death. If someone you love is addicted to benzos, Crestview Recovery in Portland can help. Contact us today by calling 866.262.0531 to learn more about prescription drug addiction rehab treatment options.
Benzodiazepines work so well at relieving anxiety that people easily become dependent on them. Although not typically deadly, benzo withdrawal can be so severe that people may be unable to stop using without help from a drug treatment center.
After periods of sobriety, people are especially susceptible to a benzodiazepine overdose, especially when other drugs are also consumed. If you have been taking benzodiazepines and feel that you have developed an unhealthy dependence, the best approach is to find a good drug rehab in your area and attend treatment.
Benzo Withdrawal Is Nothing to Play With
What Is benzo withdrawal? When people suddenly stop taking benzodiazepines, they can experience a range of withdrawal symptoms that can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. Symptoms of benzo withdrawal can include:
- Muscle pain
These symptoms can be severe and last for weeks or even months. In some cases, people may experience seizures or hallucinations during withdrawal. If you have been taking benzodiazepines and want to stop, it’s important to do so under the care of a medical professional who can help you manage withdrawal symptoms.
Due to their extensive availability and potent side effects, benzodiazepines rank among the most commonly abused drugs in the world. Long-term users may develop physical and chemical dependence and addiction to these powerful narcotics.
Before getting into benzo withdrawal, it’s important to know that doctors are still learning about benzodiazepines. While benzos can be beneficial in people with conditions such as anxiety and seizure disorders, people still develop addictions to these drugs. Some experts believe that genetics play a role in determining how benzos interact with certain people. They also point out that withdrawal happens more often than not. For that reason, it’s best for people to avoid benzos whenever possible. Long-term benzo abuse causes people to become extremely anxious when the drugs are not available.
Overcoming Benzodiazepine Addiction
Below are some facts people need to know about withdrawing from benzodiazepines. Knowing this information is important to help them beat their addiction.
Only Time Can Help
Unfortunately, there’s no magic pill or potion that can speed up the withdrawal process. The only thing that can make the pain and suffering go away is time. Eventually, the symptoms lessen and fade completely.
However, some vitamins and supplements can make benzo withdrawal much worse. People who go through withdrawal should avoid vitamins such as:
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin D
They should also avoid foods such as salmon, honey, sugar substitutes, and foods that contain caffeine. Some common caffeine-containing foods include chocolate and soda. For whatever reason, these foods cause a spike in withdrawal symptoms.
Don’t Taper and Reinstate
There’s a myth that overcoming benzos is easy when people taper or reinstate the drugs, but this should happen in a treatment center. Tapering is when people take smaller doses to step down from the drug over a period of time. Reinstating refers to using the drug again when the symptoms get out of control.
If people are off benzos for more than four weeks, they should avoid ever taking them again. Doing so can backfire and cause worse withdrawal. It’s also worth noting that they can become more tolerant of the drug over time. This tolerance keeps them from achieving satisfaction from the same amount of the drug they previously took.
The best tip that doctors can give people is to stay off of benzos once they come off. Going back can put their lives in danger.
Let Crestview Recovery Provide the Tools That You Need to Overcome Benzo Addiction
At Crestview Recovery, we know the dangers of benzos. We want to help you overcome this addiction and give you the tools that you need to avoid relapse. We provide drug addiction rehab services that you can count on, including:
- Intensive outpatient treatment
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Gender-specific treatment
Crestview Recovery also offers extended care programs. These provide extra time for you to overcome drug addiction and learn how to control it. Not everyone overcomes addiction at the same speed, and extended care programs take that into account.
You Can Recover From Benzo Addiction—Let Us Help You Get There
Don’t let benzo withdrawal prevent you from beating addiction. Get access to the knowledge that you need to beat the disease at Crestview Recovery. Call us today at 866.262.0531 for more information on the benzo withdrawal treatment we offer.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.