Beach House Center for Recovery is a state-of-the-art addiction treatment campus in beautiful Juno Beach, Florida. We offer personalized care for a broad spectrum of substance use disorders, helping a diverse population of patients address and overcome benzo addiction.
What are Benzos?
Benzodiazepines (benzos) are controlled substances that address a variety of neurological disorders. The medications work by reducing nervous system activity. However, a significant reduction in nervous system activity can have potentially serious medical consequences.
Though benzodiazepines have great clinical value, there is a high potential for improper use, benzodiazepine addiction, and overdose. All benzodiazepine drugs carry a significant risk of addiction and must be consumed under a physician’s direction and supervision. As controlled substances, benzos are illegal to use or possess without a doctor’s prescription.
The most common benzodiazepines available in the United States include the following prescription medications:
- Xanax: Also sold under the generic name alprazolam. A common anti-anxiety medication.
- Klonopin: Also sold under the generic name clonazepam. An anxiety and seizure medication.
- Tranxene: Also sold under the generic name clorazepate. Used to treat anxiety disorders and seizures.
- Valium: Also found under the generic name diazepam. Used in medication-assisted alcohol withdrawal and to treat muscle spasms and seizure disorders.
- Restoril: Also sold under the generic name temazepam. Used to treat sleep disorders.
- Halcion: Also sold under the generic name triazolam. Used to treat sleep disorders.
The nervous system transmits and relays messages throughout your body using electrical and chemical signals called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters attach themselves to corresponding cells with the correct receptors. Once the neurotransmitters have found the cells with the correct receptors, a physiological response occurs.
Benzodiazepine drugs facilitate the release of a particular neurotransmitter — gamma-aminobutyric acid (GAMA). This chemical response inhibits nervous system activity. The reduction in nervous system activity can achieve the following reactions:
- Anterograde Amnesia: Benzodiazepines interfere with the creation of new memories. Drugs with this effect are typically used to initiate general anesthesia before surgical procedures.
- Anxiolytic: Benzodiazepines have an anti-anxiety effect. Medications with anxiolytic properties treat panic disorders and other anxiety-related issues.
- Sedative/Hypnotic: Benzodiazepines slow down brain activity, which can address various issues. Benzos are prescribed to promote sleep in people struggling with insomnia. They are also used to treat seizures and seizure-related medical complications.
Signs and Symptoms of a Benzodiazepine Addiction
Indications of benzodiazepine addiction can vary depending upon the individual. A person’s likelihood of addiction differs depending upon several factors. Individuals with a family history of addiction are often more likely to develop substance use disorders, and some are more vulnerable to substance use disorders because of enhanced neurological responses to stimulants or depressants.
Many people struggling with a benzo addiction will experience anxiety and insomnia; the symptoms that they used the drugs to correct.
Symptoms can mimic a variety of substance use disorders and include the following:
- Behavioral changes
- Lack of attention to hygiene
- Physical weakness
- Sleep walking
- Memory loss
- High-risk behavior
- Dramatic mood swings
- Diminished judgment
- An overwhelming need to use the substance
- Use of the substance despite serious negative consequences
- Neglect of personal and professional responsibilities
When taken in medically appropriate doses, benzodiazepines are effective treatments for anxiety and sleep disorders, causing minimal side effects. However, consistent misuse causes the body to adapt, leading to addiction and, eventually, physical dependency. This greatly increases the chance of accidental overdose. When taken in high doses, toxicity could occur.
One of the most significant indications of benzodiazepine addiction is the inability to cease the drug due to fear of experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms. In a non-medically supervised environment, benzo withdrawal can be life-threatening. Extreme withdrawal symptoms can trigger cardiac arrest or respiratory failure.
Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can include the following symptoms:
- Heart palpitations
- Inability to breathe steadily
- Difficulty sleeping
- Significant Anxiety
- Changes in blood pressure
Because benzo withdrawal can cause potentially dangerous medical complications, it is critical to receive constant medical supervision during the detoxification process. Not only does this ensure the patient’s safety, but supervised detox also significantly minimizes discomfort.
Beach House Center for Recovery: Our Benzodiazepine Addiction Approach
If you’re worried about the devastating effects of benzodiazepine dependency for yourself, a friend, or a family member, we can help. At Beach House, we offer a customized treatment program with a low patient-to-therapist ratio to address the core factors contributing to benzo addiction. In addition to holistic addiction treatments, including bio-bed biosound therapy, massage therapy, yoga, and meditation, our alumni program offers ongoing support during recovery.
At Beach House, we believe the opposite of addiction is love and connection. Learn to love yourself again, discover the powerful connections within the recovery community, and find freedom from addiction. For additional information, contact our compassionate and helpful admissions counselors today.