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Benzodiazepine Abuse in the U.S.

The Rise of Benzo Addiction

Benzodiazepines, also known as “benzos,” are a class of sedative drugs that were first introduced in the 1960s. While they can be highly effective when used in a medical context, they are also dangerously addictive and lead to debilitating, long-term substance abuse problems and can require treatment and benzodiazepine recovery. Since 1996, benzo prescriptions increased by more than 65%, paving the way for the current 13.5 million adults who regularly use the drug. However, for those who have fallen into a cycle of benzo addiction, there are plenty of treatment options which have been proven effective.

How Benzos Affect Your Body

What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzos are a class of sedative drugs that include, most popularly, alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium). They work by depressing the central nervous system, and as a result can effectively treat anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, muscle tension, alcohol withdrawal, and can be used to prevent epileptic seizures.

Before building a dependency, abusers seek the calming, tranquilizing effects of benzodiazepines. However, along with this effect come a series of symptoms which can include slurred speech, muscle weakness, poor coordination, confusion, blurred vision, intense drowsiness, and confusion. When abusing powerful benzos, both mental and physical symptoms can develop within a short period of time and can range from minor to severe. As users build a dependency, they begin to experience more intense Valium or Xanax withdrawal symptoms that only discontinued use can assuage.  While quitting Xanax or Valium may seem like a challenging hurdle to overcome, it is not impossible. With the right treatment program supporting you, you’ll be able to conquer even the toughest addictions and live a life of sobriety and optimism.

Long-term use of benzos can lead to several troubling and unpleasant symptoms. By the point these symptoms have developed, users can generally be classified as having a physical dependence, which means that the brain requires the chemicals within the drug to regulate balance. If users stop taking it once they’ve developed a physical dependence, they generally enter benzodiazepine withdrawal and should seek benzodiazepine recovery.

Of the many long-term abuse symptoms, the following are the most common: anorexia, tremors, memory problems, and ironically anxiety and insomnia, which they are originally prescribed to treat.

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Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction

Benzo Withdrawal & Treatment Options

There are several ways to identify benzo abuse. Many users begin missing important responsibilities like school or work, or they may start neglecting their friends while isolating themselves from their social environment. They can lose weight, have difficulty sleeping, exist in a constant “drowsy” state, and lose themselves within depression and anxiety.

Conquering a benzodiazepine addiction can be challenging and potentially dangerous if attempted without medical supervision or assistance. Whether you or a loved are seeking Xanax withdrawal help, treatment centers provide comprehensive care for people who are entering the recovery process, lessening the risk of any complications developing.

Inpatient treatment programs are the most comprehensive treatment option for recovering from benzo addiction. Once enrolled, patients receive 24/7 around-the-clock care for anywhere from one to three months. They have constant access to medical professionals, a positive environment, and engage in regularly therapy and counseling sessions.

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The Detoxification Process

What to Expect During Benzo Withdrawal

Detox is the process of removing all traces of benzos from the body and allowing the natural production of brain chemicals to resume. However, to get to this point the body must experience the effects of withdrawal. Symptoms as quickly as 10 hours after the last benzo use, depending on the half-life of the benzodiazepine used.  

Still, the duration of the medical detox period varies from person to person, why it’s important to get support from an accredited detox center to monitor the detox process, and even aid with medically assisted treatment to make the process easier. Symptoms of withdrawal may include anxiety, panic disorder, irritability, insomnia, sweating, headaches, and the inability to concentrate. They usually peak in the second week of withdrawal, and then begin to taper off in the next few weeks until they disappear entirely.

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Leave Benzos Behind

Escape Benzo Addiction for Good.

Generally, private insurers offer coverage for addiction treatment. The extent of that coverage is dictated by each individual policy. Navigating your policy may be challenging, and for that reason, most treatment centers keep an insurance specialist on retainer to advise clients.

Cost also varies from center to center and is dictated by the extent of an individual’s stay in a program. Most inpatient programs cost more than outpatient programs, and the cost can also be adjusted based on the services rendered by the benzodiazepine recovery center.

Addictions are hard to overcome, and gentle persistence on your behalf is a crucial step towards initiating the recovery process. If you are seeking help with benzodiazepine withdrawal, Lake Arrowhead Recovery Network is here for you.

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