If you’ve visited a doctor for anxiety, panic attacks, seizures, or insomnia, you may have been given benzodiazepines. These medications, also known as benzos, are safe and effective when used as prescribed. However, they can also turn addictive. If you find yourself or a loved one using benzodiazepines more and more frequently, without a prescription, or to the point that it interrupts daily life, benzo addiction treatment may be the next step.
Signs You May Need Benzo Addiction Treatment
Some of the most commonly prescribed benzos include Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Ambien, and Klonopin. These drugs slow down the central nervous system, relax muscles, and increase dopamine, a brain chemical associated with positive feelings.
People may take benzos simply for the euphoria or “high” of the dopamine rush. After a long time, they may develop a higher tolerance to the drugs and need more to achieve the same effect. If you take more benzos than you’re prescribed, you risk developing a chemical dependence.
Even moderate doses of benzos can produce troubling symptoms, like:
- Extreme fatigue
- Slurred speech
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Memory and thinking problems
- Nausea and vomiting
Higher doses can result in dangerous symptoms like dizziness or difficulty breathing. When benzos are taken with alcohol, the combination can result in serious illness or even death.
Benzo addiction treatment can safely taper you off the medication—if you’ve become addicted, it’s risky to simply stop the drug on your own since you might experience painful withdrawal symptoms.
Your First Visits to a Boston Benzo Rehab
When you enter a Boston benzo rehab, the first step is to stabilize your body and mind. During the stabilization or detox process, medical staff will ensure the drug is safely removed from your system.
The detox specifics will look different depending on which drug you’ve been taking, how long you’ve been using it, and any other health issues you have. A benzo rehab center will consider your entire medical history to ensure your treatment is safe and effective.
Under a doctor’s supervision, you may taper off the drug by taking increasingly smaller doses over several weeks and months. Doctors and medical professionals will monitor your withdrawal symptoms, which may include:
- Tension, anxiety, and panic
- Heart palpitations
- Muscle stiffness
- Cravings for benzos
If more severe symptoms develop, like seizures, you’ll receive medical treatment immediately.
As your doses decrease and your withdrawal symptoms improve, you’ll work with the doctor to adjust your tapering schedule. Doctors may prescribe medication designed to ease the pain of withdrawal. The length of the detox process is different for everyone.
Once you’re stabilized, your treatment team will set up a plan for your time in a Boston benzo rehab. They’ll evaluate your physical and mental health and take into account any other circumstances that may affect your treatment.
Long-Term Recovery in Benzo Rehab Centers
Slowing down or discontinuing your benzo use is the first step towards recovery, but there are many steps ahead. The next part of benzo addiction treatment is learning to manage your life substance-free.
Whether you attend an inpatient (residential) or outpatient program, you’ll have access to plenty of resources, including therapy and counseling. Your treatment plan will probably include some form of therapy, especially if you have a mental health condition like generalized anxiety, panic disorder, or depression.
Individual and group therapy will help you learn healthy ways to handle life’s stresses and cope with past trauma. When you have constructive coping mechanisms for anxious or panicked feelings, you’re less likely to turn to drugs as a way to relieve the pressure.
Peer support is another crucial component of long-term recovery in a Boston benzo rehab. In group counseling, you and other participants share your experiences and struggles and work together to build strong problem-solving and interpersonal skills. If your family is willing to be involved in your treatment, family therapy with a trained facilitator can help resolve underlying conflicts and strengthen your bonds.
Relapse prevention and aftercare are crucial to benzo addiction treatment as well. After you leave the benzo rehab center, you’ll stay connected to support groups and networks that can keep you focused on sobriety. Clients who want a more structured living situation might transition into a sober living space.
Successful Benzo Addiction Treatment Starts at GBAC
The benzo addiction treatment program at Greater Boston Addiction Centers offers empowering, comprehensive, and evidence-based treatment for the body and mind. Our partial hospitalization program, and our daytime and evening intensive outpatient programs, encourage clients to take an active role in their own recovery. We offer a variety of support groups, including gender-specific and LGBTQ+-friendly treatment. And our staff can refer you to nearby sober living houses.
Benzo addiction doesn’t have to take over your life or the life of anyone you love. Contact us at 877.920.6583 to learn how we can help.