Benzodiazepine Addiction

Understanding Benzodiazepine Addiction and Your Treatment Options in San Antonio, TX

We are an outpatient detox center in San Antonio. What makes us unique is that we are able to provide a medical detox from drugs and alcohol in a safe, comfortable, and effective manner on an outpatient basis. We offer an intimate setting with a low staff-to-client ratio, providing each individual the privacy and personalized care they deserve.

By providing a range of medical detox services that address addiction and alcoholism, our comprehensive approach helps clients begin their journey toward long-term recovery. We understand how difficult recovery can be, which is why our entire team is dedicated to your comfort, safety, and sobriety every step of the way.

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What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are part of a class of sedative drugs. They include many prescription tranquilizers people use to manage anxiety, panic, alcohol withdrawal, and other conditions.

Common brand-name benzos include:

  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Ativan (lorazepam)
  • Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • Restoril (temazepam)
  • Halcion (triazolam)

Benzos work by slowing activity in the central nervous system, providing feelings of calm, relaxation, and a reduction in anxiety, fear, and panic. Many benzodiazepines are prescribed for short-term use because of their potential to be habit-forming.

Benzodiazepines Side Effects

Doctors typically prescribe benzodiazepine medications for short-term use to limit the risk of dependence. If people use benzos for longer periods, in higher doses, or in different ways than prescribed, they may experience unwanted side effects, including:

  • Poor motor coordination
  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Mood changes
  • Aggressive or unpredictable behaviors

People rarely have life-threatening overdoses when taking benzos alone. However, combining benzodiazepines and other substances–especially alcohol and other CNS depressants–can increase the likelihood of severe complications and overdose.

Understanding Benzodiazepine Addiction

Benzodiazepines have therapeutic benefits for people living with a wide range of conditions. However, people who take benzos may develop tolerance, dependence, and addiction–and it can happen quickly.

Benzo addiction typically begins with benzo misuse. Misusing benzodiazepines can take many forms, including:

  • Using benzodiazepines recreationally (without a prescription) to get their pleasurable effects
  • Taking your benzodiazepine medications differently than prescribed, such as taking greater or more frequent doses than you were told to
  • Using someone else’s benzodiazepines
  • Taking benzos to counteract the unwanted effects of other substances, such as cocaine

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies benzos as a Schedule IV drug, meaning the drug has an approved medical purpose but has the potential for misuse and addiction. In fact, more than 17% of all benzodiazepine use is considered misuse.

Long-term benzodiazepine misuse can lead to tolerance, meaning a person needs to take more of a substance to get the desired effects. As people develop tolerance, they need to increase the dose or frequency of their benzo use, which can lead to physical and psychological dependence.

Recognizing the Signs of Benzo Addiction

Benzo addiction can disrupt a person’s life, harm their health, and strain their most important relationships. It’s critical to seek treatment for benzo addiction as soon as you recognize a problem to avoid the severe consequences of addiction.

Some of the signs of benzo addiction include:

  • Cravings or urges to use benzos
  • Falling behind in your responsibilities at home, work, or school
  • Isolating yourself from friends and family
  • Neglecting work, hobbies, and social activities because of your substance use
  • Engaging in risk-taking behavior while using benzos
  • Developing tolerance, meaning you need to take more of the drug to get the effects you want
  • Wanting to stop taking benzos but finding that you can’t stop on your own
  • Using larger or more frequent doses of your benzodiazepine medication
  • Stealing, lying, or engaging in illegal activities to get more of the drug
  • Having more than one prescription for a benzo medication from multiple doctors
  • Spending a lot of time getting, using, and recovering from using the drug
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the drug

If you have tried to stop taking a benzodiazepine drug but feel like you can’t, it could be a sign that you need professional treatment and ongoing support to stop.

People do not choose to live with benzodiazepine addiction, and recovery is possible. Comprehensive treatment is available to help you overcome the physical, behavioral, and emotional aspects of substance abuse so you can work toward a healthier, sober future.

Treatment for Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

When a person with benzodiazepine addiction suddenly stops using them, they are likely to experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Increased body temperature

Withdrawal symptoms can develop within hours of a person’s last dose of benzos. While benzo withdrawal is typically not life-threatening, some people experience dangerous seizures, hallucinations, and delirium.

Medical and emotional support is critical during benzodiazepine withdrawal. People with benzo addiction must seek professional treatment, supervision, and support during detox to ensure they can have a safe withdrawal. Typically, withdrawal is treated by using a taper. Individuals are switched to a long-acting benzodiazepine and their dose is gradually reduced, allowing their body to adjust to progressively lower doses without going into full withdrawal.

After detox, people must continue receiving care and supervision in an addiction treatment program. During treatment, people will participate in evidence-based therapies that will help them identify the complex roots of their substance abuse and learn how to avoid relapse in the future.

Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment in San Antonio, TX

At Flourishing Foundations Recovery, we understand that benzodiazepine addiction can be extremely difficult to beat. These medications can become a big part of your life and withdrawal symptoms can be severe, making it hard to quit. However, our caring team is here to help you get past benzodiazepine addiction and find a better, lasting way of living.

We offer different types of treatment to fit your needs, including a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and regular outpatient services. Our trained addiction counselors and mental health experts will work with you to make a plan for after your treatment ends. This plan will give you the support you need to stay on track and avoid going back to your old ways.

Benzodiazepine addiction often comes from other problems, such as unresolved trauma, painful emotions, or mental health conditions. As a result, we don’t just focus on the physical addiction; we also want to help you feel better emotionally. We use therapies that have been proven to work, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and trauma therapy). We believe that understanding why you got addicted is a key step toward breaking free from it.

If you’re looking for help with benzodiazepine addiction in San Antonio, or if you have any questions about what we do, please reach out to our friendly team at Flourishing Foundations Recovery. We’re here to support you as you start a healthier life without benzodiazepines.

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