Recover from Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Our Costa Mesa Benzo Rehab
Comprehensive Benzo Addiction Treatment
Last year, 16% of overdose deaths involving opioids also involved benzodiazepines.
Colloquially known as “benzos”, benzodiazepines represent a big portion of the opioid crisis or the rapidly increasing rate of opioid addiction and subsequent overdose. This crisis is also marked by a rise in overdose-related deaths.
If you or someone you love is in the Orange County area considering benzo addiction treatment, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you can expect from the treatment process and how our benzo rehab center in Costa Mesa, CA, can help.
What Exactly Are Benzos?
Benzodiazepines (Benzos) are often prescribed for anxiety disorders and insomnia. While they can help treat these disorders, improper use can quickly cause drug dependence and addiction.
Benzos are considered downers, and they have an anxiolytic and sedative effect. This is the reason they are so effective for sleeplessness, anxiety, and other tension-based disorders.
Though very effective in what they do, benzos do have the potential for abuse. When abused, they can provide a sense of euphoria and manipulate pathways in the brain sparking addictive behavior. Benzos can indirectly stimulate dopamine release in the brain.
This is also how your brain’s reward mechanism works. In other words, your brain feels rewarded every time benzo use stimulates dopamine. Taking too many benzos, or taking them for longer than prescribed, can cause your brain to rely on the pills for dopamine, resulting in addiction and dependence.
Benzo Detox and Withdrawal
After taking benzos for a long enough period of time, users develop a tolerance. This means higher and higher doses are required to feel the effects of the drug. Tolerance is a sign of mental and physical dependence.
When you’re addicted to benzos, your body relies on benzos to function normally. When your body depends on benzos, withdrawal symptoms will emerge when you stop taking the drug.
Symptoms of Benzo Withdrawal
Withdrawal from benzos is what makes it among the hardest drugs to get clean from. Withdrawal symptoms can be both painful physically and mentally, which often leads to continued usage and relapse.
These symptoms have the potential to be life-threatening depending on the severity of the addiction, particularly if the user stops “cold turkey.” This usually occurs when the individual has consumed high doses or has a long history of addiction.
Symptoms of withdrawal start within eight hours for short-acting benzos, and within one to two days for long-acting benzos. The severe symptoms usually last for up to 10 days.
In extreme cases, the individual is at risk for seizures, suicidal ideations, and other psychotic reactions.
Because benzos are often prescribed for mental disorders like anxiety and insomnia, symptoms of these disorders can return worse after detoxing from benzos. This is known as the rebound effect.
This effect is separate from the withdrawal effect. While withdrawal symptoms are caused by the body adapting to the end of benzo use, the rebound effect is the return of the existing underlying mental health issues.
The most severe anxiety and insomnia of the rebound effect usually lasts a few days. Lasting symptoms of withdrawal such as anxiety, drug-seeking behavior, and vivid dreams can last for months after withdrawal.
The Benzodiazepine Rehabilitation Process
Because of the potential severity of physical and mental symptoms, it’s advised that withdrawal be completed with medical guidance. This is known as drug detox.
The first step of benzodiazepine rehab is removing the drug from the user’s system. The detox process is both harrowing and potentially fatal for those with severe dependency. This is why a physician should oversee the process, monitoring vital signs 24/7 and checking for dangerous symptoms like seizures and suicidal ideation.
Furthermore, a supervised detox can ease the discomfort of the withdrawal process. This reduces the risk of relapse. If handled alone, the detox process can be so uncomfortable the addict immediately reverts to drug-seeking behavior.
A guiding physician and an experienced group of caretakers can keep you comfortable during the process, making it easier to stick with. They will also curtail any drug-seeking behavior so that you can see your recovery through to the end.
Slowly Reducing Use
A medical detox might involve slowly tapering down on benzo use rather than quitting cold turkey because some addictions run deep and have a long history of high doses. Quitting leaves the user at high risk of death.
In these cases, physicians will prescribe lower doses of benzos or a less potent type. This will keep the symptoms manageable while still weaning the patient off of the pills.
Medications to Assist Detox
Occasionally, doctors will opt to use medication to manage symptoms during the withdrawal period. These can assist with the rebound effect and post-acute withdrawals.
Common medications include Buspirone, which treats anxiety disorders. This can help manage the anxiety, sleeplessness, and depression caused by withdrawal.
Another drug often used is Flumazenil, which can be used to treat overdoses. It also reduces the effects and symptoms of withdrawal.
While the short-term effects of withdrawal and detox last only a few weeks, longer-term anxiety, cravings, disturbed sleep, and other symptoms last for months after withdrawal. It is during this time that former addicts are prone to relapse.
It has been proven that continued support and therapy after withdrawal result in a lower relapse rate after addiction. When you consider the frequency of underlying mental conditions in benzo addicts, this is especially true.
Benzos are often used to control mental health symptoms, and withdrawing from benzos can leave former addicts without a coping mechanism. For this reason, inpatient benzo addiction rehab or outpatient therapy are strongly recommended.
Continued group and individual therapy provide the former addict with a support system that is more effective for mental health symptoms.
Continued outpatient therapy makes it easier to maintain sobriety and continue a healthy lifestyle, free of addiction.
Benzo Rehab in Costa Mesa
You don’t have to confront your benzo addiction alone. Help is available, and you can undergo your benzodiazepine rehabilitation with the guidance of experts.
At Safe & Sound Treatment in Costa Mesa, we know addiction. We’ve guided many addicts through withdrawal and have provided many people with a new, bright future without benzos.
Please look at our treatment plans, and reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We’re always available to help.