Detox for Benzodiazepine Drugs at Wellness Retreat Recovery
Benzodiazepine drugs are a class that is commonly prescribed to treat symptoms of anxiety disorders. These substances work in the brain by boosting the release and the impact of a neurotransmitter called GABA on receptors within the brain. Although the body naturally contains these receptors and this particular neurotransmitter, benzodiazepines alter the effect of both. This results in sedation, relaxation, and a reduction in anxiety. Common prescription benzodiazepine drugs include Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, and Valium. Benzodiazepines are often prescribed to treat symptoms of anxiety disorders and issues such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Specific phobias
- Acute anxiety
Side Effects of Benzodiazepine Drugs
The function of benzodiazepine drugs within the brain produces side effects including:
- Anticonvulsant effects
- Muscle relaxation
- Weakness or dizziness
- Reduction of anxiety
- Increase in appetite
Although benzodiazepine drugs work to reduce symptoms of anxiety, in some people, when taken over a long period of time, they can actually increase overall anxiety. Benzodiazepines can also cause fatal overdoses, mood swings and disturbances, confusion, and a physical and psychological dependence. Benzodiazepine dependence is particularly dangerous because like alcohol, the withdrawal from these drugs can be fatal.
Many people end up with a benzodiazepine dependence due to the need to manage and treat an underlying anxiety disorder. Symptoms of anxiety can range from mild to debilitating, and often include the following:
- Panic/anxiety attacks
- Rapid heartbeat and pulse
- Racing thoughts
- Excessive sweating
- Difficulty breathing or feeling as though one can’t catch their breath
- Trouble sleeping or eating
- Excessive worry and fear
- Poor memory and concentration
- Feeling “paralyzed” or unable to leave the home
- The feeling of dying or having a heart attack
- Obsessive, compulsive unwanted thoughts
- An overwhelming sense of dread
These symptoms absolutely require treatment in order for people to heal and function normally. Unfortunately, oftentimes the temporary relief benzodiazepines provide morph into a benzodiazepine dependence, which makes all of these symptoms worse- and adds new, life-threatening ones.
Benzodiazepine dependence can occur as the result of being prescribed these drugs over a period of time by a doctor, or through buying and abusing them illicitly. Whether someone gets their benzodiazepines from the doctor or from a drug dealer, benzodiazepine dependence can painful, uncomfortable, and potentially fatal symptoms during active use and well as during withdrawal.
Withdrawal of Benzodiazepine Drugs
Some people attempt to detox from substances on their own. This is generally far less successful than detoxing in a medically-supervised environment, for any drug. However, with benzodiazepine dependence, not only is it generally less successful, it can also be life-threatening. That’s because some of the symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal can be fatal, similarly to alcohol withdrawal. The symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal include the following:
|Nervous ticks||Anxiety/panic attacks||Double vision|
|High blood pressure||Fatigue/weakness||Hypertension|
|Insomnia/nightmares||Memory loss||Mood swings|
These symptoms are both uncomfortable and dangerous. That’s why a medically supervised detox program is always the best option for people who want to address their benzodiazepine dependence in a safe way.Wellness Retreat Recovery offers a detox program for people who suffer from benzodiazepine dependence. Patients who suffer from this condition are all individually assessed by a doctor upon intake. Then, the staff creates a unique treatment plan for each client to most effectively address their symptoms and their needs.
Patients who suffer from benzodiazepine dependence are often prescribed medications such as anticonvulsants to control the more dangerous aspects of withdrawal, such as seizures. Staff closely monitor patients to prevent these symptoms and to safely treat them when and if they do arise. In addition to anticonvulsants, patients at Wellness Retreat Recovery also have access to medications to address the uncomfortable aspects of withdrawal, such as nausea and insomnia. Throughout the process, the partner physicians are on-call 24/7 to ensure that clients are as comfortable as possible at every stage. Therapists are also present on staff to help clients process the mood swings and often difficult emotions that come alongside withdrawal from benzodiazepines.
Addressing Anxiety without Benzos
However, managing withdrawal symptoms for patients who suffer from benzodiazepine dependence doesn’t adequately address the real problem: an underlying anxiety disorder. At Wellness, we believe that in addition to a medically-supervised detox, these clients need and deserve comprehensive treatment for any conditions that may have led them to use benzodiazepines in the first place, such as anxiety disorders. We treat these conditions in patients through individual therapy, group therapy, and holistic treatments such as meditation and acupuncture.
Through working with our clients, we develop sustainable treatment plans that can address their anxiety in the long-run (even after they leave treatment) without the use of addictive drugs. Our goal is not simply a successful detox, but to set our patients up for health and happiness throughout their lives. We work toward this goal by addressing all client needs, including underlying disorders that can contribute to addictive substance use.Benzodiazepine dependence can cause chaos in the lives of sufferers. Many people want to quit but are unable to do so without help.
Additionally, attempting to detox without from benzodiazepines can lead to a relapse- or even worse, fatality from seizures. Fortunately, there are options for people who suffer from this condition. At Wellness Retreat Recovery, we work individually with each client to ensure that they experience a safe and comfortable detox process. And the work doesn’t end there. After detox is complete, we work with clients to treat the underlying conditions they may be suffering from, to build coping skills, and to find a way to live free of addictive drugs. At Wellness, we don’t just do detox- we help set clients up with all the tools they need to live genuinely happy and healthy lives without being dependent on drugs.