Navigating the complex landscape of benzodiazepine abuse requires understanding, support, and specialized treatment. In Utah, individuals struggling with benzodiazepine addiction can find solace in tailored recovery programs designed to address their unique needs. We offer a haven for those seeking comprehensive treatment, emphasizing not only physical recovery but also mental and emotional well-being. In this environment, individuals can embark on a transformative journey towards sobriety, guided by experienced professionals and a supportive community.
It is imperative that those who require treatment feel that they will receive quality individualized care and resources for their recovery needs. At Acqua Recovery, we intend to provide just that.
Benzodiazepines, also known as benzos by many, are a class of drugs primarily used for treating anxiety; they are also used to treat several other conditions. Benzos can also be used to treat panic disorders, insomnia, seizures, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and muscle spasms.
The exact mechanism of action of benzodiazepines is unknown, but they appear to work by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters are chemicals that nerves release in order to communicate with other nearby nerves. One of these neurotransmitters is gamma-aminobutyric acid (often referred to as GABA). This particular neurotransmitter can slow down or stop nerve signals in the brain. This leads to a calming effect that is quite pleasing to those using the drug. Benzodiazepines enhance the effect of GABA, thus increasing the likelihood of dependence and addiction.
When individuals misuse prescription benzodiazepines, it is considered benzo addiction (or addiction to benzodiazepines). These medications, including Xanax, Ativan, and Valium, are often prescribed to manage conditions like anxiety or insomnia. However, continuous misuse or overuse can lead to dependency. Dependency is characterized by an overwhelming urge to continue using the drug despite negative consequences, withdrawal symptoms when not using, and an inability to stop or control use. It is worth mentioning that any addiction to benzodiazepines is a serious health concern that requires professional intervention and treatment.
Benzodiazepine addiction is characterized by a set of signs and symptoms that can affect both the body and the mind. Some of these signs and symptoms include the following:
- Lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Unusual sleep patterns such as insomnia or excessive sleep
- Memory problems
- Mood swings
- Social isolation
- Neglect of responsibilities
- Obsessive need to secure the drug
It is essential for these symptoms to be recognized early to facilitate timely intervention and treatment. This early detection allows for immediate medical and therapeutic intervention; this can mitigate harm, facilitate recovery, and reduce the risk of overdose and other dangerous health complications.
Benzo, or benzodiazepine, abuse often stems from a complex interplay of multiple factors. Chief among them is the prescription of these medications for legitimate health conditions like anxiety or insomnia, which can inadvertently lead to dependency due to their calming effects. Another significant cause is the recreational use of benzos, driven by the desire to experience the euphoria or profound relaxation these drugs can induce. Genetic predisposition, underlying mental health issues, and environmental stressors can also contribute to the propensity for benzo abuse.
The misuse of benzos can even begin innocently, with a legitimate prescription from a doctor. Due to their sedative and calming effects, some individuals may begin to rely on them as a coping mechanism. This can quickly spiral into a dangerous pattern of misuse and dependency.
Rehabilitation for benzodiazepine addiction is a critical step towards a healthier life. This process often involves residential treatment, outpatient care, sober living and aftercare programs, and therapy. It’s important to remember that recovery is a journey, not a destination; each individual’s path to sobriety is unique, therefore their treatment should be unique and individualized.
Residential treatment for benzodiazepine rehab involves a comprehensive care program in a live-in facility. These facilities provide 24/7 medical supervision and therapeutic support. Residential treatment programs usually last anywhere from 28 days to six months and are meant for those suffering from severe benzo addiction. This approach to benzo rehab is typically designed to assist individuals who are struggling with addiction to recover safely. It often includes a mix of medical interventions, therapy sessions, educational programs about addiction and recovery. It also could include activities to promote physical health and self-awareness.
Outpatient rehab for benzo addiction is a form of care where patients do not reside in the treatment facility, but attend therapy sessions regularly. This treatment option is more flexible and allows patients to carry on with their daily responsibilities while receiving necessary rehab for their benzo addiction. It includes therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), individual counseling, group therapy, and family counseling; these forms of counseling aim to equip patients with skills to manage their addiction and avoid relapses.
Sober living programs for benzodiazepine addiction rehab provide a supportive and structured environment for individuals recovering from benzo addiction. These programs often serve as a transition point between inpatient rehab and a return to everyday life. The residents live together and support each other in maintaining sobriety and follow strict rules to ensure sobriety and stability. These include regular drug tests, participation in group meetings or therapy sessions, and maintaining a job or attending school.
Aftercare programs for benzodiazepine rehabilitation are designed to provide ongoing support and resources after the initial stage of treatment. These programs typically include individual or group counseling, 12-step meetings, wellness activities, and educational sessions to help prevent relapse. Some programs may also offer vocational training and housing assistance to help individuals rebuild their lives post-rehabilitation.
Recovery from benzodiazepine addiction can be a challenging journey, but with the right support and therapy options, it is possible. At Acqua Recovery in Utah, we offer comprehensive therapy programs for benzodiazepine addiction. Our programs incorporate a combination of cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy, REBT, EMDR, and medically supervised detoxification.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for benzodiazepine addiction focuses on helping individuals understand and change thought patterns leading to destructive behavior. Unlike traditional forms of treatment, CBT addresses the underlying issues that may contribute to substance abuse. During therapy sessions, individuals learn to identify triggers for drug use, develop coping strategies to deal with stress, and improve decision-making skills.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a therapeutic approach used to manage and treat various mental health disorders; this includes benzodiazepine addiction. It is an approach that emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment. The therapy focuses on helping individuals develop new skills and strategies to manage painful emotions. In the context of benzodiazepine addiction, DBT can help individuals understand the triggers for their drug use. As a result, they can develop healthier coping mechanisms and build a life worth living without substance dependence.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach developed by psychologist Albert Ellis in the mid-1950s. REBT helps individuals identify irrational beliefs and negative thought patterns that may lead to emotional or behavioral issues (like benzo abuse). The therapy then assists these individuals in challenging and changing these harmful thoughts and developing healthier beliefs and attitudes.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy that helps treat individuals suffering from benzodiazepine abuse. This therapeutic approach aims to diminish negative feelings associated with traumatic memories; as previously mentioned, this is often a contributing factor in benzo abuse. EMDR incorporates eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left-right stimulation, such as hand taps or sounds. These techniques can help benzodiazepine users process their experiences and reduce cravings, aiding in sustained recovery.
Medically assisted treatment (MAT) for benzodiazepine abuse involves a combination of safe and effective medications and behavioral therapies. This comprehensive approach is designed to treat the whole person to achieve recovery and to help sustain it. In detox, medications are used under medical supervision to ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with benzodiazepine discontinuation.
There are millions of individuals suffering from benzo addiction on a day to day basis. For those who need help, benzo rehab is available in Utah at Acqua Recovery. If you or a loved one would like to find out more, you can contact us here.
Dr. Pickrell is a board-certified psychiatrist with interests in addiction and psychiatry. He strives to identify the underlying cause of substance use. His understanding of addiction as the overlapping symptoms of biopsychosocial development is the foundation to his care model. He is committed to helping both patients and families understand that addiction is a treatable medical illness. He has been involved in the treatment of addiction for the last 17 years and completed his residency training at the University of Utah.