Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment

Benzodiazepines, when used properly, can help individuals manage anxiety, seizures, insomnia, and other physical and mental health issues. But when used improperly or without a prescription, benzodiazepines can be highly addictive and are linked to a variety of health risks. Find out more about how you or a loved one can overcome benzodiazepine addiction.

Even though benzodiazepine medications were created to help people deal with seizures, anxiety, and sleep disorders, many people find themselves addicted to various types of these prescription drugs. The medication effectively calms the body by slowing down activity in the central nervous system, which combats insomnia. Benzodiazepines also make the brain less sensitive to stimulation, which can help prevent seizures, panic attacks, and anxiety. Unfortunately, however, benzodiazepines are habit-forming. When they’re misused, they can have devastating effects on the body.

Misusing benzodiazepines can lead to a physical dependence on the drugs. Taking higher doses of benzodiazepines or consuming them more frequently than prescribed can also lead to addiction. Benzodiazepine addiction can cause cognitive decline, impaired judgment, memory problems, muscle weakness, slurred speech, an increased risk of accidents, and overdose, which can be fatal. Luckily, benzodiazepine addiction can be treated. Detox along with medical stabilization, behavioral therapy, peer support groups, relapse prevention, and aftercare can help individuals overcome an addiction to benzodiazepines.

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines (pronounced ‘ben-zoh-die-AZ-a-peens’) are prescription drugs that doctors prescribe for short-term use. This type of medication, which is usually prescribed for 2 to 4 weeks, slows down the functioning of the brain and body. Because of this, doctors use benzodiazepines to help relieve stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Benzodiazepines can also be used to treat alcohol withdrawal and epilepsy. Though effective, benzodiazepines can be particularly risky when they are used for a long period of time.

Even though benzodiazepines have been approved for medical use in the United States, they are considered psychoactive drugs. This means that benzodiazepines can alter users’ perception, mood, and behavior. The more often individuals take benzodiazepines, the more they develop a drug-taking habit. In time, that habit can change their mood, actions, and the way they interpret their environment and other external stimuli.

Currently, there are more than a dozen prescription benzodiazepines, but most of them fall into two categories: hypnotics or anxiolytics.

  • Hypnotics are shorter-acting benzodiazepines. These types of benzodiazepines are quickly processed by the digestive system and eliminated from the body. Often, individuals taking hypnotics have a higher risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms because their body has less time to become accustomed to functioning without the drug.
  • Anxiolytics are longer-acting benzodiazepines. These benzodiazepines move through the body more slowly than hypnotics. They aren’t processed as quickly and take a longer time to leave the body. Since they remain in the body longer, individuals taking anxiolytics are more likely to experience a “hangover” effect.

Generally, doctors use hypnotics, or shorter-acting benzodiazepines, to treat insomnia and anxiolytics, or longer-acting medications, for anxiety. However, some anxiety medications can help ease insomnia when taken at night.

How Do Benzodiazepines Work?

Benzodiazepines work by enhancing the activity of a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). As an inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA blocks certain signals in the brain and decreases activity in the central nervous system. This slows down nerve impulses throughout the body, allowing individuals to feel relaxed and calm.

For example, when individuals feel anxious, the brain becomes hyperactive and overstimulated. When they take a benzodiazepine, the brain will send messages and signals to counteract the overstimulation, which reduces symptoms of anxiety and makes the person feel calm. The type of benzodiazepine used and the dosage consumed can cause the drug’s sedative effects to happen more swiftly or slowly.

What Are Benzodiazepines Used For?

Even though doctors mostly prescribe benzodiazepine medication to help relieve anxiety and insomnia, these drugs can help treat a wide variety of medical challenges and mental health concerns. The hypnotic, muscle-relaxing qualities of benzos can be used to help treat:

  • Anxiety. Benzodiazepines slow down activity in the central nervous system, which induces a state of relaxation.
  • Panic disorders are recurring panic attacks that cause abrupt surges of intense fear and discomfort. Benzodiazepines used as tranquilizers help relieve the shortness of breath, chest pain, choking sensations, shaking, and trembling that generally occur during panic attacks.
  • Muscle spasms are involuntary muscle cramps that cause painful contractions and tight muscles. In addition to calming the body, the increased amount of GABA which benzodiazepines release helps regulate muscle tone.
  • Seizures are uncontrollable electrical disturbances in the brain that cause loss of consciousness and jerking movements of the arms and legs. By sedating the body and slowing activity in the central nervous system, benzodiazepines decrease the likelihood of electrical disturbances that trigger seizures.
  • Insomnia. In addition to increasing the amount of GABA in the brain, which causes sedation and drowsiness, benzodiazepines help reduce sleep onset latency, or the amount of time needed to fall asleep, which helps individuals fall asleep faster.
  • Alcohol withdrawal. When individuals who have become accustomed to consuming high amounts of alcohol stop drinking, they tend to experience alcohol withdrawal syndrome or AWS. Benzodiazepines help reduce symptoms of alcohol withdrawal such as anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures, insomnia, restlessness, and heart palpitations.
  • Status epilepticus (SE) is a life-threatening disorder of the brain. SE is a continuous seizure that lasts more than 30 minutes or two or more seizures without recovery of consciousness between the convulsions.
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Increased levels of GABA caused by benzodiazepines help ease uterine contractions and muscle spasms that cause menstrual cramps. Benzodiazepines also help relieve anxiety and insomnia which are commonly associated with PMS.

Doctors also use benzodiazepines to sedate individuals during surgery. Regardless of the condition doctors use benzodiazepines to treat, these medications are most often prescribed for short-term use. Long-term benzodiazepine use can lead to increased tolerance which means lower doses of medication become ineffective. As lower doses of benzodiazepines become ineffective, individuals need larger doses to receive the same relaxing, sedative effects.

Common Types of Benzodiazepines

Even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved 15 different types of benzodiazepines for medical use in the United States, some medications are more widely used than others. Some of the most commonly prescribed and abused benzos include:

  • Xanax (Alprazolam). Doctors use this short-acting benzodiazepine to help treat anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and depression. Although legal, the FDA has not approved Xanax for anyone younger than 18 years old. Generally, doctors prescribe Xanax for anxiety disorders for 4 months or less and panic disorders for 10 weeks or less. Not following your doctor’s instructions can lead to dependence and addiction. When used recreationally, Xanax is often referred to as “Xan,” “Xanies,” “Zan,” “Zanbars,” and “Z-Bars.”
  • Klonopin (Clonazepam). This short-acting benzodiazepine can be used to treat a variety of conditions such as anxiety, panic attacks, seizures, and epilepsy. When used to treat seizures, Klonopin can be used regularly. However, doctors prescribe the medication on an “as-needed” basis for anxiety disorders. Klonopin can also help ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms and short-term insomnia. Common street names for Klonopin include “K-pins”, “Tranks,” “Downers,” or “Benzos.”
  • Ativan (Lorazepam). This medication is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, seizures, and status epilepticus. Ativan can also be used right before anesthesia. When used as a street drug, Ativan is known as “Candy,” “Downers,” “Sleeping Pills,” and “Tranks.”
  • Valium (Diazepam). Doctors use this long-acting benzodiazepine to treat delirium tremens and seizures associated with alcohol withdrawal. Valium can also be used to sedate individuals suffering from amphetamine-induced psychosis. Common street names for Valium include “Vallies,” “Eggs,” “Moggies,” and “Jellies.”
  • Restoril (Temazepam). This short-acting benzodiazepine is mostly used to treat short-term insomnia. Restoril can help individuals fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and lessen the number of times they wake up during the night. Generally, the medication is only prescribed for 1 to 2 weeks or less. Restoril is known on the street as “Terms,” “Mazzies,” “Temazies,” Tammies,” and “Temmies.”

Even though all benzodiazepines can produce a short-lived euphoric high, most recreational users looking for a euphoric high use Valium, Xanax, or Ativan. Xanax and Klonopin are the two benzodiazepines most commonly associated with abuse-related emergency room visits.

Why Do People Abuse Benzos?

Even though benzodiazepines were developed to help people with real physical and mental health concerns, many individuals who abuse these drugs don’t use these drugs as intended. Some people accidentally consume more than prescribed. Others, abuse prescription drugs to:

  • Relieve physical pain
  • Relieve tension and feel relaxed
  • Satisfy peer pressure
  • Self-medicate symptoms of depression
  • Escape low self-confidence or anxiety
  • Experiment with the drug
  • Feel good or experience a recreational, euphoric high
  • Sleep better
  • Escape distressing emotions and negative feelings
  • Increase or decrease the effects of other drugs

Some individuals abuse benzodiazepines because they’re dependent on them because of chemical changes that have occurred deep inside the brain. Regardless of why individuals misuse benzos, people who abuse the drugs fall into two categories: those who have a prescription and those who don’t.

Generally, people who follow their doctor’s instructions closely don’t become addicted to benzodiazepines. But the reality is some people don’t follow their doctor’s orders. They might increase their dosage of medication or consume doses too close together. Others might continue taking pills after they’re no longer needed or keep pills to take on a “bad day.” All of these behavior patterns are a form of benzodiazepine abuse that can increase an individual’s risk of addiction.

Taking benzodiazepines without a prescription disrupts the brain’s chemical balance. When consumed, benzodiazepines boost the amount of dopamine in the brain. But this surge of dopamine isn’t an ordinary increase. Benzodiazepine acts like a race car driver, accelerating dopamine levels without removing its foot off the gas. Dopamine levels increase so much that individuals experience a brief euphoric high. However, dopamine doesn’t just produce pleasurable feelings. The chemical messenger also plays a role in learning and motivation. Essentially, the influx of dopamine actually motivates the brain to consume more dopamine.

Abusing benzodiazepines can have other adverse side effects and symptoms such as:

  • Disturbing or vivid dreams
  • Irritability
  • Hostility
  • Amnesia

Because of the way benzodiazepines interact with the brain’s reward system, what may start off as a seemingly innocent habit to relieve pain and find relaxation can easily develop into an addiction to prescription drugs.

Understanding Benzodiazepine Addiction

Individuals can become addicted to benzodiazepines even if they follow their doctor’s instructions on how to take the medicine. This can be especially true for people who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse. Addiction happens when people misuse benzodiazepines. This misuse can include using benzodiazepines without a prescription, taking the medication more often than prescribed, taking the medication for an extended period of time, or consuming higher doses of benzodiazepines than instructed. Regardless of the type of misuse that occurs, benzodiazepine addiction begins in the brain.

When benzodiazepines enter the bloodstream, they interact with a group of cells called inhibitory neurons. These cells protect the brain’s delicate chemical balance by preventing the brain from making too much dopamine. High amounts of benzodiazepines in the bloodstream stop these cells from functioning properly, disrupting the brain’s chemical balance. Without inhibitory neurons to limit the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter starts to build up in the brain. Initially, the excessive amount of dopamine produces pleasurable feelings. But in time, the influx of dopamine starts to affect the brain’s reward system.

Dopamine is responsible for the ways individuals feel pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation. Pleasant experiences produce a dopamine reward that causes individuals to feel satisfied, happy, and content. But dopamine also impacts motivation. This means that after dopamine produces pleasurable feelings, the neurotransmitter “motivates” the brain to repeat the pleasure-inducing experience. Having too much dopamine in the brain can also weaken an individual’s impulse control. These changes in the brain’s functionality and reward system often lead to tolerance and dependence.

Tolerance

Tolerance happens when the body is regularly exposed to any type of addictive substance. When the body develops tolerance to benzodiazepines, the current dose of medication has stopped working as effectively as it once did. For many individuals, this simply means that their body has become accustomed to the medication. To maintain the medication’s effectiveness, many doctors increase the dosage an individual needs to take. Individuals can develop a tolerance to benzodiazepines after taking the medication for just 6 months.

Even though tolerance doesn’t mean an individual is automatically addicted to a substance, researchers do know that tolerance can:

  • Happen with any drug, including prescription and illicit drugs
  • Cause an individual’s condition to worsen because the medication isn’t working as well
  • Lead to fewer side effects because the body becomes accustomed to the medication
  • Increase the long-term risk of dependence, addiction, and overdose
Benzodiazepine Dependence

Dependence is different from tolerance. The difference between tolerance and dependence has to do with how the body reacts to the presence or absence of a specific drug. When individuals develop a tolerance to a drug, their body stops responding to the drug like it once did. With dependence, if the drug isn’t present in the body or the amount of drugs present in the body suddenly reduces, individuals experience withdrawal. At this point, the body has been tricked into thinking it needs benzodiazepines to function normally.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable and can be fatal. These symptoms can begin anywhere from 1 to 7 days after an individual’s last dose of benzodiazepines. Even though the symptoms can vary from person to person, some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Muscle tension and aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Poor concentration
  • Memory trouble
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions and paranoia
  • Confusion and delirium
  • Seizures, which can be life-threatening

These symptoms can last 2 to 8 weeks or longer. Often, the symptoms are so debilitating that many people can’t quit using benzodiazepines on their own. Instead, they continue taking benzodiazepines to help ease the symptoms and escape the withdrawal process. But instead of actually helping them, benzodiazepines continue to negatively affect their brain.

For example, consider benzodiazepine’s effects on several different areas of the brain.

The amygdala is a small almond-shaped gland in the brain that helps regulate emotional responses such as stress, anxiety, and discomfort. The more individuals consume benzodiazepines, the more sensitive this area of the brain becomes. The amygdala can become so sensitive that even the smallest amount of stress, distress, anxiety, or discomfort can compel them to take more of the drug.

Benzodiazepines also affect the prefrontal cortex, the brain region responsible for decision-making and self-control. As the prefrontal cortex grows weaker, individuals have difficulty controlling their impulses. By the time individuals fully lose control of their benzodiazepine consumption, they will continue using the drugs despite negative consequences whether they want to or not. At that point, they have become addicted to benzodiazepines.

Common Risk Factors For Benzodiazepine Addiction

There isn’t a single risk factor that can determine if an individual will become addicted to benzodiazepines. However, research shows that a history of trauma, being abused as a child, socializing with people who use drugs, and unemployment can increase the risk of addiction.

Other common risk factors for benzodiazepine addiction include:

  • Genetics. Individuals who have a parent or sibling who has struggled with addiction are more likely to develop an addiction to substances like benzodiazepines.
  • Environment. Growing up in or living in a high-stress environment with family trauma can make individuals more likely to abuse prescription drugs like benzodiazepines. Growing up around drug abuse can also make individuals more prone to addictive behavior patterns.
  • Gender. Females are 37% more likely to seek treatment for anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and other conditions. Since men are less likely to obtain prescriptions for benzodiazepines, they are less likely to become addicted to them.

Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction

Not everyone who uses benzodiazepines will become addicted to them. That’s why being able to recognize the signs of benzodiazepine addiction is important. The signs and symptoms may vary from person to person, but generally, individuals addicted to benzos display physical, psychological, and behavioral signs.

Physical Signs

Abusing benzodiazepines can physically wear the body down. Typically, individuals addicted to benzodiazepines experience:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Headaches
  • Fainting
  • Tremors
  • Light-headedness
  • Slurred speech
  • Anorexia
  • Lack of motor coordination

When benzodiazepine abuse approaches the overdose mark, individuals may experience:

  • Coma
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • An inability to defend themselves from a threat or attack
Psychological Signs

Being addicted to benzodiazepines can also affect individuals psychologically. Common symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Slowed thought processes
  • Poor concentration
  • Impaired judgment
  • Memory difficulties
  • Hostile feelings
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Perceptual disturbances
  • Emotional detachment
  • Intense irritability and anger
Behavioral Signs

Consistently taking sedative drugs like benzodiazepines can also change how individuals act. Instead of living life like they normally would, individuals addicted to benzodiazepines tend to:

  • Withdraw from friends, family members, and obligations
  • Ensure that they have an adequate amount of benzodiazepines at all times
  • Do uncharacteristic things to pay for additional benzodiazepines. This can look like borrowing money, stealing, draining bank accounts, and maxing out credit cards
  • Engage in risky activities such as driving under the influence of benzodiazepines
  • Spend a substantial amount of time and energy on obtaining, consuming, and thinking about benzodiazepines
  • Spend less time maintaining their hygiene
  • Become secretive about their daily schedule
  • Tell lies to protect their substance abuse habits

Other behavioral changes can include:

  • Forging prescriptions
  • Failing to meet expectations at work or home
  • Visiting multiple doctors to obtain several different prescriptions
  • Borrowing pills from friends and family members

Short-Term Effects of Benzodiazepines

Even though benzodiazepines are prescription medicines, misusing them can cause short-term effects. After the calming, sedative effects of benzodiazepines wear off, many individuals experience:

  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Impaired thinking
  • Memory loss
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired coordination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Double vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Stuttering
  • Diarrhea or constipation

Individuals who inject benzodiazepines into their veins may experience:

  • Vein damage and scarring
  • Infections such as HIV, AIDS, and hepatitis B and C
  • Deep vein thrombosis and blood clots which can result in a loss of limbs, damaged organs, stroke, and sometimes, death

Being addicted to benzodiazepines can also have long-term effects on the body.

Long-Term Effects of Benzodiazepines

Abusing benzodiazepines for an extended amount of time can cause:

  • Impaired thinking and permanent memory loss
  • Anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders
  • Irritability, paranoia, and aggressive behavior
  • Difficulty sleeping and chronic fatigue
  • Feeling cut off from emotions
  • Feeling dulled and slow
  • Disturbing dreams
  • Loss of confidence
  • Personality changes
  • Impatience
  • Migraines
  • Skin rashes
  • Weight gain

Long-term heavy usage of benzodiazepines can also increase individuals’ risk for epilepsy, stroke, and brain tumors.

Health Risks Associated With Benzodiazepine Addiction

All drugs, whether legal or illegal, come with risks. Most of the health risks associated with benzodiazepines fall into one of four categories:

  • Impaired cognitive ability. Benzodiazepines slow down almost all of the brain and body’s functions. This sedative effect changes how well the brain can process information and respond to stimuli. Because of this, individuals grappling with benzodiazepine addiction have an increased risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Long-term benzodiazepine use can also interfere with individuals’ visuospatial abilities, processing speed, and verbal learning abilities.
  • Impaired driving ability. Benzodiazepines can also affect an individual’s ability to drive safely. By slowing down activity in the central nervous system, benzodiazepines can increase an individual’s risk of car accidents. Additionally, driving under the influence of benzodiazepines can be fatal to the driver, passengers, and other individuals on the road.
  • Increased vulnerability of the elderly. Several studies have shown that benzodiazepines can cause a number of issues for the elderly. Even though they’re commonly prescribed to older individuals, the increased risk of falls, sedation, cognitive impairment, impaired ability to drive, and negative interactions with other medications can be especially dangerous for individuals 55 years and older.
  • Respiratory suppression and overdose. Benzodiazepines cause respiratory depression or a slowing of breathing and heart rate. Extremely high doses of benzodiazepines can cause these functions to shut down entirely, increasing the risk of a medical emergency. When left untreated, respiratory suppression can be fatal.

The Dangers of Using Benzodiazepines With Other Drugs

When combined with other substances, the sedative effects of benzodiazepines can be unpredictable and dangerous. Some of the most dangerous substances to combine with benzodiazepines include:

  • Alcohol. There are many dangers associated with mixing benzodiazepines and alcohol. Both substances slow down activity in the central nervous system. This means that the effects of both drugs increase significantly when they’re consumed together. By combining these drugs, individuals increase their risk of acute reactions such as heart attack, stroke, psychosis, and seizures. At the same time, mixing alcohol and benzodiazepines can increase the risk of long-term physical and mental health conditions. These risks can include the development of cardiovascular issues, liver damage, kidney damage, neurological issues, and dementia. Mixing alcohol and benzodiazepines can also make individuals more likely to develop depression and anxiety, psychotic, and trauma, and stress-related disorders.
  • Opioids. Both benzodiazepines and opioids sedate users and slow breathing. When these substances are taken together, the risk of breathing difficulties can increase substantially. In addition to that, benzodiazepines enhance the effects of opioids. By increasing the potency of opioid painkillers and preventing individuals from breathing correctly, this combination, if left untreated, can lead to overdose and death.
  • Pharmaceutical drugs. Pain-relievers, antidepressants, anti-psychotics, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, and some over-the-counter medications can have severe adverse effects when taken with benzodiazepines. These adverse effects can range in severity, but breathing difficulties and an increased risk of overdose remain a major concern and risk.

The good news is that an addiction to benzodiazepine can be treated. In fact, properly treating an addiction to benzos can help:

  • Reverse short and long-term effects of the drugs
  • Reduce the risk of overdose
  • Improve cognitive functionality
  • Enhance physical and mental health
  • Boost self-confidence
  • Lower the risk of relapse
  • Promote a healthy sober life

Treatment For Benzodiazepine Addiction

About 33 percent of people who take benzodiazepines for 6 months or more will experience some type of health problem when they try to quit. That’s why individuals shouldn’t try to stop using benzodiazepines on their own. Instead, individuals should enroll in a professional addiction treatment program. At that point, treatment can begin.

Detoxification

Treating an addiction to benzodiazepines begins with medical detoxification or detox. Detox is a process that allows the body to metabolize all of the benzodiazepine drugs out of an individual’s system. Because most people addicted to benzodiazepines were prescribed the drug to treat an anxiety disorder, insomnia, or other health condition, ridding the body of this drug can be an especially difficult time. Typically, symptoms associated with prior mental health conditions will return in addition to panic attacks, hallucinations, physical discomfort, and other symptoms that accompany benzodiazepine withdrawal. During medical detox, nurses, doctors, and other clinical personnel supervise the process to ensure individuals’ safety.

Most treatment programs use a slow taper as the best method for benzodiazepine detoxification. This means that individuals will take small doses of benzodiazepines over several weeks or months before stopping the drug completely. While monitoring individuals’ reactions to the decreasing dosages, medical personnel can adjust the taper schedule to best fit each individual’s needs. Once stabilized, individuals can begin the evaluation and assessment process.

Evaluation and Assessment

This part of the treatment process generally includes a thorough medical exam to assess any acute and chronic medical issues, learning challenges, and behavioral disorders an individual may have. The goal is to identify any significant issues that may impact the individual’s ability to thrive in recovery. Immediately after this phase, most recovery programs help individuals deal with any rebound anxiety they may be experiencing.

Address Rebound Anxiety

Many individuals who take anti-anxiety medications experience rebound anxiety after they stop taking benzodiazepines. To help combat this, many treatment programs provide appropriate medical and mental health treatment to help ensure the effectiveness of addiction treatment. This can look like helping individuals:

  • Meditate
  • Do yoga
  • Exercise
  • Relieve their anxiety in art or music therapy
  • Learn anxiety-reducing coping skills

After this, behavioral health experts devise a treatment plan that includes behavioral therapy, counseling, substance abuse education, relapse prevention, and aftercare support.

Addiction Treatment

Here at Meta Addiction Treatment, our clinical services include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This form of therapy helps individuals identify negative and harmful behavior patterns and develop healthier coping strategies. CBT can also help individuals understand and manage triggers, overcome traumatic life experiences, and find healthy outlets for stress and anxiety.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). DBT helps individuals understand, process, and manage difficult emotions. This behavioral therapy can also help reduce risky behavior, improve stress management, better understand and regulate emotions, and strengthen relationships.
  • Case management. Our case management services include referrals to additional services, employment assistance, and help with continuing education.
  • Peer support. All three of our outpatient treatment programs include peer support. Attending peer support groups can help individuals build healthy, long-term relationships, practice key life skills, and avoid isolation.

Benzodiazepine addiction treatment also often includes trauma therapy.

Address Any Underlying Trauma

Often, individuals living with anxiety, insomnia, and panic attacks have experienced some form of trauma. Their traumatic experience, which may have contributed to the individual’s addiction, needs to be thoroughly explored and addressed.

Address Co-Occurring Disorders

Many individuals taking benzodiazepines live with social anxiety, depression, generalized anxiety, mood, and panic disorders, and other mental health issues. Generally, these issues are entwined with an individual’s addiction, making it impossible to treat one issue with the other. Dual diagnosis programs that address mental health and substance use disorders simultaneously can help individuals address, manage, and overcome co-occurring disorders.

Peer Support Meetings

Peer support is a key aspect of successful addiction recovery. Learning from others, sharing experiences, receiving support, and offering support in return are some of the many benefits peer support groups can provide. Being around like-minded people can help individuals build positive relationships with others who are working to live healthy, sober lives.

Family Involvement

Family members can play a critical role in the recovery process. The most effective treatment programs offer family therapy. This type of counseling can help family members better understand addiction. Family therapy can also help individuals and their families communicate, solve problems, make decisions, restore trust, and heal from wounds caused by addiction. Family therapy can also help family members understand the dangers of codependency and establish and maintain healthy boundaries.

Relapse Prevention

Learning healthy coping skills is a vital aspect of treatment. Relapse prevention groups or education sessions can help individuals explore possible triggers and create a practical action plan for overcoming those triggers without turning to benzodiazepines or other addictive substances.

Aftercare Support

Detox, treatment, family therapy, and peer support groups are essential aspects of addiction recovery, but aftercare support is the glue that holds everything together. Without aftercare support, individuals can easily slip back into old patterns of behavior. Aftercare support helps individuals smoothly transition back into everyday life and stay connected with mentors and peers.

Helping You Live A Thriving, Addiction-Free Life

Here at Meta Addiction Treatment, we know how damaging addiction can be. Even though doctors may prescribe benzodiazepines to help improve your life, misusing these prescription drugs can make your life worse. Our outpatient addiction treatment programs can help you live a thriving addiction-free life. Let us help you get there. Contact us today to speak to one of our recovery experts.

Remember, we’re not medical professionals. If you have any questions about your specific use of benzodiazepines, please talk to your doctor.

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