Getting Treatment for Benzodiazepine (Benzos) and Other Tranquilizers at Present Moments in San Diego
When trying to stop using benzos, about one-third of the individuals who have been using them for six or more months may encounter health issues, including seizures. Benzodiazepines are the most dangerous drugs to detox from, and it should be undertaken with medical supervision.
At Present Moments in San Diego, medical detox is the first step in the treatment of benzodiazepine addiction - an addiction that includes the use of brand name drugs, such as Ativan, Halcion, Klonopin, Xanax, or Valium.
Present Moments also addresses substance use disorders involving other tranquilizers, such as Lunesta, and Phenibut. Lunesta is a non-benzodiazepine brand tranquilizer known as eszopiclone, one of the prescription sedatives that makes up the “z-drugs,” the other two being zolpidem (Ambien) and zaleplon (Sonata).
Phenibut is an anti-anxiety medicine, originating from Russia, that is unregulated and sold online. It is known for its cognitive-enhancing properties, and is used as a supplement for sleep and to manage the symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
Treatment for Benzodiazepine and Tranquilizer Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) at Present Moments in San Diego
After going through a supervised and medically-managed detoxification protocol at Present Moments, patients continue the recovery process through an outpatient or inpatient treatment program. These programs feature counseling services and cognitive therapy. Residential treatment offers a home-type environment, which allows patients to recover in safe and relaxing surroundings.
What are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are prescription tranquilizers and have been administered for the past 50 years. However, researchers have frequently worried about their use and their addictive qualities. In fact, the concern has been so great that over 60,000 articles have been written about the dangers of a benzodiazepine dependency.
Even though these medicines are associated with addiction risks, the general public is nonetheless unaware of them. In actuality, the majority of individuals who use benzodiazepines do so for therapeutic purposes. Most people who use these medications more casually have no knowledge how they function or why they may cause an addiction. These people number in the thousands.
At Present Moments in San Diego, full recovery is possible. Before seeking treatment patients and family members should become acquainted with the influence of benzodiazepine and other tranquilizers on the brain.
Benzodiazepine Addiction and How the Drug Affects the Brain
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, benzodiazepines alter the chemical signals the brain uses to convey joy or pleasurable experiences. Therefore, users experience an increase in the sensations linked to reward, joy, and security as soon as that shift takes hold.
As a result benzodiazepines are risky when it comes to addiction since they cause long-lasting alterations in the brain’s chemical makeup.
Without access to benzodiazepine, the changed brain cells may cease to perform as they once did, thereby causing the cells to depend on the medicine.
A Review of Common Benzodiazepine Medicines
The following is a list of common benzodiazepine medications:
- Xanax (Alprazolam) Used to treat panic disorders and anxiousness, Xanax is available in various strengths. One of the formulations releases the effects of the drug over an extended period. This stronger benzodiazepine drug works immediately, which increases its addiction and health risks.
- Klonopin (Clonazepam) Used to treat seizures, this drug comes in strengths of 1 or 2 milligrams. Some of the benzos are designed to disintegrate in the mouth. The drug is intermediate acting, and therefore is less risky to take than Xanax.
- Valium (Diazepam) Used to treat anxiety, Valium is also administered to treat alcohol withdrawal and muscular spasms. It has been on the market for a long time and comes in various strengths and generic formulations. The drug is slower-acting, so users do not experience an immediate high.
- Ativan (Lorazepam) Used for panic disorders, this brand drug comes in the form of a pill. It may also be taken as a liquid if users choose to inject the drug. The effects are short to immediate, which causes the drug to deliver a major rush in some users.
- Ambien (Zolpidem) A hypnotic drug, this benzodiazepine medicine is used to help people sleep. Because it has a fast onset, users do not tend to abuse the drug as other benzo medications.
Going Through a Benzodiazepine Detox at Present Moments in San Diego
After using high dosages of benzodiazepines, or benzos, over an extended length of time, users frequently acquire a tolerance to them. Therefore the user needs increasing doses of benzos to experience their effects as their tolerance for the drug continues to grow.
Withdrawal symptoms emerge as soon as a drug user stops using the medicine. People who have abused benzodiazepines without a prescription as well as individuals who are prescribed the medicines experience symptoms of withdrawal.
Because benzodiazepines are highly addictive and produce severe withdrawal symptoms, many doctors are reluctant to recommend them for long-term use.
If a user stops using benzodiazepines "cold turkey," the withdrawal symptoms can be deadly and are both physically and psychologically distressing.
People who have a history of using the drug in larger quantities or for a longer period of time experience the worst withdrawal symptoms of all.
The withdrawal effects of benzodiazepines are extremely diverse and frequently cyclical. Through all stages of the withdrawal process, they can change in intensity and frequency.
Depending on the benzo used, the amount of the drug administered, and the frequency of use, the most withdrawal symptoms typically appear one to four days after stopping use.
Some of these symptoms are also referred to as “rebound symptoms” if they existed before the patient started using the drug. All withdrawal symptoms may last up to 10 days after the user stops taking the drug.
Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal may include symptoms such as:
- Sleep problems
- Increased anxiety and tension
- Panic attacks
- Difficulties with focusing
- Increased sweating
- Heart palpitations
- Changes in perception that range from mild to moderate
- Muscular discomfort and stiffness
- Cravings for the drug
- Hand tremors
Some of the more severe and rarer symptoms include seizures, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, or psychosis.
Early Recovery Feelings of Anxiety and Sleeplessness
Insomnia and generalized anxiety disorder are two conditions that benzodiazepines are frequently prescribed to treat. Therefore, after using these drugs, patients often find that their anxiety or restlessness increases, thus the rebound effect.
Rebound effects from benzo withdrawal, such as anxiety or insomnia, typically take 2 to 3 days to go away.While withdrawal symptoms relate to the body's attempt to adjust to the cessation of benzodiazepine usage, the rebound effect happens when prior symptoms return.
What is the Benzo Withdrawal Period?
The half-lives of benzos, or the time in the drug remains in the body after ingestion, differs by brand. Therefore, shorter-acting benzos begin sooner than longer-acting brands, as it takes a shorter amount of time for the drug to leave the body.
The first signs of a withdrawal typically start about 8 hours for shorter-acting benzodiazepine drugs while the withdrawal for longer-acting benzos starts around 24 to 48 hours after stopping the drug.
At Present Moments in San Diego, the medical staff carefully monitors withdrawals so patients feel comfortable during the process. This is especially emphasized for patients who have taken shorter-acting benzodiazepine medications, as their withdrawal symptoms are more intense.
Examples of shorter-acting benzos include Xanax and Halcion while Valium, Klonopin, and Librium represent longer-acting benzo medications. If a patient takes benzos more often and in higher doses, the withdrawal time increases.
In instances of a mild addiction, it usually takes about a week to overcome the symptoms of withdrawal. In severe cases, it may take up to three months to wean the patient off the drug to avoid dangerous side effects.
Contact Present Moments in San Diego to Enroll in a Benzo Treatment Program Now
If you or a loved one is struggling with a benzo addiction or have a substance use disorder to a similar tranquilizer, get help immediately. You can’t take this type of step alone. Contact Present Moments in San Diego to receive the medical intervention you need right away.