Benzos Rehab in Arizona

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Benzodiazepine Addiction

Used as directed, benzodiazepines can be a helpful way to get short-term help for severe anxiety. They are not, however, a long-term solution, and can even bring more risk than reward when used or abused over the long term.

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What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines—often referred to as just “benzos”—are a class of sedative prescription drugs that include diazepam (Valium), clorazepate (Tranxene), oxazepam (Serax), lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), and clonazepam (Klonopin).

What Are Benzos Prescribed For?

Benzodiazepines are mainly used to treat anxiety and panic, seizures, insomnia, general anesthesia, muscle relaxation, depression, alcohol withdrawal, and many other conditions.

How Do Benzodiazepines Work?

Benzodiazepines enhance the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain and the spinal cord thus resulting in a calming effect on the nerves.

The benzodiazepine mechanism of action also affects the chemicals and neurons released in the brain as they communicate with other related nerves.

Benzodiazepines then perform the function of reducing the activities of the nerves since excessive nerve functionality often results in what the medical community describes as “anxiety”.

How Long Do Benzos Stay in Your System?

The amount of time it takes for a benzodiazepine to “kick-in” as well as how long it lasts varies from one type to another.

Some benzos, like Diazepam (Valium), clorazepate (Tranxene), Clorazepate (Tranxene), midazolam (Versed), and triazolam (Halcion) start working quickly, but last for a short amount of time (usually less than eight hours).

Common benzos like Alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan) fall somewhere in the middle with a duration of 11 to 20 hours.

Long-acting benzodiazepines such as Chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), flurazepam (Dalmane) can last up to one to three days.

Can You Be Addicted to Benzos?

All benzodiazepines have the ability to cause chemical dependence. Many common benzo prescriptions have a reputation for having a high potential for addiction.

It is important to talk to a medical professional as they help you evaluate whether someone can get off benzos with a simple tapering schedule or if they need more robust assistance with detoxification and addiction recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to benzos, our benzo rehab center in Arizona can be a step in the right direction.

Benzodiazepine addiction has a significant impact on mental health problems.

Benzodiazepine addiction will often coincide with psychological health issues such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, insomnia, depression, and antisocial personality disorder.

Anxiety disorders, for example, are often caused by inadequate GABA production. Without enough GABA, it is impossible for the brain to inhibit neurons that trigger worry and fear—leading to nervousness or even panic.

Mental disorders and benzo abuse can, unfortunately, be both a cause and an effect of the other. Mental disorders increase the likelihood of a person using drugs, whether by abusing a prescription or seeking relief from illicit (street) sources. Conversely, benzodiazepine addiction also greatly increases a person’s vulnerability to mental illness.

Even though the benzodiazepine high is potent, users will often mix it with other substances like alcohol to further the effects of both.

Many people assume that drinking alcohol concurrently with other drugs can boost the impact of the drugs—but often this is very dangerous. Combining alcohol with benzodiazepines often results in severe, permanent damage to a person’s health and well-being.

Both alcohol and benzodiazepines act as depressants, and they relax the body’s muscles at a very high rate. This relaxation may make the functions of the central nervous system slow to a crawl, resulting in a person becoming unconscious or even ending up in a coma.

The calming effect of the two depressants can also significantly affect the immune system by increasing the chances of a person having severe infections and accidents—especially during activities such as driving.

Combining two sedating substances like benzos and alcohol results in memory loss and fatigue—which can have the added consequence of straining relationships with friends, coworkers, and loved ones.

Finally, mixing alcohol and benzodiazepines in large quantities can be seriously dangerous as it may lead to massive organ failures that can result in death.

Long-Term Effects of Benzodiazepines

While benzodiazepines are often prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, improper use, abuse, and stopping of benzos can result in the very psychological effects they are meant to treat.  The effects of long-term benzodiazepine use include drug dependence, neurotoxicity, and adverse effects on cognitive function, physical health, and mental health. Long-term use is sometimes described as use not shorter than three months. The mental effects of long-term benzodiazepine use can include memory loss, dementia, psychosis, depression, aggression, and other behavioral problems. Other side effects may include disinhibition, impaired concentration and memory, and sexual dysfunction. Chronic drug abuse can increase the risk of developing various cancers, organ damage, and other health problems. Benzodiazepines affect GABA receptors in the central nervous system, and taking them for more than four months can lead to tolerance and dependence.

Long-term use of benzodiazepines has been associated with an increased risk of death in some studies, although other studies have not found increased mortality. It is important for individuals who are prescribed benzodiazepines to follow their doctor’s instructions carefully and to avoid taking more than the prescribed dose. Long-term use of benzodiazepines should be avoided whenever possible, and individuals who have been taking benzodiazepines for an extended period should work with their healthcare provider to develop a plan for tapering off the medication.

the side effects

Benzodiazepine Side Effects

Several observable and non-observable signs are linked to benzodiazepine use. Some of the most common signs of benzodiazepine use involve physical, behavioral, cognitive, and psychosocial symptoms.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weakness of the muscles
  • Headaches
  • Disturbance in sleeping and eating patterns
  • Vertigo
  • Reduced thinking
  • Lowered productivity
  • Memory impairment
  • Confusion
  • Slowed reaction rate
  • Inability to create new memories

The symptoms above are not uncommon for someone to experience while on a medically-monitored prescription for benzodiazepines. However, someone who also exhibits signs in the lists below may be in greater danger of an addiction than a simple chemical dependence.

  • Forging prescriptions
  • Uncharacteristic isolation
  • Irresponsibility in work and school
  • A sudden and/or sharp shift in social circles
  • Secretiveness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Hostility
  • Irritability

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Terra Nova Behavioral Health works with most major insurance carriers to help cover most of the costs associated with treatment at our program. Get a free insurance verification right now to find out your personal options for treatment.

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"TNBH has been the best addiction treatment experience by far. After several attempts at other addiction centers with our loved one, this one has exceeded our expectations in every way. Everyone has been very loving and helpful and honest. They are always available to answer any questions. We have been very impressed with this program and would recommend it to anyone."

"The staff is great to work with and it is easy to see how much they care about providing quality treatment. Jake responds quickly when my staff and I need him and he has helped many of our patients detox and get back to our facility with zero issues."

"Everything about TNBH was fantastic! The staff were all amazing and really do care about the clients! This place changed my life forever! So much so that after going through treatment here it motivated me to get a job working in treatment to help others in recovery like they did for me!"

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Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

If benzodiazepines are taken continuously (for longer than a few months), stopping suddenly can produce seizures, tremors, muscle cramping, vomiting, and sweating.

The best way to stop using benzos is to consult with a medical professional to establish a schedule to taper the dose off slowly. This will help a patient avoid painful withdrawal symptoms. If you need help in your addiction recovery process, reach out to our team at Terra Nova by calling 877-772-9595 today.