There are many substances available for purchase both legally and illegally in modern society. Some of the most addictive can be benzodiazepines, or “benzos.” If you or a loved one has fallen victim to a benzo addiction, let our staff at Rock Recovery help. We’re armed with the tools and knowledge to help you recover from benzo addiction.
What Are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are drugs normally prescribed to patients who are suffering from certain mental and physical symptoms of anxiety. They can help reduce the effects of panic attacks, anxiety, seizures, and insomnia.
How Do They Work?
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) causes stress and anxiety within the brain. A healthy amount of these acids is good to alert the body to perform the way it’s supposed to. There are some individuals that have too many of these acids in their bodies from too much stimulation. This is when benzos can be introduced to help.
Benzos reduce symptoms by slowing down an individual’s nervous system functions. By slowing down the production of these acids, benzos help calm a person’s mood.
How Do Benzos Affect the Body and Brain?
In most cases, this substance makes individuals feel more relaxed and unphased. They allow users to cope with their emotions more easily. Although benzodiazepines are helpful, they can negatively affect the brain and body if taken over a long period of time.
If taken regularly over extended periods, benzos can start to affect the way the brain functions. benzos have been linked to memory disorders like anterograde amnesia. This doesn’t affect short-term memory but can contribute to long-term memory loss in the future.
If taken at a young age, benzos can also affect visuospatial abilities and verbal learning abilities. An individual’s visuospatial abilities allow them to understand differences in weight, distance, and objective relativity.
Individuals looking for a way to stop benzodiazepine addiction may feel like they’re facing an insurmountable challenge. This begins with the fear of the agonizing withdrawal process and stretching to the worry about how to remain sober. This is why our staff at Rock Recovery is here to step in and ease the negative thoughts that may be running through our patient’s minds. We pride ourselves on being able to provide reliable facilities to complete the detox treatment if needed.
Effects of Benzo Use
Although benzodiazepines are legally prescribed, they can be detrimental to an individual. They can negatively impact an individual’s lifestyle both in the short and long-term. This is especially true if not taken the way the medication is prescribed.
The biggest short-term effect of benzo use is addiction. Use of the substance, even over a short period of time, can cause an individual to be reliant on its effects. They start to believe that without the benzos, they could not function properly. These substances can also become less effective over time. This can cause misuse of the substance and even illegal purchase without a doctor’s consent.
Research has shown there are many effects of the long-term use of benzos that can negatively impact an individual. They highly attribute to cognitive impairment, especially if consumed with other substances. Over time, this can encourage individuals to make decisions they normally wouldn’t while under the influence.
Different Types of Benzos
There are many different types of benzos that have been recently developed over the years. These are sold both legally through prescription and illegally through black market systems. Some of the types of benzos available include:
- Valium: This type of benzo is a tranquilizer that is prescribed to help with seizures and muscle spasms. It allows the muscles of the body to relax and fight off the urge to seize without warning.
- Xanax: Medically known as alprazolam, Xanax is a drug prescribed by doctors to treat anxiety and other panic disorders. It’s a sedative that decreases the excitement within the brain that causes the feeling of panic. It is one of the most well-known benzos on the market.
- Ativan: This type of benzo has high-potency and a short half-life. This means that it hits the system very quickly to help suppress symptoms of anxiety.
- Klonopin: This benzo is prescribed typically to help treat panic attacks. It is an anticonvulsant that calms down nerves within the brain.
Each type of benzo has different effects on the brain and body. Because of this, an individual may need to try different ones to find the perfect fit for their needs. Doctors may prescribe different benzos throughout a single year for trial and error purposes. This means that one individual may be able to have access to multiple different benzos at once.
Are Benzos Addictive?
Benzos, when taken the correct way, can be used to help many medical and mental health conditions. Although they’re extremely useful, they’re known to be highly addictive substances, too. Because of this, we have developed a specific program at Rock Recovery for those with benzodiazepine addiction.
Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction
Because they aren’t normally seen as addictive, benzo addiction can be hard to spot. In order to combat this, we have developed a list of some of the signs of addiction you can look out for. Some of the signs of addiction can include:
- Being secretive about whereabouts or the scheduled timing of events
- Showing characteristics that are out of the norm for their typical personality
- Extreme mood swings or getting upset easily
- Stealing physical items or money
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Participating in dangerous or illegal activity like driving under the influence
- Talking constantly about their prescriptions
How Benzodiazepine Addiction is Affecting the Elderly Population
Elderly patients are increasingly being prescribed benzos as a way to treat certain conditions. Because of this, there is an alarming amount of older adults that have become addicted to the substance. It has been found that benzos have more of an effect on elderly patients than it does on younger ones.
Studies show that benzos may be contributing to increased populations with memory loss in older individuals. The deleterious effects they produce when taken cause many accidents to occur, as well. This includes contributing to rising motor vehicle crashes, as well as higher risks of falling and breaking bones.
Treatment Options for Benzodiazepine Addiction
If you believe benzodiazepine addiction exists in you or a loved one, we’re here to help. Our staff is trained to look for specific needs with each of our patients. They will develop a personalized plan designed for the level of addiction the patient is facing.
What Level of Treatment Do You Need?
Within our facility, we have different levels of treatment that fit the needs of each of our patients. Whether you are facing a severe or mild addiction, we are able to cater to your schedule and needs. Some of the different types of treatment we offer are partial hospitalization, outpatient treatment, and traditional treatment.
Upon arrival, each patient will be evaluated to see which level of treatment would best fit them. Once the evaluation is complete, our team will begin the treatment process right away. Certain patients may need aspects of different programs to fully recover. This may entail graduating from one program and becoming involved in another.
What Therapies Are Available at Rock Recovery?
At Rock Recovery, we focus on an abstinence-based approach to recovery. This means that we want to encourage each of our patients to strive for sobriety without the assistance of medication. In order to do this, we offer many highly-effective therapies. Some of our therapies include:
In each of these, we help our patients explore new ways of thinking and develop healthy lifestyle habits. Some involve body and mind exercises, while others offer different perspectives through shared experiences. Our hope is that each of our patients takes the things they have learned at our facility and applies them to their everyday lives.
Let Our Staff Help You!
Although they are typically seen as safe drugs because they are prescribed, Benzos are nothing to ignore. When a benzo addiction has occurred, it is nothing to take lightly. Our staff at Rock Recovery wants to help you in any way we can.
Please do not hesitate to reach out at any point for more information. You may contact us through phone calls or messages on our website. Let us help you regain control over your benzo addiction today!