Signs, Withdrawal Symptoms & Treatment Options
Dangerous Drugs Being Overprescribed
Benzodiazepine Addiction in the United States
Despite their highly addictive and potentially life-threatening properties, benzodiazepines (also known as “benzos”) continue to be among the most frequently prescribed medications in the United States. Indeed, in a 2018 study, it was found that 1 in 8 adults in the US had used benzodiazepine within the previous 12 months.
Benzodiazepines are prescribed to treat a wide range of conditions, ranging from insomnia and anxiety to seizures and muscle spasticity. It is also commonly prescribed to treat alcohol use disorder (AUD).
Although benzos have broad clinical applications, their potential for misuse and dependency is immense. For persons who are vulnerable to addiction, including those with a genetic prediction, a history of trauma, or a co-occurring mental health disorder, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the risks of benzo addiction and overdose are severe. It’s estimated, for example, that more than 30% of opioid-related deaths involve benzodiazepine.
Understanding Benzodiazepine Addiction
How Do Benzos Work and Why Are They So Addictive?
Benzodiazepines produce their tranquilizing effects by operating as a central nervous system depressant. More specifically, benzos trigger the release of the neurotransmitter GABA, which is a brain chemical that inhibits autonomic responses, including suppressing respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure.
The sedating effects of benzos are amplified when used in conjunction with other CNS depressants, such as alcohol and opioids. This contributes to the high rates of lethal overdose associated with benzos.
Unfortunately, however, benzo addiction isn’t just instigated by the powerful tranquilizing effects of the drug.
Benzos also trigger a surge of dopamine, the brain’s feel-good chemical. This means that benzo users often experience a rush of euphoria when exposed to the drug, and it is often this rush that catalyzes the addiction, as users must consume ever-higher quantities of the drug to achieve the desired effects.
Exposure to benzodiazepine changes both the structure and the functioning of the brain, particularly in regard to the release, absorption, and synaptic response to the neurotransmitters GABA and dopamine. The result is a constellation of physical and psychological symptoms that, when left untreated, may be life-threatening.
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Freedom from Benzo Addiction
How Bayshore Can Help
At Bayshore, we understand the dangers of benzodiazepine addiction. We also recognize the immense challenges associated with getting clean. For persons with benzodiazepine addiction, the detoxification process can be both painful and dangerous if attempted without the appropriate medical supervision.
Bayshore’s multidisciplinary team of physicians, mental healthcare providers, and addiction recovery experts can provide the intensive supervision and support you need when facing benzo withdrawal.
Because we are a fully accredited facility and hold LegitScript and Joint Commission certifications, we are authorized to provide short-term pharmaceutical therapy as appropriate to support your comfort and safety through the detoxification process.
After detox, we provide personalized, comprehensive, evidence-based residential care to promote your recovery. This includes individual, small group, and family mental health counseling, music and art therapy, nutrition education, yoga classes, and massage therapy to help you cultivate new habits of self-care. In addition, we provide robust after-care support, including connecting you with addiction recovery specialists in your area to promote your continued sobriety.
What We Treat at bayshore retreat
Commonly Abused Substances
Explore our drug & alcohol substance abuse treatment services at our state-of-the-art, residential program in Destin, FL.
Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs typically used to treat anxiety disorders. Over the last 5 years, benzo abuse has risen significantly. Learn more about benzo addiction & how Bayshore Retreat can help.
The opioid epidemic has ravaged American citizens for almost 10 years now. Bayshore Retreat is dedicated to making a difference. Learn more about the signs & how we treat opioid addiction.
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Bayshore Retreat works with most major insurance carriers and offers luxury treatment at an affordable rate in order to help you or your loved one in finding their path to recovery. Call us now to take action and find your personal path to recovery from substance abuse.