Everyone knows how devastating the opioid epidemic has been in the United States. But a parallel benzodiazepine epidemic is taking its toll too. With high prescription rates, there’s plenty of scope for these controlled substances to be used in illicit ways with consequences that can be fatal. Taking action at the first sign of a benzo addiction can prevent your life from veering out of control. High-quality SUD treatment programs in Dedham, MA are throw rings built to haul you back to solid ground.
Ativan, Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin are all examples of benzodiazepines. Benzos treat various health conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety, and insomnia, but they can lead to dependency. Overusing these sedative drugs can cause cognitive issues and falls in older adults. Signs of addiction like confusion and impaired balance can go undetected when they are mistaken for behaviors related to aging or drunkenness.
In addition, these drugs are schedule IV substances—possessing and using them without a prescription is illegal, as is misusing or distributing properly acquired benzos. Addiction does not discriminate between age or social background.
Taking benzos with other central nervous system depressants such as opioids can cause you to overdose and stop breathing. Because alcohol is also a downer, consuming benzos and alcohol increases the odds of an overdose, leading to long-term organ damage or death. During the 18 months between January 2019 and June 2020, the CDC noted close to7,000 lethal overdoseslinked to benzos. If you notice a friend or family member nodding off with shallow breathing, they may have overdosed. Call 911 immediately for emergency medical attention.
Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction
For starters, people with a benzo addiction may fill their prescriptions early or go to multiple doctors seeking more drugs, a behavior known as doctor shopping. And if someone you know slurs their speech, is frequently drowsy, displays a lack of coordination, and often takes unnecessary risks, they may have a substance use disorder involving benzos rather than alcohol.
Day Treatment for Benzo Addiction in Dedham, MA
Modern substance use disorder treatment programs begin by assessing the severity of the addiction. If you are addicted to more than one substance, have a dual diagnosis, or have taken a high benzo dose for a long time, you may be deemed a candidate for inpatient treatment. But residential rehab might not be possible for multiple reasons, including a shortage of beds, high fees, and work, school, or caregiving commitments. That’s where day treatment comes in.
Detoxing from Benzodiazepines
Quitting benzos cold turkey can lead to life-threatening seizures, so it’s best to go through withdrawal with professional assistance and medical supervision. During detox from benzos, a physician may move you to a long-acting benzodiazepine. Your dose will steadily decrease over at least ten weeks, with the ultimate aim being abstinence. The tapering period’s duration largely depends on how high your benzo dosage is at the beginning of the process. You might receive a flumazenil infusion to reach a lower dose quicker. And if polydrug use isn’t a factor, your doctor may prescribe anticonvulsants.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
Even if you’ve only been using a benzodiazepine for three weeks, you can experience withdrawal symptoms. These include but are not limited to:
- GI issues
- Muscle pain
- Ringing in your ears
- Problems with your vision
Benzodiazepine Talk Therapies
When treating a benzos addiction, the best SUD treatment programs in Dedham, MA or elsewhere, combine dose reduction with evidence-based behavioral therapies for optimal results. These counseling sessions educate individuals struggling with addiction and provide the mental training to deal with challenging cravings and triggers, set life goals, and keep full-blown relapses at bay. This psychological therapy is tailored to each person’s history and needs, and group sessions address common problems and useful tools via roleplay and other tried-and-tested methods. Talk therapy also acknowledges why addiction may have taken root in the first place. For example, if benzos were initially prescribed for anxiety, a co-occurring mental health disorder may be at play and requires integrated treatment.
Harm Reduction Strategies
Addiction is powerful, and many individuals in its grip resist abstinence. In these high-risk cases, maintenance therapy with a long half-life substitute can stabilize patients to a point where they’re open to treatment and its benefits. Eventually, they’ll be weaned off the replacement too.
Attend a Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment Program in Dedham, MA
Addiction is a disease. It changes your brain chemistry and can bring you to your knees, but appropriate support and treatment can throw you a lifeline and build the foundation for your long-term well-being. Our adolescent rehab programs in Dedham, MA utilize best practice approaches honed over the years to treat individuals under 18. We can assist if you need a IOP, OP or aftercare in a secure environment in Massachusetts, and our qualified practitioners offer telehealth services if you live elsewhere. Reach out today to discuss the best treatment options for you to attain and maintain sobriety.