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Benzodiazepine Detox

Are you or someone you love considering a benzodiazepine detox? Benzodiazepines are a type of prescription medication used for the treatment of moderate to severe anxiety disorders, sleep-related issues and symptoms associated with severe alcohol withdrawal. Some brand name benzodiazepines include Xanax, Valium and Klonopin. Xanax is among the most frequently prescribed medications in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number of American adults who filled a benzodiazepine prescription increased from 8.1 million to 13.5 million between the years 1996 and 2013. This equates to a total increase of 67 percent. Because benzodiazepines are so habit-forming, physical and psychological dependence can occur even when the medication is being taken exactly as prescribed by a medical professional. If you or someone you love has been abusing benzodiazepines for any length of time, medically monitored detox is always a necessary initial step on the road to recovery.

This type of medication works to sedate people by raising the level of GABA (a neurotransmitter) present in the brain. Because drugs like Xanax and Valium are so potent and addictive, dependence can occur over a relatively short period of time. Once dependence occurs, physical tolerance begins to develop — generally leading the user to ingest benzodiazepines at a higher dose. If a significant dose is being taken for two weeks or more, withdrawal symptoms are liable to occur as soon as use is stopped abruptly. Symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal can be life-threatening when not adequately treated in a medical detox facility. At CuraSouth our team of dedicated medical and clinical professionals have combined decades of experience treating mild, moderate and severe symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal. For more information contact us today.

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Benzodiazepine Addiction
Signs & Symptoms

There are numerous signs and symptoms associated with benzodiazepine abuse and addiction.

Symptoms of benzodiazepine addiction:

  • Excessive drowsiness and fatigue
  • A lack of coordination
  • Noticeable mood swings
  • Attempting to cut back on dosage but being unable to do so
  • Continuing to use benzodiazepines despite a range of personal consequences
  • Poor performance at work or at school
  • Spending significantly less time with friends and family
  • A lack of motivation to take care of personal responsibilities or fulfill obligations
  • A lack of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed
  • Raiding the medicine cabinets of friends, family members and acquaintances
  • An increase in risk-taking behaviors, such as driving on benzodiazepines or mixing the medication with other mood and mind altering substances (like alcohol or opioids)
  • Developing a physical tolerance, meaning a higher dose is required in order for the same effects to be produced
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when use is stopped suddenly

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms

If not constantly overseen and adequately treated, the symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal can result in serious health-related complications and might even prove to be life-threatening. According to an article published by Emergency Medicine News, the more severe symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal can take up to a full two weeks to develop. At CuraSouth we ensure that none of our clients transfer into the next appropriate level of clinical care prematurely. Because of this, clients who were suffering from severe benzodiazepine abuse disorders prior to their admission are generally kept slightly over two weeks to ensure all symptoms have entirely subsided. In the case of mild or moderate dependence, symptoms typically begin within the first 24 hours of the last dose and last for between one and two weeks.

Symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal include:

  • Insomnia and other sleep-related issues
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Depression (which can lead to suicidal ideation when left untreated)
  • Increased heart rate/racing pulse
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Hand tremors, body tremors and muscle spasms
  • Persistent headaches
  • Profuse sweating/night sweats
  • Aches, pain and general feelings of physical discomfort
  • Experiencing abnormal and unexpected sensations, including chills and goosebumps
  • Hypersensitivity to light and sound
  • Visual and auditory disturbances
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions and feelings of detachment from reality
  • Delirium
  • Grand mal seizures
  • Coma, in extreme cases

Because the symptoms can range in severity so dramatically, medical detox is always necessary. Even if an individual has not been abusing a benzodiazepine like Xanax or Valium long-term, he or she can still experience severe, even life-threatening, withdrawal symptoms. Some research has indicated that even men and women who were taking a long-acting benzodiazepine like Valium or Klonopin at the prescribed dose (for less than two months) experienced grand mal seizures when use stopped suddenly. Symptoms can be unpredictable and must be closely observed. At CuraSouth our dedicated team of medical professionals work together to tackle each symptom the moment it arises. If you would like to learn more about our comprehensive detox program or if you would like to learn more about why detox is a necessary first step contact us today.

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Benzodiazepine Withdrawal
Medical Detox

The treatment options that are utilized always vary on a person-to-person basis. The moment a new client is admitted to our medical detox program, he or she undergoes a detailed and in-depth evaluation, which helps our clinical and medical team determine which treatment methods are going to be the most effective for each unique case. However, when it comes to benzodiazepine abuse and addiction, it is generally recommended that a multi-phased continuum of clinical care is in place – one that begins with medical detox and immediately transitions to inpatient treatment. At CuraSouth we often utilize medication assisted treatment (MAT) when it comes to benzodiazepine withdrawal in order to prevent the more serious and life-threatening complications from occurring.

Effective methods of MAT for benzo withdrawal include:

  • Anticonvulsants – If the substance abuse disorder was severe and the client is at risk of seizures (or if he or she has a personal history of seizures), we prescribe a medication that acts as an anticonvulsant.
  • Clonidine – Benzodiazepine withdrawal can cause blood pressure to spike dramatically. This medication ensures that a somewhat normal blood pressure is maintained throughout the withdrawal process.
  • Antidepressants – Because depression can lead to suicidal ideation in extreme cases, antidepressants and SSRIs might be prescribed. Some SSRIs can also help alleviate more severe symptoms associated with anxiety.
  • Anti-nausea medications – In the case of severe nausea and vomiting, we utilize heavy-duty anti-nausea medications like Ondanestron.

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If you or someone you love has been suffering from a benzodiazepine abuse disorder of any severity, CuraSouth is available to help. Our detox program is both comprehensive and highly individualized, and provides an integrated level of clinical care that cannot be found in any state-funded detox facility. At CuraSouth we believe that medical detox services should be readily available to all those who need them. For this reason, we have developed an admissions process that is simple and straightforward. The moment you or your loved one gives us a call, we begin by conducting a brief evaluation over the phone. This evaluation helps our medical team determine which methods of benzodiazepine detox are going to be the most effective. Next we go over potential coverage options. At CuraSouth we work with most major regional and national health insurance providers, ensuring that our detox services remain accessible. If you or your loved one is uninsured, we offer additional options including self-pay and private pay. Finally, we set a date for intake and help arrange travel plans.

When it comes to benzodiazepine detox, it is crucial that symptoms associated with withdrawal are treated as quickly as possible in order to prevent potential complications. If you or someone close to you has been abusing benzodiazepines for any length of time, seeking medical detox is a vital first step on the road to recovery. For more information on our integrated program or to get started on the road to recovery contact us today.