Benzodiazepines: Is There A Cure For Benzo Addiction?

Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment

People struggling with addiction to benzodiazepines (commonly called “benzos”) often wonder, 

“Is there a cure for benzo addiction?” 

It is essential to understand how benzos affect the human body to answer this.

Benzo addiction is potentially life-threatening, so it’s crucial to acknowledge the risks that come with suddenly stopping usage. It’s also sensible for individuals looking for benzo addiction help to see what a place like Elevate Addiction Services has to offer.

Overcoming Benzo Addiction

Benzodiazepines are neurological depressants typically prescribed to manage conditions such as:

  • anxiety
  • panic disorders
  • muscle spasms
  • insomnia
  • alcohol withdrawal (in rare cases)

Some of the most common brands of benzos include:

  • Ativan
  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Klonopin

While these medications can help people manage the symptoms of the conditions mentioned above, they also pose several risks, particularly addiction and accidental overdose death.

Over time, a benzo user’s body will grow dependent on the drug. This dependence will eventually manifest in cravings and even withdrawal symptoms, and the user’s body won’t function as well without more benzos.

Benzo Withdrawal

Once a person is dependent on benzos, the risk of withdrawal becomes very real.

This risk is more significant for people with advanced dependency, who suddenly stop taking the drug. In these cases, benzo withdrawal may be life-threatening.

People who gradually taper off their benzo dose typically experience less severe withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms of benzo withdrawal will range in severity and typically include:

  • anxiety
  • high blood pressure
  • irritability
  • sensory distortion
  • nausea
  • tremors
  • feelings of panic
  • aggression

The symptoms of sudden benzo cessation for someone with an advanced dependency can include seizures and psychosis.

People who previously treated other conditions with the benzos may experience a rebound effect where the original symptoms suddenly return with greater severity.

For example, a person prescribed benzos for panic attacks may experience withdrawal symptoms, including severe panic attacks.

As a result, this rebound effect may encourage some people to relapse toward benzo use to immediately reduce discomfort.

Medically-Assisted Detox for Benzo Addiction

There may not be a cure for benzodiazepine withdrawal, but withdrawal symptoms are vastly more manageable with medical assistance.

During this process, a patient will typically receive smaller and smaller doses of the benzo medication to taper off, all under medical supervision.

Medical professionals will be available to provide assistance and treatment for severe withdrawal symptoms and help them prepare for recovery after detox.

The medically assisted therapy during detox is valuable because it minimizes the impact of withdrawal symptoms and better prepares the patient for ongoing rehab.

The Recovery Process After Detox

Cessation and detox are essential first steps in substance abuse recovery, but they are only the first steps. Once benzo detox is complete, the patient will move to rehab to start the recovery process properly.

Detox is different for every person, but one of the most important aspects of rehab for anyone addicted to benzos is learning to identify the underlying reasons for addictive behaviors.

Breaking Down Addictive Cycles

During treatment for benzo addiction, a patient will complete detox and then start analyzing their past behaviors. Some individuals develop benzo addiction from self-medicating.

In these cases, rehab will help them determine what drove them to this point. It could be repressed trauma, everyday stress, or acute stressors in a person’s environment.

Rehabilitation will help uncover the root causes of a person’s choice to dangerously self-medicate.

Some patients may have developed a benzo addiction after receiving a prescription for benzodiazepines for legitimate medical reasons.

During detox and rehab, the substance abuse professionals assisting in recovery will help the patient find alternative methods for treating their medical conditions.

Medication is unavoidable in some cases, but others may find relief through holistic therapies and medication alternatives. Balance is the key: It’s essential to treat a patient’s medical conditions without exposing him or her to further risk of addiction.

Is There a Cure for Benzo Addiction?

Elevate Addiction Services doesn’t believe in treating addiction with more drugs.

In some cases, medication is necessary and won’t be denied to patients in these situations, but it’s always best to strive for alternatives after addiction has manifested.

Elevate offers an alternative to traditional rehab programs.

The first step is medically assisted detox. This process is crucial for anyone struggling with benzo addiction, as it dramatically reduces the risk of uncomfortable and potentially lethal withdrawal symptoms.

Medically assisted detox is the only real way to start to “cure” benzodiazepine addiction. Elevate offers comprehensive addiction treatment, including detox, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, therapy, counseling, and aftercare.

Overcoming benzo addiction is possible with the right treatment, and we tailor every client’s treatment plan to his or her unique situation, medical history, pattern of abuse, and lifestyle preferences.

This page does not provide medical advice

Written by Elevate Addiction Services | ©2020 Elevate Addiction Services | All Rights Reserved

Medically Reviewed by

Scott Friend, MSW, M.S.

December 29, 2020

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