Even in low doses, Benzos can cause dependence and addiction.
Benzodiazepines, colloquially known as “benzos,” are classified as psychoactive drugs used to treat medical conditions such as alcohol dependence, seizures, anxiety disorders, panic, agitation, and insomnia. They can be taken in a myriad of ways: orally, intravenously, intramuscularly, or rectally. In small doses, they serve as sedatives; in moderate doses, anxiety; in high doses, hypnotics. Despite their medical uses, benzo abuse is common, with 15 types of benzodiazepines distributed in the United States of America, and another 20 sold internationally, leading to rapid development of tolerance and addiction. Thousands of people are sent to the emergency room by benzo abuse each year, with adverse effects such as drowsiness, lack of coordination, hostile/violent behavior, and amnesia.
The symptoms addiction vary, but common signs include drowsiness, blurred vision, poor coordination, amnesia, hostility, irritability, disturbing dreams, reduced inhibition, impaired judgment, confusion, apparent dementia, and overdose. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms may include perceptual distortions, paraesthesia, difficulty walking, anxiety, tension, agitation, restlessness, sleep disturbance/insomnia, psychosis, confusion, pain, headaches, seizures, or depression.
We employ a benzo detox treatment under medical guidance, which makes lasting sobriety possible even after long term addiction to the drug. We provide holistic treatments that cater to the individual, such that our patients’ individual concerns and personalities are addressed. We provide all steps of benzo recovery, including benzo detox, residential programs, and intensive outpatient programs. At first, the patient undergoes 24-hour supervision with psychiatric and nursing support, as well as group and individual counseling and therapy and gender-specific recovery programs. This prepares patients for the next stage, generally a 30-day process, with 24/7 guidance and support from the clinical team, as well as nutritious diet plans with meals prepared by a private chef and recreational activities on weekends under staff supervision. When ready, the patients then transition to an outpatient program in which 20-30 sessions over 30-45 days promote mindful relapse prevention, with evening meetings and group as well as individual assignments. Transportation and housing are provided.