Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment in Georgia

Medically Reviewed By

J. Ryan Humphries, LPC, MdACN

Last Updated: April 14, 2024

Benzodiazepines, has proven highly effective for treating conditions like anxiety and insomnia, but they also come with a high potential for abuse and addiction. When dependence forms, a comprehensive approach to treatment becomes crucial for recovery. At Hand in Hand Recovery Center, we offer benzodiazepine addiction treatment and drug rehab in Marietta, Georgia for those struggling with Xanax, Librum, Ativan, Klonopin, and other types of benzodiazepines. 

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What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive drugs designed to correct chemical imbalances in the brain that induce stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders. They enhance the effect of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), resulting in sedative, hypnotic (sleep-inducing), anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant properties. While effective in the short term, their long-term use poses significant risks, including dependence, addiction, and withdrawal complications.

Most Common Benzodiazepines Abused

The most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines include drugs such as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and clonazepam (Klonopin). These medications vary in strength, onset of action, and duration of effects. Despite these differences, all benzodiazepines function similarly by acting on the brain’s GABA receptors, inducing a calming effect. This action, while therapeutic, is also at the root of their potential for abuse and addiction.

How Does Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment Work?

Benzodiazepine addiction treatment is a multi-phase process often starting with detox and extending through various levels of care tailored to individual needs. Our approach is comprehensive, addressing the physical, psychological, and social aspects of addiction.

  • Detox: The first step involves a medically supervised withdrawal process (detoxification), ensuring the clients safety while the body clears itself of the drug. Given the potentially severe withdrawal symptoms associated with benzodiazepines, this stage often involves a gradual tapering process to minimize discomfort and medical complications.

  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): After detox, patients may transition to a PHP, a structured program offering the intensity of inpatient care but on an outpatient basis. It allows individuals to benefit from comprehensive therapeutic interventions while maintaining some normal daily routines.

  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): As progress continues, patients may move to an IOP. This program offers a similar therapeutic approach as the PHP but requires less time commitment per week, providing flexibility for individuals to reintegrate into society and daily life activities while living at home or in a structured sober living.

  • Outpatient Rehab (OP): The OP serves as a follow-up to higher intensity programs. Individuals continue to engage in group and individual therapy sessions but with reduced frequency, ensuring they maintain therapeutic support while they return to independent living.

Signs and Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Addiction

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of benzodiazepine addiction is crucial for seeking timely intervention. Some of these can include but not be limited to the following:

  • Increased tolerance: Needing increasingly higher doses of the drug to achieve the same effects that used to occur with smaller doses.

  • Withdrawal symptoms: Experiencing physical and mental withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug, such as shaking, sweating, nausea, irritability, fatigue, and intense cravings.

  • Loss of control: Frequently taking larger amounts of the drug or over a longer period than was intended.
  • Unsuccessful efforts to cut down: Persistent desire or unsuccessful attempts to reduce or control benzodiazepine use.

  • Significant time invested: Spending a substantial amount of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of benzodiazepines.

  • Neglected activities: Reducing or giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of drug use.

  • Continued use despite harm: Continuing to use benzodiazepines despite knowing they are causing physical or psychological harm.

  • Preoccupation: Spending a lot of time thinking about the drug, planning for its use, or recovering from its effects.
  • Risky use: Using benzodiazepines in situations where it is physically hazardous, such as while driving or operating machinery.

  • Legal issues: Facing legal problems due to behaviors associated with drug use, yet continuing to use it.

  • Relationship problems: Continuing to use benzodiazepines despite the strain it causes in relationships with family, friends, and colleagues.

Identifying these signs and symptoms in oneself or a loved one can be the first step toward seeking help and finding a path to recovery. Each individual may experience a unique combination of these symptoms, and acknowledging these issues is crucial in taking proactive steps towards treatment.

Why Are Benzos So Addictive?

Benzos are particularly addictive due to their ability to produce rapid relief from symptoms like anxiety, generating a sense of calm and relaxation. This immediate feedback can lead to reinforcement of drug-seeking behavior. Furthermore, physiological tolerance and dependence develop with regular use, meaning individuals need higher doses to achieve the same effects, leading to a cycle of escalating use and increased dependency.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal & Withdrawal Timeline

Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be a challenging and uncomfortable process, underscoring the need for medical supervision. Symptoms can include anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, irritability, restlessness, and in severe cases, seizures, and psychosis. The withdrawal timeline typically initiates within 6-8 hours for short-acting benzos and 24-48 hours for longer-acting forms, peaking between 1-4 days and gradually lessening over several weeks. However, some symptoms, particularly psychological ones, can persist for several months in a phenomenon known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).

Services Offered at Our Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment Program in Georgia

Benzodiazepine addiction treatment is often most effective when complemented by additional therapeutic services addressing various facets of an individual’s life.

  • Anger management: Helping patients develop healthy coping mechanisms for anger.

  • Psychoeducational groups for substance abuse: Educating individuals about addiction and related topics, fostering understanding, and promoting recovery-oriented behaviors.

  • Experiential therapy: Utilizing activities (e.g., art, music, or outdoor activities) to help patients express and process emotions and experiences.

  • Family therapy: Involving family members in the healing process, repairing relationships, and improving family dynamics.

  • Trauma therapy: Addressing underlying traumatic experiences that may contribute to substance abuse.

  • Medication-assisted treatment: Overseeing the safe use of medications to treat co-occurring disorders or manage withdrawal symptoms.

Begin Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment Today

Struggling with benzodiazepine addiction is not a journey anyone should face alone. If you or a loved one is dependent on benzodiazepines, we urge you to reach out for help today. Our comprehensive drug rehab in Marietta, Georgia is equipped to guide you through every step of the recovery process. Contact us now to start your journey toward healing and rediscover a healthy, fulfilling life free from addiction.

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