How is Benzodiazepine Addiction or Dependence Treated?
Medical detox is the first step. Suppose someone became dependent on the drug because of a prescription. Generally, the person would work with a medical practitioner to taper off the drug and then arrange to enter a medically supervised detoxification program.
When someone has become addicted to benzodiazepine because of misuse, they would still require a medically supervised detox. Withdrawal symptoms are painful and difficult. It is always best to consult medical experts before beginning any form of detox.
Following detox, a residential long-term program is the best choice for anyone struggling with a substance use disorder. Withdrawal symptoms linger, and there are difficult physical and psychological challenges to overcome.
How Do I Find Medical Detox or an Inpatient Program for Benzodiazepine Addiction
Medical detox centers in your state are private medical facilities or hospital inpatient programs at local hospitals.
Our directory lists numerous resources for each state, including detox and long-term inpatient. In addition, contact your local Medicaid office or health insurance provider, as they may also recommend some options.
Finally, consult with a medical practitioner, if applicable, as they could help with beginning the recovery process.
Ask a Professional
What type of drugs are benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines, or “benzos,” are a class of depressant drugs that are often called tranquilizers or sedatives. Benzodiazepines work by slowing down brain function, resulting in feelings of euphoria and other alcohol-like effects. There are many benzodiazepine drugs, but prescription medications like Xanax, Valium, and Ativan are the most common examples.
What do benzodiazepines look like?
Benzodiazepines usually appear as small prescription pills. Depending on the manufacturer, they can take on many different colors and shapes. However, the most notorious example is likely the high-dose Xanax bar. These wafer-like tablets are rectangular and usually yellow or white, with two or more score marks to break the pill into smaller doses. But benzodiazepines may also be round, oblong, in capsules, or powder form, as is the case with newer illicitly manufactured benzodiazepines.
How long do benzodiazepines stay in your system?
Some benzodiazepines are short-acting and leave the body within 24 hours. Other ones are much longer acting and can stay in the system for weeks. With heavy use, long-acting benzodiazepines can be detected in the urine for up to 30 days after last use. The time it takes for benzodiazepines to leave a person’s body mainly depends on how heavily the drug was consumed and the individual’s physiology.
Why are benzodiazepines so addictive?
Benzodiazepines are incredibly addictive because of how they affect a person’s neurochemistry. Once dependence develops, the body ceases to produce certain neurotransmitters and quitting benzos can become highly challenging. Normal functioning may take many months or even years, making the road to recovery very long. Stopping benzodiazepines once dependent isn’t safe without medical supervision due to health risks like seizures and death. These factors make benzodiazepine addiction one of the most challenging forms of substance use to treat.
How are benzodiazepines used?
Benzodiazepines are primarily ingested orally. The drug is usually swallowed in pill form and rarely is found in other preparations. This is mainly because benzodiazepines aren’t water soluble and aren’t easily absorbed by different methods of ingestion. For example, snorting benzos produces little effect beyond what part of the drug is swallowed post-nasally.
Want to know more?
The questions from Addicted.org’s “Learn from our Experts” are answered by Michael Leach, CCMA. If you need further clarification on any of the questions above or have any other questions you can contact him directly at [email protected].