Benzo Detox in Austin, TX

Get the help you need to recover from benzo withdrawal symptoms.

Lately, you’ve been grappling with intense anxiety after losing out on an important job opportunity. Your therapist prescribes your first benzodiazepine medication to treat your anxiety and insomnia. Your thoughts are clearer, and you have a sense of ease throughout the day. You’re even sleeping better than usual. As a result, you recently stopped taking benzos without telling your doctor, but your anxiety is through the roof. Why is that? Do you need a benzo detox? 

If so, benzo detox centers are spread throughout Texas to accommodate your needs.

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are prescription drugs best defined as depressants. Benzos are typically used to treat anxiety and insomnia but they can be used to treat other conditions. These medications come in variations to treat seizures. Benzos target the central nervous system by decreasing the activity in the brain, which produces a calming effect on the body. It should be noted that benzos are prescribed for short-term use as the effects over time can have drastic effects on the body. 

Benzodiazepines were discovered by Leonard Sternbach and became available in the pharmacology marketplace in 1960. Benzos are known to be effective at treating general anxiety, insomnia, and alcohol withdrawals — often used in alcohol detox to alleviate withdrawals. Benzos are considered harmless for short-term use and if they’re the only medication taken. These medications were designed to be an alternative to barbiturates, which have a stronger pull of addiction. 

Unfortunately, benzos are frequently used by adolescents due to their accessibility and effects compared to alcohol. They’re typically combined with other drugs, especially alcohol and opioids, to increase euphoria. These can drain the body to numbing effects, even leading to coma or death. Benzo detox recovery could mean the difference between a downward spiral of self-destruction and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

benzodiazepines

How Are Benzodiazepines Addictive?

Addiction might develop through non-prescribed means, as benzos are downers shared at social events. “Doctor shopping” is best described as receiving multiple prescriptions from various doctors to supply benzos. Benzos have a reputation as a street drug if a prescribed option is not available but this poses risks of contamination. 

Those within this group typically occupy the 18-25 age range, more than likely distributed through peers, theft, or college campuses. Those who are prescribed can often take more than what’s available. Xanax is noted for being highly addictive. Seeking a benzodiazepine detox center might be a solution if you suspect a loved one is struggling with this addiction.

In 2019, overdose deaths of opioids coincided with benzos by 16%. Benzos are commonly prescribed with opioids, which poses an increased risk of overdose due to their depressant qualities. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented guidelines to limit prescriptions of benzodiazepines with opioids, with a black label to warn of the potential dangers. The combination of benzodiazepines and alcohol has a dual danger outcome of overdose due to their depressant but euphoric nature. 

Mixing Benzos with Alcohol

Alcohol metabolizes in the body quickly, allowing benzos to remain in the body for longer periods. This reduces cognition significantly and primes the person to be the victim of unnecessary accidents. A blackout could be on the horizon if you’re not careful. Combining these two substances can be quite unpredictable, slowing the response time while under the influence. A persistent combination of alcohol and benzos opens the floodgates for mental health complications and interpersonal issues while the person struggles.

There are additional factors that determine how long benzodiazepines remain in the body. Age tends to play a role, with older individuals metabolizing these substances slower than younger ones. This could explain why adolescents are more prone to develop addictions due to the intensity of this drug. Bodyweight, hydration, and liver functioning come into play with the duration of a benzo’s half-life.

What Are the Most Common Types of Benzos?

With growing cases of anxiety and other mental health conditions, benzos are widely This, unfortunately, increases the likelihood of them being abused. A dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders, also allows a window of vulnerability for addiction. Benzodiazepines are sedatives that come in two forms to promote relaxation. They come in the form of short-acting and longer-acting alternatives, with varying half-lives.

Short-Acting Benzos

Most effective for intermittent anxiety, the short-acting benzodiazepines include:

  • Estazalom (Prosom)
  • Flurazepam (Dalmane)
  • Temazepam (Restoril)
  • Triazolam (Halcion)

Long-Term Benzos

Best used to treat long-term health conditions over time, the longer-acting benzodiazepines include:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Clorazepate (Tranxene)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)

What Are the Possible Side Effects? 

The side effects of benzo use may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Memory loss
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Blurred vision
  • Impaired cognition and cloudy thinking
  • Mood changes
  • Euphoria

What Are The Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction and Withdrawal?

The signs of benzodiazepine addiction can vary depending on the type of use and duration. Since benzodiazepines are designed to create a calming effect, long-term use increases to pinpoint long-term health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Benzodiazepines act on the GABA-A receptors in the brain. This suppresses the pathways for chemical messengers such as norepinephrine and dopamine, which slows the response to stimuli.

Those with a benzo addiction will often demonstrate:

  • Isolation
  • A compulsion to take the drug beyond prescribed limits
  • Difficulties in school or workplace
  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Borrowing money or stealing to pay for the drug
  • Recovering from withdrawals or side effects
  • Weight changes
  • Unexplained absences or spending time with those who abuse substances
  • Disinterest in hobbies or other activities

Symptoms of Benzo Withdrawal

A rebound effect of anxiety and depression can occur after someone suddenly stops using. This can last up to two to three days. The symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal could feature:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headache
  • Muscles stiffness or soreness
  • Lack of sleep
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Increased risk of psychosis
  • Depression and suicidal ideation

Addictive substances such as opioids and cocaine prey on the neurotransmitters in the brain, rewiring them to seek out euphoria. Benzodiazepines have a similar effect through long-term use, with the user often developing a tolerance. The higher the tolerance, the more they will likely use or even experiment with polydrug use. Withdrawals occur when the body has been sucked dry of these transmitters, which prompts the person to use them again. For example, short-acting benzodiazepines are known to have harsher withdrawals.

Benzodiazepines are quite effective but dependence emerges because of that. Overprescriptions of benzos are becoming a prevalent issue, as certain companies sell more potent versions of them. Benzos hijack the reward centers of the brain by increasing the production of dopamine even though the body is experiencing euphoria. If you’ve been using benzos for extended periods, chances are there are changes in the regulation of dopamine in your brain. Luckily, benzo detox recovery is available in states like Texas.

Benzo Detox: The Benzo Withdrawal Timeline

Benzodiazepine withdrawal typically comes in stages: early, acute, and protracted withdrawals. In the early withdrawal phase, the rebound effect as previously mentioned will take into effect a few days after the user has stopped. This can be overwhelming, as the intensity can start within a few hours. In the acute withdrawal phase, the person has stopped using for a couple of days now. The main course of withdrawal is usually in this phase, where the person could be experiencing insomnia, muscle spasms, anxiety, nausea, and irritability.

Protracted withdrawal symptoms might include tingling in the limbs and increased anxiety/depression. It’s crucial to understand that these symptoms are random and there is no specific time frame for the withdrawals.

benzo detox timeline

What Does the Benzo Detox Process Look Like?

The benzo detox process is similar to other addiction detoxification techniques. Depending on how frequent and the amount of use, the patient might experience withdrawals for up to 10 days. If the case is severe, the patient will undergo medically supervised detox to decrease the withdrawal symptoms safely. Tapering off of benzos is common, but it’s not recommended to quit “cold turkey” because this increases the risk of relapse. This is a technique used to determine how severe the addiction is with the patient. Additional medication might be used to treat the symptoms or even using short-acting benzos to counteract the tolerance. 

Partial Hospitalization/IOP

Partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient treatment programs are great options to begin the detoxification process. Benzo detox requires the complete elimination of the drug from the body. It’s important to remember that benzo detox is only the beginning and that relapse is possible. Finding the root of addiction beyond the physical characteristics presents a chance to truly understand the behavior. 

If you’re still struggling, outpatient treatment options are best suited for those with moderate addiction and a desire for flexibility in the recovery process. For a more effective outcome, it’s recommended that you or a loved one seek counseling or additional treatment to maintain sobriety.

Benzo Detox Recovery Begins With Makana Path

Your chance to embark on a healthy alternative is here. Makana Path is determined to usher you into the next phase of the recovery process. Addiction is a disease of the mind, and the person might be operating subconsciously to heal or calm an internal storm their body can’t keep up with. Benzo detox is available at our facilities, and we’re more than happy to provide you with quality care. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 

 

References:

https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Benzodiazepenes-2020_1.pdf

https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/benzodiazepines-opioids

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