Prescription Addiction: Benzodiazepines

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Benzodiazepines are a group of drugs which are prescribed for a number of medical conditions. Doctors most commonly use them to treat patients who are being treated for insomnia or anxiety. They are considered to be relatively safe when used as directed. When abused or used for a long period of time, prescription addiction can become an issue.

Benzodiazepines Widely Prescribed

Four types of benzodiazepines are listed among the top most widely-prescribed medications:

  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Ativan (lorazepam)

How Benzodiazepines Work

The human brain contains neurotransmitters. They are responsible for sending messages between brain cells. The messages may have either excitatory or tranquilizing effects.

When a person feels anxious, his or her brain also becomes excited and overactive. Tranquilizing transmitters must send messages to brain cells to slow down the activity to settle down the anxiety symptoms.

The brain’s tranquilizing neurotransmitter is called GABA. Billions of brain cells respond to the signals it sends out. When benzodiazepines are taken, they enhance GABA’s effects. The drug contains chemicals that add to GABA’s calming effect and keep the brain in a tranquilized state.

Benzodiazepines And Prescription Drug Addiction

A prescription drug addiction may start when a patient starts using this type of medication but finds after a time that he or she doesn’t get the same level of symptom relief as at the start of treatment. Rather than bringing this to the doctor’s attention, the patient may start taking more of the medication than originally prescribed.

Benzodiazepines create a physical dependency when abused, and a person will need to keep on taking the medication to avoid going into withdrawals. Psychological dependence may also occur, where a person feels that he or she cannot manage or cope with demands of everyday life without taking the drugs.

Treatment For Prescription Addiction To Benzodiazepines

Serenity at Summit provides each client with a personalized treatment program designed to meet their individual needs. We offer a medically-supervised detox program that includes individual and group therapy, as well as a wide range of treatments, such as:

  • Meditation/Mindfulness
  • Journaling
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture/Acupressure
  • Yoga
  • Reiki
  • Creative Arts Therapies

Our holistic approach to detox helps to support clients during this initial phase and prepares them for their drug addiction treatment. Long-term sobriety requires lifestyle changes, learning tools to deal with stress more effectively, understanding the disease of addiction, and constant vigilance to guard against the start of a relapse.

Our addiction treatment program teaches all of this and also includes individual and group therapy, education programs and support to give our clients the skills and tools they need to achieve their goal of staying clean.

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