There are quite a few brand names for the drug benzodiazepine, also known as benzos, and there are various pharmaceutical companies that manufacture them, but for most, there are two benzos that typically quickly come to mind; Valium (diazepam) which is a long-acting medication that can be detected in the body for up to 10 days after use, and Xanax (alprazolam) which is an immediate-acting drug that stays in the body for about half the duration as Valium.
Benzos are frequently prescribed for people struggling with anxiety and insomnia. They’re also prescribed to treat convulsions in people with cerebral palsy and to help patients who are experiencing anxiety before an operation. Although there are many reasons why the drug is medically prescribed, there are almost as many reasons why a patient may become addicted to them – whether aware of misuse or inadvertently.
Addiction to Benzodiazepine
Benzos are habit-forming, especially when they’re prescribed to treat a long-term medical issue. Similar to many other drugs, the longer benzodiazepine is used, the more the body becomes accustom to and reliant on its effect. Addiction can easily take place when people who are prescribed benzos misuse them by increasing the dosage or the frequency of use to get the same feeling as when they first started taking them. Benzos are also sometimes misused by people who were not the intended recipient of the prescribed drug but are self-medicating in order to find relief from what ails them.
At Pine Tree Recovery Center, we’ve created the right environment for a client with a benzodiazepine addiction to “kick the habit” once and for all. Benzo addiction is best treated by a professional medical staff in an inpatient facility – this is because there are often underlying conditions present that contributed to the addiction to start with, and only a medical professional can assist with these underlying conditions (the issue that the drug was prescribed for in the first place) while the patient goes through benzo detox.
The staff at Pine Tree Rehabilitation Center is trained to manage dual issues. They are fully qualified, have a deep understanding of the way the brain is affected by substances, and help each patient through detox from the addictive substance as well as medically manage the underlying issue.
What to Expect at Pine Tree Recovery Center
The first stage of the rehabilitation process, before detox can begin, is initiated with a full patient evaluation. Our staff will medically examine the patient as well as discussing with the patient their personal drug history, current use of benzos, the duration of use, and for what reason the patient started taking the drug to begin. The Pine Tree medical team will then be able to use this information to make a proper evaluation, as well as devise the appropriate and best suited treatment plan.
After evaluation, the client will enter detox. The side effects of benzo withdrawal, in the acute phase, can be distressing and powerful and can even be life-threatening in certain situations. Having the Pine Tree medical team available for care 24/7 means that the client will be under a watchful eye and will receive the medical attention they need as they push through this difficult time.
Duration of Benzo Detox
How long it will take to detoxify from benzos will, to an extent, depend on the length of time one has been using them as well as the quantity that was regularly taken. Withdrawal, and the associated symptoms, will generally start sooner for those who are addicted to a short- or even an immediate-acting drug than to a long-acting counterpart, for understandable reasons. However, addiction to short-acting drugs will typically cause a more intense and potentially more serious withdrawal.
In the case of a mild addiction, withdrawal may take as few as seven days. But as you may suspect, heavy addiction will most likely take longer depending on the quantity and duration of use.
In certain instances, our medical staff may decide it to be beneficial for the patient to be weaned off the benzodiazepine over time in order to minimize, or even prevent, the onset of more serious withdrawal complications.
For the reasons previously stated, it’s not recommended for users to attempt an unsupervised withdrawal. Having a highly trained medical staff and additional emotional support available for patients going through this process can be truly invaluable.
The Rebound Effect
People who were initially prescribed a benzo drug for the treatment of anxiety may find their level of anxiety to be increased within three or four days into detox. This is known as the rebound effect and is a common occurrence for many who have an underlying issue that remains to be addressed.
The Pine Tree Recovery medical staff has the ability to prescribe alternate medications to deal with the underlying conditions to help a patient make it past the acute stage of the benzo detox to a point where the anxiety disorder can be properly managed.
Therapy and Long-Term Planning
After the acute detox phase is complete, clients at Pine Tree progress into a phase of therapy that provides them with the knowledge and strategies needed to be able to cope with the stresses of moving from the center back home or to an alternative long-term living arrangement.
When underlying issues continue to prevail, they need to continue to be monitored and managed so that self-medication and relapse of benzo use and addiction does not occur. Our case managers make sure that the right medical and emotional support is available to our patients for long-term management of the underlying issue.
Pine Tree Recovery Center, based just outside of Portland, Maine, is a fully licensed detox and rehab center that provides a comfortable, secure, and medically supported environment where clients can undergo rehabilitation without the distractions and pressures of everyday life. The road to health and wellness begins at Pine Tree.
Accepting Most Major Insurance
Below is a list of the most common insurance we accept. If you do not see your insurance listed below, we may still be able to provide treatment services through your insurance plans. Call us today to learn more and to have a representative verify your benefits at no cost to you.