Strategies For Discontinuing Benzodiazepine Use

Benzodiazepines are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. They are mostly prescribed to relieve anxiety symptoms; however, using them can result in a dangerous addiction. Benzos work on the body to produce calming and sedated effects. They do this by binding to the GABA inhibitors located in the brain. This makes you much less sensitive to outside stimulation. The most common benzos include Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin. 

Strategies For Discontinuing Benzodiazepine Use

The Dangers of Benzodiazepine Abuse and Addiction

Benzo addiction is not like addiction to any other substance. Both your body and your brain react to the chemicals in the drug and will eventually start needing more to feel the sensation you originally felt in the beginning. This is what is known as physical dependence. Addiction and dependence often go hand in hand. Addiction can happen with or without a prescription by a doctor. Even with a prescription, you can become addicted, just like those who take it for the sole purpose of getting high.

The person will start to abuse the pill or suffer withdrawal once dependence has developed when it comes to benzo addiction. Abuse will first show up as a simple need for more of the drug. This can sometimes be hard to see at first. Benzo addiction will also manifest many other symptoms like impaired reflexes, intestinal problems, slowed breathing, loss of appetite, severe mood swings, and memory, judgment, and comprehension problems. 

There are many different ways to go about ending your benzodiazepine addiction that people have tried. Some of these methods are more effective and safer than others. Let’s talk about some of them.  

Getting Off Benzos by Tapering

A benzodiazepine taper is meant to get you off of benzos by slowly lessening the amount you take over time until you no longer need to take it. There are ups and downs to this method, however. The upside is that it allows you to minimize the symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping benzos. When you abruptly stop taking benzodiazepines after taking them long-term, the withdrawal symptoms can be very severe and even life-threatening. The downside is that when you are addicted to benzos, staying honest with your taper process can be very difficult.

When you are addicted, your brain feels it needs to take the drug to feel normal, so staying on schedule with your taper can be hard and lead you back to abuse again. 

Getting Off Benzos with Detox and Treatment

The most successful and safest way to discontinue benzodiazepine use is with a medical detox and treatment. Medical detox is the safe removal of benzos from your bloodstream while you are under the supervision of doctors, medical staff, and addiction specialists. During this process, you will likely be given medications to manage the withdrawal symptoms and the cravings for drugs. The amount of time you will partake in detox will depend on the length you were using and the amount you were using. 

Once you are physically stabilized from medical detox, the next step in ensuring you stay off benzos for the long term is by continuing with addiction treatment. This can either be in an inpatient or outpatient setting and will involve participating in different kinds of therapies so that you can better understand your struggles and get to the bottom of your addiction. The more knowledge you have about you and your addiction, the better chance you have at long-term sobriety. They will also provide you with ways to avoid relapse once you go back into the real world. 

Find Pathway To Stay Sober at Recreate Life Counseling

If addiction treatment sounds like it will be helpful to you, we can give you more information on our treatment options and how they will benefit you. You do not need to continue to hurt yourself by abusing benzos. Now is the time to turn your life around.