The Importance of Detox for Benzodiazepine Addiction
Benzodiazepines, or benzos for short, are a family of drugs that is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. Valium, Ativan, Xanax, and Klonopin all belong to this family of medications. When ingested, benzos act as depressants and cause individuals to feel more relaxed. Understandably, this is a desirable quality when treating anxiety disorders. However, these relaxing and pleasurable properties can also cause individuals to abuse these drugs for recreational purposes. Benzos are safe if they are used in accordance with the prescribing physician’s instructions, but if they are abused, they have great potential to cause addiction.
As a person continues to abuse benzos, his or her body becomes tolerant to the drugs and they become less effective. This is a natural habituation process, but tolerance is also one indicator that an individual may be addicted to benzos. Unfortunately, as an individual becomes tolerant to benzos, he or she must take more of the drug in order to achieve the desired effect, resulting in a spiral of increasing use that often grows out of control.
Furthermore, withdrawal can be a significant barrier for individuals who are trying to overcome a benzo addiction because the quickest way to relieve withdrawal symptoms is to simply take more of the benzo that the person had been abusing. As a result, the temptation to relapse during withdrawal can simply be too much for an individual to overcome. Often, professional treatment is required in order to successfully overcome an addiction to benzos.
Benefits of Detox
For many people, the first stage of treatment for a benzodiazepine use disorder is to rid their bodies of the drugs which they had been abusing. This process occurs in a detoxification, or detox, program. During detox, individuals go through the withdrawal process under the watchful eye of a team of medical and clinical professionals. Detox programs offer a number of benefits when compared with attempting to withdraw without professional aid. Some of these benefits include:
- Experienced treatment team. Individuals in any detox program have the benefit of being monitored by an experienced medical team who have extensive training in substance abuse, physiology, and drug withdrawal. During detox, the medical team tracks an individual’s progress through the withdrawal process, ensures detox is completed safely, and administers medication as necessary to relieve withdrawal symptoms.
- No access to drugs. By their nature, detox programs are drug-free, and as result, there is virtually no chance of relapsing during the initial stages of detox and residential treatment when an individual is most vulnerable. This lack of access to drugs means that the person does not have to rely on willpower alone to achieve his or her first few days and weeks of sobriety.
- Surrounded by peers. Individuals in a detox program are surrounded by other people who are also on the same path. As a result, individuals in these programs can support each other as they complete detox.
- Smooth transition into the next phase of treatment. Detox programs often have close relationships with residential treatment centers, and some residential treatment centers even have in-house detox programs. As a result, individuals who complete detox can be assured that they will transition into residential care or other follow-up treatment with no interruption, thus giving them the best possible chance of building on the progress they have already made.
Without effective detox care, individuals are likely to continue to experience problems as result of using benzos. The abuse of these drugs can impact nearly all areas of a person’s life, from romantic relationships to friendships to family life to work and even physical health. Benzo abuse can even be fatal in the form of suicide or overdose, and if the person does not seek professional help, he or she will likely have a substantially more difficult, if not impossible, journey to sobriety.
Fortunately, true lasting recovery is possible. With the help of the caring and effective treatment at a family-owned residential treatment center such as Duffy’s Napa Valley Rehab, it is possible for individuals to break free from benzo abuse and live the lives they are meant to live. If you or someone you love might benefit from the quality care we provide, do not hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience.