Benzodiazepines are a class of medication that is often prescribed to relieve symptoms of anxiety on a short-term basis. Even though they are relatively safe to take under the close supervision of a doctor, benzodiazepines do have a risk for abuse and addiction. Some people who benefit from taking these medications may eventually find that they have trouble stopping them.
There are many different situations under which a person could benefit from benzodiazepine addiction treatment or a benzodiazepine taper program. Benzodiazepine addiction can be dangerous, and quitting should always be done with the help of a doctor. For more information, contact True Life Center today at 866.420.1792.
Are Benzodiazepines Addictive?
Yes, they can be addictive. In fact, benzodiazepine addiction can be difficult to manage because these drugs are so frequently taken to relieve symptoms of anxiety. For people who want or need to stop using benzodiazepines, often that process involves treating an existing anxiety disorder in a more effective, healthier way.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Addiction?
It can be difficult to tell when you or someone else has crossed the line from taking medicine to being addicted to a drug. This can be compounded by the fact that many symptoms of addiction can also be considered symptoms of the anxiety that the medicine is intended to treat. However, there are some things to look for that could indicate an addiction to benzodiazepines:
- Taking the medicine in ways other than how it is prescribed or taking other peoples’ medicine
- Frequently running out of medicine early
- Becoming anxious, upset, or even aggressive if the medicine is not available
- Hiding or lying about when or how often the medicine is being used
- Financial problems that could be related to buying pills
- Rebound symptoms from medication overuse, such as increased anxiety or sleep problems
- Being preoccupied with seeking medication or ‘doctor-shopping’ to get multiple prescriptions
What Is a Benzodiazepine Taper Program, and How Does It Help?
The process of eliminating the use of benzodiazepine medications can be complicated. People who have been using these medications for a period greater than one month should seek the assistance of a doctor or a benzodiazepine addiction treatment program. Unfortunately, there is a small risk of seizures when benzodiazepine use is stopped, so clients that want to stop taking these medications often make use of a taper program.
In a benzodiazepine taper program, the medication dosage slowly decreases over time. This allows clients to adjust to the lower dose a little bit at a time while also receiving therapy and counseling to learn new methods of managing their symptoms. Sometimes, clients will also be transitioned onto a longer-acting or more manageable medication to help them slowly discontinue their use of benzodiazepines. Clients may also be given other medications to help reduce the risk of seizures or other unwanted side effects.
Often, taper programs are part of a greater addiction treatment program that can help clients change their relationship with substances. In addition to medical management, these programs can include therapy, peer group counseling, wellness activities, and the development of healthier coping methods. This comprehensive approach is the best way for people who wish to stop using benzodiazepines to achieve lasting recovery.
True Life Center Can Help With Benzodiazepine Addiction
At True Life Center, we understand that addiction to benzodiazepines is a complicated issue that affects each of our clients differently. Our highly trained and caring staff are committed to walking with you as you start your journey to recovery. At our treatment center in San Diego, we offer an array of programs to help clients heal from addiction. Reach out to us today at 866.420.1792.