Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment in Colorado

Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are prescription drugs that treat tension and anxiety. Use or especially abuse of this medication must be taken seriously.  Benzos are strong and their effects on the body can be severe and even critical. It’s possible to start treatment for benzo addiction and recovery early enough to halt their effect and reclaim a healthy and meaningful life.

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are categorized as downers (depressants), which are medications that reduce the activity of your brain and slow down your central nervous system (CNS). They are effective in treating various conditions, such as anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and muscle spasms. Benzos work by increasing the effect of GABA, a chemical in your brain that makes you feel calm and relaxed. Benzodiazepines have varying strengths and durations of action, depending on their chemical structure, and are only available with a prescription.

What Is a Benzo Addiction?

A benzo addiction forms when a person becomes heavily dependent on benzodiazepines and is unable to function normally without them. This usually starts with a person taking incrementally larger doses of the drug to get the same level of “high” or sense of relaxation that they achieved with their first use of the drug. This process of increasing dosage leads to a drug dependency, followed by a full-on addiction to the drug. Benzodiazepines are prescribed for conditions such as seizures and muscle spasms, but they are also often misused for nonmedical purposes, such as to enhance the effects of other drugs or to get high.

Benzodiazepine addiction is detrimental to a person’s physical health, mental well-being, and emotional stability. It also increases the risk of overdose, particularly when combined with alcohol or other drugs. The good news is that benzo addiction is not permanent and can be treated with professional help, such as behavioral therapy, medical detox, and medication-assisted treatment.

Signs and Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Abuse

Benzodiazepine abuse symptoms can be similar to other drugs, so a screening by a medical professional may be necessary for a proper diagnosis. Some of the symptoms and indications of benzodiazepine abuse are:

  • Body weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Shallow breathing
  • Fainting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Muscle eakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures and trembling
  • Mood changes
  • Risk-taking behaviors
  • Poor memory
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Poor judgement
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Doctor shopping (hunting for prescriptions from multiple sources)
  • Soliciting friends, family, colleagues, or classmates for benzodiazepine pills
  • Desiring to cut back benzodiazepine use but not being able to
  • Expending a lot of time using, getting, or recovering from benzo use
  • Neglecting responsibilities, hobbies, or relationships
  • Combining benzodiazepines with alcohol or other drugs

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The community vibe we foster at Spero Recovery enables our clients to feel comfortable and teaches them interpersonal skills. We want to create a safe environment for our clients; our goal is to provide a space where they can become the people they have always wanted to be.

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At Spero Recovery, we immerse our clients into a 12 Step community. They find sponsors, meet up with them regularly, and work through the 12 Steps. Members of the community pass down the gift of recovery to our clients, which allows them to begin the process of recovery and eventually pass on the gift to other clients.

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We also offer experiential programming – hikes and other outdoor activities. We also have a full woodworking shop. Inviting specialists onto the premises—such as meditation teachers and chefs—is one of our favorite things to do. Our goal is to teach our clients essential life skills and the importance of building relationships.

Effects of Benzo Abuse on the Body

Prescription medications, such as benzos, have effects on the body that could be permanent or even fatal if not treated or caught in time. You should only attempt to withdraw and recover from such drug use under the care of a qualified medical professional who can monitor your health at every turn.

Prolonged abuse of benzodiazepines aconditions the body to the presence of the drug. Halting or slowing benzo use means the body no longer has access to adequate quantities of the drug, causing it to undergo a painful and arduous process of readjusting to the absence of the drug. This is known as withdrawal and can include the following symptoms:

  • Feelings of tension
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty walking
  • Perceptual disturbances
  • Sensory hypersensitivity

Long-term exposure to benzodiazepine will build up a tolerance and necessitate higher and higher doses to achieve the same calming and relaxing effects in a person. This process can lead someone to take benzos in such high quantities that the body is unable to metabolize the drug quickly enough and that person experiences an overdose.

Overdoses are critical and mean hospitalization and possibly death. Because benzodiazepines are depressants, symptoms of an overdose will typically include reductions in physical and mental activity. In some cases, people take enough of the medication to make their hearts slow to a complete stop. Recognizing the following symptoms can help you save your own or someone else’s life from an overdose.

  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Sudden lack of coordination
  • Significantly lowered respiratory activity
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sedation
  • Coma or death

What Does Addiction Treatment for Benzodiazepine Addiction Involve?

addiction treatment in coloradoAddiction treatment for benzodiazepine involves a procedure of safely and slowly reducing the use of the drug under experienced medical supervision in a process known as detoxification or detox. The detox stage helps prevent or manage the withdrawal symptoms and complications that sometimes arise from stopping or lowering the dose of prescription medications such as benzodiazepine.

Detox should be completed in a specialized drug rehabilitation center. The process of detoxification can take from a few weeks to several months and will most likely require the administration of other medications to smooth over the withdrawal process and reduce cravings as well as the risk of seizures. Co-occurring conditions such as anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues will call for a dual diagnosis and a further specialized treatment plan.

After achieving detox, the treatment process for benzo addiction will move on to include various forms of psychotherapy such as contingency management, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or motivational interviewing. These therapies are the go-to methods for helping you identify and change the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that led to the misuse of benzodiazepine, and develop life skills and coping strategies to prevent relapse. Therapy can be done in individual, group, or family sessions, and is available in both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.

Aftercare services in Colorado, such as peer support groups, case management, education, vocational training, and aftercare planning will also be incorporated into your benzodiazepine treatment program. Aftercare services help you maintain your recovery progress and improve your quality of life. Your path to recovery will not mimic anyone else’s. Each addiction case is different, and your treatment plan will be customized for you and incorporate your needs, preferences, and desires.

Reach Out to Spero Recovery Today for Help

Benzo addiction treatment for men

At Spero Recovery Center, we provide an environment where men can recover with real-time peer-to-peer support and encouragement. We teach our clients the value of honesty amongst each other and peer accountability.

The connection our clients develop with each other helps them feel that they are part of a team working toward a common goa. This instills a feeling of ownership over their recovery and sets them up for long-term goal achievement. The friends made in recovery remain with you throughout the rest of your life and form a stable foundation you can turn to if you feel yourself wavering and turning toward former addictions.

We offer a residential treatment program for men where clients live on location and work the 12-steps.We spare nothing to provide our clients with high-quality and accessible care.

Don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance with you or a loved one’s substance use problem. Contact us today to make inquiries, schedule a tour of our facilities, or speak with our admissions team about enrolling and beginning your journey to a healthy and fulfilling life.

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Begin With Spero Recovery Center Today

Finding the right program for recovering from addiction can be challenging. For more information on what Spero Recovery does and how we can help, give us a call. Your are not alone. We can accomplish so much together!