Benzos Detox

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benzos detox

General Information About Benzos

While there are over 2,000 different known types of benzodiazepines, the Food and Drug Administration currently approves only about 15. These different benzodiazepine drugs range with different strengths, which allows the drug to aid in many different disorders. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the most commonly prescribed and illicitly used Benzos include:

Xanax (alprazolam); Ativan (lorazepam); Valium (diazepam); Klonopin (clonazepam); Restoril (temazepam)

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, between 2005 and 2011, an estimated 943,032 emergency room visits involved benzodiazepines, both alone and in combination with alcohol or opioid pain relievers. Read on to learn more about benzodiazepine abuse and how you can get help for it.

Benzo Addiction Rises in Georgia

When looking specifically at the state of Georgia, benzodiazepine abusers have risen substantially within the past five years. In fact, Georgia is within the top five states that have the highest numbers of individuals checked into rehabilitation centers for benzo abuse. This alarming statistic has skyrocketed within the past couple of years.

The state of Georgia has seen major issues when it comes to drug abuse. Recently, benzo prescription drugs have been making an impact on suburban communities. Sadly, most users begin abusing benzo drugs in the 15-17 year old age range.  Many studies have shown that this young age group often fall victim to benzo abuse because it is easier to acquire and presumably  “safer” than conventional street drugs. Even though doctors prescribe benzo drugs, they can still have harmful and life-threatening side effects. If over consumed, users may build a tolerance towards the drug, and say that they can no longer feel the desired effect. Once this point is reached, addiction has already begun to form

Symptoms of Benzos Addiction

Benzodiazepines work directly on the central nervous system. They act selectively on the brains’ GABA-A (gamma-aminobutyric acid-A) receptors, opening the chloride channels activated by GABA to allow chloride ions to enter neurons. This flood of chloride negatively charges the neuron and makes it resistant to excitation, thus leading to the characteristic calm and feelings of euphoria associated with taking the drug.

The problems come when a user either ups their dosage, keeps on using benzodiazepines beyond their prescribed date or mixes their dose with other drugs. The consistent flood of GABA-A and the increased chloride levels can cause a chemical imbalance such that, when the user isn’t using a benzodiazepine, their bodies fail to function properly, leading to withdrawals. The user is then forced to take more benzos just to maintain some form of equilibrium.

Increased levels of GABA can also cause your brain to produce more dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with a variety of bodily functions, including movement, pleasure, motivation, and reward. That means that taking benzodiazepines, or any drug, actually fills users with a sense of reward, which makes it easy to want to use it again and again.

Common Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Addiction:

  • Using benzodiazepines even after their prescribed usage date
  • Taking more benzodiazepines than is prescribed by your doctor
  • Taking benzodiazepines even though they have a noticeably negative affect on your life
  • Neglecting responsibilities at home, school, or work
  • Using benzodiazepines with alcohol or other drugs
  • Legal or financial problems caused by benzodiazepine use
  • Withdrawal symptoms when you don’t take benzodiazepines

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Effects of Benzos Use

Based on dosage and type, they can have varying effects but, they all work in the same fundamental way. Benzodiazepines work to directly depress the central nervous system. This leads to intense physical relaxation, mental and emotional calm, and feelings of euphoria. These effects are what make benzodiazepines such an effective treatment for anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia.

Benzodiazepines are classified by how long their effects last: ultra-short acting, short acting, and long-lasting. Aside from their intended effects, benzodiazepines can also cause a wide range of other side effects, including:

Benzodiazepines are classified by how long their effects last: ultra-short acting, short acting, and long-lasting. Aside from their intended effects, benzodiazepines can also cause a wide range of other side effects, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach
  • Blurry vision
  • Impaired coordination
  • Hangover effect
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Drowsiness

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Dangers of Benzos Use

Like most drugs, benzodiazepines work directly on the body, changing much of its natural chemical balance. Taking too much of a benzodiazepine or increasing the prescribed dosage can raise a person’s risk of abuse and addiction. Consistently taking benzos due to addiction can have a massive impact on your physical, emotional, and mental health and wellbeing, which can lead to even more significant effects on your behavior and personal life. Addicts commonly find themselves doing or saying hurtful, uncharacteristic things to coworkers, friends, family, and loved ones.

Benzodiazepine abuse also puts a hamper on your life, preventing you from fully living or engaging with every component of your life. Instead, your life revolves entirely around obtaining and using the drug.

Benzodiazepines also present a big danger when combined with other medications. Patients can suffer excessive sedation when they use benzos in conjunction with other substances that slow the brain’s process, such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Barbiturates
  • Narcotics
  • Tranquilizers

Benzodiazepines can also be dangerous during pregnancy. Pregnant mothers who take benzodiazepines can increase risk factors for low muscle tone, a cleft lip or palate, or withdrawal symptoms in their developing fetus.

As benzos impair cognitive processing and the senses, driving while using benzodiazepines can present a huge danger.

The detection and conviction of people using benzos as a date rape drug has increased in the past few years. Potential rapists will slip the benzos into an alcoholic or soft drink in powder or liquid form. This causes victims to become impaired or incapacitated.

Complications of Benzos Use

Benzodiazepines are commonly abused for their widespread availability and toxic effects. While death or serious illness are rare when taking benzodiazepines alone, abusers will often take the drug in conjunction with other substances. This can lead to serious complications, including:

  • Seizures and convulsions
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Severe drowsiness leading to coma
  • Significantly slowed heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Death from respiratory arrest

Chronic abuse of benzodiazepines can also lead to symptoms that mimic the same conditions that the drug is designed to treat. These symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Anorexia

Medical Intervention for Benzos Addiction

Medical Intervention 

Combining medicine with behavioral therapy is the key to all forms of drug abuse recovery. Heroin withdrawal treatment helps you work the toxins out of your body, eliminate chemical imbalances caused by prolonged drug use, and curb withdrawal symptoms.

Some medications your doctor or counselor may prescribe for your heroin addiction include:

  • Buprenorphine – A partial opioid agonist, buprenorphine is designed to relieve heroin cravings without the high or negative effects associated with the drug.
  • Naltrexone – Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that blocks the action of opioids. This medication is most useful for those seeking complete abstinence or those who are in the early stages of addiction.
  • Methadone – Methadone is a slow-acting opioid agonist that reduces heroin cravings while blocking the effects of opiates. Methadone has been used since the 1960s to treat heroin addiction.

RECOVERING FROM BENZOS ABUSE

Recovery

Heroin is a highly addictive drug, but detox can help you overcome your dependency on it and is the first rung in the ladder to good health. Many detox treatment programs lead directly into longer rehabilitation programs lasting 30, 60, or 90 days. Detox works the chemicals out of your system, but rehab gives you the tools to maintain a sobriety in the long-term.

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How to Find the Right Benzos Detox Facility for You

Georgia Drug Detox is dedicated to helping you find and select a detox program that fits your personal needs and gets you on track for recovery. It is important to complete your detox surrounded by supportive professionals who specialize in treating your specific addition, not just addiction in general. Contact us today at (678) 771-6411 and we will walk you through the process today.

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Georgia Drug Detox Call: (678) 771-6411
Georgia Drug Detox is here to assist you with your detox goals in whatever way we can. Get in touch with our friendly and well-trained representatives today to answer your questions and get you on the road to a clean and sober life.