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Medically-Assisted Benzodiazepine Detox
A medically-assisted detox program for benzodiazepine addiction is the process of detoxification from the drug, using medication under the direct supervision of trained and licensed medical professionals. Benzos, as they’re typically called, are prescribed for anxiety disorders and can be quite addictive.
Detox centered on medical assistance is the safest option for individuals who have an addiction to drugs or alcohol. People who opt out of not using medically-assisted medications to assist in reducing the effects of withdrawal have an increased risk of relapse, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The medications that fall into the Benzodiazepine class are:
What Happens in Detox?
To ensure a smooth transition regarding detox and the effects from it, medical professionals will prescribe medication under their direction and care. This usually happens shortly after the last dose of the benzodiazepine a person has taken to mitigate the withdrawal effects. This is why it’s important to enter into a recovery center where people can be monitored 24/7 and given support and care while they detox in a safe environment.
Some of the withdrawal symptoms a person detoxing from benzos can experience includes:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Night sweats
- High blood pressure
- Irritability and mood swings
- High blood pressure
- Confusion or disorientation
- Increased risk of seizures
These symptoms can begin shortly after stopping benzos and can last upwards of two weeks. The first two or three days is usually the most severe, so giving someone medication early on can help reduce these effects.
What to Expect After Benzodiazepine Detox
Detox is the first step in a long journey to sobriety and changed behavior, which involves various treatment modalities for a successful recovery. Once an individual has detoxed from a benzodiazepine, they will continue to get care in either a residential treatment center, partial hospitalization, or intensive outpatient services.
Treatment methods may include counseling, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma-focused therapy, group therapy, individual and family therapy, and nutritional therapy. Other therapy includes reiki, stress management, exercise, and yoga.
It will take a change in behavior and skills taught in rehab to prevent relapse and give people the best chances of remaining sober and clean long-term. There are community support groups that help keep people accountable and yet, offer support when time’s get tough.
Medically-assisted detox is an effective treatment method for those with any addiction, whether it’s with drugs or alcohol, and allows a person to come off a drug safely.
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