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Benzodiazepine addiction is a growing issue within the United States. With the rise of stress and anxiety, there is a rise in benzodiazepine prescriptions. Any time there is a rise in prescriptions for an addictive drug, there is also a rise in the need for addiction treatment. Benzodiazepines are no exception to this.
The problem with benzodiazepines is that you need treatment when you decide to stop taking them. According to the National Library of Medicine, benzodiazepine withdrawal is dangerous. The dangers include:
The necessity of treatment generates the need for different types of treatment. These symptoms are also why finding benzodiazepine withdrawal treatment is so important.
Types of Treatment for Benzodiazepine Addiction
Even though benzodiazepine addictions are difficult to beat, they are not impossible. Most treatment centers offer a variety of treatment options.
Tapering or Weaning
According to the University of California, benzodiazepine addiction treatment generally begins with weaning you off the benzodiazepines.
This is a gradual reduction of the amount of whichever benzodiazepine you are on. Most of the prescription benzodiazepines are easy to taper because of the different variety of strengths.
The doctor will evaluate your current use and prescribe a dose that is just less than what you are using now. After a week, they will reduce that dose by a small amount.
Usually this process takes a few weeks. In particularly severe cases, the process might take months depending on your level of addiction, relapse rate, and original dose.
During weaning or tapering, you might experience some withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are usually mild.
Although there are no medications specifically approved for the treatment of benzodiazepine withdrawal, there are medications that may help. Some of these medications are:
- Buspar, a long acting, long term medication for anxiety
- Anti-seizure medications such as Lamictal that are known to treat both anxiety and reduce the risk of dangerous seizures
- Anti-depressant medications to treat depressive symptoms
- Less addictive benzodiazepines
All of these are supportive medications that can help to ease the withdrawal symptoms. Scientists are currently working on medications that are not addictive and can treat anxiety.
One of the most effective treatments for benzodiazepine addiction and withdrawal is through behavioral therapy. There are a variety of behavioral treatments available. The most common of these is cognitive behavioral therapy. During cognitive behavioral therapy, you learn to rethink your behaviors, changing negative behaviors and thought patterns to positive ones.
Finding Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Treatment
The most important step in finding benzodiazepine withdrawal treatment is to find the right treatment center. You need a treatment center that will work with you and personalize your treatment program to your needs.