Doctors across the country prescribe anti-anxiety medication every day. Short-term medications like benzos help people sleep during stressful times. Doctors also frequently prescribe benzos to manage anxiety in times of crisis. Some take benzos after divorce, the death of a loved one, or other significant life changes. Also known as benzodiazepines, this synthetic drug treats panic disorders, insomnia, and muscle tension. Because benzos treat both anxiety and sleep disorders, they are often abused. For those dealing with benzo addiction, it’s nearly impossible to detox at home. That’s why it’s crucial to turn to addiction specialists for support, such as the team at Atlanta Detox Center.
If you or someone in your life is attempting to detox from benzodiazepine at home, reach out to Atlanta Detox Center. Our benzo detox center provides comprehensive care for people who are ready to embrace recovery. Contact our team today by calling 833.631.0534 or completing our online form to learn more about how we can get you on the road to recovery.
What Are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are a class of synthetic drugs affecting GABA production. Every day our brains make a chemical called GABA to calm the nervous system and induce sleep. Benzos flood the brain with high levels of GABA. As more GABA enters the body, the brain stops producing its own supply. If benzos are taken for an extended period, the brain may stop making GABA altogether.
Benzodiazepines also supply the brain with high levels of dopamine. Dopamine is a highly motivating chemical that gives us feelings of joy and pleasure. The more often someone takes benzos, the less GABA and dopamine their brain will produce. The calming effects of benzos make them highly addictive. Common benzos include:
- Short-term anxiety
- Sleep medications
Benzos are designed for temporary treatment, often prescribed for two to three weeks at a time. If someone takes benzos for longer than prescribed, withdrawal symptoms may occur.
If you aren’t sure if your sleep or anxiety medication is a benzodiazepine, contact your doctor or health provider for more information.
Dangers of Benzo Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms occur when someone abruptly stops taking medication or drugs. As the substance leaves the body, the brain has to adjust. Because benzos flood the brain with GABA and dopamine, the brain lacks GABA and dopamine during withdrawal. This chemical imbalance can cause confusion, a lack of focus, and difficulty understanding speech and language. One of the dangers of benzo withdrawal is that it affects cognitive function. Many people struggle to follow or carry on conversations. Risks of benzo withdrawal, like insomnia and anxiety, may return at a higher intensity. Withdrawal symptoms can be scary and last anywhere from weeks to years. A condition called post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) can occur. During PAWS, withdrawal symptoms may persist or return for a year or more.
For those attempting to detox from benzos at home, withdrawal can lead to relapse. Quitting “cold turkey” without medical support can be dangerous. When the brain no longer makes dopamine and GABA on its own, those in withdrawal may seek other drugs to replace benzos. One of the main dangers of benzo withdrawal is that it can also be lonely and isolating. It’s always recommended that someone undergo benzo detox in a reputable inpatient or outpatient rehab program, such as the programs offered at Atlanta Detox Center.
Begin Benzo Addiction Treatment Today at Atlanta Detox Center
It can be dangerous to undergo benzo detox alone. Withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepine and other prescription drugs often lead to relapse and health complications. Put your health in the hands of Atlanta Detox Center. The members of our compassionate staff understand detox and are in recovery themselves. We treat addiction differently at our center. With medical and psychiatric support, we are ready to help you through the early stages of recovery.
If you or someone in your life is struggling with benzodiazepines or other prescriptions, call us today at 833.631.0534 or complete our online form to begin detox and recovery.