Addiction from any substance is a difficult battle to win. Without drug rehab, it will be really hard to make a full recovery. Quitting on your own is particularly hard because of the withdrawal symptoms that will show up the moment you stop taking the drug.
If you are addicted to these drugs, it is best to go through benzodiazepine rehab. Recovery is a process that takes time and effort. It’s not going to be easy, but drug rehab will give you better recovery outcomes.
Why do benzodiazepines become addictive?
First of all, it’s important to understand what these drugs are and how they can be addictive. Benzodiazepines are a type of prescription medication used to treat anxiety, panic disorders, and insomnia. They work by slowing down activity in the central nervous system, which leads to feelings of calmness and relaxation.
However, long-term use or misuse can lead to physical dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepines are not meant to be taken for the long term because of their influence on your brain. Also, you must strictly follow your doctor’s prescription to avoid getting addicted. If you take a higher dose than what your doctor ordered, you are more likely to develop an addiction.
How would I know if I’m addicted to these drugs?
It’s important to be aware of the signs of benzodiazepine addiction, as early recognition can increase the chances of a successful recovery. Here are some signs to look out for:
One of the first signs of addiction is the need to take higher doses of the drug to achieve the same effect. If you find that you need to take more of the drug to feel calm or relaxed, it may be a sign that your body is becoming tolerant to its effects.
If you stop using benzodiazepines suddenly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, tremors, and seizures. These symptoms can be a sign of physical dependence on the drug. The symptoms may also get so intense that you would rather take the drugs again just to feel relieved.
Continuing to use even if you’re aware of the negative effects
You may experience things like job loss, strained relationships, or financial problems due to drug use. Despite knowing these, you can still find yourself unable to quit. This is a common sign of addiction.
Difficulty reducing or stopping use
If you try to reduce your dose or stop using benzodiazepines, but find it nearly impossible to do so, this is a clear sign of addiction.
Spending a lot of time looking for the drugs and using them
If you spend most of your time finding more drugs and taking them, this is another sign of addiction. Usually, the time you spend with drugs interferes with more important activities like work, studies, or family time.
If you find that you are no longer fulfilling responsibilities at work, school, or to your family, because of drug use, this is a sign of addiction.
Continuing to use despite physical or psychological problems
If you continue to use benzodiazepines despite issues such as memory loss, anxiety, seizures, or depression, this is another clear sign of addiction.
If you recognize any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, it’s important to seek help. Addiction is a treatable condition and the earlier it is addressed, the better the chances of a successful recovery. Your healthcare provider can help you determine the best course of action, which may include tapering off the drug, therapy, and support from loved ones.
How can I get over my addiction?
To recover from an addiction to these drugs, it’s best to seek a formal benzodiazepine rehab program. Ask your primary care doctor so he can help you find a treatment provider.
Rehab often starts with medically assisted detox. Here, you will taper off the drug under the guidance of healthcare professionals. If you abruptly quit taking benzodiazepines, you may get serious withdrawal symptoms, and some of them are potentially fatal. With that, it’s important to follow a gradual tapering plan. Your healthcare provider will help you determine the right tapering schedule based on your individual needs.
Detox may take a few days. Afterwards, you will go through a series of behavioral therapies such as:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Contingency management
- Psychotherapy (talk therapy)
- Family and/or couples therapy
These therapies can help you address any underlying mental health issues that may have contributed to your drug use. Also, your therapist will help you gain healthy coping strategies for anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions that trigger the desire to take drugs.
You may also join support groups, where you take part in activities along with other patients in recovery. A support group provides a sense of community, and you can keep each other accountable in your recovery journey.
It’s also important to have a strong support system in place. Surround yourself with people who will encourage and support you, rather than enable your addiction. Supportive people may include your immediate family, closest friends, a therapist, or fellow members of a support group.
In addition, consider incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine. Exercise can help improve your mood and reduce stress, while eating a balanced diet can give you the nutrients your body needs to heal. Getting enough sleep and avoiding triggers that may lead to drug use can also be beneficial.
Another important aspect of recovery is self-care. Take time to do things that make you feel happy and relaxed. This can include hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or simply taking a relaxing bath. By doing these activities, you are taking care of your mental health.
Finally, always be kind to yourself. Recovery is a process, and it’s fine to experience setbacks along the way. Have patience and celebrate small victories. If you do make mistakes, use them as opportunities to learn. Remember that recovery is a journey, not a destination, and that every day is a new opportunity to make positive changes in your life.