Benzodiazepine Rehab in St. Augustine, FL
At Dr. Paul's By The Sea, we offer treatment for several different types of substance abuse. Benzodiazepines are prescribed for anxiety and anxiety-like symptoms. The increasing use of these prescriptions within the United States has caused an increase in addictive behaviors and is becoming a critical issue. Our addiction center in St. Augustine, uses evidence-based treatment programs to help you attain a healthy life of sobriety.
What are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are a medication prescribed by doctors when patients exhibit symptoms of anxiety or panic disorders. Benzodiazepines are used to increase the brain's GABA neurotransmitter.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a chemical that blocks specific types of messages between nerve cells and the brain. The medical community believes that GABA controls the dips and spokes in moods. Lower levels of GABA can cause anxiety and panic. When Benzodiazepines are introduced into the body, it boosts the GABA levels in its system, inducing feelings of pleasure and happiness.
Benzodiazepines travels through the bloodstream, where it eventually reaches the brain and interacts with the GABA receptors. This process slows down the normal functioning and communication of the mind. It is similar to how alcohol influences the brain and causes the entire body to relax.
Are Benzodiazepines Addictive?
Benzos can be an addictive substance if used over a long period. If not carefully monitored by a physician, an addiction could quickly develop. Even though they are prescribed medications, many people will take them for recreational purposes, mixing it with other drugs to create a stronger reaction. Due to growing popularity, its addictive quality have become a significant risk.
Benzodiazepines influence in the brain's nervous system can cause it to release endorphins and dopamine. Endorphins and dopamine are the brain's natural reward system for the body when it engages in healthy behaviors, such as exercising. They create feelings of pleasure that encourage the body to continue the positive behavior. When benzos are taken for longer than is necessary, it begins to change the brain's chemical structure. Essentially, the artificial influx of dopamine motivates the person taking the medication to use it again and again to receive the same feeling. The brain will become used to receiving high levels of dopamine and will require continued use.
Eventually, the only way the user will be able to feel happiness or pleasure is by taking higher doses of the medication. This can lead to a higher risk of overdose and other dangerous side effects. If the user chooses to stop taking the drug suddenly, it could lead to a drop in brain activity, which could cause seizures.
Benzodiazepines are not meant to be used long term; doing so can cause serious health problems and dangerous side effects. Side effects of consuming benzos over a long period include:
- Increased saliva production
- Change in sex drive/ability
- Trouble concentrating
- Increased sweating
- Upset stomach
- Blurred Vision
- Dry mouth
- Swelling in hands and feet
Treatment for Benzodiazepine Abuse
Addiction to benzodiazepines, is best treated at a licensed rehab facility with highly qualified staff. While a person can quit on their own by slowly decreasing their dosage, the withdrawal symptoms could become dangerous. Entering a treatment center will be better in the long run and increase the chances of a successful recovery.
There are several different treatments available for benzodiazepine abuse. However, it is crucial to rid the body of the drug before starting any other form of treatment. A detox facility provides the safest environment while experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
At a detox treatment facility, patients will slowly taper off benzos, meaning they will take smaller doses over a period of time. Under the supervision of medical professionals, a patient will be given a lower dose of benzos for several weeks until they are taken off entirely. This can be dangerous and cause severe withdrawal symptoms if not done correctly. By going through a professional detox center, a patient will be monitored for health risks 24/7. Having immediate access to doctors and clinical specialists can be reassuring for patients and family members of the addict.
Patients who have gone through withdrawal before could have a more difficult time the second time around. Doctors at a detox center can give them a stabilizing benzodiazepine before the tapering process begins. Unfortunately, even when patients complete the detox process, they will experience post-acute-withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). This means that they will continue to have symptoms even after the substance has entirely left the body. It can be difficult for people to continue treatment when they are still suffering from drug effects. Transitioning into an inpatient treatment program will help to prevent relapse and teach healthy coping skills.
Transitioning into an inpatient rehab is vital for a successful recovery. The variety of programs and services provide the best level of care and support. By giving patients structure and keeping them away from outside temptation, they can begin to understand the benefits of a life without benzodiazepines. At Dr. Paul's By The Sea, we meet with each patient before treatment begins to develop an individualized treatment plan. The treatment plan is designed to address their needs specifically, and as they progress through the program, the plan can be adjusted as needed.
Once an inpatient program is completed, patients are encouraged to enter into an outpatient program. Multiple studies have suggested that the longer someone remains in treatment, the better chance they have for a successful recovery.
An outpatient program can be beneficial for those who have a mild addiction to benzodiazepines. The patient is required to come to the facility multiple times a week to be checked by doctors and participate in group therapy or individual counseling. Outpatient treatment is a valid option for people who are unable or unwilling to leave their other commitments for an extended period. By commuting to and from the facility, patients can continue working, going to school, and spending time with their families while still getting the treatment they need.
While an outpatient program is an excellent option for treatment, people must understand it might not be the best option for them. With outpatient treatment, the addict must have a reliable support system at home. They also need a reliable mode of transportation to get them to the treatment facility. Potential patients should always do their research and speak to an admissions team member to determine what the best course of treatment will be for them.
Tricare & TriWest Insurance Accepted
Dr. Paul’s By The Sea is proud to provide service to the men and women in our military forces. We thank you and accept Tricare insurance, allowing us to provide high-quality health resources to active-duty and veteran service members.
Our rehab center near the city of Jacksonville provides substance use disorder and mental health treatments for these service members and their families.
Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment in St. Augustine
While the people who need benzodiazepines for an anxiety disorder can often benefit from having a prescription, in many cases, there is a high risk for addiction. Users can quickly get addicted to anti-anxiety medication, whether they are taking it intending to get high or are simply following their doctor's prescription. Addiction to benzodiazepines can be a dangerous problem, especially for people with legitimate anxiety disorder symptoms. At Dr. Paul's By The Sea, we address the addiction, but what caused it in the first place. By treating the mental aspect of an addiction, we can offer a healthier and more accurate way of helping our patients.
It is never easy to escape the cycle of addiction, but having psychological symptoms can make it even more complex and challenging to achieve sobriety. With our treatment program in St. Augustine, patients can reduce their anxiety through individual and group therapy that focuses on the causes of their symptoms. They receive education about both their addiction and their mental illness so that they can handle both problems confidently once they leave treatment. Visit Dr. Paul's By The Sea today and learn more about how we can help you begin a life free of addiction.