When you broke your back, you were prescribed the benzodiazepine diazepam. It helped the terrible muscle spasms, and relaxed you enough that you could fall asleep even though you were in pain. You realized it wasn’t just your back that felt better. You didn’t feel anxious anymore. You felt calm. By the time your doctor said you were done taking diazepam, you were disappointed. Not only were you disappointed, but you also ended up very sick due to withdrawals. Life was so much easier on benzodiazepines, also known as “benzos.” You then found ways to continue to get diazepam, and before you knew it, your life began to revolve around this substance.
This story is not unusual when it comes to benzodiazepine addiction. Less than 10% of Americans misusing prescription medication do so with the intent to get high. More often, they use benzodiazepines as a means to feel relaxed or sleep, and in some cases become dependent on benzodiazepines after being prescribed them for an extended period.
At Hope for Tomorrow, we understand the draw benzodiazepines have, and how the legality of prescribing them makes it easier to develop a benzodiazepine use disorder. We also know how possible it is to recover and live a wonderful life without the influence of benzodiazepines. Our passionate, dedicated staff is eager to provide you with the customized care you need to reach recovery.
Hope for Tomorrow is well-trained in benzodiazepine addiction treatment, as well as treatment for all other substance use disorders. In recent years, nearly 5% of Mason County patients prescribed opioids were also on benzodiazepines, and while those numbers don’t mean those people had substance use disorders, it proves that multiple substances can go hand in hand. We also know the danger this poses, and are prepared to treat polysubstance use disorder, as well as any mental health conditions coinciding with any substance use disorders.
No matter who you are or where you come from, you’re welcome at Hope for Tomorrow. If you’re a veteran, an expecting mother, or someone with another medical condition, we believe you have a place here and deserve healing just as much as anyone else. If you need help, we’re here for you.
Our treatments are evidence-based and always backed by compassion. Upon reaching out to us, you’ll take a comprehensive intake assessment to determine the level and kind of care that’s best for you. All of your treatment will be customized to your needs and recovery journey. We know that path looks a little different for everyone, and we’re excited to walk on it beside you.
The first step in your journey to a benzo-free life is a benzodiazepine detox. This will consist of close monitoring by our medical professionals to help manage your withdrawal as the benzodiazepines leave your system. Benzodiazepine withdrawal is notoriously difficult and dangerous to manage on your own, but with help from our team, you’ll be able to detox successfully. After that, you’ll move on to another level of treatment.
If your benzodiazepine use disorder is severe, we may recommend an inpatient stay at our Point Pleasant or Beckley facility. In our inpatient program, you’ll receive high-quality care 24/7, and live alongside others working toward recovery. You’ll stay with a maximum of 19 other people at our Beckley facility, while Point Pleasant’s is larger. Your treatment will be customized to you, and the length of your stay with us will depend on your individual needs, though the stay at our Beckley facility tends to be around 30 days. 60-day stays are also available if needed.
Inpatient treatment at Hope for Tomorrow consists of a weekly, if not more frequent, visit by your medical provider, as well as daily group and individual counseling with our highly-trained counselors. Meals come from a full-service kitchen, aiding in the comfortable environment we strive to provide during our inpatient treatment.
Our passionate team will work alongside you to find and eliminate the root of your benzodiazepine use disorder. You’ll learn coping strategies so you have healthy behaviors to turn to when in distress. We also believe your story is valuable, and encourage you to share it with others experiencing Hope for Tomorrow’s inpatient program with you.
When you finish your inpatient program, you’ll likely transition to one of our outpatient programs. Even if you don’t, we offer continued care after you leave Hope for Tomorrow. This includes weekly therapy sessions as you acclimate to your regular life once more, and if you return to benzodiazepine use, you’re always welcome back without judgment. We want to help you achieve lasting recovery, no matter what your journey to it looks like.
Usually, those from our inpatient programs will transition to an outpatient program once they finish that portion of their treatment. Other times, patients come for outpatient treatment only. Outpatient programs are especially helpful if you’re managing a busy life you can’t take time away from to complete a residential program. Instead, you can seek outpatient treatment, and come to our facility at times that work for your schedule. This leaves plenty of room for work, childcare, school, or any other responsibilities you need to tend to. While inpatient treatment works best for those with severe benzodiazepine use disorders, outpatient treatment is a good starting place for those whose conditions aren’t as dire.
Hope for Tomorrow’s outpatient program still involves the methods used during inpatient care, but without constant supervision. You’ll still receive group and individual therapy sessions tailored to you, and receive regular medical check-ins with our doctors. In addition to the group counseling at the core of what we do, we utilize 12-step therapy models, cognitive behavioral therapy, and life skills training.
Benzodiazepines are medications prescribed for anxiety, sleep disorders, muscle spasms, and seizures. They are depressants that slow down your brain and nervous system and relax you, leading to relief from the symptoms they’re prescribed for.
This can be appealing, especially for those with mental or physical health conditions. This doesn’t mean benzodiazepines are inherently addictive. The real reason for addiction is typically unaddressed mental health concerns and trauma, and genetics also play a small role. Long-term use of benzos increases the risk of developing a benzodiazepine use disorder, as dependency on benzodiazepines can occur after just a few weeks of taking them. This then causes painful, and sometimes dangerous, withdrawal when you stop taking them. These factors can lead to a benzodiazepine use disorder.
A large reason people end up trapped in a cycle of benzo use, and subsequently, benzodiazepine use disorder, is due to the severity of withdrawals. The longer a person is on benzodiazepines, the worse their withdrawal will be, but even three weeks on benzos can cause withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the type of benzodiazepine and how long it stays in your system, withdrawal symptoms can begin within hours of a dose or days. Some benzo withdrawal symptoms include:
People with severe withdrawal symptoms can sometimes experience suicidal ideation, and are at higher risk of suicide. They can exhibit other psychiatric symptoms that mirror mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia.
How long withdrawal symptoms last depends on the benzodiazepine used, with withdrawal from short-acting benzos, like Xanax, tending to last around a week. Other long-acting benzo withdrawal generally lasts around three or four weeks. Even so, it’s also possible for benzodiazepine withdrawal to last months, and even years. These long-lasting symptoms may include insomnia, prickling and crawling sensations under the skin, depression, anxiety, and tinnitus.
Because of all of these factors, it’s important to seek out medical help rather than manage benzo withdrawal on your own. Hope for Tomorrow is here to help you detox from benzodiazepines in a safe, monitored environment. We’ll ensure you make it through withdrawal as easily as possible.
Benzodiazepine use disorder, known in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) as sedative use disorder, is a legitimate medical condition. Medical professionals use the following symptoms from the DSM-5 to officially diagnose sedative use disorder:
Medical professionals also consider tolerance and withdrawal as criteria in those taking benzodiazepines illicitly, but not in those taking benzos as prescribed. If someone exhibits two of these signs from the DSM-5 manual, they are considered to have a sedative use disorder.
If you could relate to any of the signs above, it’s worth contacting Hope for Tomorrow about benzodiazepine addiction treatment. Whether you see every symptom in yourself or only two, we welcome you, and will be happy to work with you toward a life free of benzodiazepines.
We also encourage you to seek treatment with us if you’re taking other substances in addition to benzodiazepines. 65% of people in emergency rooms due to opioid overdoses in West Virginia also had benzodiazepines in their system. A benzodiazepine use disorder is dangerous in itself, but mixing substances greatly increases the risk of an overdose.
When you’re ready to seek benzodiazepine addiction treatment, we’ll welcome you at Hope for Tomorrow in Point Pleasant and Beckley. It’s a huge and difficult step, but one that will change your life for the better.
When you decide to contact us, you’ll speak to an admissions coordinator who will walk you through our detailed intake assessment. The purpose of the assessment is to customize your potential treatment plan. We’ll be here to answer any questions you have about the admissions and intake process. We accept most major insurance policies, including Medicare and Medicaid. We’ll never judge you for how you answer your assessment, or where you are in life when you come to us. We’re eager to help you achieve recovery, no matter who you are.
Are you ready to take the next step in overcoming your benzodiazepine use disorder? Hope for Tomorrow, located in Point Pleasant and Beckley, offers comprehensive, customized treatment for substance use disorders. We also treat mental health conditions and underlying trauma, knowing it is a vital component of recovery. Our passionate staff is ready to welcome you with open arms. Call us at 877-679-8162 for more on how we can help today.