Benzodiazepines are a class of prescription drugs known as tranquilizers, commonly used as sedatives, hypnotics, anxiolytics, anticonvulsants, and muscle relaxants.
Some of the more commonly abused benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan).
Long-term use of benzodiazepines can result in addiction, while withdrawal from these drugs can be particularly dangerous and even deadly due to the risk of seizures. Seeking the help of a treatment center experienced in benzodiazepine addiction increases the chances of successfully quitting.
Our proven approach to benzodiazepine addiction treatment takes into account each of our client’s backgrounds and specific needs. At Recovering Champions, we believe a successful treatment plan must address the underlying spiritual, emotional, and psychological causes of addiction.
What are the signs of benzodiazepine addiction?
Benzodiazepine drugs are usually prescribed for people suffering from anxiety, depression, or those having difficulty sleeping. While these drugs are intended to be used only when needed rather than on a routine basis, they are addictive and can lead to physical and psychological dependence if used against doctors’ orders.
People who use benzodiazepines on a chronic basis beyond what was recommended by their doctor may not show any outward physical symptoms of addiction but could show psychological signs of dependence, such as:
- Dependence on the drug
- Lack of personal confidence
- Attempts to get more of the drug through doctor or hospital visits
- Irrational fear or anxiety
- Consuming alcohol and benzodiazepines together
Because there are many different types of benzodiazepines, addiction symptoms will vary from person to person but will likely share some of the characteristics above.
Benzodiazepine Addiction Recovery Programs
Withdrawal and Detox
Like other addictive drugs, the chronic use of benzodiazepines can lead to a level of tolerance that could lead users to seek more and more of the drug to compensate. If users stop taking the drug at these high levels, they can begin to experience withdrawal symptoms as the body reacts to the absence of the drug. Benzodiazepine tolerance and withdrawal typically occurs between four to six months after taking the drug on a routine basis.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms typically include:
- Elevated heart rate or blood pressure
- Anxiety or depression
At its most serious, withdrawal from benzodiazepines can lead to seizures and delirium tremens, a severe condition that can also occur during alcohol withdrawal.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be medically complicated due to the risk of seizures and delirium tremens, as noted above. That’s why we encourage anyone undergoing withdrawal from these drugs to seek out the help of a doctor and a licensed, supervised detoxification program to oversee their care.
Because of this heightened medical risk, anyone undergoing benzodiazepine withdrawal should seek out a detox program that that has hands-on care and 24-hour supervision from trained providers, as well as a comfortable and safe environment to begin healing.
At Recovering Champions, we partner with trusted and experienced benzo detox providers who share our treatment philosophy. We only work with detox facilities that emphasize client safety, comfort, and privacy as their top priorities. We can recommend the ideal detox treatment provider for any client who is ready to safely begin their recovery.
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
Clients that come to Recovering Champions to overcome benzo dependence transition from a professionally-supervised detox program into our partial hospitalization program, or PHP, for six hours of daily clinical addiction treatment. During this time, clients reside at our scenic Wellness Lodge near the ocean in Cape Cod.
Throughout PHP treatment, clients benefit from our multidisciplinary clinical team, which includes access to medical care from nurses and physicians as well as ongoing therapy from treatment experts for mental, physical, and spiritual healing.
PHP treatments for benzodiazepine addiction include:
- Motivational Enhancement (MET)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Equine Therapy
- Aquatics Therapy
- Physical Training
A complimentary gym membership, access to a personal trainer, and nutritional guidance are included in our PHP treatment, helping clients cope with the recovery process as they put their benzodiazepine addiction behind them.
A key differentiator of Recovering Champions treatment compared to other programs is the extent to which clients themselves determine the course of their own recovery during the PHP process. The client sets their own treatment goals and strategies for their recovery with guidance from our Recovering Champions clinical team.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
After completing the PHP process, our clients undergo the most critical part of the benzo addiction recovery process as they transition between PHP to the intensive outpatient program (IOP).
The reason this juncture is so critical is because, as the client moves from PHP to IOP, they transition from a self-contained recovery community within Recovering Champions into a larger community that carries the added responsibilities of day-to-day life.
This is why we provide “wraparound” services during this period of transition, ensuring continuity in each client’s medical, case management, and clinical teams, as well as their peers in recovery. The close bonds they develop during PHP carry on into IOP, as well.
This continuity is important because people in recovery often turn back to addictive substances like benzodiazepines to help manage periods of stress and change. We find that ensuring continuity and stability throughout treatment is an important step towards future success and building a foundation for a positive long-term recovery.
Outpatient Program (OP)
Once clients become accustomed to managing the responsibilities of everyday life, they typically move into our stabilizing Outpatient program, where they can continue in weekly individual and group therapy while returning to their regular schedule.
During this process, we ensure clients feel prepared to return to their everyday lives without the aid of benzodiazepines or other substances.
Individual and Group Therapy
People recovering from benzodiazepine addiction benefit from trained and licensed therapists who help them uncover underlying stress, challenges, and issues that can lead to substance abuse.
To help clients dig deeper, Recovering Champions ensures every client undergoes regular, personalized therapy sessions, including individual weekly therapy sessions where clients can discuss their treatment plans, progress towards their recovery goals, and needs and barriers to recovery.
Clients also benefit from larger group therapy sessions among their peers as well as their family and friends. During these group sessions, clients explore coping mechanisms to reduce triggers for benzodiazepine use, as well as overcoming the stigma of addiction to heal and move forward.
Family Counseling for Benzodiazepine Addiction
Clients benefit greatly from interactions with their peers in recovery. But for an effective and lasting long-term recovery, it’s important that friends and family also become involved in the recovery process.
At Recovering Champions, we encourage this involvement in recovery through ongoing family therapy sessions where family and friends are invited onto campus to learn about benzodiazepine addiction, recovery, and tools to prevent relapse.
These weekly therapy sessions each Saturday help family members understand how to avoid stigmatizing addiction, as well as helping the client overcome shame and guilt associated with their benzo dependence. Our goal is to help clients and their families and friends become closer and more united, ensuring a more successful recovery for each client.
We pride ourselves on helping clients overcome benzodiazepine addiction without the use of medication, but we provide education and counseling for those clients eligible for medication-assisted treatment. Clients themselves determine whether they will use medication during their recovery in consultation with their doctor and a qualified local medical provider which we can recommend.
Though our staff does not provide medication-assisted treatment, clients at Recovering Champions do have greater access to medical and psychiatric care than many other treatment facilities, including an on-site doctor and medical staff who can assist with evaluations, recommendations, and care.
Alternative or Holistic Treatments
Some clients benefit through traditional benzo addiction treatments like individual or group therapy, while others heal best with holistic healing methods like meditation, yoga, and spirituality. Because of this, we help clients with holistic healing techniques including yoga, Reiki, and a Spirituality 101 course.
12 Step Recovery Model
The 12 Step recovery model is central to the Recovering Champions treatment program, utilizing a recovery method that has helped people overcome addiction to substances like benzodiazepines for decades.
While every Recovering Champions client is encouraged to participate in a 12 Step program, they are not required to participate in order to experience treatment.
Many people struggling with addiction to benzodiazepines and other substances find 12 Step recovery particularly powerful because it allows them to rebuild their inner moral compass and set of values, as well as building a strong sense of community with fellow peers in recovery. In this way, a 12 Step program helps clients rebuild key relationships in their lives that may have been damaged by addiction.
Benzodiazepine Relapse Prevention and Aftercare
Even when Recovering Champions clients become alumni, they still benefit from ongoing support and guidance through our industry-leading alumni program, which includes a full-time outreach coordinator and extensive aftercare support with resources to help alumni stay sober.
Through opportunities like our private Facebook group and access to aftercare staff, alumni can stay in touch with peers and share learn lessons, strategies, and coping mechanisms learned as they continue their recovery.
We also provide referrals and connections to support groups for our clients, including Narcotics Anonymous and 12 step programs to help reinforce their sobriety and positive behaviors.
Like most professional addiction treatment providers, we understand that addiction can never be fully cured but instead must be successfully managed through ongoing effort and support. Nonetheless, at Recovering Champions we believe benzodiazepine addiction can be treated successfully through a compassionate approach that provides non-judgmental care that builds up a network of support for the client when they leave the program.