Benzodiazepine detox treatment (and in general, pill and anti-anxiety related detox treatments) is a growing request in addiction centers.
At CITA we are a Benzodiazepine detoxification center specialized in the treatment of benzodiazepine addiction. We have different locations in which to carry out patient treatment, which allows us to adapt to your specific needs.
On many occasions, benzodiazepine addiction arises from a medical process. It should be noted that, in order to avoid addiction to the drug, in case of following a treatment with benzodiazepines, it is essential to adhere strictly to the doses and periods recommended by the doctor.
It is common to diagnose a benzodiazepine addict having developed an addiction after starting medical treatment with this substance. And when the patient deviates from the protocol of use or medical guidelines, it can lead to danger of addiction to benzodiazepines by abuse or unauthorized consumption.
Many people take for a long time without realizing the development of drug dependence. There are people who increase the dose because this substance creates tolerance. We are facing one of the most serious withdrawal syndromes, which is why it requires professional attention for benzodiazepine detoxification.
At CITA Clinics, treatment for benzodiazepine addiction starts from the identification of the consumption patterns of each patient to, from there, develop individual planning adapted to her specific needs.
Our working method combines psychological and psychotherapeutic techniques and is endorsed by our more than thirty years of experience. The extremely high rates of success and satisfaction of our patients make CITA a benchmark institution in the field of benzodiazepine detoxification treatment.
HOW DRUG ADDICTION ARISES
Addiction to drugs or benzodiazepines, in general, is a growing problem in Spain and throughout the European scene. The European Observatory for Drugs and Alcohol has cited drug addiction as one of the great challenges that Europe will have to face in terms of addiction in the coming years, along with synthetic drugs. Barbiturates and benzodiazepines, of which Lorazepam is one of the drugs, when they cause intoxication, cause behaviors very similar to those produced by alcohol.
Barbiturates were widely prescribed as sleeping pills until the 1960s. Their ready availability made them the drugs of choice for suicide, and accidental overdose deaths were also frequent. The addiction tendency was an added problem. Most importantly, however, they weren’t really effective in treating insomnia. Its regular use caused dependency and attempts to sleep without the medication were frustrated by withdrawal syndromes that ironically included insomnia.
With the abandonment of barbiturates for the treatment of insomnia and anxiety, the first benzodiazepines hit the market and quickly replaced them. The advantages of benzodiazepines over barbiturates were their safety, less tendency to increase the dose and dependence, and a less dangerous withdrawal syndrome.
Some specialists drew attention to the fact that benzodiazepines were excessively prescribed, both for insomnia and anxiety, and many patients, especially older people, used them daily and became dependent on them. In 1981, 11% of the US population used benzodiazepines, and one in seven of them had used one daily for a full year. The reaction to these data was a drastic reduction in prescription.
DETOXICATION OF BENZODIAZEPINES
Benzodiazepine detoxification is often problematic because of the extremely long and severe withdrawal symptoms they often cause.
Generally, stopping benzodiazepines tends to cause discomfort, and many addicts try to quit on their own. This habit often carries a high dropout and failure rate.
With a professional and guided benzodiazepine detox treatment like the one offered by CITA, the success rate goes up to almost 100%. It is important to generate an initial evaluation as each patient will have a unique and personalized benzodiazepine treatment.
CONTACT THE DETOX CENTER APPOINTMENT
CONSEQUENCES OF CONSUMING BENZODIAZEPINES
Benzodiazepines are also susceptible to causing memory loss, mainly of recent or episodic memory, as well as causing real memory gaps in which the patient does not remember what he has done recently. Long-term use of benzodiazepines can also cause depression and emotional dullness, that is, not feeling emotions in an appropriate way.
A side effect of great importance is the paradoxical effect, that is, it can increase nervousness and aggressiveness in certain people. This can occur especially in very anxious and hyperactive people or with associated psychiatric problems.
Certain benzodiazepines, associated with alcohol consumption, can cause episodes of high aggression in certain types of people.
CONSEQUENCES OF MIXING BENZODIAZEPINES AND ALCOHOL, OR OTHER SUBSTANCES
Although benzodiazepines are relatively safe substances, their mixture with other depressant substances of the central nervous system (alcohol, GHB, opiates, ketamine, etc.) can increase the effects, both pleasant and undesirable, of both, leading to intoxications. life threatening. However, depending on the type of benzodiazepine and the doses of the different substances consumed, the risks may be more or less high.
For example, combining long-acting benzodiazepines with other depressants is more risky than with another short-acting benzodiazepine. In either case, adverse effects such as amnesia or taxia may appear. However, the longer the half-life and the higher the dose of sedative-hypnotics or alcohol (or another depressant), the greater the risks of intoxication or overdose.
Regarding the combination with stimulants (cocaine, amphetamines, etc.), it should be borne in mind that both the type of benzodiazepine and the doses used, both of benzodiazepines and stimulants, are key factors in reducing the risks associated with this type combination. In this way, adjusted doses of a short- or medium-acting benzodiazepine again pose lower risks than the consumption of long-acting benzodiazepines if they are to be taken, for example, to reduce the after-effects of stimulants.
Finally, although among some psychonauts there is a myth that benzodiazepines “cut” the bad trip of psychedelics (LSD, mushrooms, DMT, etc.) due to their action on GABA receptors, this is not really true. Rather, when the psychedelic experience is taken by fear, the use of benzodiazepines can reduce the anxiety inherent in these situations. But unlike an atypical antipsychotic, it does not eliminate the effects of the hallucinogen.
But we can go further and see what these figures can reveal: the portrait of a population that does not tolerate the slightest setback, that is always in a hurry to overcome disappointments, that considers it reprehensible that someone is unwell and asks for a break or help. In this sense, what these data are saying is that people do not have resources – neither their own nor others – to solve their daily problems.
BENZODIAZEPINE WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME
Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome may present the following symptoms to a greater or lesser degree: great anxiety, agitation, irritability, insomnia, loss of appetite, aggressiveness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, confusion, seizures, elevated body temperature and even death. These signs usually appear between the first day and the first week after stopping the drug.
It should be mentioned that the withdrawal syndrome does not always appear. In certain people it does not appear and in others the symptoms that they had before and for which they were prescribed reappear. The appearance or not of the withdrawal syndrome does not always depend on the dose, or the individual, or the time, but these factors are risk factors to trigger it.
This can appear after a prolonged period of use or abuse of benzodiazepines. In fact, after a month of consumption, withdrawal syndromes have been described even at therapeutic doses.
The risk involved in the abandonment of benzodiazepines and the eventual appearance of the withdrawal syndrome is what makes it advisable that the process be monitored by medical professionals.
CONSUMPTION GENERATES DEPENDENCE ON BENZODIAZEPINES
There are patients who, due to the tolerance to which we referred before or because there has been little medical control, without even realizing it become addicted to the drug.
Many of these patients are not informed of the danger of benzodiazepine addiction and only perceive the problem when they lack the drug, either due to forgetting the prescription or medication, due to a change of doctor, or for other reasons in which they are without the drug. It is then when the patient begins to suffer a series of disorders that subside with the intake of the drug, thus closing the cycle of addiction and requiring benzodiazepine detoxification.
This use is increasing significantly. These are generally young users who buy benzodiazepines on the black market in order to “get high”, almost always using other drugs together.
Sometimes drug addicts use them to alleviate the stimulating effects of other drugs (cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy), or to prolong the effects or alleviate the lack of other drugs to which they are addicted (opiates, heroin, cannabis).
These benzodiazepine users tend to be in very high amounts, triggering severe withdrawal syndromes after the cessation of their use.
Benzodiazepines have been shown to have a high addictive potential and generate a high degree of tolerance. Addiction treatment centers, such as CITA, have seen requests for this type of addiction grow in recent years, forcing us to develop and improve responses to this type of addiction.
DESHABITUATION OF BENZODIAZEPINES
The withdrawal of benzodiazepines, to avoid the appearance of withdrawal syndrome, it is recommended to withdraw the benzodiazepine very slowly and monitoring the effects of withdrawal.
The suspension of consumption immediately, without informing the patient usually causes disorders that affect the health of the patient. At CITA we know the symptoms that benzodiazepine addicts may suffer and that is why we offer a multidisciplinary treatment adapted to the situation of each patient.
Constant communication with doctors and psychologists builds the confidence that the patient needs to proceed with the complete withdrawal of benzodiazepines.
SIDE EFFECTS OF BENZODIAZEPINES
Depending on the characteristics or dosage, they can produce excessive sedation, which leads to drowsiness, difficulties in concentration, coordination problems, muscle weakness and confusion.
They can interact with other medications, increasing the effects of both, and also with alcohol, accelerating and increasing the symptoms of alcoholic over-intake.
TREATMENT TO STOP BENZODIAZEPINES
The treatment of benzodiazepine addiction consists of withdrawing the dose little by little over a period of one or two months and the rest for a longer period to be established depending on the evolution of the treatment. The doctor in charge of the treatment chooses to shorten or lengthen these periods depending on the evolution of the patient.
In patients or people who abuse those with a short half-life (they last less time in the body because more doses must be taken a day), this will be changed to a longer half-life. Once stabilized, it will be removed progressively. Other drugs (stabilizers and antiepileptics) are also used alone or in association with low doses of benzodiazepines.
YOUR BENZODIAZEPINE DETOXICATION CENTER
If you want to know more about the treatment to stop benzodiazepines in CITA you can contact us in the contact form on this page or call us at 93 791 80 80 or 93 791 80 08 Our specialists will give you the information you need.
Dr. Josep M. Fàbregas
PSYCHIATRIC DIRECTOR / ADDICTION SPECIALIST
Josep Mª Fàbregas Pedrell is currently an addiction specialist and psychiatrist director of the CITA Clinic for addictions and mental health, made up of the CITA Fundación, CITA Clínica, and CITA Young therapeutic centers.
He started his professional career at the Marmottande Paris Hospital, where he works with Professor Claude Olievenstein.
Later he moved to New York and, after several years of professional experience, in 1981 he founded CITA (Center for Research and Treatment of Addictions) with the aim of developing a model of a professional therapeutic community, which has been in operation for 32 years. .