We can find benzos (benzodiazepines) under prescription names like Klonopin, Valium, Vicodin, and Xanax. At Sunflower Wellness Retreat, we understand the stages of benzo addiction for those who use these medications. If you have concerns about prescription drug addiction, contact our treatment team today at 855.730.8825.
Understanding the Stages of Benzo Addiction
The stages of benzo addiction typically happen slowly over time. The more access someone has to benzos, the more likely an addiction is going to occur. When someone uses benzos, their body develops a tolerance quickly. As a result, using benzos no longer has the same effects.
Benzo addiction symptoms are going to vary depending on the benzo the user is taking. Here are some examples of the stages of prescription drug addiction you might see:
- If their prescription runs out, users start purchasing more of the medication
- Switching doctors frequently, or going to several doctors frequently
- Asking others for pills or stealing them
- The user acting “stoned,” or experiencing constant drowsiness or lethargy
- Using benzos in combination with other substances, including alcohol
In addition, it isn’t uncommon for users to become mentally reliant as they move through the stages of benzo addiction. They use these medications to stop anxiety or panic attacks, which, as a result, leads to using them frequently. Not only does this cause chemical dependence, but the user starts using drug-seeking behaviors.
Common Uses for Benzos
Understanding benzo addiction starts with identifying why people start using them in the first place. While many benzos prescriptions are for anxiety-related issues, there are many other common uses for these medications, including:
- Alcohol withdrawal
- Muscle spasms
- Premenstrual syndrome
If someone uses more of the medication than prescribed, that could lead to prescription drug abuse. Even though the purpose of using these medications is to help solve a problem, problems can still arise. The main reason is that benzos are incredibly habit-forming.
The Side Effects of Using Benzos
Someone might be going through the stages of benzo addiction if you notice any one or more of the following symptoms:
- Confusion or memory impairment
- Constipation, nausea, and vomiting
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Increases or decreases in appetite
- Slowed heart rate
- Extremely low blood pressure
The Stages of Benzo Withdrawal
Benzo medications are one of the most challenging drugs to withdraw from because it’s challenging, dangerous, and drawn out. Benzos interact with the brain’s GABA receptors, just like alcohol. Those who are withdrawing from benzos go through the following timelines:
- Early withdrawal: Within the first six to 12 hours after stopping the use of short-acting benzos and between the first four to five days after refraining from using long-acting benzos, symptoms appear. These symptoms often include anxiety, cravings, insomnia, and mood swings.
- Withdrawal: Short-acting benzo withdrawal symptoms occur between one and five days after stopping. These symptoms typically include headaches, nausea, panic, profuse sweating, and enhancement of early-stage symptoms.
- Plateauing: Patients start to feel symptoms plateauing within five days after they stop using short-acting benzos. Over the next two weeks, symptoms begin to taper off. It usually takes between three and four weeks for long-acting benzo users to plateau.
- Rebound: It isn’t uncommon for benzo users to go through a rebound phase. That means that the disorder comes back. These conditions include anxiety, insomnia, panic, and PTSD.
Learn More About Benzo Addiction at Sunflower Wellness Retreat
Because the stages of benzo addiction are often unclear, you might have questions about if there’s a problem. These stages depend on the medication, as well as its frequency of use. Fortunately, we offer a range of benzo addiction treatment programs, including:
- Residential treatment
- Partial hospitalization treatment
- Women’s addiction treatment
- Men’s addiction treatment
- Dual diagnosis treatment
Contact Sunflower Wellness Retreat at 855.730.8825 to learn more about benzo addiction and how we can help.