Recovery is possible
What are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines (benzo) are a classification of drugs known as depressants. Benzodiazepine medications are normally prescribed through a doctor however can be sold to others, purchased online, and abused. Benzodiazepine prescriptions should always be used as prescribed and caution used if purchasing from the internet.
What impacts does benzodiazepines have?
The use of Benzodiazepines can impact the way in which the brain functions as well as the release and re-uptake of specific neurotransmitters responsible for good mental health. The substance can also increase the symptoms of a rarely diagnosed mental health concern. Medications classified as benzodiazepines are Clonazepam®, Lorazepam®, Xanax® along with many others. These are commonly prescribed for general anxiety, to aid in relaxation, and for sleep. Benzodiazepines, although prescribed in most cases, can be purchased illegally. Although the intention of these medications is to alleviate symptoms such as; feelings of anxiety, anxiousness, or feelings of overwhelm, they do impact the bodies natural ability to create and utilize the neurotransmitter GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is responsible for the body’s ability to respond to anxiety and stress. This can lead to dependence upon medications, as the body is no longer able to regulate this on its own. In the same way that dependence can occur, the body can also create a tolerance, which means it requires more of the substance in order to have the same effect. Opiates (or opioids) are a series of drugs related to or derived from opium and are available with prescriptions to treat acute and chronic pain. Opiates that are not taken as prescribed may produce an effect that an individual craves and seeks.
All substances have an impact on one’s physical wellbeing whether it be long or short-term use, during use or post use. When a person is using benzodiazepine’s, they may experience slurred speech, lethargy, or loss of memory. There is risk involved in operating a motor vehicle, or heavy equipment as reaction time may be delayed. Although there can be benefit to benzodiazepines aiding in sleep, there can be side effects of next day drowsiness and blurred vision. If a person stops taking Benzodiazepines without a taper program, there are significant risks of physical and mental withdrawal.
What are the Benzo withdrawal risks?
Withdrawal from any substance should be done in coordination with your family doctor or medical professionals. Clients looking to enter an inpatient treatment facility may require medical intervention to ensure safety. Withdrawal can occur from chronic or acute use of benzodiazepines and people may experience different withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can include shaking (tremors), nausea and vomiting, sweating among other physical symptoms. Mentally, someone experiencing withdrawal from benzodiazepines may feel anxious, restlessness, irritable, experience panic attacks or other discomforts. There is also a risk of seizures when stopping the use of Benzodiazepines.
Overdose is a serious risk, and related deaths have been on the rise in Canada and around the world.
How We Treat Benzo Addiction
Gateway Recovery Centre challenges traditional treatment models found in most addiction treatment centres in Ontario. We provide cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), as well as psycho-educational counselling to help our clients understand why they use substances, and how to develop new healthy patterns and behaviours.
At Gateway, we understand that counselling is needed to aid in the healing of one’s physical and mental state. On a neurochemical level, our program offers clients the building blocks needed to rebalance their systems in a way not offered by any other treatment centres in Ontario, and throughout Canada. We offer the steppingstones for one’s system to naturally produce GABA, as well as address any concerns related to the gut-brain connection.
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2225 Lansdowne St West
Peterborough ON K9J 0G5