How Can I Stay Sober After Benzodiazepine Rehab?
March 17, 2023
Benzodiazepines are a type of prescription medication that are commonly used to treat a variety of conditions, such as anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. They work by affecting the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, known as neurotransmitters, to produce a calming effect.
Specifically, these drugs act on a neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. In other words, GABA produces feelings of relaxation. Benzodiazepines enhance the effects of GABA, which makes it effective in calming down your nervous system. That’s why these drugs are helpful in treating insomnia, seizures, anxiety, and other conditions characterized by increased levels of nervous system activity.
Benzodiazepines are usually taken orally in pill form, but they can also be administered intravenously in a hospital setting. Some common benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan).
These drugs are generally considered safe and effective when used as directed by a healthcare provider. However, they can be habit-forming and should be used with caution. It’s important to never take more of the drug than prescribed or take the drug for longer than necessary, as this can increase the risk of addiction and other negative consequences.
If you have been addicted to these drugs, benzodiazepine rehab will help you recover. In addition, staying sober after you have completed your rehab program is as important. Read on to find out how to stay drug-free once you are done with your formal rehab program.
What makes benzodiazepines addictive?
These drugs can be addictive because they work by affecting the levels of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain. When you take benzodiazepines regularly over a period of time, your brain can become dependent on the drug to function normally. This means that if you stop taking the drug, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as:
- Muscle tremors
- Panic attacks
- Heart palpitations
Additionally, taking benzodiazepines for an extended period of time can lead to tolerance. This is where your body becomes accustomed to the effects of the drug, and you need to take more of it to get the same effects as before. This can lead to an increased risk of overdose, as well as physical and psychological dependence.
It’s important to use benzodiazepines as directed by your doctor. Do not take more than the prescribed dose or take the drug for longer than you have to. Misusing benzodiazepines can increase the risk of addiction and other negative consequences, such as impaired judgment, memory problems, and in severe cases, respiratory depression.
Respiratory depression is particularly dangerous as this can be fatal. This condition is when your breathing slows down to dangerously low levels. If you do not breathe properly, your body will be deprived of oxygen, and this can cause death if you don’t get medical attention quickly.
What is done during benzodiazepine rehab?
Rehab is a process designed to help you overcome your dependence on benzodiazepines and achieve lasting sobriety. The specific details of rehab will vary depending on your needs and the services provided by the treatment center. In general, benzodiazepine rehab may involve the following steps.
The first step in rehab is to undergo a medically-supervised detoxification, or detox, process. During detox, you will slowly reduce your dose of benzodiazepines and allow your body to flush the drugs out of your system. This can be a challenging process as you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms. These can be uncomfortable or even dangerous, so it’s important to undergo detox under the supervision of medical professionals.
Once detox is complete, the individual will participate in individual and group therapy sessions to address the psychological and emotional aspects of their addiction. Therapy can help the individual understand the root causes of their addiction and develop coping skills to prevent relapse in the future.
Many drug rehab programs offer support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), to provide additional social and emotional support. Support groups can help you connect with others who are going through similar experiences, which provides a sense of community and belonging.
Before leaving rehab, you will work with your treatment team to develop an aftercare plan. This plan may include recommendations for continuing therapy, participating in support groups, and engaging in other healthy activities, such as exercise and hobbies.
Aftercare happens once you have completed your rehab program, so this is what will help keep you sober for a longer time.
What happens during aftercare?
Aftercare following benzodiazepine rehab is an important step in recovery and maintaining long-term sobriety. It generally involves a combination of support from loved ones, ongoing therapy, and self-care practices.
Here are a few things that may be involved in aftercare:
You may benefit from continued therapy sessions, which will help address the root causes of your benzodiazepine use. Also, you will learn coping skills for managing stress, anxiety, and other drug triggers.
Joining a support group can provide a sense of community and help you stay accountable in your recovery.
Self-care practices like exercise, meditation, journaling, and healthy eating can help you feel better physically and mentally. These activities also reduce the risk of relapse.
Staying in touch with friends and family who support your recovery can provide encouragement and accountability.
Regular check-ins with a therapist or medical professional can help you track your progress and address any potential challenges along the way.
Remember, everyone’s journey is unique, and there is no one “right” way to do aftercare. The most important thing is to find what works best for you and stick with it. With time, effort, and support, you can continue on your path to a healthy, fulfilling life in recovery.
Overall, benzodiazepine rehab can be a challenging, but rewarding, process. By taking the time to focus on their recovery and develop the skills and support they need to maintain sobriety, individuals can set themselves up for long-term success.