Detox is a crucial first step in most people’s recovery journey. Detoxifying from addictive substances presents a number of potentially fatal medical risks, psychological challenges, and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
Detoxing from benzodiazepines can pose a number of health risks, and create uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal.
SAMHSA’s recommendations for detox
“For alcohol, sedative-hypnotic, and opioid withdrawal syndromes, hospitalization or some form of 24-hour medical care is generally the preferred setting for detoxification, based upon principles of safety and humanitarian concerns.”
– SAMHSA Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment Improvement Protocol, TIP 45
The risks of taking benzodiazepines
While benzodiazepines can be effective at managing anxiety, insomnia, and even alcohol withdrawal, taking them for reasons other than what it was prescribed and for longer periods that necessary increases the risk of addiction.
Benzodiazepine use is a problem in the United States. A recent study found that the amount of these types of drugs prescribed to Americans has more than tripled since the mid-1990s, and that benzodiazepines are responsible for approximately one-third of all deaths from prescription drug overdoses. Between 1996 and 2013, the number of adults filling a benzodiazepine prescription increased 67 percent, from 8.1 million to 13.5 million (Source: The American Journal of Public Health (2016)).
Some doctors warn that the benefits of benzodiazepines can be overestimated and may cause the very symptoms a patient is trying to overcome: insomnia and anxiety. Long term use can lead to dependence, addiction, and cognitive damage.
How do I know if I need benzodiazepine detox?
A benzodiazepine detox program is used to treat individuals who are struggling with an addiction and may meet the diagnostic criteria for substance use disorder. Substance use disorder is a serious medical condition affecting an estimated 20 million Americans (SAMHSA, 2017).
Benzodiazepines are prescription tranquilizers and sedatives — such as Valium, Ativan, Xanax, Tranxene, and Klonopin — that are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. The street names of these drugs include: bars, zanies, tranks.
The effects of long-term benzodiazepine use include depression, disinhibition, impaired memory and cognitive skills such as response times and coordination, brain damage, and increased risk of car crashes and even hip fractures.
What is often most challenging about substance use disorders is that 95 percent of people do not see their substance use as problematic, and for those who do, only one out of nine people actually get the care they need (SAMHSA, 2019).
There are many reasons why people don’t seek the help they need, including feelings of shame and fear about the process of detoxification. Many fear that detox will be uncomfortable, painful, and even fatal.
The reality is that detoxing from benzodiazepines is potentially dangerous without proper medical care. You will know if you need detox by seeking professional medical assistance from a qualified medical provider. Our admissions team would be happy to help advise you as to the best next steps.
Benzodiazepine detox and withdrawal symptoms
Stopping benzodiazepine medications without professional intervention, such as medical detox, can cause a number of unpleasant and prolonged side effects. Benzodiazepines alter the brain’s chemistry, causing things to slow down. Therefore, abruptly ceasing long-term benzodiazepine use can cause too dramatic a change in brain activity, leading to unpleasant side effects including:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Muscle and joint pain
- Migraine headaches
- Intense anxiety
Different types of benzodiazepine detox centers
There are various types of benzodiazepine detox. Not all detox options are the same, either. Many medical detox centers use outdated protocols and oral medications within the confines of psychiatric facilities, leaving patients feeling dehumanized while they stay in a sterile and cold environment.
The Gallus Method of Benzodiazepine detox
Gallus Medical Detox provides the comfort of a residential facility, but with clinical expertise that is far superior to most detox facilities. We offer safe, effective, and personalized treatment. We are so proud of our proprietary method that we named it The Gallus Method.
The key features of Gallus Medical Detox include:
- Individual treatment plans with a focus on personalized sobriety
- Psychological, physical, and social assessments
- IV Therapy Program
- 24/7 medical supervision
- Cardiac telemetry and video technology
- Adjustments to treatment plans to suit our patients’ needs
- An individual recovery plan identifying resources and next steps toward a long-term recovery
We have addiction treatment centers in Arizona and Colorado, with more opening throughout the US this year.
Detox Options for Drugs & Alcohol
Gallus Medical Detox offers the following detox services at all of our centers:
- Benzodiazepine detox treatment
- Opiate detox treatment
- Alcohol detox treatment
- Polysubstance detox treatment
- Stimulant detox treatment
- High-dose methadone detox treatment
- Other drug detox treatment (THC, bath salts, kratom, barbiturates)
What our patients say about Gallus Medical Detox
Our patients are the best judge of the quality of our care. Here is what they have to say:
- “This place is nothing short of exceptional!”
- “I can’t be more pleased, impressed, and grateful with the entire Gallus team.”
- “I cannot express in words my deep appreciation for the kindness and very individualized care delivered by motivated and professional caregivers.”
- “My stay in this facility was by far the most comfortable I’ve ever experienced. The staff was extremely thoughtful, warm, and informative. Thank you very kindly, everyone.”
- “I love Dr. Gallus and his staff — they are beyond amazing. They should be praised over and over for the hard work they do!”
- “I love and appreciate everyone at Gallus. Y’all saved my life!”
Call Gallus Medical Detox Centers today and see how we can help you or your loved one take the best first step toward recovery: 866-358-6446.
Alternatively, you may call 866-358-6446 and speak to an admissions customer care specialist.