Benzodiazepine (benzo) misuse is among the drug addiction challenges public health officials have taken on in recent years. Although the nation’s opioid overdose crisis has dominated headlines for more than half a decade now, some observers say benzo addiction grew quietly under the radar but can no longer be ignored.
These potent medications are prescribed for the short-term treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and other conditions. Often, they are abused when they end up in the wrong hands, including those who have legal prescriptions for them. Benzo abuse includes taking the medications for longer than directed and using them in ways they were not intended to be used, such as taking them with alcohol or other drugs.
Benzos Phased Out Barbiturates
Long ago, benzos replaced once-popular barbiturate medications to help people calm down and relax so that they can perform everyday tasks without complications. These drugs, which bind the gamma-Aminobutyric receptors in the brain and make people relax, were thought to be safer for use. But over time, it has become apparent that sedatives can be dangerous, too.
A host of symptoms can occur with overdose, including confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, vision problems, slurred speech, and more. Also, benzo overdose symptoms can share similarities with alcohol overdose symptoms. Too many benzos can overwhelm the body and make one fall into a coma. Sometimes such use is fatal.
The following benzodiazepine medications are widely prescribed and recognized:
- Xanax (alprazolam)
- Ativan (lorazepam)
- Klonopin (clonazepam)
- Valium (diazepam)
Part of the reason benzo abuse is so widespread is that the medications are overprescribed, a problem some say must be addressed among medical professionals. According to this 2016 study, benzodiazepine prescriptions have increased considerably, and so have overdose death rates linked to the use of these drugs.
Per the Florida Medical Examiners Commission, benzodiazepines were involved in at least 205 deaths in Broward County, Florida, in 2019. The most recent data, which is from quarter two of 2021, its data shows the following:
- Alprazolam (Xanax) caused 19 deaths and was among the drugs present in 22 deaths
- Diazepam (Valium) caused one death and was among the drugs present in three deaths
- Lorazepam (Ativan) caused one death and was present among the drugs in one death
- Temazepam (Restoril) caused three deaths and was present among the drugs in one death
Users commonly use benzos with other drugs, which is why they turn up in death investigations. Benzos are also sold on the illegal market. Sometimes, these drugs are not legitimate benzodiazepines. In some cases, they have been cut with fentanyl or other drugs. In other cases, they are fentanyl and fentanyl analogs that are passed off as benzos. In many cases, fentanyl was the deadly opioid drug that caused overdose deaths.
Arete Recovery Drug Rehab in Broward County
Broward County residents who can’t stop using benzodiazepines on their own likely will need professional treatment. If you or someone you know is in this position, our professional team at Arete Recovery will help you. We help residents from all over the county, region, state, and country.
We are located in southern Broward in Pembroke Pines. We are committed to helping individuals reclaim their lives from benzo addiction and other forms of substance abuse. We also partner with our sister facility Vista Pines Health and help patients who also have a mental disorder alongside a substance use disorder. Both conditions must be treated in order to have an effective recovery.
We do not recommend quitting benzo medications abruptly. This can cause more harm than good. Your body could go into shock, and if you stop using the medication for a while and then return to using it, you could overdose. This can happen because your body is no longer used to having the drug in your system.
Our professionals are committed to helping you overcome your benzodiazepine addiction. Our Broward-based facility is equipped with all your inpatient/residential treatment needs. Here are the services we offer at Arete Recovery.
You will start your customized treatment program in medical detox. This first phase of the continuum of care helps you regain physical stability as you go through detox for benzo withdrawal. This part of your program is critical to complete. People who don’t complete detox are likely to relapse and overdose if they start using drugs and/or alcohol again.
We will do everything to ensure you receive the medical support you need to get through this period safely. Our licensed professionals will monitor your health round-the-clock and administer any medication and other things you need to ease your symptoms as the benzos exit your system. We’ll be on hand to respond to any medical emergencies that come up during your detox.
After you complete your medical detox, we will recommend that you enter inpatient/residential care at our Pembroke Pines facility, where you can spend the time you need to address your addiction. We recommend this stage for people who have moderate-to-severe substance use disorders. Our private, comfortable, homelike atmosphere offers the setting you need for healing to take place. There are minimal distractions, and all therapies, counseling, and activities that take place during a structured day are focused on recovery.
After you finish your benzodiazepine treatment at Arete, we will be with you as you start your new life in recovery. Early recovery is challenging in many ways, so having the support you need to ensure you have all the resources and tools you need to be successful. Aftercare programs help alumni find housing, employment and develop life skills for optimal living, such as managing one’s personal finances.
Once you complete your treatment with Arete, you remain connected to our supportive, compassionate network as well as new friends you’ve made in the recovery community. You are not alone. We are ready to help and always available to offer care and support.
Benzodiazepine Treatment and Detox in Broward County FAQ
We are ready to speak with you about your benzodiazepine use disorder and how we can help you. Below are some frequently asked questions people ask us about addiction treatment at Arete. If you have additional questions or if you have questions about the information that appears below, please reach out to us.
How Long Is Rehab?
Your benzodiazepine treatment timeline will depend on your needs, which will vary from other patients. If you have a mental health disorder in addition to your SUD, you may need more time at our facility. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says 90 days (three months) is a guideline for how long rehab services should last. Spending longer in a treatment facility is believed to improve patients’ chances of effectively recovering from benzo misuse and abuse.
Does Arete Recovery Provide Transportation?
If you are flying into the South Florida area for treatment at our south Broward County facility, you are responsible for making flight arrangements. We can pick you up from the airport when you arrive, and we can also get you back to the airport for your trip back home after you have finished your program.
How Much Does Drug Rehab Cost?
Your rehab costs will vary according to what your treatment entails. For this reason, we cannot definitively say how much you can expect to pay. Many factors go into program costs, including what kind of facility you choose for treatment, how long you’ll be there, the therapies you receive, and how much your medication is, among other items. You can ask us about any costs, and we’ll review your treatment costs with you. We can also work with you on finding ways to pay for treatment.
We understand that cost is a major concern for people who need substance treatment. While it deters many people from seeking help, we believe it shouldn’t. The cost of passing up help for a benzo use disorder is more expensive than the cost of any treatment program. Please don’t rule out getting help because of rehab expenses. Your recovery from substance abuse is worth the money.
Do I Have to Travel?
Yes, you will be required to travel to our facility. We offer our services on-site in Pembroke Pines. Feel free to reach us and share any concerns you have about traveling to us.
What Insurance Carriers Does Arete Recovery Take?
We are in-network with many major insurance carriers. Among them are:
- Blue Cross, Blue Shield
- CareFirst BlueChoice
Our verifications team can call your insurance provider to find out if your plan covers your treatment here. You can also call if you’d like to confirm this information. You should also ask your provider about your share of costs and what those costs are. If there are services that aren’t covered, you may have to make arrangements to make sure those are paid.
In general, insurance providers are required to offer coverage for mental health disorders and substance use disorders under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We’re ready to speak with you about your recovery from benzodiazepine dependence at Arete. Give us a call today to get started.