Mesa, Arizona’s Preferred Benzo Addiction Hospital

Opening May 2024

Benzodiazepines, commonly known as benzos, are a class of prescription medications known for their calming effects. Medical professionals often prescribe them to people who are struggling with behavioral health concerns such as panic disorder, insomnia, and anxiety. These medications can include alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), clonazepam (Klonopin), and lorazepam (Ativan). 

However, despite their therapeutic benefits, benzos carry a high risk for addiction. If misused, someone can develop a benzodiazepine addiction. This means that the individual will require more and more of the drug to feel the same effects. Even short-term use of benzos can result in withdrawal symptoms and dependency. 

Signs & Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Addiction

There are certain signs and symptoms that can manifest if a person is struggling with benzo addiction. If you or someone you love is displaying any of these signs or experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to reach out to a professional for treatment. 

Symptoms of benzo addiction may include: 

  • Drowsiness and excessive sleepiness 
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness 
  • Slurred speech 
  • Poor coordination and unsteady walking 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Weakness and reduced energy levels 
  • Memory problems, especially with short-term memory 
  • Anxiety and panic attacks 
  • Mood swings and irritability 

Behavioral signs that someone has a benzo addiction can include: 

  • Visiting multiple providers to obtain benzo prescriptions, known as “doctor shopping” 
  • Taking higher doses or taking the drug more frequently than prescribed 
  • Needing to take more of the drug to achieve the same effects 
  • Isolating from family and friends 
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, and home 
  • Continued use despite experiencing negative consequences 
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed 
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using benzos 
  • Persistent cravings for benzos 
  • Engaging in risky activities 
  • Stealing or engaging in illegal activities in order to obtain the drug 
  • Using benzos in hazardous situations, such as while driving 

The good news is that benzo addiction is treatable. People who are struggling with benzo addiction can regain control of their lives by receiving specialized support at an inpatient treatment center. At Agave Ridge Behavioral Hospital, we provide detoxification and inpatient treatment programs for adolescents ages 11-17, adults age 18 and older, and seniors age 55 and older who have benzo addictions. Our treatment center in Mesa, Arizona, offers a secure and inviting atmosphere where patients can receive personalized care. 

Benzodiazepine Addiction Statistics

The following benzo statistics were included in a 2018 report that was published by the National Library of Medicine: 

  • 30.6 million adults in the U.S., or 12.6% of the population, reported using benzodiazepines in the previous year. 
  • 5.3 million of the people who used benzos during the previous 12 months did not take the drug as prescribed. 
  • Young adults ages 18-25 had the highest rate of benzo misuse. 
  • Around 80% of people who misused benzos reported that they got the drugs from a family member or friend and did not have a prescription.  
  • Benzos are prescribed to more than 5% of adults in the U.S., and their use has increased by nearly 50% from 1996-2013. During this same time period, benzodiazepine-related overdose deaths increased fivefold. 

Effects of Untreated Benzodiazepine Addiction

Benzo addiction can affect every area of someone’s life, from their relationships to their mental health. If left untreated, benzo addiction can lead to a range of serious and potentially life-threatening effects, which include: 

  • Memory problems and difficulty concentrating 
  • Impaired motor coordination 
  • Increased risk for accidents, such as falls and car crashes 
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much 
  • Anxiety and depression 
  • Psychosis symptoms 
  • Strained relationships with family and friends 
  • Withdrawal from social activities 
  • Decreased performance at work or school, potentially leading to job loss or academic failure 
  • Financial ruin 
  • Risk for using other substances, known as polysubstance abuse 
  • Long-term health problems, including liver damage and cardiovascular problems 
  • Legal troubles due to participating in illegal activities to maintain their supply 
  • Risk for overdose or death 

The risk for developing a benzo addiction increases significantly when they are prescribed with other drugs like opioids, for example. Older adults are at particular risk for fractures, falls, and cognitive impairment if they are prescribed benzodiazepines. High doses of benzodiazepines, especially when combined with other depressants like alcohol, can lead to overdose, which can be fatal.  

Due to these severe consequences, it’s crucial for anyone who is struggling with a benzo addiction to seek professional treatment. Treatment typically involves medically monitored detoxification, followed by therapy to address the underlying causes of addiction and promote long-term recovery. 

What Is Benzodiazepine Withdrawal?

Withdrawal occurs when someone abruptly stops using a drug after they have developed a dependence on it. Withdrawal symptoms can occur as soon as a few hours after the last dose and can last several weeks. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous process, especially when done without professional help. 

The severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms can vary based on several factors, including the type of benzo used, duration of use, dosage, and the individual’s overall health. Symptoms of benzo withdrawal can include:  

  • Anxiety and panic attacks 
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Irritability and mood swings 
  • Severe depression 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Restlessness 
  • Headaches 
  • Muscle pains 
  • Profuse sweating 
  • Tremors 
  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain 
  • Heart palpitations and increased heart rate 
  • Hypersensitivity to lights and sounds 
  • Memory problems and confusion 

In severe cases, benzodiazepine withdrawal can cause seizures and death, especially if use of the drug is stopped abruptly. Because of these complications, people should not attempt to stop using benzodiazepines abruptly or without medical supervision.  

Agave Ridge Behavioral Hospital provides medically monitored detoxification and inpatient treatment for people who are struggling with benzo addictions. In our detox program, patients can safely and comfortably go through withdrawal from benzos while under the guidance of our caring and knowledgeable professionals.  

What if I Have a Benzo Addiction Relapse?

Benzodiazepine addiction relapse is common due to the drug’s highly addictive potential and the challenging nature of its withdrawal symptoms. Relapse should be viewed as part of the recovery journey and not as a personal failure. If you relapse, it simply means that you need additional support or an adjustment in your treatment plan.  

If you relapse, contact a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Avoid using any more of the drug to prevent deepening your dependence. Consider reaching out to a treatment center like Agave Ridge Behavioral Hospital to detox and address the factors that contributed to the relapse. The therapists at our treatment center can help you determine what led to the relapse so that you can learn from it. Our inpatient hospital is a controlled environment where people have minimal exposure to triggers and can focus fully on their recovery. 

Before you leave our treatment center, we will work with you to determine what your long-term needs are. This may include connecting you with resources in the community for continued therapy, support groups, and primary care providers. Making lifestyle changes, including managing stress and maintaining healthy routines, can also help someone avoid relapse. 

It’s important for anyone who has relapsed or is concerned about relapsing to seek help immediately. Addiction is a chronic condition, and recovery involves an ongoing effort. Inpatient treatment centers can provide patients with the comprehensive care they need to regain stability and continue their recovery journeys. 

Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment in Mesa, Arizona

Effective treatment for benzo addiction often involves a combination of therapies and services to comprehensively address each person’s needs. At Agave Ridge Behavioral Hospital, we provide adolescents, adults, and older adults with a range of treatment modalities to address the physical and psychological aspects of benzo addiction.  

When a person comes to our benzo addiction treatment center near Phoenix, they take part in a thorough assessment that guides the development of their individualized treatment plan. This treatment plan might include the following elements: 

  • Detoxification: The first step in treating benzo addiction often involves a medically supervised detox process. Our medical staff is available to provide round-the-clock support and help patients go through withdrawal safely and comfortably. 
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a widely used therapy method that can help people identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with drug use. This therapy method can also help patients develop coping strategies so that they can deal with triggers and cravings. 
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): Using this therapy method, patients can build skills in distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and healthy communication. DBT also incorporates mindfulness training so that patients can learn how to approach future struggles with confidence. 
  • Daily group therapy: At Agave Ridge Behavioral Hospital, patients can expect to participate in several group therapy sessions each day. Licensed therapists lead these sessions and guide participants in discussions pertaining to addiction recovery and mental health concerns. In group therapy, patients can receive support and encouragement from their peers who are going through similar experiences. 
  • 12-Step programming: Our therapists may incorporate principles of 12-Step programming into sessions. This modality focuses on acceptance, surrender, and taking responsibility for your actions. 

During their time in treatment, patients can also receive basic medical care and medication management services, and we provide each patient with a comprehensive discharge plan to promote their continued success after they leave our hospital. Each person’s experience with benzo addiction is unique, and the treatment they receive should be tailored to their specific needs.  

If you or a loved one needs treatment for a benzodiazepine addiction, we encourage you to reach out to our admissions coordinators to see if our services are right for you. You can also walk into our Mesa, Arizona, facility anytime to receive an assessment. You do not have to continue to struggle. Help is available today. 

This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Agave Ridge Behavioral Hospital.