Drug addiction isn’t an issue you hear about on the news and think could never happen to you. Unfortunately, it’s an epidemic that can affect you and those around you and have devastating consequences. Whether you live uptown or downtown, it’s an issue going on that we cannot dismiss. South Florida, Palm Beach County specifically, is also dealing with drug addiction and looking for ways to treat it. Fortunately, addiction treatment in the region is among the best in the world. If you’ve become addicted to prescription benzodiazepine drugs and you’re looking for treatment in the area, you should keep reading.
In 2019, Florida State Medical Examiners released a report about deaths caused by drugs and which counties were affected. It’s both shocking and unfortunate to find that drugs used to treat conditions like anxiety or insomnia were abused to the point of death, but it’s something we’ve become increasingly numb to in recent years. The two most common benzodiazepine deaths were caused by diazepam and alprazolam. The figures are as follows:
- Alprazolam (Xanax) by itself – 33 deaths
- Alprazolam in conjunction with other drugs – 211 deaths
- Diazepam also led to more deaths in conjunction with other drugs than by itself, with 25 total overdoses.
If there’s any silver lining, the rise of overdose deaths has led to high-quality treatment centers and helping people at a dramatic clip. If you’ve become dependent upon or addicted to benzodiazepines and you’re ready to lead a sober lifestyle free of cravings and that vicious cycle, we can help.
What Are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are potent drugs available only with a prescription from a doctor. They’re primarily used to treat overactive nervous system issues, such as stress, anxiety, muscle tensions, seizures, and, depending on the severity, insomnia. They belong to a class of drugs known as central nervous system (CNS) depressants, along with alcohol, barbiturates, and opioids. Drugs in this category slow down our central nervous system for anxiolytic effects, leading to relaxation, loosening muscles, and falling asleep. Benzos interact with chemicals produced naturally known as gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), enabling the body to relax and fall asleep. \
Those with anxiety or conditions that prevent them from falling asleep could have lower levels of GABA in their bodies, which prevents them from calming down and remaining awake. Benzodiazepines attach to these receptors and increase the production of GABA once the medication is consumed. Benzos create an intense effect on our bodies, allowing us to be relaxed enough to calm down or fall asleep. However, when a person consumes the drug and doesn’t have anxiety or sleep problems, it can cause a rush of euphoria and lead to drug misuse or abuse.
Due to how they affect your body, benzos will cause you to feel like there’s nothing wrong with your life. No issues, no stress, no worries at all. If used over a prolonged period, you’ll become chemically dependent, which can occur in as little as two weeks. The longer you use benzos, you’ll likely fall into the vicious cycle of addiction where your life revolves around getting more to feel normal. Substance use disorders (SUDs) are serious medical conditions.
Since there is a strong likelihood of dependency, benzodiazepines aren’t given by doctors for more than two weeks. Since our bodies will adapt to the drug, it will eventually lead to tolerance, meaning you’ll feel like the drug isn’t working with the dose you’ve become accustomed to taking. This is followed by chemical dependence, which is upon cessation, you start to experience withdrawal symptoms.
What Is Benzodiazepine Withdrawal?
Not only is benzodiazepine withdrawal extremely uncomfortable, but it can also be fatal without the proper care. These drugs are known to cause severe withdrawal symptoms, especially if you stop abruptly without tapering off the medication. If you’ve been using benzodiazepines regularly for a prolonged period or use them recreationally to get high, you’ll likely encounter these symptoms upon cessation. These symptoms include the following:
- Feeling jittery
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pains
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heart failure
You could also experience rebound symptoms, which is an increase of symptoms like anxiety above the baseline that you took the drugs to treat.
Palm Beach County Benzodiazepine Misuse Statistics
South Florida, as a whole, has witnessed drug overdose rise at alarming rates. In Palm Beach County, overdose deaths affected white males more than any others. The state of Florida reported 5,268 drug overdose deaths in 2019. A South-Florida Sun-Sentinel report from September 2019 found that overdose death rates in Palm Beach County were 49 percent higher from January to August that year than the same period last year.
Benzodiazepine Treatment in Palm Beach County
To avoid becoming a statistic, it’s vital to seek the necessary help to overcome a benzodiazepine use disorder. Here is how we can help.
Detox is a crucial part of the process of getting sober from benzodiazepines. As mentioned above, benzodiazepine withdrawal can be fatal without the right care. For that reason, attending an around-the-clock detox facility can be the difference between life or death. The process will last anywhere from three to seven days, depending on the severity of the addiction, and set you up for the next level of care safely.
Once you’re considered stable and past the dangerous withdrawal symptoms, clinicians will move you into the next level of care, as discussed during intake. For some, they’ll be deemed high-risk due to a host of reasons, including a history of relapse, unsafe living conditions, or other reasons, which makes it necessary to live on-site for a period of up to 90 days. Inpatient treatment will remove you from triggers and contacts that could cause you to relapse.
Partial hospitalization is a program that can only be attended if you’ve participated at a more intensive level of care, including detox or residential. It serves as a stepping stone between more freedom while allowing you to stay in a more intensive environment to adjust slowly. It must be available five days a week and occur during the day. It must also offer alternative hours that include weekends, evenings, or half-days. It may occur separate from a traditional hospital or be freestanding. It’s a valuable option if you’re committed to your sobriety.
Outpatient care is the perfect choice for someone who uses their job or education as a barrier to getting help. Benzodiazepine addiction is dangerous, so having this option available to them can help them from falling behind in their obligations. The purpose of outpatient is to provide intensive therapy that you’ll find in higher levels of care while allowing the client to go home once they finish instead of staying on-site. This can only work for someone who has a safe home environment and without a history of relapse.
Once detox is complete, the journey is only starting. You’ll need to implement these newly learned values into the real world, and the Palm Beach Institute will help you find 12-step meetings and connect you with alumni from their programs.
Benzodiazepine Treatment in Palm Beach County FAQ
We understand this is a scary time for you, and you’re filled with questions before committing. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions.
How Long is Rehab?
One person may only need a couple of weeks in rehab, while another person requires an extensive stay beyond the 90-day parameters suggested by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). For this reason, providing a definitive answer is impossible because it’ll be determined by the severity of your addiction. However, it can last anywhere from 30 to 90 days or more.
Does The Palm Beach Institute Provide Transportation?
The Palm Beach institute offers transportation to off-site appointments and to and from major airports. Our staff will also assist you with taxis, ride-hailing services, and connecting flights. Since this is another barrier to treatment, we’ll help you overcome it.
How Much Does Benzodiazepine Treatment Cost?
The costs of treatment will vary significantly based on the care you need. For example, someone who goes to detox and attends an outpatient program will be on the hook for much less than a person who lives in our facility for 90 days. However, insurance may cover a substantial portion of the costs, so it’s important to find out what is covered.
What Insurance Carriers Does the Palm Beach Institute Accept?
We accept most major insurance providers, including:
- Beacon (Value Options)