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Addiction Treatment California

Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment Center Orange County California

Clinically Reviewed by: Charee Marquez, LMFT

Addiction can be an unrelenting force, affecting not just the person caught in its grip but also the people who care about them. When it comes to Benzodiazepine Addiction, its impact can be profound, reaching into every corner of someone’s life and touching the hearts of those who love them. Understanding the ins and outs of Benzodiazepine Addiction isn’t just about recognizing the problem – it can be as important as getting the right treatment. In this journey, our California Prime Recovery team will help you explore the depths of Benzodiazepine Addiction, its effects, the treatment options available, and the hope it holds for a brighter, addiction-free future

What Is Benzodiazepine?

Benzodiazepines (benzos) are a class of medications commonly prescribed to treat conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and muscle spasms. There are various benzodiazepines, each with its own characteristics, potency, and duration of action.

Here are some common types of benzodiazepines:

  1. Alprazolam (Xanax):

    • Used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
    • Known for its quick onset of action and short duration.
    • Commonly prescribed in tablet form.
  2. Lorazepam (Ativan):

    • Used to treat anxiety disorders and acute alcohol withdrawal.
    • Often administered intravenously in hospital settings for rapid relief.
    • Has a relatively short duration of action.
  3. Diazepam (Valium):

    • Used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures.
    • Has a longer duration of action compared to some other benzodiazepines.
    • May be prescribed in tablet or liquid form.
  4. Clonazepam (Klonopin):

    • Used to treat panic disorder, certain seizure disorders, and anxiety.
    • Has a longer half-life, providing a more sustained effect.
    • Often prescribed in tablet form.
  5. Temazepam (Restoril):

    • Used to treat insomnia.
    • Has a relatively short duration of action, making it suitable for sleep induction.
    • Typically prescribed in capsule form.
  6. Clorazepate (Tranxene):

    • Used to treat anxiety and certain seizure disorders.
    • May have a longer duration of action compared to some benzodiazepines.
    • Available in tablet form.
  7. Oxazepam (Serax):

    • Used to treat anxiety and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
    • Has an intermediate duration of action.
    • Often prescribed in capsule form.
  8. Chlordiazepoxide (Librium):

    • Used to treat anxiety and alcohol withdrawal.
    • Has a long half-life and may be used for more sustained relief.
    • Typically prescribed in capsule form.
  9. Midazolam (Versed):

    • Often used as a sedative before medical procedures or surgeries.
    • Administered intravenously for rapid onset.
    • Has a relatively short duration of action.
  10. Estazolam (Prosom):

    • Used to treat insomnia.
    • Has an intermediate duration of action.
    • Typically prescribed in tablet form.

It’s important to note that benzodiazepines should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional, and their use may be associated with dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

Street Names

Here are some street names for benzodiazepines:

  1. Benzos: A general term used to refer to benzodiazepine medications.

  2. Bennies: Shortened form of “benzos.”

  3. Tranx: Derived from “tranquilizers,” which is another term for benzodiazepines.

  4. Downers: A term used to describe the sedative effects of benzodiazepines.

  5. BZDs: An abbreviation of “benzodiazepines.”

  6. Bars: Refers to the shape of some benzodiazepine tablets, often divided into sections that resemble bars.

  7. Candy: Slang term for benzodiazepine pills.

  8. Sleepers: Refers to the sedative and sleep-inducing effects of benzodiazepines.


  1. Prescription Rates:

    • Benzodiazepines are among the most prescribed medications globally for the management of anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and insomnia.
    • Prescription rates for benzodiazepines have been a topic of concern due to the potential for misuse, dependence, and addiction.
  2. Benzodiazepine Misuse:

    • Misuse of benzodiazepines involves taking them in a way other than prescribed, such as taking higher doses, using them without a prescription, or combining them with other substances.
    • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that around 5.4 million people aged 12 or older in the United States misused prescription benzodiazepines in 2019.
  3. Emergency Room Visits:

    • The misuse of benzodiazepines has been associated with emergency room visits. SAMHSA reported benzodiazepine-related emergency room visits, with an increase in recent years.
  4. Co-occurring Substance Use:

    • Benzodiazepines are sometimes used in combination with other substances, such as opioids or alcohol, which can increase the risk of adverse effects and overdose.
    • Polydrug use is a significant concern when it comes to benzodiazepines.
  5. Treatment Admissions:

    • Many individuals seek treatment for benzodiazepine use disorder. Treatment admissions related to benzodiazepines contribute to statistics on substance use disorder treatment.
  6. Prescription Monitoring Programs (PMPs):

    • Many jurisdictions have implemented Prescription Monitoring Programs to monitor and regulate the prescribing of benzodiazepines to help curb misuse.
  7. Awareness and Education:

    • Efforts are ongoing to increase awareness about the potential risks associated with the use and misuse of benzodiazepines.
    • Healthcare professionals are encouraged to educate patients about the proper use of benzodiazepines, potential side effects, and the importance of not exceeding prescribed doses.

What is Benzodiazepine Addiction?

Benzodiazepine addiction, commonly referred to as benzo addiction, occurs when individuals develop a dependence on and tolerance to benzodiazepine medications. Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive drugs prescribed to treat conditions such as anxiety disorders, insomnia, seizures, and muscle spasms. While they can be effective in managing certain medical conditions, their use also carries the risk of dependence and addiction.

Key features of benzo addiction include:

    1. Physical Dependence:

      • Individuals who use benzodiazepines regularly may develop physical dependence. This means that their body adapts to the presence of the drug, and stopping or reducing the dosage can lead to withdrawal symptoms.
    2. Tolerance:

      • Over time, individuals may develop tolerance to the effects of benzodiazepines, requiring higher doses to achieve the same therapeutic effects. Tolerance is a common precursor to dependence.
    3. Compulsive Drug Use:

      • Benzo addiction involves a pattern of compulsive drug use, where individuals may find it challenging to control or limit their use despite negative consequences.
    4. Cravings:

      • Individuals with benzo addiction may experience strong cravings for the drug, leading to a persistent desire to obtain and use benzodiazepines.
    5. Behavioral Changes:

      • Benzo addiction can lead to changes in behavior, with individuals prioritizing drug use over other aspects of life, such as work, relationships, or recreational activities.
    6. Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences:

      • Individuals with benzo addiction may continue using the drug even when faced with negative consequences, such as health problems, relationship issues, or legal concerns.
    7. Withdrawal Symptoms:

      • Abruptly stopping or reducing benzodiazepine use can lead to withdrawal symptoms, which may include anxiety, insomnia, tremors, sweating, irritability, and, in severe cases, seizures.
    8. Loss of Control:

      • Benzo addiction often involves a loss of control over drug use, with individuals finding it difficult to cut down or quit despite their intentions.
    9. Social and Occupational Impairment:

      • Addiction can lead to social and occupational impairment, affecting an individual’s ability to fulfill responsibilities at work, home, or in relationships.
    10. Psychological Impact:

      • Benzo addiction can have psychological effects, including mood swings, depression, and anxiety.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms

Identifying the signs and symptoms of benzodiazepine addiction is the crucial first step towards seeking help. If you or someone close to you exhibits any of the following signs, it could indicate a benzodiazepine use disorder:

Physical Indicators:

  • Frequent drowsiness or sedation
  • Slurred speech
  • Unsteady movements
  • Blurred vision

Behavioral Clues:

  • Increased secrecy and withdrawal from social activities
  • Frequent mood swings and irritability
  • Neglecting responsibilities and personal hygiene

Types of Benzodiazepine Ingestion

Benzodiazepines enter the body through various routes, each carrying its own set of risks and consequences:

  1. Oral Consumption: Swallowing benzodiazepines is a common method of ingestion, as prescribed by healthcare professionals.
  2. Injection: Intravenous administration of benzodiazepines amplifies the drug’s immediate impact on the body.
  3. Inhalation through the Nose (Snorting): Inhaling crushed benzodiazepines through the nasal passages is another method employed by some users.

It’s essential to recognize that the mode of ingestion does not diminish the addictive nature of benzodiazepines, underscoring the need for comprehensive intervention strategies.

The Impact of Benzodiazepines

Getting a handle on the ins and outs of benzodiazepine use is vital, given the immediate and long-term effects it has on people.

Immediate Effects of Benzodiazepine Use:

  • Anxiety Relief: Benzodiazepines provide immediate relief from anxiety and panic disorders, often the reason for their initial prescription.
  • Sedation: In addition to anxiety relief, benzodiazepines can induce sedation and relaxation.
  • Tolerance Development: Prolonged benzodiazepine use can lead to tolerance, requiring higher doses for the same anxiety relief and sedative effects.

Understanding Benzodiazepine Addiction:

  • Dependency: Benzodiazepine use can lead to physical and psychological dependency, making it challenging to discontinue use.
  • Cyclical Nature: A cyclical pattern emerges as users continually seek benzodiazepines to manage anxiety or achieve sedation, perpetuating addiction.
  • Benzodiazepine Use Disorder: Benzodiazepine addiction, clinically termed benzodiazepine use disorder, is a chronic condition characterized by compulsive and problematic benzodiazepine use.

The Risk Factors for Benzodiazepine Addiction:

  • Anxiety and Sleep Disorders: Individuals with chronic anxiety and sleep disorders may be at a higher risk of developing benzodiazepine addiction.
  • Mental Health Issues: Pre-existing mental health conditions, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can increase susceptibility to benzodiazepine addiction.
  • Substance Abuse History: Prior abuse of other substances, including alcohol and drugs, correlates with an increased likelihood of benzodiazepine abuse.

Identifying Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Addiction:

  • Tolerance and Craving: Escalating tolerance levels and persistent cravings for benzodiazepines are prominent signs of addiction.
  • Behavioral Changes: Irritability, anxiety, and engaging in reckless decisions to obtain benzodiazepines underscore addiction symptoms.
  • Physical Indicators: Frequent drowsiness, slurred speech, and unsteady movements are physical manifestations of benzodiazepine abuse.

Benzodiazepine Side Effects on Physical and Mental Health

Benzodiazepine abuse takes a toll on both physical and mental well-being, leading to a range of debilitating long-term side effects:

Physical Side-Effects:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Respiratory Depression
  • Gastrointestinal Problems
  • Cardiovascular Issues

Mental/Psychological Side-Effects:

  • Depression
  • Memory Impairment
  • Cognitive Decline
  • Agitation
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Social Isolation

How Benzodiazepine Abuse/Addiction is Diagnosed

Diagnosing benzodiazepine abuse or addiction involves a healthcare evaluation and diagnostic criteria:

Healthcare Evaluation:

  • A healthcare professional typically conducts a comprehensive evaluation, incorporating questions about health history and current status.

Diagnostic Criteria:

  • A diagnosis of benzodiazepine abuse or addiction is established based on health assessments, paving the way for tailored treatment.

Treatment Approaches for Benzodiazepine Addiction

Benzodiazepine addiction is a complex challenge that demands a holistic and structured approach. The following outlines a comprehensive guide to treating benzodiazepine addiction, incorporating various stages to ensure a thorough and effective recovery process.

1. Recognizing the Need for Treatment:

  • Self-Reflection and Acceptance: Acknowledge the presence of benzodiazepine addiction, fostering self-awareness and the acceptance of the need for professional help.
  • Support System: Engage with a support system, including friends, family, or support groups, to strengthen the commitment to seek treatment.

2. Seeking Professional Assessment:

  • Medical Evaluation: Undergo a thorough medical assessment by healthcare professionals to gauge the extent of benzodiazepine addiction and assess overall health.
  • Psychological Evaluation: Mental health professionals may conduct psychological evaluations to identify co-occurring disorders and tailor treatment plans accordingly.

3. Detoxification Process:

  • Inpatient or Outpatient Detox: Choose between inpatient or outpatient detox programs, depending on the severity of addiction. Inpatient programs provide around-the-clock supervision, while outpatient options may be suitable for milder cases.
  • Medical Assistance: Receive medical assistance during detox to manage withdrawal symptoms, ensuring a safer and more comfortable experience.

4. Residential Rehabilitation:

  • Structured Therapeutic Environment: Enroll in residential rehabilitation programs that provide a structured and therapeutic environment for individuals to focus on recovery.
  • Individualized Treatment Plans: Benefit from individualized treatment plans that may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and other evidence-based therapies.
  • Addressing Co-Occurring Disorders: Address any co-occurring mental health disorders through integrated treatment approaches.

5. Outpatient Rehabilitation:

  • Continued Therapy: Transition to outpatient programs for ongoing therapy, offering flexibility while maintaining a commitment to recovery.
  • Supportive Services: Access supportive services such as counseling, group therapy, and psychiatric care to reinforce the recovery process.

6. Support Groups:

  • 12-Step Programs: Engage in 12-step programs like Benzodiazepines Anonymous (BA) to benefit from peer support and shared experiences.
  • Non-12-Step Alternatives: Explore non-12-step support groups that focus on alternative recovery philosophies.

7. Relapse Prevention:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Strategies: Acquire skills through cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to identify triggers, manage stress, and develop coping mechanisms.
  • Educational Programs: Attend educational programs on relapse prevention to enhance awareness and resilience against potential setbacks.

8. Aftercare Planning:

  • Transitional Support: Develop a comprehensive aftercare plan, including transitional support to ease the transition back into daily life.
  • Continued Counseling: Continue individual or group counseling sessions to reinforce relapse prevention strategies and address emerging challenges.

9. Holistic Wellness Practices:

  • Physical Exercise: Incorporate regular physical exercise into daily routines to promote physical and mental well-being.
  • Mindfulness and Meditation: Embrace mindfulness and meditation practices to enhance emotional regulation and stress management.

10. Building a Sober Lifestyle:

  • Reintegration: Gradually reintegrate into social and professional environments while maintaining a focus on sobriety.
  • Sober Living Homes: Consider sober living homes for additional support and a substance-free living environment.

11. Ongoing Evaluation and Adjustments:

  • Regular Check-Ins: Schedule regular check-ins with healthcare professionals to evaluate progress and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.
  • Adapting Strategies: Be open to adapting strategies based on evolving needs and challenges during the recovery journey.

12. Celebrating Milestones:

  • Recognition of Achievements: Celebrate milestones and achievements in the recovery process, reinforcing positive behaviors and fostering motivation.

Does Insurance Cover Benzo Addiction Treatment?

Typically, yes. Insurance coverage for benzodiazepine addiction treatment can vary based on the specific insurance plan and its policies. Benzodiazepines are a class of medications commonly prescribed for anxiety and other conditions, and individuals seeking treatment for benzodiazepine addiction may encounter differences in coverage based on their insurance provider.

Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Type of Insurance Plan:

    • Different types of insurance plans, such as private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare, may have varying levels of coverage for benzodiazepine addiction treatment.
  2. In-Network vs. Out-of-Network Providers:

    • Insurance plans often have a network of preferred providers. In-network benzodiazepine addiction treatment facilities or providers are generally covered at a higher rate than out-of-network providers.
  3. Verification of Benefits:

    • It is crucial to contact the insurance provider and verify the specific terms of coverage for benzodiazepine addiction treatment. This includes checking details such as copayments, deductibles, and any out-of-pocket expenses.
  4. Medical Necessity and Preauthorization:

    • Insurance coverage for benzodiazepine addiction treatment may be contingent on a determination of medical necessity. Preauthorization or approval from the insurance company may be required before entering a treatment program.
  5. Level of Care:

    • Different levels of addiction treatment, such as inpatient, outpatient, or detoxification services, may have different coverage considerations. Some insurance plans may cover certain levels of care more comprehensively.
  6. Length of Treatment:

    • Insurance coverage may be influenced by the length of the benzodiazepine addiction treatment program. Some plans may have limitations on the number of days covered, while others may provide more extensive coverage for longer durations.
  7. Parity Laws:

    • Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) in the United States requires insurance plans to offer coverage for substance use disorder services, including benzodiazepine addiction treatment, at levels comparable to medical and surgical coverage.
  8. Crisis or Emergency Situations:

    • In cases of immediate need or crisis, insurance plans may cover benzodiazepine addiction treatment as part of emergency services. However, it is essential to follow up with the insurance provider for ongoing coverage considerations.
  9. Appeals Process:

    • If an insurance claim for benzodiazepine addiction treatment is denied, individuals have the right to appeal the decision. The appeals process allows for a review of the denial, and successful appeals can result in coverage being granted.
  10. Out-of-Pocket Expenses:

    • Even with insurance coverage, individuals may still have out-of-pocket expenses, such as copayments or coinsurance. Understanding these costs is essential for financial planning.

It’s advisable for individuals seeking benzodiazepine addiction treatment to work closely with their insurance provider and the treatment facility’s admissions team to understand the specific terms of coverage. Additionally, seeking assistance from the treatment facility’s insurance coordinator can provide valuable support in verifying benefits and understanding the insurance process.

Seeking Treatment? We Can Help!

At California Prime Recovery, as an in-network provider we work with most insurance plans, such as:

If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health challenges or substance abuse, reach out to California Prime Recovery today. Our team of compassionate professionals is here to support your journey towards lasting well-being. Give us a call at 866-208-2390

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