Can Benzodiazepine Dependency Be Replaced With Alternative Therapies?
Benzodiazepines are strong depressant drugs prescribed primarily for treating anxiety. Sometimes used for sleep, as needed for flying, or as a daily drug for anxiety, these medications create an intense chemical dependency. Unfortunately, few doctors are aware of how severe chemical dependency on benzodiazepines can be. Advertised as non-habit forming and non-dependency forming, most patients taking benzodiazepines are unaware of the fact that they have become dependent upon the drug. It is not until they for some reason miss their daily dose that they are confronted with the reality of chemical dependency by way of symptoms of withdrawal and cravings. Tolerance is also common in benzodiazepine use. Overtime, a patient develops a tolerance to their medication and needs the dosage increased. Problematically, the more a dosage is increased, the higher the tolerance threshold becomes, and the more severe a chemical dependency can be.
These are the issues faced just by those who use the drug regularly as prescribed by their psychiatrist. Xanax is a brand name benzodiazepine which wise widely abused. Abused for its depressant properties, Xanax can create euphoric sensations in addition to deep physical relaxation. Called “sticks” or “bars”, Xanax purchased on the street poses a specific threat. Recently, there have been reports that opioids like heroin and fentanyl have been cut into pills being sold as Xanax. Though those who abuse Xanax don’t necessarily have anxiety problems, they can develop them when they withdraw.
Replacing the presence of benzodiazepines is necessary for full recovery and developing a lifestyle of sobriety. Anxiety can be managed through numerous alternative treatments and lifestyle changes without the use of heavy depressant drugs like Xanax.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: CBT is a proven therapy method which targets problematic behaviors and seeks to uncover the problematic beliefs behind them. Challenging troublesome thought processes helps create lasting changes in behavior, removing the need for dependency on benzodiazepines.
- Diet: Removing stimulant substances from the body helps better regulate emotion and energy which can reduce anxiety.
- Exercise: Exercise is a proven way to reduce stress and anxiety. 20-30 minutes of physical activity a day can be extremely effective.
- Mindfulness and meditation: Both mindfulness and meditation have been proven to reduce the stressful effects of anxiety and other mental health issues. Only 5 minutes a day of meditation can be impactful on reducing the need to turn to benzodiazepines.
Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers dual diagnosis treatment for addiction and co-occurring anxiety through partial care programs after 30 day residential inpatient. Bringing together the best of holistic healing, clinical therapy, and alternative treatment, we strive to create healing in mind, body, and spirit. Call 833-801-5483 for more information.