Benzodiazepines are a type of tranquilizer drug commonly prescribed for anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia. While its abuse potential is low among the general population, it is much higher among teens with set risk factors, including certain mental conditions. Deaths caused by only benzodiazepine abuse are also quite low, but when used concomitantly with alcohol and opioids, which are common combinations, the risk of overdose and fatal complications multiplies.

While not as commonly abused as opioids, benzodiazepines are the second-most abused prescription drug class, and benzodiazepine use has been classified as an epidemic. This doesn’t disqualify benzodiazepines from being an effective teen benzodiazepine addiction treatment tool – but it highlights the risk the drug poses when used recreationally, in conjunction with other mediation, or misused via higher-than-recommended dosages. Sometimes, benzodiazepines are also prescribed in the treatment of seizures, and other conditions requiring sedation or muscle relaxation.

Teen Benzodiazepine Addiction Signs and Symptoms

We do not demonize drug use. There is a distinct difference between the therapeutic use of benzodiazepines in the treatment of select symptoms in cases of severe anxiety, overwhelming panic attacks, and seizures, as well as other mental and neurological disorders. Benzodiazepines are a useful sedative drug, and they are safer and more effective than previous generations of sedatives, including much more dangerous barbiturates and tranquilizers.

We also recognize the very real problem of compulsive benzodiazepine use, a form of substance use disorder. About 4-5 percent of the general U.S. population uses benzodiazepines. About 2 percent of the population has misused benzodiazepines or used them recreationally. Of these 2 percent, roughly 10 percent meet the criteria for substance abuse. The consequences of abuse can be fatal, especially when in combination with other drugs. Some of the signs of teen benzodiazepine addiction include:

  • Recognizable impairment or distress as a result of drug use
  • Important social gatherings and occasions are ignored or sidelined in favor of drug use
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms after attempting to stop (which may include anxiety, nausea, hand tremors)
  • Using to cope with symptoms of anxiety or depression
  • A persistent, unsuccessful effort to stop
  • Failure to fulfill obligations at home, at school, and/or at work
  • Continued use despite physical and emotional harm to self and others
  • A great deal of time and resources go into procuring more of the drug

Visions’ Teen Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment Program

At Visions, we take the misuse of benzodiazepines very seriously. Drugs like Valium and Xanax have a long history in the public consciousness, although they aren’t typically linked to addiction and overdose in the minds of most. Nevertheless, teen benzodiazepine addiction is a dangerous issue, especially in teens with mental health conditions.

Known as a dual diagnosis, cases where teens’ struggle with symptoms of a mental health issue while going through signs of substance abuse require specific, targeted teen benzodiazepine addiction treatment addressing a host of contributing factors.

At Visions, teen benzodiazepine addiction treatment tailors around addressing the addiction and the mental condition, and because every case has its own set of circumstances, we always begin with a thorough and comprehensive psychological evaluation. Our teen benzodiazepine addiction treatment and dual diagnosis program includes:

Inpatient/Residential Treatment

Visions’ dual diagnosis benzodiazepine addiction treatment program leverages the knowledge and experience of our staff to help teens facing both mental health issues and addiction find short-term relief, as well as a long-term change. Through a continuous care program, we help teens overcome withdrawal, develop healthier coping mechanisms, improve their mental health symptoms, and find long-term support in and around their community.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Not all cases are best addressed via inpatient treatment. Some teens face circumstances making outpatient treatment or partial hospitalization a better fit for them. We have a program at Visions specifically for PHP and intensive outpatient support, helping teens get help and address the multitude of factors contributing to their dual diagnosis.

Benzodiazepines are used in the treatment of conditions like anxiety and panic disorder, but in excess, they can very quickly make these conditions worse. Despite the potential for short-term relief and coping, the effects of benzodiazepine use on one’s life and mind often exacerbate conditions like anxiety and depression. At Visions, our benzodiazepine addiction treatment program seeks to help patients find ways to curb their use while addressing their mental health in the long-term.

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