If you have an anxiety disorder or insomnia, you may find it difficult to go through your day-to-day life without complications. Your doctor may prescribe a benzodiazepine medication to help you manage your condition. These addictive medications, called “benzos” for short, also treat:
- Severe alcohol withdrawal
- Muscle spasms
You may recognize these widely prescribed benzos:
- Xanax (alprazolam)
- Klonopin (clonazepam)
- Valium (diazepam)
- Ativan (lorazepam
Benzodiazepines are depressants because they slow down brain activity so that users can relax and concentrate or go to sleep. Once these potent drugs enter the body, they affect gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), a brain chemical responsible for reducing anxiety, fear, and excitement. These powerful drugs are habit-forming, even when taken as directed under a medical professional’s care. They are usually prescribed for short-term care of no more than two weeks, depending on the person. Using benzos for longer periods can result in dependence, and if a longtime user stops taking them suddenly, they can go into withdrawal.
Still, these facts do not deter people from misusing and abusing these prescription medications. In 2018, 12.6% of U.S. adults used benzodiazepines (benzos) in the past year. That year, benzo misuse accounted for more than 17% of overall use. Unfortunately, such misuse can lead to addiction. Misuse is not always intentional. Senior-age adults age 65 and older are commonly prescribed these medications, an issue that has raised grave concerns in the medical community.
If a senior person does not take their medication correctly or forgets that they have taken it, they can easily overdose on it, putting them in a life-threatening situation. Also, because senior adults are older, their metabolism is slower, which means it takes longer for them to process the drug. The powerful side effects also put older people at risk of falling, experiencing cognitive disorders, and not being able to drive, among other things.
People With and Without a Prescription Can Abuse Benzos
People who engage in recreational benzo use, which means they take it without a doctor’s prescription, are also at risk of developing benzodiazepine addiction. This can be a costly mistake because once benzo addiction sets it, it is hard for many people to stop using them. Benzo abuse includes:
- Taking someone else’s benzo prescription or buying them off the street
- Taking benzos in larger doses than prescribed or recommended
- Mixing benzos with alcohol and other drugs to intensify a high or come down from one
- Using benzos in other ways outside their design, such as crushing tablets into a powder for smoking, inhaling, or injecting the drug
Recreational benzo use is also risky because you don’t know what’s in the pill that’s being passed off as Xanax or any other benzo. Buying and using medication that’s billed as a legit benzodiazepine can quickly become a life or death situation.
As the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) warns, fake benzo pills are circulating on recreational drug scenes throughout the U.S. Some of these medications have been cut with other drugs and toxins. These include the deadly opioid fentanyl, which authorities say is largely responsible for the increasing drug overdose deaths occurring all over the country. In some cases, drugs sold as benzos are not benzos at all. They could be pure fentanyl, which is lethal in nearly any amount.
Another problem source for overdoses is designer benzos that are more dangerous than legally made prescription ones. According to an article from HealthDay News, “designer” benzos made illegally on the street have also caused more deaths. These drugs—clonazolam, etizolam, and flubromazolam—are similar in structure to prescription benzos, but they have side effects and toxicities, Dr. Alex Manini told HealthDay. Manini is the director of the Toxicology Research Core in the Emergency Medicine Research Division at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
Also, HealthDay writes that overdose-reversal drugs like naloxone do not help many people who overdosed on drugs containing an opioid-benzo combo because the drug does not respond to benzos. This can also increase the chance of dying from benzo use, especially if the drug user did not know they were taking a combo drug.
Staten Island Residents Are Dying from Benzo Overdoses
According to 2020 data from the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and NYC Health Department’s Bureau of Vital Statistics, benzodiazepines were involved in 29% of the drug overdose deaths in Staten Island. In 2020, 132 Staten Island residents died of a drug overdose, and the second-highest rate of overdose deaths per 100,000 residents among New York City’s five boroughs at 37.0.
Opioid Detox & Rehab in Staten Island
If you or someone you know has tried to stop misusing or abusing benzodiazepines but has not been successful, it may be time to consider entering a professional treatment program that focuses on helping you gain sobriety and your life back. We will help you address your benzodiazepine use disorder and help you start anew, leaving substance abuse behind.
Your treatment journey will likely start in medical detox. This 24-hour medically monitored process will offer support to prevent relapse and manage withdrawal symptoms as benzodiazepines and other toxins exit the body. The goal is to regain medical stability and start the proper treatment program as soon as possible. At Summit Behavioral Health, we offer partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient programs for people with benzo use disorder and other substance use disorders.
Partial Hospitalization (Partial Care)
Partial hospitalization (PHP) offers intensive care for substance abuse and addiction on an outpatient basis. Patients receive services for 20 or more hours a week on-site at a facility. However, they don’t have to stay at the facility overnight. They can live at home or in sober living or transition housing while receiving therapy during the day at the facility.
Depending on the client, they can come to us for 20 or more hours a week to receive the help they need to recover from substance abuse and addiction. PHP is ideal for people who have completed higher levels of treatment, such as medical detox and inpatient/residential care. People from various walks of life can benefit from this setting. While in PHP, they can learn:
- How to avoid relapse by managing their cravings and triggers
- Learn to manage a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Take their prescription medication properly.
- Stay the course to sobriety and receive support to that end.
In PHP at Summit, our patients learn about addiction, relapse prevention strategies, life skills and strategies, and health and wellness. PHP programs can last 30 days or longer. Once a patient is ready to exit PHP, they can receive continued support in an intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment program.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
Our intensive outpatient program patients receive the same care and attention as those in PHP and other levels of care throughout the Delphi Behavioral Health Group network that we are a part of.
Intensive outpatient treatment is less structured than PHP. It allows more flexibility in terms of scheduling treatment. Patients at this level of care choose when they want to come to treatment, and they live off-site, which means lower treatment costs. They also are required to complete fewer hours of therapy. They must receive nine at the minimum, but in PHP, it’s at least 20 hours or more.
Our intensive outpatient programs offer:
- Relapse prevention support
- Dual diagnosis
- Family counseling
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Co-ed group therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Motivational interviewing (MI)
- Emotion regulation techniques
- 12-step programs
You can receive intensive outpatient treatment for at least 90 days. If you enter our outpatient program (OP), you can receive therapy for fewer hours, which is typically fewer than nine hours during the week.
Once you finish your time with us, we are still here for you to help you transition from treatment to the outside world. Our Aftercare program provides additional support that helps people manage their newly found sobriety and recovery process. We do everything we can to help you make the transition smooth.
Managing recovery requires you to be active and involved every day, so we want to help you learn how to do that in real-time after you leave treatment. We can connect you to resources that can help you find sober housing, employment, and other support you’ll need.
You will also be part of a like-minded community that understands firsthand the struggles of addiction and will be there for you as you all pursue common goals. You can join support groups, 12-step programs in the area and participate in activities with others who are in recovery.
Opioid Detox & Treatment in Staten Island FAQs
Deciding to get help for benzo addiction is a milestone worth marking. The decision is just the start. We know you have questions about treatment as you research your options. You may find the answers to some of your questions below. We answered a few that we normally get. Still, we encourage you to call us with additional questions or if you want to know more about something you’ve read here.
How Long Is Rehab?
No matter which of our programs you enter, your time in benzo rehab at Summit Behavioral Health should be long enough to meet your treatment needs. Your situation and how far along you are in your journey will shape your time in treatment. You could be placed in various treatment settings throughout your time in treatment. Longer treatment time is encouraged. Ninety days (three months) is ideal, per the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), because more time in a professional recovery program can enhance recovery efforts.
How Much Does Benzo Drug Rehab Cost?
How much your tab will be after you finish rehab for benzodiazepine detox and treatment depends on what services you will need for the short and long term. Summit Behavioral Health customizes treatment plans to the person, so no two people have the same plan. Drug rehab costs can run into the thousands, however.
Various factors can increase the costs. People who stay on-site at a facility for 24-hour care or go to stay in treatment longer because of the severity of their situation can pay more. Where you receive treatment can also affect costs. High-end luxury rehab facilities are more expensive than standard ones, but more amenities are available on-site, too.
When thinking about your costs, consider the following:
- Your treatment preferences and needs
- Which facility you’ll go to for treatment
- Whether you’ll stay local or leave town for rehab elsewhere, such as out-of-state
- How long you plan to stay on-site at a facility (30 days or longer)
- What therapies, programs you will need
- Travel incidentals
Do I Have to Travel?
We offer our services on-site at our facilities in the New Jersey area, so you will have to travel to us for treatment. We offer care at three locations in the Garden State. People in the Tri-State area may find these locations convenient. Please call us about your travel concerns.
What Insurance Carriers Does Summit Behavioral Health Take?
We are in-network with several major insurance carriers, including:
- Blue Cross, Blue Shield
- CareFirst BlueChoice
While we do not accept Medicare or Medicaid at this time, you can reach out to us via phone or online, and we’ll find out if your insurance benefits cover the services we offer. If your insurer is in-network with us, this could mean lower costs for you. If your provider does not cover the services you need or partially covers them, we encourage you to review how you’ll cover your portion of expenses.
Give us a call so we can learn more about your treatment needs. We want to help you end benzo abuse and start fresh now.