How to Handle Benzodiazepine Cravings

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Benzodiazepine cravings can be a challenging aspect of recovery for individuals who have struggled with benzodiazepine misuse. These cravings can be intense and difficult to ignore, even months after getting sober. However, some strategies and techniques can help manage and reduce benzodiazepine cravings. There are various approaches to handle benzodiazepine cravings effectively. From identifying triggers to seeking support, below are some tools you need to navigate through this challenging aspect of recovery. 

Understanding Benzodiazepine Misuse and Cravings 

Benzodiazepines are a class of highly addictive sedatives and tranquilizers commonly misused by individuals with a history of drug or alcohol abuse, anxiety, or insomnia. Benzos, as they are commonly called, affects the receptors in the brain similarly to that of alcohol, particularly GABA. 

Benzo abuse can result in severe psychological dependence, with the brain becoming rewired to crave more of the drug to achieve the desired euphoric high. After the high wears off, individuals often experience emotional crashes, uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, and intense drug cravings. Similarly to alcohol, a person misusing benzos may also need a medical detox for safety. 

Identifying Triggers

One effective way to manage benzodiazepine cravings is to identify and avoid triggers that may lead to a desire to use. Triggers can be people, places, or things associated with past benzodiazepine use. By recognizing these triggers, individuals can make a conscious effort to refrain from situations that may tempt them to use the drug. 

Some common triggers may include passing by a familiar location where benzodiazepines were frequently used or encountering old friends from active addiction days. By avoiding these triggers, individuals can reduce the risk of relapse and maintain their sobriety. 

Engaging in Meaningful Activities 

Engaging in physical activity can be an effective way to combat benzodiazepine cravings. Exercise releases endorphins, which contribute to a natural and healthy high. Physical activity also provides numerous benefits for overall well-being, including increased energy levels and stress reduction. 

In early recovery, finding meaningful activities to fill the void left by benzodiazepine use is crucial. Exercise can provide structure to one’s days, boost mood, and serve as a positive outlet for stress. By incorporating regular physical activity into their routine, individuals can experience the benefits of a natural high and reduce the intensity of benzodiazepine cravings. 

Exploring Holistic Therapies 

Holistic therapies can play a significant role in managing benzodiazepine cravings. These practices help individuals reconnect with their spiritual well-being and address underlying emotional issues that may have contributed to substance use. Meditation, for example, promotes inner peace and self-esteem while helping individuals control negative thought patterns. Yoga and qigong are other holistic practices that minimize stress and anxiety by promoting mindfulness and being present in the moment. 

By incorporating these holistic therapies into their recovery journey, individuals can alleviate stress, reduce benzodiazepine cravings, and develop healthy coping mechanisms. 

Building a Support Network 

Recovery should not be a solitary journey. Building a strong support network is crucial for managing benzodiazepine cravings. It is essential to surround oneself with individuals who respect sobriety and have one’s best interests in mind. Friends and loved ones who understand the challenges of recovery can provide encouragement and accountability during difficult times. 

Joining virtual or in-person support groups can also be very beneficial, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Peers in recovery communities can provide understanding and practical advice, and celebrate milestones. Having a reliable support network is vital for managing benzodiazepine cravings and staying on the path to long-term recovery. 

Seeking Professional Help 

If benzodiazepine cravings become overwhelming and there is a fear of relapse, seeking professional help through a drug rehabilitation program is a wise decision. Drug treatment provides individuals with the necessary support to navigate withdrawal symptoms, address root causes of substance use, and develop healthy habits. 

In a drug rehab program, individuals can learn strategies to manage cravings, avoid relapse triggers, and develop constructive ways to cope with setbacks. Professional guidance and therapy can significantly enhance the recovery journey and increase the chances of long-term success in managing benzodiazepine cravings. 

If You Need Help with Drugs and Alcohol 

If you are struggling with substance abuse disorders or behavioral health, or are wondering how to help a friend or family member with alcoholism or drugs, Mountainside Treatment Center can help. Being a recovery success story like Vincent D. begins with that first step of calling our center and discussing the drug rehab options that best meet your needs.  

To speak with a trained mental health and addiction professional, call (800)500-0399 for immediate help. 

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and support. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Mountainside can help.
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