Benzodiazepine Addiction

Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment

Richard E. Repass, MD

Psychiatrist & Addiction Medicine located in Mercer Island, WA

Benzodiazepines are powerful drugs prescribed for treating panic attacks and other anxiety disorders. But the longer you take them, and the higher your dose, the more likely you are to develop a benzodiazepine addiction. Richard E. Repass, MD, at Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment in Mercer Island, Washington, has extensive experience helping patients detox from benzodiazepines and now uses a natural and nonaddictive treatment with NAD. To learn more about NAD detox, call the office to schedule an appointment.

Benzodiazepine Addiction Q & A

What are benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive drugs prescribed to treat numerous psychological and neurological disorders, including anxiety, panic attacks, seizures, insomnia, and alcohol withdrawal. These powerful drugs work by enhancing the effect of a neurotransmitter, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which in turn calms nerve activity in your brain.

How do I develop a benzodiazepine addiction?

There are numerous types of benzodiazepines used in the United States, and they’re all addictive. If your prescription calls for a daily dose over several months, your brain becomes dependent on the medication. When it’s time to stop taking your medication, your doctor gradually reduces the dose so your brain can slowly readjust and you won’t have withdrawal symptoms.

If you continue to take benzodiazepines, or you use higher doses than prescribed, the changes in your brain become an addiction. You’ll start to crave the drug, and you’ll have to keep increasing the dose to get the same effect.

There are two sure signs of addiction. The first is the uncontrollable cravings. The second is developing withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop.

How is benzodiazepine addiction treated?

It’s important to know that benzodiazepines, like other addictive drugs, cause real biochemical changes in your brain. It’s virtually impossible to reverse the brain changes without help, and detoxing on your own can be dangerous. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can cause muscle spasms and seizures.

Dr. Repass offers two programs for detoxing from benzodiazepines. The first is a standard detox in which he carefully tapers the drug while using prescription medications to help manage your withdrawal symptoms. 

The second option at Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment is to detox with IV infusions of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). NAD is normally produced in your body, where it produces energy, regulates neurotransmitters, and supports your immune system.

When you’re addicted to benzodiazepines, levels of NAD in the brain decrease. Bringing NAD levels back to normal restores neurochemical imbalances and improves brain function. Additionally, NAD stops benzodiazepine cravings.

Your NAD detox at Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment is an outpatient treatment. Dr. Repass administers a daily IV infusion of BR+NAD™ for 10-15 days. By the end of that time, your cravings are completely or significantly diminished.

Many patients benefit from ongoing therapy to help them learn to deal with the problems that triggered their need for benzodiazepines. Dr. Repass provides the holistic, therapeutic care you need throughout your recovery. 

To schedule a detox consultation for benzodiazepine addiction, call Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment to schedule an appointment.

DISCLAIMER: NAD+ qualifies as a supplement under FDA guidelines. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Intravenous NAD+ therapy is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.