Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to the Coronavirus
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Cedar Crest Hospital & Residential Treatment Center to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Cedar Crest Hospital & Residential Treatment Center.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Causes, Symptoms & Effects of Benzo Addiction

Cedar Crest Hospital & Residential Treatment Center helps individuals who are struggling with benzo addiction find long-term recovery. Located in Belton, TX, Cedar Crest is the leader in mental health care.

Understanding Benzo Addiction

Learn about benzo addiction

Benzodiazepines are a group of substances that are effective at depressing the central nervous system. These medications, which are anxiolytics, include prescription medication such as Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin, all of which are used to treat symptoms consistent with anxiety disorders. In addition to anxiety disorders, these medications (which are also commonly referred to as benzos), are used for medical purposes such as the treatment of migraines, seizures, and other issues. While these substances can offer priceless relief for many who are suffering from the challenges these types of conditions can present, benzos are also extremely addictive and possess the potential for abuse.

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)states that benzos are grouped into a category of substances known as sedatives, hypnotics, or anxiolytics. When these substances are being abused to the point where the individual is suffering severe impairment or distress, it is likely that he or she has developed a sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic use disorder. While this disorder, which includes benzo addiction, can be challenging to overcome, there are comprehensive treatment options available that can help individuals put an end to their benzo abuse.

Statistics

Benzo addiction statistics

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that out of all prescription medications, benzos are the most commonly used for recreational purposes because of their accessibility. Throughout the adult population within the United States, between 11% and 15% of individuals are said to be using some kind of benzo, with between 1% and 2% having abused it for one year or longer.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for benzo addiction

The causes and risk factors for developing sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic use disorder, including benzodiazepine addiction, can be explained below:

Genetic: According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), an individual’s genetic background is an imperative factor when determining the development of an addiction to substances such as benzodiazepines. If there is a history of benzo abuse and/or addiction within one’s family, then an individual’s chances of developing a similar concern is more likely.

Environmental: The APA also reports that, because benzos are pharmaceuticals, their availability is typically the most common environmental cause. Additionally, when individuals spend time within an environment where their peers are abusing substances such as these, they become more susceptible to engaging in similar behaviors.

Risk Factors:

  • Antisocial behavior
  • Suffering from a mental health condition
  • Family history of substance abuse and addiction
  • Being around other people who abuse drugs and/or alcohol
  • Being female (The APA notes that females are at a greater risk for abusing prescription drugs than males are)
  • Beginning to abuse substances at an early age
  • Ease of availability with which one can obtain benzodiazepines
  • Suffering from a medical condition for which benzodiazepines are prescribed to treat
  • Having an impulsive temperament

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of benzo addiction

The signs and symptoms that someone addicted to benzos will display will vary from user to user based on the kind of benzo he or she is abusing, the period of time he or she has been abusing for, and the frequency in which the abuse is happening. Additionally, this will depend on how much of the benzo is being consumed. Some of these symptoms can include the following:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Failing to fulfill obligations at work
  • Visiting multiple doctors in order to obtain multiple prescriptions for benzodiazepines
  • Limiting contact with friends and family members
  • Disinhibited behavior
  • Slurred speech
  • Repeated absences from work
  • Neglecting responsibilities at home
  • Participation in recreational activities that one once enjoyed declines

Physical symptoms:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • Rapid, involuntary eye movement
  • Unsteady gait

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Attention difficulties
  • Cravings for continued use
  • Insensibility
  • Memory impairment

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Dysregulation of emotions
  • Periods of emotional detachment
  • Euphoria
  • Depression

Effects

Effects of benzo addiction

Allowing an addiction of any type to continue can lead to the development of serious consequences within one’s life. When the continued abuse of benzos persists without professional treatment, users are more susceptible to suffering any number of painful consequences within their personal, social, and occupational lives, as well as to their physical wellbeing. Some of these effects can include the following:

  • Onset of severe depression, which can lead to suicidal thoughts and/or behaviors
  • Beginning to abuse other substances
  • Disturbances within interpersonal relationships
  • Marital discord
  • Financial strain resulting from unemployment
  • Injuries and accidents that result from participating in high-risk behaviors while intoxicated
  • Hypotension
  • Drop in occupational performance, potentially resulting in demotion or job loss
  • Decline in cognition
  • Onset of new, or worsening of current symptoms of other mental health conditions
  • Respiratory depression
  • Overall decline in physical health

Overdose & Withdrawal Effects

Effects of benzo overdose & withdrawal

Effects of benzodiazepine withdrawal: When someone has been abusing benzos and then ends his or her use of this substance, he or she will likely grapple with an upsetting withdrawal period. At this time, the individual will likely experience impairment in his or her ability to function normally. Some symptoms that can arise at this time include:

  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Grand mal seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Brief visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations
  • Hand tremors
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Increased pulse rate
  • Anxiety

Effects of benzodiazepine overdose: When an individual consumes more of a substance than his or her body can metabolize, he or she suffers the risk of overdosing. A benzodiazepine overdose should be treated as a medical emergency, and treatment should be received right away. Signs that might indicate that an individual has overdosed on benzos can include the following:

  • Loss of coordination
  • Sedation
  • Blurred vision
  • Respiratory system depression
  • Extreme dizziness
  • Muscle weakness

Co-Occurring Disorders

Benzo addiction and co-occurring disorders

Those who suffer from sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic use disorder might also struggle with symptoms of co-occurring mental health problems at the same time. The disorders below are some of the most common in those who suffer from this condition:

  • Bipolar disorders
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Other substance use disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Tobacco use disorder

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If it weren't for Cedar Crest, I don't know where I would be right now. Only Cedar Crest's knowledgeable staff were able to help me break free of my benzo addiction.

– Anonymous Patient
Marks of Quality Care
  • Texas Hospital Association
  • The Joint Commission (JCAHO) Gold Seal of Approval
  • The Jason Foundation