We are now in-network with Highmark / BlueCross BlueShield. Contact us to learn more.
24 Hour Helpline:

Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment Center Lehigh Valley

Recovery Cove | Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment Center Lehigh Valley, PA

Benzodiazepines, commonly referred to as “benzos” are prescription tranquilizers that treat a wide range of conditions, such as anxiety, insomnia, seizures and muscle spasms. Although benzodiazepines are known for their calming effects, they are highly addictive. Even those who have a legitimate reason to use them can develop a substance use disorder.

Due to the natural process of drug tolerance, people who are dependent on benzos need more and more to achieve the same effect. If they try to cut back or stop, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be dangerous and even life threatening, which is why individuals should only detox under medical supervision.

Recovery Cove treats benzodiazepine addiction using a combination of therapy and counseling, including psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy and group counseling. The goal is to help individuals learn how to deal with life’s stressors without relying on substances. Contact our benzodiazepine addiction treatment center in Lehigh Valley at 484-549-COVE to learn more.

Common Types of Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are used primarily for their sedative, anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing), hypnotic (sleep-inducing), muscle relaxant and anticonvulsant properties. They work by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which leads to a calming and tranquilizing effect on the central nervous system.

Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders, insomnia, muscle spasms and seizure disorders. Some well-known benzodiazepines include:

Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment Lehigh Valley, PA

  • Diazepam (Valium). Used to treat anxiety disorders, muscle spasms and alcohol withdrawal. It can also be used as a preoperative sedative.
  • Alprazolam (Xanax). Often prescribed for generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. It has a relatively short duration of action, making it useful for acute anxiety episodes.
  • Lorazepam (Ativan). Used for anxiety disorders, insomnia and as a sedative before medical procedures.
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin). Primarily prescribed for seizure disorders, panic disorder and certain types of epilepsy.
  • Temazepam (Restoril). Often used for the short-term treatment of insomnia.
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium). Used for anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal and preoperative sedation.

Potential Dangers of Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are generally considered effective and safe when used as prescribed and for a short-term period. However, they also come with potential risks and drawbacks, including dependence and addiction. Unfortunately, addiction can occur quite quickly, sometimes within just weeks of using the drug.

Let’s look closer at the risks associated with benzodiazepine use:

Dependence and addiction

Prolonged use of benzodiazepines can lead to physical and psychological dependence, as the brain may become accustomed to the presence of the drug. Abruptly stopping benzodiazepines after prolonged use can also lead to withdrawal symptoms, including rebound anxiety, insomnia and even seizures in severe cases.


Over time, the body may develop tolerance to the effects of benzodiazepines, requiring higher doses to achieve the same desired effects. This can increase the risk of dependence and potential side effects.

Cognitive impairment

Benzodiazepines can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired coordination. This can affect a person's ability to drive or operate machinery safely. The long-term use of benzos can also impact memory and cognitive function, especially in older adults. 

Drug interactions

Benzodiazepines can interact with alcohol and other substances, potentially leading to adverse effects or interactions. For example, mixing opioids and benzos can slow the central nervous system and slow breathing to a dangerous rate.

Misuse and overdose

Misuse of benzodiazepines, such as taking them in higher doses or in combination with other substances, can increase the risk of overdose and other health complications. Signs of overdose include drowsiness, coma, difficulty breathing and death.

How Quickly Does Tolerance Develop for Benzos?

Tolerance to benzodiazepines can develop in as little as two to four weeks. Typically the cycle starts when the user feels their medication is no longer working as effectively as it did, and so they increase their dose. They may do this by increasing the amount they take, taking it more often or adding a different type of benzo to the mix.                                              

As the person needs higher and more frequent doses to calm their anxiety, they develop a dependence, which can lead to addiction. The body also responds to the continued presence of the drug, causing GABA receptors to be less responsive.

It’s important to know that benzodiazepines are not intended to be used for the long term due to the risk for tolerance and dependence. In fact, long-term use can aggravate anxiety disorders. Some people find that their anxiety and panic attacks return after using benzos for an extended period of time.

Signs and Symptoms of Benzo Withdrawal

Withdrawal from benzos is not a picnic. The symptoms can be severe and life-threatening, and they can last longer than other drugs. The most common issue that people face is ‘rebound anxiety,’ which usually occurs one to four days from the last dose. This means that individuals can experience increased anxiety symptoms, which are the symptoms benzos are designed to treat.

Benzo withdrawal symptoms last about 10-14 days. Detoxing under medical supervision ensures you receive monitoring from medical professionals and access to medication and therapy to help with withdrawal symptoms. While they won’t eliminate the symptoms entirely, they will make them more tolerable.

The signs and symptoms of benzo withdrawal include:

  • Physical symptoms: anxiety, headaches muscle aches, seizures, delirium tremens (DTs), hand tremors, rapid heartbeat, sweat, nausea, heart palpitations
  • Behavioral symptoms: irritability, tension, panic attacks, trouble concentrating, psychosis, suicidal behavior, hallucinations

Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment Center in Lehigh Valley

The first step in the recovery journey is detox. This should be done slowly under medical supervision, as quitting benzos 'cold turkey’ can lead to dangerous effects. During detox, individuals should be closely monitored for seizures and other adverse effects.

After the person completes detox, they can move onto the recovery portion of treatment. This typically entails some form of behavioral therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy or individual counseling. Self-help groups, like the 12 steps, may also benefit the recovery process.

Given the above potential risks, benzodiazepines are typically prescribed for short-term use and as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan. They are not intended for misuse in any way, as addiction is possible. To explore your options for benzodiazepine addiction treatment, contact Recovery Cove at  484-549-COVE.

he therapy, support, and tools you need to achieve long-term recovery.

Addiction and Mental Health Disorder Educational Blog

We provide helpful resources and expert content created for individuals in recovery, their families and greater
community. Our mission is to help others better understand addiction to fight the stigma and help get more people into treatment.
  • "Welcoming, kindness, and professionalism is what you will receive from Recovery Cove. I am extremely grateful to the whole Recovery Cove team for guiding me through my recovery process. Outpatient therapy is where the real work is done and they have equipped me the skills I need to continue on my sobriety journey. Thank you so much!"
  • "Truly impressed with this recovery center. Very relaxing & encouraging atmosphere. Highly recommended."
  • "THANK YOU RECOVERY COVE! You guys rock, your help with my current situation and your intervention yesterday was impeccable. Without your help I feel that the strides that were made would not have taken place. I am very ingratiated for your knowledge, your persistence, and your selflessness in helping others. Again thank you from the bottom of my heart."
  • "I came to Recovery Cove after a relapse from 10 years of sobriety. I was skeptical because I had been to many other centers and 90% of them were less than and I walked away with nothing. Recovery Cove is different. I was immediately impressed with the facilities but what has really impressed me was the quality of the counselor. They really care and have amazing knowledge. They are kind yet will keep you in line. If you become willing to listen to them and participate in the program, success is there for the taking. You will not regret your choice to come Recovery Cove. I would give them an A+!!"
  • My experience at recovery cove was life changing. The staff made my transition back into the real world feel safe and comfortable. The entire staff was welcoming and open-minded while providing an environment I feel willing to open up in. Christine was my therapist - she was a game changer in my recovery and I appreciate every single interaction I had with her. I’m now hopeful for my future & my recovery journey with a big thanks to christine & the entire recovery cove staff

Recovery Cove... Heal. Grow. Connect. Live.



PA Dept Drugs and Alcohol Progams LogoSAMHSA LogoJoint Commission Badge LogoPsych Today Logo
Medical Disclaimer: Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. Before making any decisions on your physical or mental health, please consult your doctor. The staff at Recovery Cove will work with our patients on a custom diagnosis and care plan. Specific medical advice will be provided to our patients while in our care.