Trauma-Informed Treatment Programs at Pyramid Walden

Benzodiazepines are a class of sedative drugs commonly prescribed for anxiety, panic disorders, insomnia, seizures, muscle relaxation, and in some cases to aid in withdrawal symptoms during treatment of alcohol abuse. Addiction to benzodiazepines can happen very quickly, resulting in a myriad of adverse symptoms. Benzodiazepine abusers will also build up a tolerance to the drug, resulting in increased use over time, thus intensifying the withdrawal symptoms if stopped.

What makes benzodiazepines so addictive? These medications surge dopamine through your receptors in your brain, washing over the entire body and mind with a wave of pleasure, proving almost irresistible to those with an addictive personality. Unfortunately, the dose needed to feel these waves of pleasure increases quickly as you continue use, and as the dose increases, so do the side effects.

Commonly prescribed medications classified as benzodiazepines include:

  • Ativan (lorazepam)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide)
  • Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • Halcion (triazolam)
  • Restoril (temazepam)
  • Tranxene (clorazepate dipotassium)


Side effects of taking benzodiazepines include:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Grogginess
  • Blurred vision or floaters, trouble focusing
  • Depression
  • Sleep issues
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Memory loss
  • Personality changes

Your response to benzodiazepines may be based on the amount you take in one dose, the length of time you have been on the medication, and how often you take it. Severity increases as dose, frequency, and tolerance increases. Often, you will notice a jump in adverse side effects as your dose increases with lessened “positive” effect.


Withdrawal symptoms can be very dangerous and often mirror the adverse side effects of benzodiazepine abuse, including:

  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint stiffness and pain
  • Irritability
  • Tension and anxiety
  • Sleep disruption
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis

Benzodiazepine drugs change the chemistry and connections in the brain, reconfiguring how it works neurologically, thus causing the brain to malfunction once the drug is stopped. As the brain’s natural chemicals re-calibrate after detoxing, withdrawal symptoms lessen.

Start on the Path to a Better Life

The team of drug addiction specialists at Walden can work with you to form a treatment plan that takes all aspects of recovery into consideration, including the emotional and mental trauma that created the addictive behavior. We understand that recovery is more than stopping the drug abuse and we will work with you to find tools that you can use every day to stay sober and live a fulfilling life. Our vision involves including trauma-informed mental health and substance abuse treatment, a comprehensive and compassionate approach to finding the root of the problems and starting recovery there.

With locations across Maryland that take Maryland Medicaid plans, we are able to help those that are affected by addiction. Our facilities are located in Charlotte HallCaliforniaLexington Park, and Waldorf.

Contact Walden to start your path to recovery now at (301) 327-2555.

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