Alternatives to Benzodiazepines for Anxiety

Legacy Healing Center Blog

Feeling anxious is a part of life that some people, unfortunately, can’t always shake. While some are able to recognize these feelings and learn healthy coping mechanisms in response, others experience symptoms that are so intense that clinical intervention is necessary. While drugs like benzodiazepines are known to be effective in managing these sensations, many still carry the risk of abuse and addiction that can ultimately cause more problems than they solve. In response to this, Legacy Healing Center is exploring alternatives to benzodiazepines for anxiety management.


How Do Benzodiazepines Work?

Benzodiazepines, or benzos, work to heighten the effects of GABA in the brain. GABA, which stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid, is a chemical that minimizes activity in areas of the brain that are responsible for managing a person’s memory, emotions, and essential bodily functions (IE, breathing.) Heightened GABA effects will result in feelings of sedation and relaxation, as well as an overall reduction in feelings of anxiety. Unfortunately, prolonged usage is likely to lead to the development of tolerance. This means that the user will need to take more of the drug each time to produce the same desired effects.

Once a person is hooked on benzos, it can be extremely difficult to stop. This is usually due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms that are associated with this particular kind of drug abuse. If you or someone you care about is in the midst of an active benzodiazepine addiction, Legacy’s medical detox center is equipped with substance-specific programs that can effectively address these symptoms in a safe and comfortable environment.


Effective Benzo Alternatives

Before electing to participate in the use of benzodiazepines, it is worth trying alternative methods of anxiety management that possess a lower risk of abuse and dependency. These can include:

Holistic Therapies

Popular anti-anxiety medication alternatives include acupuncture, meditation, yoga, and other natural therapies. Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that utilizes tiny, sharp needles along the patient’s skin. These spots are responsible for releasing positive chemicals in the brain that can manage symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other distressing symptoms.

Meditation and yoga are also effective methods of calming the mind and body in the face of anxiety. By placing a focus on being present and grounded, a person has the opportunity to steady their breathing and come back down to a functional level.

Finally, utilizing options like animal and nature therapy is believed to improve anxiety while promoting self-confidence and relaxation in patients. Of course, there will always be symptoms so severe that the intervention of medication is still necessary. In these cases, there are benzodiazepine alternatives that can manage symptoms.

Medicinal Alternatives

If a medicine is needed to manage your symptoms, there are less addictive alternatives to benzodiazepines for anxiety that can get the job done.

These drugs include:

  • Anticonvulsants
  • Buspirone
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Lexapro, Prozac, and Zoloft
  • Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as Cymbalta and Effexor

Ask your doctor about which drug they think is right for you and your unique needs. And remember, practically any substance can be abused if not taken with care and consideration. If you find yourself subject to such addictive tendencies, consider reaching out to Legacy, where we can aid you in overcoming these instances and living the life you deserve.


Benzo Addiction Treatment for Those That Need It

Legacy Healing boasts a variety of levels of care that give patients the ability to move through the treatment process at their own pace. By offering different options that range from outpatient to full-time residential care, our team of professionals will be able to evaluate the state the patient is in and what therapy methods may be most effective.


To learn more about options for benzodiazepine addiction treatment, call our Legacy Healing Center locations at 888-534-2295 today.


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