When someone addicted to a sedative-hypnotic, tranquilizer or depressant decides to stop their use, it’s vital they seek help from an addiction specialist in either an in- or outpatient setting, as such help can mean the difference between achieving long-term recovery or relapsing into drug use.
Detoxification from sedatives most often begins with a comprehensive evaluation from a health care provider who specializes in addiction disorders. By determining how long the drug abuse has been going on, the amount of drugs being taken and the general physical and mental health of the addict professional addiction counselors can tailor a treatment program that best suits the individual and addresses the underlying conditions that have led to drug abuse and addiction in the first place.
Because ceasing sedative use can be traumatic on the body’s systems, many medical professionals take a tapering approach to the addiction, slowly reducing use to avoid dangerous conditions such as seizures that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Sometimes this approach will be supplemented by medications that help ease cravings and reduce the stress associated with withdrawal. While undergoing the process of tapering, one-on-one or peer counseling can significantly help with the psychological effects of withdraw such as depression and anxiety, effects that, too often, drive an addict back into sedative abuse.
Most likely a person began taking a sedative under the direction of physician for a medical condition, and therefore that underlying problem must be addressed during the detoxification and treatment process. Often this situation can be treated by a psychotherapist who can help the addict identify why their sedative abuse began, whether it was due to severe anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, or a desire to escape from the pressures and stresses of everyday life.
As with recovery from other addictive substances, addiction counselors will likely offer advice designed to prevent a relapse into use. Such advice includes avoiding people, places and things related to sedative use and reinforcing the negative consequences of abuse and addiction, consequences that often include a deterioration of personal relationships and career and financial and legal troubles. Coupled with other behavioral therapies in personal or group counseling sessions the individual can identify the stressors that led to their addiction and work to successfully avoid them and prevent a relapse into use.
And of course, as with any effective treatment program, the ongoing support of family and friends is vital to successful long-term recovery: addiction specialists consistently reinforce the idea that the chances for lasting recovery from sedative addiction—or any drug addiction—are greatly increased when the addict recognizes that they don’t need to approach their struggle alone.