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Are Benzodiazepines Defined as Anxiolytic Medication?

Anxiolytic medications were developed to reduce anxiety. Benzodiazepines are defined as anxiolytic medications because they reduce anxiety significantly. If you have been struggling with any type of anxiety disorder, the most effective treatment option is a careful combination of psychotherapy and medication. While medication-assisted treatment is not always necessary long-term, it is usually administered until the more severe anxiety symptoms subside. So, how do anxiolytic medications (also known as benzodiazepines) work, and what type of anxiety disorders do they effectively treat?

Anxiolytic Medications and Benzodiazepines

Anxiolytic medications work by enhancing the effect of GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid. GABA is a neurotransmitter present within the brain that directly affects the central nervous system, producing a calming or sedative effect. When anxiolytic medications enter the brain, more GABA is released, and anxiety begins to dissipate. Which type of anxiety disorders are typically treated with anxiolytic medications? In most cases, these medications are reserved for severe anxiety disorders like panic disorder. They are prescribed to be taken at the onset of an anxiety-related episode, like a panic attack.

More About Anxiolytic Medications and Benzodiazepines

Unfortunately, many people prescribed anti-anxiety medication take it in higher doses than prescribed or more frequently than recommended, which increases the risk of developing physical and psychological dependence. If you or someone you know has been abusing the anxiolytic medication, which might include brand-name benzodiazepines like Xanax, Librium, Valium, or Klonopin, Evoke Wellness is available to help. Our recovery program combines psychotherapy with medication-assisted treatment options and holistic care, consistently delivering the most effective and individualized dual diagnosis treatment available.

Types of Anxiety Disorders Treated with Anxiolytic Drugs

Now, let us take a closer look at the types of anxiety disorder treated with anxiolytic medications or benzodiazepines. As we previously mentioned, this type of medication is typically reserved for severe anxiety disorders like panic disorder. Other types of anxiety that this type of medication can successfully treat includes:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder – People who suffer from GAD experience symptoms of anxiety throughout the day. They are unable to shake feelings of nervousness or being unsafe.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder/Social Phobia – People with social anxiety disorder feel panic and dread in any social setting, whether one-on-one with a stranger or in a room full of people at a social gathering.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD and addiction often go hand-in-hand. At Evoke Wellness we focus on helping our clients successfully overcome unresolved trauma.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – OCD often requires more intensive treatment options, as the symptoms are more difficult to treat.
  • Panic Disorder/Panic Attacks – Xanax is commonly prescribed to be taken at the onset of panic attacks to help avoid the more severe symptoms.

Contact Us Today to Learn More About Dual Diagnosis Treatment Options

At Evoke Wellness, we believe in a combination of treatment options for treating our dual diagnosis patients. We combine evidence-based therapies with anxiolytic medications whenever necessary. Because anxiolytic medications can be habit-forming when only prescribed in the case of very severe anxiety disorders that have not been successfully treated with any other type of therapy. We also treat men and women of all ages who have struggled with anxiolytic or benzodiazepine addiction.

Start Treatment Program For Substance Use Disorder at Evoke Wellness

Medications like Xanax, Librium, Klonopin, and Ativan are all anxiolytic/benzodiazepines, all highly addictive. Because the symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal can be life-threatening, we recommend entering into a medical detox program before transitioning into a higher level of clinical care. Most people who suffer from a combination of anxiety and substance abuse opt to enter into a dual diagnosis treatment program for between 28 days and three full months. From there, we recommend transferring directly into a sober living house and continuing treatment through an intensive outpatient treatment program. To learn more about dual diagnosis recovery options or begin your journey of thorough healing, simply pick up the phone and contact us today.