Hannah is a licensed master social worker and obtained her master’s degree in social work from the University of Georgia. She currently works as a therapist with a focus on clients who have ADHD and anxiety. She has experience leading groups and working with people who are struggling with addiction and homelessness.
Recent contributions of Hannah Savard
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal and TreatmentPublished on February 10, 2019 Updated on September 08, 2022
Benzodiazepines are a type of sedative-hypnotic drug that are mainly used in the treatment of anxiety or panic attacks, and are sometimes used to treat insomnia.2 While generally safe when taken as prescribed, benzodiazepines are generally recommended for short-term or intermittent use that does not exceed longer than a few weeks.5 This is because regular, long-term use of benzodiazepines (e.g., two months or longer) can result in experiencing withdrawal symptoms upon cessation, even when the medicine is being taken at therapeutic dosing levels.5 Factors that influence benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms onset and severity, which can range from mild and uncomfortable to serious and severe, include: dose, duration of use, duration of drug action, and the potency of the benzodiazepine.1, 5 Withdrawal symptoms can be severe, and roughly 20 to 30 percent of those who go through sedative withdrawal untreated experiencing a grand mal seizure.1 Luckily, medically managed detox services can help those at risk of experiencing benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms detox safely and effectively.3 What are Benzodiazepines? Benzodiazepines work by increasing the body’s inhibitory tone, effectively calming an overactive central nervous system.1 Benzodiazepines are central nervous system (CNS) depressants, meaning someone who takes benzos may experience similar side effects one might experience with alcohol, which is also a CNS depressant.1, 2 Side effects of benzodiazepines include the following:1 Feelings of drowsiness. Dizziness. Slowed breathing. Feelings of weakness or lethargy. Benzos have a high potential for misuse, and long-term use or misuse can increase the risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms and of developing a substance use disorder.1 Additionally, those who take benzos concurrently with opioids or alcohol face increased risk of overdose of complications.6 [accordion title="Types of Benzodiazepines"] Valium Xanax Lorazepam Klonopin [/accordion] Benzodiazepine Withdrawal When one stops using benzos after a significant period of time, they may experience benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms.1 The severity of benzodiazepine withdrawal can vary greatly depending on the type of benzo that was taken.1 However, the longer a benzo was taken and the higher the dosage, the more severe the withdrawal can be.1 It’s important to understand that any degree of regular benzodiazepine use can spark a withdrawal syndrome, and that a person who’s been prescribed benzos and using them regularly should consult their prescriber before stopping use.1 Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms The symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal can range from mild to severe. Some common symptoms of benzo withdrawal may include:1 Sweating. Increased heart rate and blood pressure. Hand tremors. Insomnia. Nausea or vomiting. Hallucinations. Agitation. Anxiety. Severe withdrawal can include grand mal seizures and delirium, which may be life-threatening How Long Does Benzo Withdrawal Last? There is no set timeline for how long benzodiazepine withdrawal will last. The timing of benzo withdrawal will depend in part on the type of benzodiazepine used.1 For example, benzodiazepines with a short-half life may begin producing withdrawal symptoms a few hours after the cessation of regular use, whereas longer-acting benzos may not cause symptoms until a few days after the cessation of regular use.1 How long the substance was taken, how larger the dose was, and how frequently it was taken will also affect the timeline of withdrawal.1, 3 Benzodiazepine Detox Detoxification, or “detox” for short, is a set of medical interventions designed to help manage the withdrawal symptoms of those who stop using substances. Detox can occur in many different types of settings, ranging from hospital inpatient to outpatient detox. For benzodiazepine detox, whether one attends inpatient or outpatient detox will depend on the risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.3 Due to the potential for seizures and delirium during the withdrawal process, patients will likely require recurring assessments during detox.3 While behavioral therapies may be introduced during detox, medication management is one of the major benefits a medically managed detox program can offer during benzodiazepine withdrawal.3 Strategies commonly used include tapering, which is a gradual cessation of benzodiazepines, or substituting a long-acting benzo and then tapering use for someone looking to stop using short-acting benzos.3 These strategies help reduce the chances of severe withdrawal symptoms appearing. [vob-aktify-cta title="Does your insurance cover benzodiazepine detox?" subtitle="Check your coverage online or text us your questions for more information"] Finding Benzodiazepine Detox Treatment Detox is often just the first step in a larger continuum of addiction care. Comprehensive addiction care can lead to positive outcomes and help a person achieve and maintain recovery. If you’re ready to take the first step towards recovery, you’ll need to begin by finding a benzodiazepine detox facility. A good first step would be to reach out to your doctor. They may be able to help you determine your medical needs and may be able to refer you to nearby addiction treatment facilities. Additionally, you may consider visiting the SAMHSA Treatment Locator. This tool allows you to search for addiction treatment facilities by zip code, helping you find nearby benzodiazepine detox programs. You may also consider reaching out to an addiction helpline if you have further questions. Addiction helplines, like the one operated by American Addiction Centers (AAC), are 24/7 resources that can help those seeking answers about benzodiazepine detox. At AAC, our compassionate staff is waiting to help answer any questions you may have about the detox process. They can also help you find suitable detox facilities and help you verify your insurance benefits. Recovery doesn’t have to wait; call us today at [phone]. [accordion title="Rehab at American Addiction Centers"] Laguna Treatment Hospital Adcare - Boston Sunrise House Desert Hope Greenhouse Oxford Treatment Center Recovery First River Oaks [/accordion][accordion title="Rehab insurance coverage"] Ambetter American Family Beacon BHO Blue Cross Blue Shield Cigna Connecticare Geisinger HCSC Harvard Pilgrim Highmark Kaiser Permanente Magellan Magnacare Meritain Health Medicare and Medicaid Optum Oxford Health Providence Qualcare Sierra Health Tricare Triwest Tufts United Healthcare UPMC Zelis [/accordion][accordion title="Rehab near me"] Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming [/accordion][accordion title="Rehab"] Choosing a rehab center Couples rehab Court ordered rehab COVID-19 and rehab Dual-diagnosis rehab Deciding you need rehab Helping a loved one go to rehab Inpatient rehab Medication asssisted rehab Outpatient rehab Preparing for rehab Relapse prevention State-funded rehab Teen rehab Veterans rehab [/accordion][accordion title="Detox"] 24/7 detox hotlines Dangers of detoxing at home The cost of detox [/accordion] [sources] Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders Fifth Edition Text Revision. (2022). National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, March 6). Prescription CNS depressants DrugFacts. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). TIP 45: Detoxification and substance abuse treatment. Schmitz, A. (2016, May 6). Benzodiazepine use, misuse, and abuse: A review. The mental health clinician, 6(3), 120–126. National Library of Medicine. (2021). Benzodiazepines: Uses, Dangers, and Clinical Considerations. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2022, April). Benzodiazepines and Opioids. [/sources] ...Read more
Oxycodone Withdrawal and TreatmentPublished on February 10, 2019 Updated on September 07, 2022
Oxycodone is a prescription opioid that is commonly used to treat chronic pain, however, it also has a high potential for misuse. People that take oxycodone consistently or misuse oxycodone are at high risk for withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly quit taking it or drastically reduce their use.2 While oxycodone dependence and withdrawal can be devastating, there are effective treatments available that can help a person through the withdrawal process and into a comprehensive treatment program. Understanding the dangers of oxycodone misuse, signs and symptoms associated with oxycodone misuse, and what treatments are available; can help you achieve recovery. What Is Oxycodone? Oxycodone is a prescription opioid medication that is commonly prescribed for the treatment of pain, particularly chronic pain.1 Opioids block pain signals from reaching your brain by binding to the opioid receptors in the nervous system, meaning that they can help alleviate pain, but can also cause sensations of euphoria, potentially making the individuals want to continue taking this medication.2,5 Oxycodone is a relatively common prescription opioid painkiller that may come in many forms, all of them with the potential for misuse. Some common brand names of oxycodone may include:4 OxyContin. Oxycet. Percot. Percodan. Roxicet. Signs of Oxycodone Addiction and Misuse Oxycodone misuse can lead to the development of an opioid use disorder, or opioid addiction.3 Opioid addiction, clinically known as opioid use disorder refers to the compulsive, uncontrollable use of a substance despite all the harm that it causes. Addiction may entail not only physiological changes (such as tolerance and dependence) but several harmful behavioral changes adversely impacting every aspect of an individual's life. Addiction development is accompanied by functional changes within the brain that can impact an individual's drive, motivation, thought processes and behaviors so much that drug use becomes prioritized over all else. The development of addiction is influenced not only by repeated substance use itself, but also by genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors. 3 The symptoms can vary depending on the person, but there are established diagnostic criteria that medical professionals use to make a diagnosis. Two or more of the following must occur in a 12-month period to meet the criteria for an opioid use disorder:3, 5 Taking more of the drug than usual or using the substance longer than recommended by a medical professional A desire to cut back use but being unable to do so Spending a lot of time trying to obtain opioids or spending a lot of time recovering from the side effects of an opioid Strong cravings to use opioids Problems completing daily activities or upholding usual responsibilities at home, work, and school Interpersonal or social problems resulting from opioid use Giving up hobbies or activities due to opioid use Using opioids in situations that may compromise one’s safety (i.e., driving) Continued opioid use despite having a physical or mental health condition that could worsen due to opioid use Building a tolerance to the substance Experiencing withdrawal symptoms or choosing to continue opioid use to avoid withdrawal symptoms from worsening Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms Dependence is a physiological adaptation of the body to a substance, wherein the body becomes so used to the drug being present in the system that when the individual cuts back on their use or quits, withdrawal symptoms emerge. With significant levels of physiological dependence, a person may continue to compulsively drink or use drugs to avoid unwanted withdrawal symptoms. Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms will be like other opioid withdrawal symptoms.6 While not usually fatal, opioid withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly uncomfortable, and even mild opioid usage can result in considerable withdrawal symptoms.6 Some common symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal include:3, 6 Depressed mood. Nausea or vomiting. Muscle Aches. Sweating. Runny nose. Diarrhea. Insomnia. How Long Does it Take to Detox from Oxycodone? The length of time that it takes to detox from oxycodone depends on a variety of factors, such as the dosage of oxycodone taken, the length of oxycodone misuse, and the frequency of use.6 Physiological, genetic, and psychological factors can also play a role in the length of time that it takes to withdrawal from oxycodone.6 [vob-aktify-cta title="American Addiction Centers accepts many types of insurance" subtitle="Check your coverage online or text us your questions for more information"] Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline Generally speaking, withdrawal symptoms caused by short-acting opioids may appear as soon as 6 to 12 hours after the last dose. 3 Withdrawal symptoms caused by long-acting opioids can take from 2 to 4 days to appear. 3 Symptoms will usually peak after 1 to 3 days, and then will gradually subside over a period of 5 to 7 days. 3 Treatment for Oxycodone Withdrawal Though oxycodone withdrawal is uncomfortable, it is not usually fatal.6 Most of the withdrawal process is focused on symptom management, usually through the use of FDA-approved medications.6 The two main medications used in the treatment of opioid withdrawal include the opioid agonist methadone, and the partial opioid agonist buprenorphine.2 Can I Detox From Oxycodone at Home? Though oxycodone and opioid withdrawal are not usually life-threatening, withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and can include strong drug cravings. This makes it difficult for people to detox on their own. Medical detox for oxycodone can help people through uncomfortable symptoms by using medications. Medical professionals can also help identify and treat any unforeseen issues or severe symptoms. Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction and Withdrawal Opioid detox is the first step in the recovery process. Following up with a opioid treatment program can lead to positive treatment outcomes. If you’re struggling with oxycodone misuse, there are steps you can take to find a detox facility near you. A good first step would be to reach out to a doctor. They can help determine your medical needs and may be able to refer you to a treatment facility. Another useful resource is the SAMHSA treatment locator; this tool can help you search for opioid detox facilities by zip code. You may also consider reaching out to an addiction helpline, like the one operated by American Addiction Centers (AAC). Addiction helplines provide 24/7 support for those curious about the oxycodone detox and withdrawal process. AAC’s helpline can connect you with compassionate professionals that can answer questions you may have about Oxycodone misuse and withdrawal, connect you with nearby treatment facilities, and help verify your insurance benefits. Hope and recovery are possible: call us today at [phone]. [accordion title="Rehab at American Addiction Centers"] Laguna Treatment Hospital Adcare - Boston Sunrise House Desert Hope Greenhouse Oxford Treatment Center Recovery First River Oaks [/accordion][accordion title="Rehab insurance coverage"] Ambetter American Family Beacon BHO Blue Cross Blue Shield Cigna Connecticare Geisinger HCSC Harvard Pilgrim Highmark Kaiser Permanente Magellan Magnacare Meritain Health Medicare and Medicaid Optum Oxford Health Providence Qualcare Sierra Health Tricare Triwest Tufts United Healthcare UPMC Zelis [/accordion][accordion title="Rehab near me"] Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming [/accordion][accordion title="Rehab"] Choosing a rehab center Couples rehab Court ordered rehab COVID-19 and rehab Dual-diagnosis rehab Deciding you need rehab Helping a loved one go to rehab Inpatient rehab Outpatient rehab Preparing for rehab Relapse prevention State-funded rehab Teen rehab Veterans rehab [/accordion][accordion title="Detox"] 24/7 detox hotlines Inpatient detox Outpatient detox The cost of detox [/accordion][accordion title="Other Types of Narcotics"] Codeine Fentanyl Heroin Hydrocodone Kadian Lorcet Lortab Methadone Morphine Norco Opiates Opium Oramorph Oxycodone Tramadol [/accordion] [sources] Sadiq, N. M., Dice, T.J., & Mead T. (2022, March 21).Oxycodone. StatPearls Publishing. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Opioids. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders. (2013). American Society of Addiction Medicine. (n.d.). Opioids: Brand Names, Generic Names, & Street Names. American Psychiatric Association. (2018, November). Opioid use disorder. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). TIP 45: Detoxification and substance abuse treatment. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021, April 13). How do medications to treat opioid use disorder work? [/sources] ...Read more