I'm finding many, many psychiatric patients are addicted to benzos. I'd like to do an educational group suitable for patients in an acute care inpatient setting. They only stay about 5 days.
Can anyone give me ideas on materials I can use. Are there any videos or handouts I can get? I'd like to address the physiological and psychological aspects of addiction and how to deal with withdrawal. Of course, as a nurse with very little time, I'd need to fit it into about an hour! Still, anything is better than nothing in my opinion.
Thanks for any information.
Nov 19, '07
I know this isn't exactly the information you asked about. But maybe you'll find this helpful.
I have been on benzo's since February of this year. I take both valium and klonopin. They are effective in treating my anxiety and the valuim is effective for treating my RLS (I can NOT take mirapex or requip because I am bipolar and they induce mania in me, in addition I am on an MAOI that does not allow me to take other muscle relaxants).
I admit that I have a psychological and a physical addiction to them. Ideally, they would be used sparingly and short term.
One educational aspect that needs to be addressed (and one I was warned about by my psych NP) was that building a tolerance to them can happen VERY fast. In my case, just a few days. It can become a vicious cycle. You have to take more and more just to get the same relief. Talk to them about the risks involved with stopping them abruptly (seizure risk, rebound depression, anxiety, etc). Encourage them to talk with their medical team about tapering down as soon as their original symptoms dissipate. Encourage them to think of benzo's as a short term treatment used until they are stabilized on their mood stabilizers, etc. Also, talking to them about using the lowest dose possible is important too.
Best of luck to you!