Benzodiazepines Addiction

Benzodiazepines addiction can occur due to misuse or long-term use in conjunction with the development of a dependency.

Benzodiazepines, which are also referred to as benzos, are a category of prescription drugs that are indicated to treat anxiety, panic disorders, and insomnia. As an effect, they also depress the central nervous system (CNS) and brain function.

When taken as prescribed by a physician, benzos are effective at relieving anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures, inducing sleep, and inducing sedation. Benzodiazepines include drugs such as Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin.

Side Effects of Benzos

Abusing benzos can be devastating to one’s health, and result in a dangerously low heart rate, respiration, and coma, especially when used in conjunction with other drugs or alcohol. Driving while using benzos is risky as well.

The repeated misuse of benzos, including large or inappropriate doses, can lead to a variety of adverse effects, including the following:

  • Amnesia
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Irritability
  • Disturbing dreams
  • Hostility

Withdrawal Symptoms

Regular misuse can also lead to tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms upon cessation. In fact, symptoms caused by benzo withdrawal can be quite serious and last longer than other drugs – moreover, detoxing from benzos can be just as challenging as detoxing from heroin.

Benzo withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Sensory distortion
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Depression
  • Hypersensitivity to touch and pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Psychosis
  • Epileptic seizures
  • Delirium tremens
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Hallucinations

Severe symptoms have the potential to be life-threatening and should be treated under the supervision of experienced medical personnel.

Benzos are often diverted and illicitly sold on the street, but of importance, dependence can also occur among those who aren’t intentionally misusing it. Indeed, the use of benzos on a daily basis for longer than one month can result in a reduction in the drug’s effectiveness, as well as tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal syndrome upon discontinuation.

According to studies, people who have an addiction to one or more benzo medications can sometimes take as much as 100 times more than the recommended dosage, and they may begin crushing, snorting or injecting the drugs.


Treatment for Benzo Addiction

Treatment for benzo addiction usually begins with a medical detox, a process in which the client is supervised around-the-clock to prevent seizures or adverse complications. Medications can also be dispensed during this time to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. The severity and duration of detox and withdrawal are largely dependent on the severity and duration of the addiction.

After detox, patients should participate in long-term treatment, which includes behavioral therapy, individual and group counseling, and group support. Behavioral therapy addresses the underlying factors that contribute to addiction and teach the patient how to identify and cope with triggers. We can help!


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