Benzodiazepine addiction

Treatment

Benzodiazepine Addiction Overview

Did you know that 16% of drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2020 involved a mix of opioids and benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepine is the general term for a class of drugs, also referred to as “benzos.” Xanax, Ativan, and valium belong to this class. These drugs are commonly used alongside opioids and play a part in many opioid deaths yearly.  

If you’re addicted to benzodiazepines, you will need a strong and effective medical team to get you through detox and withdrawal. Count on Cornerstone Healing Center to help you through the recovery process. 

Contents

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What are Benzodiazepines and How Do They Work?

Benzodiazepines are like opioids in that the drug can limit your breathing. The short name for this drug is benzos.

Since they are prescribed for anxiety, you will feel more sedated when taking benzos. Agitation and irritability lessens. As mentioned, in high doses, it can make breathing difficult. 

Benzos can also help treat spasms in your muscles and reduce the number of seizures you experience. They are depressants that have a hypnotic effect. 

According to the DrugBank, benzodiazepine is a part of ongoing research to see if it can also treat gallbladder issues, sleep apnea, problems in the biliary tract, and obesity.

The main issue with Benzos is the ability to become addicted after prolonged periods of use. In some cases, Benzo dependence or addiction sets in around only 3 months. 

People who find themselves addicted or dependent on Benzodiazepine drugs such as Xanax, Ativan, or Valium will find that going cold turkey is actually dangerous. The Benzodiazepine detox process needs supervision from certified medical professionals, always. 

What are the Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction?

Once a person has become addicted to a Benzodiazepine, it’s extremely difficult to hide. The signs of Benzodiazepine use can be very apparent and obvious, especially if mixed with other drugs.

The signs of benzodiazepine addiction include:

  • Hostility
  • Amnesia
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Super vivid and deep-seated dreams
  • Mood swings
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Engaging in high-risk activities including driving after using the drug
  • Using benzos in conjunction with other drugs or alcohol
  • Inquiring close family and friends or acquaintances about benzos in order to get access to more

What are The Side Effects of Benzodiazepine Addiction?

As with any drug, there are side effects that can happen with short-term and long-term use. Especially for those that overtake the drug and feed into its hypnotic feelings, the side effects can be more severe.

Side Effects of Short-Term Use

Some minor side effects can happen when taking benzodiazepine in general including:

  • Poor memory recall
  • Weak muscles
  • Vision gets blurry
  • Sick feeling
  • Your mouth becomes dry
  • Can’t control your footing, especially for those who are older
  • Irregularity

Since benzodiazepine is a depressant much like alcohol, regularly using the drug can affect many central nervous system functions in your body.

Side Effects of Long-Term Use

If you are taking a benzodiazepine for a long term and eventually fall into overtaking it, then you may experience the following more severe side effects:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mania
  • Sleep issues
  • Psychosis
  • Sexual dysfunction

What Prescriptions are Considered Benzodiazepines?

Common doctor-prescribed drugs that have benzodiazepine include Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Halicon, and Ativan.

Xanax helps with panic or anxiety disorders while Valium gets anxiety, seizures, and muscle spasms under control.

Klonopin treats seizures, symptoms of panic disorder, and anxiety. Those who endure epilepsy take Ativan to relieve the symptoms. Halicon is primarily utilized by insomnia patients to get a better night’s sleep.

As you can see, these benzo prescriptions affect your nervous system to calm your mind.

 

How Does Addiction or Dependence on Benzos Happen?

Long-term use of Benzodiazepine drugs can lead to a dependence and to addiction. Unfortunately, Benzodiazepines have a strong abuse potential.

Even physicians who utilize Benzodiazepines to treat anxiety are warned that it is to be used a short-term treatment.

People dependent or addicted to benzodiazepine drugs may take the pills orally more than the prescribed amount that the doctor recommends to get a constant feeling of sedation and relaxation.

Others may crush up the benzodiazepine pills and snort them up through their noses for a more potent effect. Taking drugs orally does not have as quick of an effect as snorting them. When combined with opioids, too much snorted up the nose once can cause a quick overdose.

Begin your Recovery Experience

How to Get Help for Benzodiazepine Addiction

We are Cornerstone Healing Center. A premiere Substance abuse treatment center in Scottsdale, Arizona. We offer Benzodiazepine addiction treatment dedicated to helping short and long-term users start a new healthy life without drugs or alcohol. Our facilities are JCAHO accredited and our doors are open to anyone who wants a new life. 

We offer many different addiction treatment programs. Our programs include inpatient rehab, intensive outpatient treatment, sober companion programs, and more.

If you or a loved one is actively suffering from Benzodiazepine addiction we are one of the best places to find treatment.

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