Currently more than 5.2% of the population use prescription benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety and panic disorders and are only prescribed by medical professionals due to possible risk of addiction and overdose.
Benzos help you feel relaxed and at ease, and this is usually the reason individuals become addicted. Sedative properties of benzos may make you feel dizzy, confused, and very drowsy. It’s never a good idea to drive or consume alcohol while taking benzos.
Benzodiazepine treatment is widely available across the United States as well as benzodiazepine aftercare plans. Overcoming addiction is never easy, but it is always possible. Here is some information regarding types of benzodiazepines medications, addiction, and treatment solutions.
What is Benzodiazepine Drug?
According to the DEA, benzodiazepines are depressant drugs that give off sedative and hypnotic effects that help ease anxiety symptoms, muscle spasms, and can reduce seizures.
Benzodiazepines are called benzos for short, and are prescribed, not given over the counter due to their addictive properties. They are considered a controlled Schedule IV drugs and are deemed safe when used as directed by medical professionals.
Benzo abusers may purchase the drug illegally on the street or may even forge prescriptions to get more of the drug. Common prescribed benzos include:
Benzodiazepines slow down the central nervous system which creates feelings of sleepiness and relaxation. While benzos can be effective, they also have adverse effects when you become addicted. Drugs that also give off sedative effects are alcohol, barbiturates, sleeping pills, and GHB.
What is Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment?
Are benzodiazepines addictive? The short answer is yes, they can be very addictive. There are many addictive qualities of benzodiazepines.
Benzodiazepine addiction is most common among young adults who take the drug orally, they may also crush and snort the drug for faster effects. Luckily, there are many treatment programs that work with benzo addiction.
Benzodiazepine addiction treatment is widely available and starts with the detoxification process. Detox for benzos requires inpatient treatment where you will stay in a facility receiving round the clock care by medical addiction professionals while you detox through drug withdrawal.
After detox, you will then enter inpatient treatment and go from there. An addiction treatment plan should be put together by you and an addiction counselor so you can continue recovery treatment. Xanax benzodiazepine addiction is common but can be treated with detox. Here is a great detox center for Xanax addiction in California – California Xanax Addiction Treatment (michaelshouse.com).
Common Benzodiazepine Misuse
Why are benzodiazepines addictive?
The reason benzodiazepines are so addictive is because of their sedative properties, they relax you and can make you feel more at ease. With so many people dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, it is easy to abuse a medication that is supposed to treat these symptoms.
It’s important to know that abusing this medication can bring on more anxiety and depression as well as other adverse effects.
What is the least addictive benzodiazepine? Lower potency benzodiazepines with a long half life are considered to be safer like Librium or Valium, while Xanax is much more addictive with a short half life and a higher potency.
There are some mild to severe physical and psychological benzodiazepine addiction symptoms to look out for such as:
- Physical weakness
- Slurred speech
- Poor judgement
- Blurred vision
- Lack of motor coordination
- Difficulty Breathing
- Inability to defend oneself
- Memory Problems
Benzodiazepine addiction withdrawal symptoms include headaches, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, tension, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, dizziness, poor concentration, memory loss, ringing in the ears, rapid heartbeat, and changes in heart rhythm.
Dangers of Combining Benzos and Alcohol
Are all benzodiazepines’ addictive?
All benzodiazepines have the potential of addiction and misuse. The sedative effects and addictive chemical properties are what make them so prone to abuse.
While taking benzos, it’s very important that you don’t consume alcohol. When drinking alcohol on benzos, your respiratory system becomes much lower, and you are more prone to an overdose. If you were previously addicted to alcohol and relapsed on alcohol while addicted to benzodiazepines, you may be putting your life at a higher risk for death.
Alcohol and benzodiazepines both have a depressant effect on the central nervous system and when mixing the two you may have significant memory loss or black outs which can be dangerous.
Treatment Options for Benzodiazepine Addiction
Benzodiazepine addiction recovery is possible, and there are many treatment centers in the United States that work with individuals who struggle with benzodiazepine addiction. Overdose is very possible when misusing benzos and those symptoms will look like extreme drowsiness, confusion, coma, respiratory depression, all of which can lead to death.
If you or a loved one has experienced any of the above symptoms, it’s important to seek treatment and start your road to recovery. You should never try to quit benzos cold turkey; this can put you at risk for death. Always consider getting professional addiction treatment and know you will be supported in your decision to get sober.
Here are just a few of the many treatment centers for benzodiazepine addiction:
- Pennsylvania Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment | Silvermist (silvermistrecovery.com)
- Utah Benzodiazepine Taper Program – Ardu Recovery Center
- Drug and Alcohol Rehab in New Jersey – North Jersey Recovery Center
- Benzo Addiction Treatment Center California | Pillars Recovery
- Florida Benzodiazepine (Benzo) Addiction Rehab | Beachway Therapy Center