Benzodiazepines, commonly known as benzos, fall under the depressant category of drugs. Although the name of this category might seem to imply that they cause emotional depression, this is not necessarily true.
These substances are called “depressants” because they slow down or depress the central nervous system (CNS). They induce relaxation in the muscles.
Benzos are also known as tranquilizers as they are used to relieve stress. Often, doctors prescribe benzos to treat various things like anxiety, insomnia, and muscle spasms. Also, some people use benzodiazepines to treat seizures.
Unfortunately, many people become dependent on benzos after using them for a while. Benzodiazepines can create a state of euphoria. This effect is often what people seek when they become dependent on drugs. Often times, detox is required.
Euphoria is often the reason why people use drugs like benzos outside of their recommended use. For example, some individuals may take the medication more often than the doctor has recommended in an attempt to experience the euphoric effects of the drug.
As a result of repeated use, individuals may begin to abuse the drugs and, eventually, become addicted to them.
If you or someone you know is dependent on or addicted to benzos, a detox program can help to bring freedom and peace to the situation.
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Identifying the 3 Types of Benzos
There are actually 3 different kinds of benzodiazepines. Some benzos are long-acting while others are short-acting. Then, there are also immediate-acting benzos.
Some examples of benzos include Xanax, Valium, Restoril, Ativan, Halcion, Librium, and Klonopin.
These medications are prescribed to help people treat various conditions and illnesses. But, benzo use can become problematic for some people.
Again, after using benzos for a while, some individuals may find themselves becoming dependent on the drugs. The body tends to get used to the effects of drugs after repeated use. So, often, people who regularly use benzos begin to build tolerance for the substance.
How do People Become Addicted to Benzos
When a person builds tolerance for a certain substance, it means that the effects of the drug begin to weaken. This happens after using the drug for a while. The body will eventually get used to the drug and the person won’t have the same, pleasurable experience anymore.
To get the desired result, people will have to use a larger quantity of the drug, which will give them the “high” they’re looking for. But, this is known as drug abuse. It’s very dangerous and can cause major problems, including benzo dependence and addiction.
While it’s true that not everyone who uses benzos will become addicted to them, it’s important to note that addiction is no respecter of persons. So, if you or someone in your life is using these drugs for any reason, it’s best to be aware of the signs and symptoms of benzo dependence.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Benzo Addiction
Individuals who are suffering from a benzodiazepine addiction may begin to show some signs of this problem. Some of those signs might include the following.
- Memory loss
- Poor judgment
- Impaired vision
- Behavioral problems
- Poor decision-making
- Loss of coordination
- Lack of motivation
- Frequent headaches
- Emotional withdrawal
- Cognitive impairments
Benzo addiction also affects sleeping patterns, causing insomnia and unpleasant dreams. Sometimes, individuals who are addicted to benzos may become irritable and show signs of aggression.
Paranoia is also a common symptom of benzodiazepine addiction. Some people avoid their families or friends because of guilt or shame regarding their substance use disorder.
It’s also common for people to “doctor shop”, which involves going from one medical professional to another in search of more pills. In other cases, people may steal or ask for their family members’ medications to feed the addiction problem in their lives.
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Individuals who are struggling with a benzo addiction may show signs of addiction through changes in their personalities. They may become abnormally irritable and agitated. Some may distance themselves from their friends, becoming emotionally withdrawn.
Addiction can also cause people to lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. Individuals who are suffering from benzo addictions may also have trouble keeping up with various responsibilities in their lives. It can be hard to focus on other things when addiction is in the mix.
Those who notice a problem with addiction in their lives may begin to look for a way out. Many seek freedom in quitting drug use immediately, without going to treatment.
But, it’s important to avoid doing this because benzo withdrawal can be very intense and even deadly if individuals don’t have guidance and care from professionals.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
When a person stops using benzos, he or she may experience some serious withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may be intense and very uncomfortable for individuals who have been using benzos for a while. In some cases, withdrawal can even be fatal for those who attempt to quit “cold turkey” and without the help of medical professionals.
Some of the withdrawal symptoms that might affect those who are ending benzo use may include:
- Muscular discomfort
- Feelings of dizziness
- Concentration problems
Sometimes, withdrawal can cause people to become nauseated. People may suffer from vomiting and discomfort in the stomach.
Delusional thinking and hallucinations are some of the common symptoms of withdrawal as well. Some individuals may struggle to focus and concentrate as they are withdrawing from benzo use.
In addition to these symptoms, people may begin to experience very intense and even dangerous effects of withdrawal. In some cases, individuals may pass out and become unresponsive. Seizures and coma can also come about as a result of benzo withdrawal.
Since withdrawal can be very serious, it’s important to detox with the help of a professional treatment program.
Benzo Detox and Treatment at Sana Lake
Here at Sana Lake Recovery Center, we are dedicated to helping our patients find peace and freedom from addiction. If you are suffering from a benzo addiction, let us help you to safely detox and recover from this substance.
You don’t have to wait any longer. Contact us to begin your journey to recovery today.