Benzodiazepines, also known as benzos, are a class of pharmaceuticals that are commonly prescribed for seizures, insomnia, or anxiety. They are considered to be the most widely prescribed depressants in the United States. The negative side of benzodiazepines is that they are extremely addictive and difficult to stop dependence.
The original agenda for benzodiazepines were to replace barbiturates, which are another class of drugs intended to treat seizures and anxiety disorders. Barbiturate abuse has grown into a huge societal problem because doctors thought benzos would offer a similar relief with a lower potential to actual abuse. However, doctors found that addiction and dependence on benzos can develop among individuals who are following their doctor’s instructions.
Research has suggested that benzos can be effective for a few weeks at low doses. There has been no evidence to date that confirms that these medications will work for anxiety over a long period. Despite all the recent information discovered, doctors still prescribe these medications for months, years, and decades.
Regardless of the growing concerns relating to benzo complications and use, the prescriptions still spiked about 6.7% between 1996 and 2013, from 8.1 million to 13.5 million. Benzos have been classified as controlled substances by the US Drug Enforcement Administration. It’s essential to keep in mind all of these kinds of drugs have the potential for abuse.
Benzodiazepines are the most misused often, according to SAMSHA, along with being used in conjunction with the following:
When the above-mentioned drugs are used together, the overall effect of substances is enhanced. Approximately, one in eight US adults, which rounds up to 30 million, used benzodiazepines in 2018. From that study, five million of the same individuals reported misuse.
Though it’s true benzodiazepines affect an individual’s body, scientists aren’t 100% certain of the full mechanisms of how they fully work. However, they typically agree that these medications interact with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that interact with neurons in the spinal cord and brain.
GABA acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter and impedes overall brain activity. When this process occurs, individuals begin to feel sleepy and relaxed. The majority of conditions that benzos treat, such as seizures and anxiety, are thought to be triggered by neurons’ rapid activity. As a consequence, these drugs provide a sedative effect to ease symptoms.
Benzodiazepine-induced psychosis is indeed possible if the substance is consumed by being mixed with other substances or taken in large amounts. Since benzos do affect neurotransmitters, large doses can cause visual distortions in a person. These visual distortions have the potential to progress into hallucinations.
In a few cases, benzodiazepines can indirectly worsen psychiatric symptoms such as:
Studies have suggested that this is an effect of the substance worsening an individual’s sleep quality. Long-term benzo use might have a similar impact as long-term alcohol use. Nonetheless, prolonged use might worsen or even cause some of the following situations:
- Similar mental health issues
- Sleep disorders
If you are trying to recognize signs of benzo use in a loved one, here are a few signs that benzo addiction treatment is needed. Looking for rehab for benzodiazepine addiction? We can help you should you develop any of the signs listed below.
- Unsuccessful and repeated attempts to cut back and eliminate drug consumption
- Using benzos while driving, at work, or various other hazardous situations
- Intentional benzodiazepine use with alcohol or other drugs
- Foregoing previously enjoyed activities to engage in drugs
- Frequently using benzos or thinking about obtaining benzos
- Denial despite other signs of addiction
- Ignoring responsibilities due to drug use
- Doctor shopping to get more benzos
- Taking more than prescribed
When an individual needs rehab for benzodiazepine addiction, it often leads to alarming consequences for users and their families. This is why it’s so crucial that benzo addiction treatment is sought upon the first signs of benzo use. The family problems that typically occur include divorce or child neglect.
Financial challenges can ascend due to the following:
- Mismanagement of money
- Job absenteeism
Too often, many individuals resort to criminal behavior to support their benzo addiction lifestyle. Once the first signs of benzo use begin, rehab for benzodiazepine addiction needs to be arranged. Benzo detox recovery is possible with benzodiazepine addiction treatment, especially during the early stages of dependence.
The benzodiazepine withdrawal timeline normally reaches its peak within 36 to 72 hours and typically declines significantly after five days. There are a variety of different symptoms that benzo withdrawal includes. The potential symptoms of benzo withdrawal are the following:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Increased heart rate
- Trouble sleeping
If you or someone you love is seeking out rehab for benzodiazepine addiction, Achieve Wellness and Recovery Center is here to help. Contact us today to get started on your path to freedom from substance dependence.