Are All Anxiolytics Addictive and Cause Dependence?

Psychoactive substances act by binding to receptors in the brain to trigger various reactions. These reactions alter brain chemistry to elicit specific feelings or responses, including highs and lows, pain relief and boldness, calmness, and ecstasy. However, underneath these feelings, psychoactive substances can also be habit-forming, causing behavioral changes that their users sometimes ignore.

Alcohol, tobacco, opioids, cocaine, benzodiazepines, and other prescription medications are popular psychoactive substances misused in the United States. Although there may be a few exceptions, dependence and addiction almost always result from overusing these substances over an extended period. Dependence, which lies at the intersection of drug or alcohol tolerance and the accompanying withdrawal symptoms, often precedes an addiction. Addiction, on the other hand, is a complex illness marked by irrepressible cravings for substances.

Anxiolytics

About Anxiolytics & Their Addictive Potential

The term ‘anxiolytics’ refers to drugs used to treat anxiety-related problems and disorders. These drugs act through chemical messengers in the brain to reverse or suppress the symptoms that trail these disorders. Most anxiolytic medications are benzodiazepines.

Although they find relevance in managing alcohol withdrawal, insomnia, and, benzodiazepines are primarily used to treat anxiety. Common benzodiazepines prescribed in the United States to treat anxiety are Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, and Librium. Medical professionals prescribe these anxiolytics in a dose-dependent manner and for only short-term use because of the ugly aftermath of overusing them.

Misusing anxiolytics might trigger complex substance abuse cycles and harmful side effects. However, this is not always the case. Excluding the addictive benzodiazepines, several other non-addictive medications are effective at managing anxiety. Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) are anxiolytic but do not trigger dependence or addiction. However, that these drugs are not habit-forming does not mean it is safe for people to abuse them. It is always best to follow recommended regimens given by drug providers or medical specialists when using these medications.

The Side Effects of Anxiolytic Drugs Abuse

Numerous side effects have been linked with the misuse of anxiolytics. Drowsiness and dizziness, low blood pressure, and memory problems are among the most common ones. Often, the longer the duration for which one misuses the drug, the more tragic the side effects experienced. Addictive anxiolytics can bring about many unsightly withdrawal symptoms in individuals who quit their use abruptly. Overdosing on the drug might also lead to coma or death, in extreme cases.

Where to Find Help for Anxiolytic Addiction Treatment

Managing addiction alongside an anxiety disorder can be overwhelming for you and your loved ones. The stressful experience may breed feelings of depression or suicidal thoughts or even leave you in utter confusion. However, you are not alone. Our addiction treatment professionals at Evoke Wellness understand the complications of struggling with an addiction to anxiolytics and can help you reach sobriety in no time. We have excellent therapists in our network who you will enjoy working with. We also have an extensive catalog of inexpensive, evidence-based programs which you are sure to benefit from. Please, contact our advocates to choose your preferred plan.

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