Benzodiazepines are a class of prescription tranquilizer, known for their sedative effects and a high potential for abuse. Some of the most common brand name benzodiazepines include Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Librium, and Ativan. Some of the medical issues that benzodiazepines are typically prescribed for include: anxiety disorders, insomnia, and other sleep-related issues, seizures and convulsant disorders (like epilepsy), muscle relaxation, symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal, and as an anesthetic that could be utilized before or after minor surgical procedures. Since benzodiazepines were first introduced in America, somewhere over 2,000 different varieties have been produced.
Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction
Only around 15 of these potent medications are currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. There are both short-acting and fast-acting benzodiazepines, and both types are commonly abused. Those who abuse this medication typically do so for its sedative effects. However, even those who are taking a potent benzodiazepine exactly as prescribed by a medical professional are at risk of developing a physical and psychological dependence if they take the medication for an extended period (typically longer than a month).
How To Tell Someone is Abusing Benzos
Not only is benzodiazepine abuse extremely dangerous on its own, but individuals who abuse this specific medication often combine it with other chemical substances, like alcohol. Mixing benzodiazepines with a depressant drug like alcohol increases the risk of overdose-related death significantly, and should never be done. If you or someone close to you has been abusing benzodiazepines, there is help available. No matter how severe a substance abuse disorder has become, recovery is always possible. If you believe that someone close to you has been abusing a prescription tranquilizer like Xanax, Klonopin, or Ativan, there are several tell-tale signs and symptoms to look for. The more common symptoms associated with benzodiazepine addiction include:
- Experiencing intense psychological cravings for the medication.
- Neglecting personal responsibilities instead of obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of benzodiazepines.
- Attempting to obtain more than one benzodiazepine prescription at any given time, also known as “doctor shopping.”
- Experiencing a wide range of interpersonal consequences, and continuing to use the medication despite these consequences, which might concern finances, performance at work or school, legal issues, or relationships with family members or close friends.
- Developing a physical tolerance towards benzodiazepines, meaning a higher dose is necessary for the same results to be produced.
- Experiencing mild, moderate, or severe withdrawal symptoms when benzodiazepine abuse is stopped abruptly. The most common symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal include severe aches and pains, nausea and vomiting, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, muscle spasms, delirium and detachment, and in severe cases, grand mal seizures.
Chronic benzodiazepine abuse can lead to:
- Severe anxiety, which is often characterized by unexpected panic attacks.
- Insomnia and other severe disruptions to normal sleep patterns.
- Significant weight loss, due to a persistent lack of appetite.
- Chronic headaches.
- Muscle fatigue and weakness.
Evoke Wellness and Benzodiazepine Addiction Recovery
If you have been suffering at the hands of a mild, moderate, or severe benzodiazepine abuse disorder, Evoke Wellness is available to health. Our comprehensive program of addiction recovery is licensed and accredited through the state of Florida, and we consistently hold ourselves to the highest possible clinical standard. When it comes to benzodiazepine abuse, medical detox is always a necessary first step on every multi-phased, long-term program of recovery. The symptoms associated with benzodiazepine detox can be extremely dangerous when left untreated. Resulting complications can be life-threatening. For more information on our comprehensive program of addiction recovery or to learn more about the symptoms associated with benzodiazepine abuse and dependency, feel free to reach out to us at any point in time.