What Are Benzodiazepines? And How Is Addiction Treated?
What Are Benzodiazepines? And How Is Addiction Treated? anyone who has been in recovery for any length of time will tell you that staying sober is challenging and frequently feels like an uphill battle. It’s a source of constant vigilance, stress and anxiety. But as any recovering addict will tell you, the struggle is worth it.
The peak of their addiction was perhaps the most miserable experience of their life. But with the right tools, support system and determination, anyone can overcome their addiction to benzos and move forward with their life.
This article will explore everything you need to know about benzodiazepine addiction. We’ll cover the basics, potential long-term effects, common signs of abuse and how to get help if you or someone you care about is struggling with benzodiazepine abuse and addiction.
What Are Benzodiazepines?
Benzos are a class of drugs that are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. They’re highly addictive and can be extremely difficult to quit. The most common benzos are Valium, Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin and Librium.
These drugs are often prescribed to people with anxiety disorders, panic attacks, sleep disorders or chronic pain. People with substance abuse disorders also sometimes abuse benzos. This can quickly lead to a benzo addiction because they produce a calming effect and are potent enough to be abused with a small dose.
Benzos are highly addictive, and users experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug. Withdrawal from benzos can be dangerous and even deadly if proper medical supervision is not obtained.
Some of the short and long term side effects you can expect from benzos include:
- Calmness and relaxation: Benzos have a calming effect, which can be helpful for people who feel anxious.
- Dizziness: If you take benzos with other drugs or alcohol, you can experience dizziness.
- Reduced libido: Benzos can decrease your sexual drive.
- Anxiety: This might seem counterintuitive, but benzos actually worsen anxiety. Disorders and can lead to long-term anxiety disorders in some people.
- Physical and psychological dependence: Tolerance (where you need to take more and more of a substance to get the same effect) and withdrawal (when your body comes off the substance and experiences uncomfortable or dangerous symptoms) are signs of dependence on benzos.
- Sleep disorders: People who take benzos for sleep disorders often have trouble falling asleep when they first start taking the medication. Over time, the medication loses its effectiveness and they have trouble sleeping without it.
The Bottom Line – What to Do If You’re Struggling With Benzo Addiction?
Benzos can be difficult to overcome. But with the right tools and support system, you can get clean and move forward with your life.
The first thing you need to do is be honest with yourself. Recognizing when you’re struggling with benzo addiction is the first step to finding a solution.
The next step should be to talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help you find a benzo treatment program that is right for you. There are many addiction treatment centers design to help you overcome your addiction to benzos at any stage of your addiction. The doctor can also help you wean off your benzos if you need to.
You don’t have to deal with benzo addiction alone so try to find a support network: Often, being around people. Who have dealt with the same issues as you can help you stay focused on recovery. You can join a support group in your area or find an online community of people who understand what you’re going through.
You might want to also stay away from triggers: Everything from certain people to certain places can trigger cravings for benzos. Avoid these triggers by keeping yourself busy. When you have nothing to do, you have time to think about your cravings and triggers.
Last but not least, try and stay positive: It’s easy to slip into a negative mindset as you work through addiction. Try your best to stay positive and focused on the future.