Benzodiazepine Addiction

Understanding Benzodiazepine Addiction

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What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepine Addiction – Millions of people around the world struggle with an addiction to benzodiazepines, also known as “benzos.” These are powerful, fast-acting tranquilizers used primarily to treat anxiety, panic disorders, and insomnia. People are often given benzos before a surgical procedure to calm or sedate them.

Although you are only supposed to take benzos if you have legal prescription for them from the doctor, many people obtain them illegally on the street. This is known as prescription drug abuse.

The Different Types Of Benzos

Here is a list of different benzodiazepines:

  • Riazolam (Halcion)
  • Midazolam (Versed)
  • Clorazepate (Tranxene)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax, the most commonly prescribed benzo)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Temazepam (Restoril)
  • Oxazepam (Serax)
  • Estazolam (ProSom)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Flurazepam (Dalmane)
  • Quazepam (Doral)
  • Clonazepam (Rivotril, Klonopin)
Benzodiazepines Side Effects

Like every medication, benzodiazepines come with known side effects. Here are a few of the most common side effects associated with benzos:

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Physical Dependence
  • Cravings For More Benzos
  • Drowsiness
  • Mental Confusion
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of Coordination
Developing a Tolerance To Benzos Ultimately Leads to Addiction

When you take benzodiazepines, you quickly develop a tolerance to them. This means that your body becomes used to them and the dosage you used to take is rendered ineffective. In other words, when tolerance takes hold, you will use more and more benzos to get the same effect you used to get when you took less. Before long, tolerance can become so great that the benzos can quit working altogether. Needless to say, this can be very frustrating.

When you take more benzodiazepines than you are supposed to, you develop a physical dependence on the stuff. Your body needs the drug in order to function. When you are addicted to benzodiazepines, and you stop taking them, you will be forced to go through withdrawal.

Symptoms Of Withdrawal From Benzodiazepine Addiction  

Withdrawal, also known as detox, is the process of removing an addictive substance from your body once your body has become dependent upon it. Withdrawal is a very unpleasant, very painful experience. Someone who attempts to quit using benzos without professional help will usually find that detox is so difficult, they will return to the drug to relieve the symptoms.

Here is what you can expect if you go detox from benzos:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • Migraine headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Disruption to sleep
  • Nightmares
  • Depression
  • Loss of motivation
  • Lack of focus
  • Body aches
  • In extreme cases; seizures, coma, and death
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Is Not Something You Should Attempt On Your Own

Make no mistake about it – you can experience seizures, coma, and a premature death when you detox from benzos. Withdrawing from benzos is not something you should do alone. You should never attempt to quit benzodiazepines cold turkey. First of all, the experience is extremely painful and profoundly uncomfortable. Secondly, it is life-threatening.

If you have been struggling with Benzodiazepine addiction, you need professional help. You need to undergo a professional medical detoxification where you can be monitored and evaluated around-the-clock. This way, you can safely and comfortably withdrawal from benzodiazepines.

CLICK HERE to get a Free Confidential Addiction Rehabilitation Assessment.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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