Benzodiazepine Abuse and Dependency

Doctors prescribe benzodiazepines or “benzos” for the treatment of anxiety, a common medical condition which can be debilitating in extreme cases, and also for insomnia. These drugs, used as prescribed, can help individuals relax, giving them much-needed relief from the symptoms associated with those illnesses. Familiar brands of benzodiazepines have become household names, and they include Versed, Valium, Xanax and Ativan. Benzodiazepines usually come in three strengths which are prescribed based on the severity of the patient’s symptoms.

Unfortunately, patients can quickly become addicts who want more and more of the euphoric and relaxing effects of these drugs. Tolerance can develop rapidly, and individuals will require more of the drug to experience the same pleasurable effects. Unable to get more of the drug through prescriptions, many addicts will seek street versions of the drug, facing the risk of legal consequences as well as additional health risks resulting from taking unregulated drugs. Users who take benzos with alcohol or other drugs face even more serious risks, such as coma or accidental death. Only detox coupled with a comprehensive rehab program can help users walk away from this addiction.

Benzodiazepine Abuse Symptoms

As tranquilizers, benzodiazepines help people who suffer from anxiety manage both their physical and psychological symptoms. However, abuse of benzodiazepines will actually produce the symptoms which users wish to eliminate.

Those symptoms typically include:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • disorientation
  • confusion
  • blurred vision and inability to focus
  • slurred speech
  • coordination issues
  • difficulty breathing
  • coma, in extreme cases

Benzodiazepine’s Long-term Symptoms

Long-term symptoms of benzodiazepines resemble the short-term symptoms but will be more severe.

Symptoms of long-term abuse include:

  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • mood swings
  • abrupt changes in behavior
  • work or relationship conflict

Benzodiazepines Withdrawal Symptoms

Users going through benzodiazepine withdrawal may not know what to expect. Withdrawal symptoms vary widely — even from one day to the next — and individuals may feel better one day and then immediately much worse the next. Further, symptoms of withdrawal may last for weeks after a user has quit taking drug or longer.

Common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • irritability
  • high tension
  • sleep issues
  • anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • hand tremors and shakiness
  • increased perspiration
  • dry retching
  • nausea
  • heart palpitations
  • headache
  • muscle pain and aches
  • weight loss
  • memory problems
  • problems concentrating
  • confusion
  • cognitive difficulties
  • hallucinations
  • psychosis
  • seizures
  • suicidal ideation

Bayview Recovery’s Individualized Approach to Benzodiazepine Dependency

Benzo recovery is dangerous, and you won’t want to go it alone. Withdrawal symptoms can be lengthy, unpredictable and life-threatening, requiring a medically-supervised detox. Detox is not enough, however. Drug use is often a means to treat underlying issues which can range from past trauma, unresolved personal problems or mental health issues. Addiction is rarely ever only a medical problem.

If you do not treat the non-medical aspects of addiction, chances are high you will use again. That’s why Bayview Recovery places such a huge emphasis on getting to know you — as a person — and that includes not only your addiction pattern but also your personality and your strengths. We want to identify exactly why you used so we can replace that with something much more valuable — a sense of your real self and what makes you truly happy.

Your story doesn’t have to end with addiction, and Bayview Recovery — with its comprehensive therapeutic offerings and high staff-to-patient ratio — has everything you need to help you leave addiction behind. Most importantly, we offer you a personal commitment that extends far beyond your last day with us.

Call 888.570.7154 to learn more about getting treatment that is as unique as you are. We don’t know exactly what your future holds, but we do know that a stay at Bayview Recovery can help you live that life in health and wellness.