Benzodiazepines are a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Individuals who take CNS depressants as prescribed may experience drowsiness and sedation as a side effect. However, this may be beneficial for certain patients.
Benzodiazepine addiction is on the rise in the United States. The rate of fatal benzos overdoses quadrupled between 1999 and 2010. Since more prescriptions were written, people took higher doses of the drug than they should have. Opioids and benzodiazepines should never be mixed, according to the FDA's most recent caution, released on September 20, 2017.
The United States had an estimated 120 million prescriptions for benzos written last year. Benzodiazepines are one of the most often prescribed medications for mood disorders. They are used to treat anxiety disorders, sleeplessness, panic disorders, seizures, and withdrawal from alcohol. Benzodiazepines relieve symptoms of agoraphobia, dread of flying, and other circumstances that may seem hazardous or lethal. Additionally, it is utilized as a sedative before dental treatments.
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Side Effects of Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines might cause side effects in those who are administered them. Some are common and last for just a few days at a time. Others might be much worse. If you have any adverse effects while taking prescription medication, always seek medical attention and notify your doctor.
Because they are depressants, benzodiazepines may make people sleepy. It is not anything to worry about, and it may even disappear. Benzodiazepine-induced exhaustion is more severe in more extreme cases.
Benzodiazepines may cause deteriorated brain function and memory.
Euphoria, insanity, and over-the-top emotion are all possible side effects of benzos. If these side effects become unbearable, the dosage may be decreased. Minor indecisiveness and bewilderment are also possible side effects.
As signs of dizziness, tiredness, and general disorientation, temporary forgetfulness might be seen in certain patients. Benzos might make it difficult for people to maintain balance and control their movements. It is common for elderly users to fall and injure themselves due to using these medicines.
People on benzodiazepines have decreased alertness, awareness, and coordination. The result is that people under the influence of these drugs are frequently unable to perform at their best. Benzodiazepine users may slur their words when dizzy, tired, or lightheaded. Bewilderment and exhaustion are intimately linked to dizziness. Benzodiazepines may cause dizziness in certain people by slowing brain activity and neurotransmitters.
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Mixing Benzos with Other Drugs
Polysubstance use or abuse is a phenomenon that occurs when people use or misuse several substances at the same time. When benzodiazepines, for example, are combined with other narcotics, the resulting euphoric effect or "high" might be amplified.
Benzodiazepines may increase these effects if used with alcohol, hallucinogens, or other drugs. Unfortunately, combining benzodiazepines with alcohol or opioids may lead to severe consequences. It may raise the risk of overdose and mortality.
In some instances, benzos may be administered, coating and energizing the effects of cocaine and other stimulants to mitigate the ag. Due to the potential for abuse, the CDC changed its prescription opioid guidelines in 2016. Opioid and benzodiazepine combinations were discouraged by these changes.
Risks of Continued Use and Treatment for Benzodiazepine Addiction
Withdrawal symptoms occur when the body and mind have become used to the presence of the drug, and physiological responses are triggered when those chemicals are absent. Anyone who suspects they may be addicted or dependent on a substance should get help from medical professionals or check into a medical detox facility before the withdrawal.
Benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin should never be abruptly stopped. Under medical supervision, patients should progressively decrease their dosage. Short-acting or high-dose benzos might cause the most severe withdrawal symptoms for those trying to quit. During and after detox, counseling may be beneficial. Once you've passed detox, it's time to move on to the next phase of your benzodiazepine addiction treatment.
Individuals who need inpatient or residential rehabilitation may need to spend anywhere from 30 to 90 days in such a setting. Another option is an outpatient program, which allows patients to spend the nights at home without being hospitalized. Aftercare services, such as continuing individual treatment and peer support groups, help to extend the healing time.
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