WHAT IS BENZODIAZEPINE?
The drug class known as benzodiazepines is made up of prescription tranquilizers, also called sedatives or anxiolytics. They are prescribed for a host of conditions, such as anxiety disorder or panic disorder. Benzodiazepines can be prescribed for the following medical conditions:
- Muscle spasms.
The following is a list of benzodiazepines, by branded name:
Benzodiazepine addiction is a disease that makes a person compulsively use Benzos even though the drugs are having a negative impact on their health and well-being. When used as prescribed by a doctor, the drugs are safe and effective. However, using benzodiazepines for other purposes can cause addiction and other serious health problems. A person with a mild benzodiazepine use disorder may be able to stop using benzos on their own, but quitting the drugs abruptly can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Quitting with assistance from a health professional is safer.
A person with a severe benzodiazepine use disorder requires professional treatment and support to quit using the drugs. With the right balance of treatment, support and effort, recovery from benzodiazepine addiction is possible.
Addiction is not the same as benzodiazepine dependence. Every person who uses benzodiazepines on a regular basis develops a dependency. Only a small percentage of people acquire addiction.
When a person uses benzodiazepines for several days or weeks, the brain becomes accustomed to their presence. It becomes to rely on the medications for survival. The state of relying on a benzo to feel normal is known as benzo dependency.
As addiction progresses, the brain begins to require higher amounts to achieve the same effects. Tolerance is a type of adaptation that involves requiring higher doses of a chemical. Withdrawal symptoms occur when someone who is addicted to benzodiazepines stops taking the substance.
When they’re taken as prescribed, common side effects of benzos are generally mild.
Common short-term side effect are:
- Appetite loss
- Coordination loss
- Dry mouth
- Impaired memory
- Slowed breathing
- Slowed motor function
- Vision problems
Severe short-term side effects include:
- Clammy skin
- Dilated pupils
- Erratic behavior
- Memory loss
- Mood swings
- Slow reflexes
- Weak pulse
Long-term side effects include:
- Cognitive decline
- Impaired judgment
- Increased risk of accidents
- Memory problems
- Muscle weakness
- Slurred speech
Many side effects go away once a person has detoxed from benzos. Others, such as cognitive decline, can persist for several months, according to a 2005 review published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Cognitive abilities that can be affected by benzos include the ability to identify visual relationships between objects, the amount of time it takes to process information, and verbal learning skills.
- Acute benzodiazepine toxicity: The treatment required usually depends on what drugs were taken and how much. Taking too many benzodiazepines can result in respiratory depression and death, particularly when combined with other drugs such as opioids or alcohol. It’s important to seek medical attention if you or someone you know appears intoxicated after taking benzodiazepines.
- Chronic benzodiazepine abuse: The treatment of chronic abuse can usually be done at home with the help of your doctor or in specific drug rehabilitation centres. The first step consists of gradual reduction of benzodiazepines to prevent withdrawal and seizures. It’s important to get medical advice about reducing benzodiazepines as abruptly stopping them can be dangerous. This is often much easier than the prolonged recovery phase in which the person attempts to stay drug-free. In addition to the medical care, someone abusing these drugs often requires social support and help in finding housing and employment. The involvement of family and friends can be very helpful in this difficult stage.
BENZO REHAB CENTRES IN GEORGIA
- Anchor Hospital/Behaviour Health System
- Archbold Northside
- Assisted Recovery Center of GA Incorporated
- Athens Area Commencement Center
- Floyd Behavioral Health Center
- Saint Simons By The Sea
- Talbott Recovery Campus