Do you take a medication prescribed by your doctor and wonder if you’ve become addicted? If so, it could be due to your use of benzodiazepines, or benzos. What are benzos, and how can they impact your overall health?
Benzos are a type of prescribed medication. They work with the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid-A to accomplish some type of goal. Most of them will play a role in helping to treat and manage mental illnesses. They can also be used in the treatment of some sleep disorders. Because they change the chemistry or make-up of the brain, benzos can be very dangerous, and addiction can occur. When used by those who were not prescribed them or in a way that a doctor does not recommend, benzos can be deadly.
What Are Benzos Names?
There are many drugs that fall under the category of benzos. Some of them include:
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Triazolam (Halcion)
- Temazepam (Restoril)
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that between the period of 1996 and 2013, there was a 67 percent increase in the number of benzos prescribed by doctors to patients. That amounts to an increase from 8.1 million people using them to 13.5 million.
When Are Benzos Prescribed?
There are many instances in which doctors may prescribe benzos. What are benzo uses? They can be used to treat:
- Panic disorders
- Withdrawal from alcohol abuse
- Muscle spasms
In addition to this, they are also often used for sedation during a surgical procedure. Even in this situation, addiction can become a concern in some people.
Benzo Addiction Is Not Uncommon
What are benzos and addiction risks to you? Benzos can create an overdose risk. They can also cause sedation and a loss of cognitive function. They are particularly deadly when mixed with opioids.
A key concern with benzos is that the drug is prescribed by a doctor. That may make them seem very safe to use. Some people may find that, over time, they become less effective, though, so they consume more than they used to. Others seek out these drugs to use them to help sleep or to get a high from the sedation effects.
In situations where benzo addiction is a potential concern, it is very possible that the drug has altered the function of the brain. As these medications are used, the brain begins to rely on them for everyday function. If a person stops using them, the brain goes through a withdrawal, seeking more of the drug to help it to function. However, the brain also becomes tolerant over time, which means it needs more of the drug to create the same type of impact. This increases the risk of addiction.
What to Do if You Think You Have an Addiction to Benzos
The symptoms of benzo addiction can be hard to pinpoint, especially if a person has a prescription to the drug. This may include weight loss, headaches, mood swings, and hallucinations. A key differentiating point, though, comes from what happens when a person stops using the drug. If you feel cravings or even suffer pain if you do not get your benzo prescription that indicates dependency is occurring.
At First Step Center, we offer a variety of treatment programs that can help you. Our benzo addiction treatment program will focus on providing you with the tools necessary to stop using the drug in a safe manner. This means still addressing and properly treating your mental health needs otherwise.
As a dual diagnosis treatment center, we can help you to carefully come off the use of your medications while monitoring and caring for your mental health needs. Our customized treatment plans may help you to recovery from benzo addiction so you can reclaim your quality of life. We encourage you to seek help right away if you believe addiction is present.
Are You Struggling with Addiction?
What are benzos to you? If you’re struggling with this type of addictive drug or any other, our team at First Step Center wants to help you. Learn more about our benzo treatment program by calling our compassionate counselors at 866.832.6398.2