What are Benzodiazepines?
As with any substance, prescription drugs can be misused and lead to dependence and addiction. Prescription drug addiction can be devastating and just as dangerous as illegal drugs. Benzodiazepines are prescribed to treat anxiety, panic disorder, insomnia, and more. The potential of addiction to benzos is high, particularly when mixed with alcohol or other drugs. Benzodiazepine prescriptions are intended for short-term use, and when taken for extended periods and in higher doses, the side effects can be harmful.
Commonly Prescribed Benzodiazepines
Effects of a Benzo Addiction
If not taken as prescribed, misuse of benzos can lead to addiction. Benzodiazepines are habit-forming sedatives that produce feelings of extreme relaxation. Benzos alter your brain chemistry by attaching to GABA receptors.
Signs and symptoms of addiction:
You may notice behavioral changes in someone who is addicted to benzodiazepines such as isolating oneself, financial struggles, and avoiding responsibilities.
Taking a large amount of benzos or outside of the prescribed amount can cause an overdose. Benzodiazepines can slow your breathing and heart rate until they stop completely, leading to death.
50+ million benzodiazepine prescriptions are written annually in America.
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Treating Benzo Addiction
If you have an addiction to benzodiazepines, your body may become physically dependent on the drug. When you are physically dependent, you may experience painful withdrawal symptoms. Nearly one-third of those who use benzodiazepines for six months or more will experience serious withdrawal symptoms, including seizures.
Symptoms of withdrawal from benzos include: