Benzodiazepines also referred to as “benzos”, are highly addictive prescription medication known for their high level of abuse. They are marketed under several popular brand names such as Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan. These medications fall under the category of central nervous system depressants (CNS) and are typically prescribed to treat anxiety, panic attacks, sleep disorders, as well as seizures.
Abusing benzos slows down the central nervous system and as a result can cause drowsiness, memory disturbances, irritability, and hostility. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), over 30% of overdoses involving opioids also included benzodiazepines. Further, mixing benzos and other substances is a very common practice among those with a substance use disorder. However, mixing benzos with other drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous and often leads to overdose or death.
Withdrawal from benzodiazepines is extremely dangerous, so detoxing from them should be done under close medical supervision. In fact, benzo withdrawals can even result in psychosis or seizures. Further, without medical intervention, the seizures from benzo withdrawal can become progressively worse, and ultimately lead to death. The medical staff at Royal Life Centers pays close attention to every guest, in order to ensure their safe and successful detox from benzodiazepines. When needed, we also use the necessary medication to slowly wean guests off the drug safely. After a guest has successfully detoxed, typically then enter into our residential inpatient program. Here guests continue to learn how to live successfully without the use of mind- or mood-altering substances.
Short term effects of benzo use may include:
- Appetite loss
- Coordination loss
- Dry mouth
- Impaired memory
- Slow breathing
- Slowed motor function
- Vision problems
Long-term effects of benzo use may include:
- Cognitive impairment
- Impaired judgment
- Increased risk of accidents
- Memory problems
- Muscle weakness
- Slurred speech
Do I need treatment for benzodiazepine addiction?
Signs of a benzo problem may include:
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and obligations to use the drug
- Fearful that you will run out of the drug
- Borrowing money, stealing or overusing credit cards to get more of the drug
- Engaging in risky activities while under the influence
- Spending an extraordinary amount of time thinking about how to get the drug
- Poor hygiene or personal care habits
- A shift in mood or personality
- Being uncharacteristically secretive or telling lies to hide substance abuse
If you recognize these signs in yourself or a loved one, you may, in fact, have a benzodiazepine addiction. In any case, please reach out to us right away to discuss your options.
Benzo withdrawals symptoms can vary from person to person due to many different factors. Rebound symptoms are common, which refers to symptoms that the drug initially treated that have now returned even worse than before. For example, the benzo may have been prescribed for poor sleep that has now become even worse after stopping the drug. These symptoms can become so overwhelming that users return to using the drug in order to alleviate them. Royal Life Centers detox utilizes appropriate medications in order to make benzo detox safe and comfortable for our guests.
Benzo withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Muscle pain and stiffness
- Poor concentration
- Sensory distortions
- Heart palpitations
- High blood pressure
If you or a loved one is suffering from a benzo addiction, or think there may be a problem with any other substances, please contact us immediately for help. Our caring admissions staff is available 24/7 to answer any questions and guide you through the first step in your recovery. Call us now at (877)-732-6837 or (877)-RECOVERY. Because We Care.