Benzodiazepine Addiction

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Learn about the dangers of benzodiazepine addiction, a class of drugs widely prescribed as anxiety and depression medications as well as used for sleep disorders. Learn about the risks, signs, and effective treatment options to combat this pervasive addiction and regain control of your life.



The class of drug known as Benzodiazepines is made up of prescription tranquilizers, also known as sedatives or anxiolytics. They are prescribed for a host of reasons, typically for panic or anxiety disorders, or insomnia.


  • Xanax
  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Alprazolam
  • Ativan
  • Restoril
  • Librium
  • Serax
  • Tranxene
  • Dalmane
  • Halcion

Benzodiazepines work as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, causing a calming effect. This slowing of the CNS reduces excitement and agitation inside the brain and leads to more manageable physical symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks. Benzodiazepines also enhance the GABA chemical, which helps regulate your sleep cycle and your anxiety responses.


Drug Detox Symptoms


The sedative effect of these drugs, as well as their addiction-forming chemical properties, makes them ripe for abuse. Since these are prescription drugs, it is critical to note that some individuals may initially have a legitimate medical reason to use them, but over time, they develop a use disorder. Some of the symptoms of Benzodiazepine abuse include:

  • taking the sedative in a higher volume than first intended
  • considerable time is spent getting the drug, using it, and recovering from its effects.
  • withdrawal
  • building a tolerance
  • impaired performance at home, work, or school
  • drowsiness
  • weakness
  • poor vision
  • poor judgment
  • doctor shopping


While adhering to prescribed usage and limited short-term durations, the effects of the examples of benzodiazepines listed above are considered safe. However, variations in side effects may arise due to the specific type, dosage, and duration of benzo use, influencing individual responses. That said, benzo addiction signs and benzodiazepines side effects include:

  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Impaired coordination and balance
  • Confusion and memory problems
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Slurred speech
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Changes in appetite
  • Mood swings and emotional instability
  • Blurred vision
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tremors or shaking
  • The potential of usage developing into a benzodiazepine addiction



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Benzodiazepines build a tolerance over time so that a user will have to take more to get the desired effect. When the abuse stops or the amount taken is reduced, withdrawal symptoms will emerge. Withdrawal symptoms from Benzodiazepines may include:

  • sleep disturbances
  • increased tension
  • anxiety/panic attacks
  • difficulty concentrating
  • heart palpitations
  • mild to moderate changes in perception
  • cravings
  • hallucinations
  • seizures
  • psychosis or Psychotic Reaction
  • increased risk of suicidal ideation

Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be particularly dangerous and even life-threatening. Undergoing medical detox under the direct care of a doctor is generally advised.


The first step in treatment of benzodiazepine abuse is simply admitting you have a problem. From there, Profound will work with you to carefully craft a treatment plan to suit your needs. We offer residential detox with professionals to help you safely withdraw from your addiction. We also offer inpatient treatment to help you develop the necessary skills to stay on the road to recovery.


Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Benzodiazepines

If you forget or neglect to take a dose, take it the moment you catch the lapse. However, if it is near the time for your next dose, don’t take the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not double up doses to make up for the missed one. Always consult with your doctor or pharmacist for personalized advice.

It is generally not advised to consume alcohol while taking benzodiazepines, as alcohol can enhance the sedative effects of these drugs and increase the risk of dangerous side effects, including overdose.

Benzodiazepines are classified as Pregnancy Category D by the FDA, meaning there is evidence of risk to the fetus. They should only be used in pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks and under the careful supervision of a doctor.

Yes.  Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness techniques, and conscious adjustments in your lifestyle, such as regular exercise and improved sleep hygiene, can be effective for managing these conditions. It’s important to discuss these options with a healthcare professional.

Yes, benzodiazepines can interact with many different types of medications, including other CNS depressants, certain antifungal medications, some types of antidepressants, and others. It’s important to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements.

An overdose caused by a benzodiazepine addiction can lead to severe symptoms, including confusion, extreme drowsiness, difficulty breathing, and potentially loss of consciousness or coma. It’s considered a medical emergency, and immediate medical attention is required. Always take benzodiazepines as prescribed and store them safely out of reach of others, especially children. If you feel you are struggling with an addiction to benzos, you should seek professional care, drug detoxification, and proper therapy for recovery.

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