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Benzodiazepines

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. Common “benzos” include:

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.

SIGNS OF ABUSE

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

WITHDRAWAL AND DETOX

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.

TREATMENT

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, as well as aftercare like our Intensive Outpatient and Sober Living offerings.

Sources:

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0401/p2121.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4657308/

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