Thursday, June 20, 2024

Why Are Benzos So Addictive

Can Everyone Get Benzos For Detox

Benzodiazepine Dependence and Withdrawal – How To Avoid This

Benzos are not recommended for use in the elderly, and there may also be other reasons a doctor may decide against using benzos to help you get through alcohol detox and withdrawal. However, if you are pregnant, you can be given benzos for alcohol detox under strict medical supervision. Some medical conditions can worsen due to the use of benzos, so your treating doctor will have to decide if benzos are right for your situation.

Valium Addiction And Abuse

Get confidential help 24/7. Call now for:

  • Access to licensed treatment centers
  • Information on treatment plans

Addiction Center is not affiliated with any insurance.

Common Questions About Rehab
Am I covered for addiction treatment?

Have a confidential, completely free conversation with a treatment provider about your financial options.

Mixing Benzos With Other Substances

Recreational benzo users have been known to mix benzos with other substances in order to gain a more intense high. However, combining benzos with other substances can prove to be a fatal mistake.Benzos and alcohol are similar in that they both have the ability to ease anxiety and promote a sense of euphoria. Online forums like Reddit and Erowid are often filled with questions from users about the potential risks and benefits of mixing benzos with alcohol.

Despite any benefits, its extremely dangerous to mix benzos with other substances, especially alcohol. The combination of these two depressants can easily cause respiratory failure. It is not at all uncommon to hear stories about benzodiazepine deaths caused by mixing alcohol and benzos. Risk of fatality aside, taking benzos while drinking alcohol has been known to cause blackouts, which are also detrimental to your health. Have you been prescribed benzos for a medical condition? Wondering how long you should wait between your last dose of benzodiazepine and drinking alcohol?

Considering the risk, its really not safe to drink alcohol at all when undergoing treatment of benzodiazepine. Certain benzos can have a very long-lasting presence in the body after being ingested. The risk of combining the two substances, even unintentionally, is just too high. Benzos should also not be combined with any of the following substances:

  • Opioids
  • Amphetamines
  • Other sedatives

You May Like: How To Overcome Overeating Addiction

Behavioral Signs Of Benzo Abuse

The development of a sedative use disorder may creep up on a person, but when it exists, it is likely going to be observable. Substance abuse has a way of shifting a person into exhibiting uncharacteristic traits. In short, the person stops being in service of the life they used to lead, and now spends an increasing amount of time in service to the drug abuse. People who develop a substance use disorder may exhibit some or all of the following list of behavioral symptoms of substance abuse:3

  • The person withdraws from friends, family, and obligations in order to use the drug.
  • From a place of fear of being without the drug, the person ensures that an adequate supply is maintained at home.
  • The person does uncharacteristic things to be able to pay for the drug, such as borrowing money, stealing, draining bank accounts, or maxing out credit cards.
  • The person engages in risky activities, such as driving, after using the drug.
  • The person spends an increasing amount of time and energy on different facets of drug abuse.
  • The person exhibits a reduction in effort to maintain hygiene or grooming .
  • The person is uncharacteristically secretive about daily schedule and/or tells lies to protect the substance abuse.
  • Shifts in mood or personality are experienced.

Benzodiazepine Abuse Treatment Self

why are benzodiazepines so addictive Archives

Drug abusers often deny their problem by playing down the extent of their drug use or blaming job or family stress. The most important thing that can be done at home is to recognize that there may be a problem and to seek help. Learn more about how addiction impacts families.

  • Awareness of the signs and symptoms of abuse help with recognition.
  • The next step is to try to obtain help for the person. This can be done either through your doctor or by contacting many of the drug abuse help lines in your community.

Read Also: Why Is Smoking Weed So Addictive

What Does Alcohol Withdrawal Look Like

When a person has become physically dependent upon alcohol, stopping alcohol can lead to a variety of withdrawal symptoms. Most people will experience such symptoms as agitation, insomnia, tremors, and loss of appetite. Other people experience more severe issues, such as high blood pressure, fevers, hallucinations, and seizures . If a person develops delirium tremens, the outcome could perhaps be fatal. Most of the time, alcohol withdrawal will be uncomplicated and relatively mild. However, there is often no way to know who will experience a mild withdrawal, and who will develop serious or even fatal outcomes.

Do You Need A Prescription For Benzos

Benzos are defined as a Schedule IV controlled substance in the United States, which means you must hold a valid prescription from your doctor in order to legally buy, possess, and take benzos.Unfortunately, their dangerously addictive nature means that many users unable to get a prescription resort to obtaining them illegally. Taking pharmaceuticals that arent prescribed to you is incredibly dangerous, but especially so when theyre as addictive as benzos.

Don’t Miss: Can You Get Addicted To Ritalin

What Are Some Popular Benzos And How Do They Work

According to the British Journal of Medical Practitioners , The advent of benzodiazepines in the late fifties was met with great excitement by the practicing physicians around the world. Their range of actions sedative/hypnotic, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant combined with low toxicity and alleged lack of dependence potential seemed to make them ideal medications for many common conditions. The drugs were prescribed long term, often for many years, for complaints such as anxiety, depression, insomnia and ordinary life stressors.

When pharmaceutical companies saw the financial windfall that benzos brought them, the race was on to develop variations of the drug. Some of the most popular benzos, which are prescribed primarily in pill form, include :

  • alprazolam
  • diazepam
  • lorazepam
  • temazepam
  • triazolam

So how do benzos work? According to the science magazine Mosaic , Benzodiazepines latch onto a receptor in the brain, which then activates a neighbouring neurotransmitter known as GABA . GABA release makes people calm and sleepy. The drugs can trigger that GABA rush in minutes, allowing a user to feel calmer almost immediately. How? GABA inhibits the activity of neurons in the brain. Picture the brain as the engine of a car: GABA shifts it into lower gear, so that racing thoughts, anxiety, insomnia and other uncomfortable effects of active neurons are slowed down.

Showing Signs Of Benzodiazepine Addiction

Benzo Dope and Tranq: The Next Wave of the Overdose Crisis

Abusing benzodiazepines can rapidly lead to addiction and/or dependence due to the highly abusive potential of the drugs. In fact, it is common for those who use benzos to become addicted in as little as two or three weeks. Addiction occurs when someone becomes dependent on a substance. When someone abuses benzodiazepines to the extent that a loved one takes notice, it is likely they have already become addicted. Signs of a benzodiazepine addiction may include:

  • continued use of benzodiazepines, despite risks to self or others
  • complete loss of control over benzodiazepine use
  • denial of addiction
  • exhibiting random and sudden changes in behavior

Don’t Miss: How To Tell If You Are Addicted To Video Games

Benzo Addiction: Causes Symptoms And Treatment Options

Benzodiazepines or benzos such as Valium and Xanax are prescribed to treat conditions like anxiety disorders or insomnia. However, some people end up abusing these drugs and develop a benzo addiction. They users may misuse their prescriptions by taking more pills than prescribed at a time, or take their medication more frequently than recommended. Some people even obtain benzos illegally from drug dealers. Well explore the causes, symptoms and treatment options for a benzo addiction.

Bad: Euphoric Highs & Abuse Risks

Unfortunately, Xanax is also popular among people who dont have a legitimate need for it, or who take it in larger doses or more frequently than prescribed. In these cases, Xanax is popular because it can create a euphoric feeling, especially at higher doses. Xanax tends to start acting quickly after a person takes it, with the euphoric effects of the drug usually appearing within an hour.

A tendency has grown in some social circles to view benzos, like Xanax, as a type of alcohol in pill form. Its become socially acceptable among these groups of friends to get together and share Xanax with one another. Of the 30.5 million people who used benzos in 2015, 17.1% misused them. Misusing Xanax or combining it with other substances like alcohol can amplify its effects, but the results can also be deadly.

Along with recreational use, many people rely on Xanax to deal with issues like situational anxiety without having to commit to therapy, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Xanax is popular in America, for example, because there is a tendency for people to love things that are looked at as a quick-fix. Taking Xanax thats been prescribed to you alongside therapy can be medically beneficial, but using it without additional therapy or a prescription is Xanax abuse that lead to an addiction.

Don’t Miss: Why Are Drug Addicts So Selfish

How Do Benzos Work To Cause Addiction

To understand how the misuse of benzos can lead to addiction, it is helpful to understand the role that dopamine plays.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that carries signals between cells in the brain. The release of dopamine tells the brain that a specific experience is pleasurable and drives the need to seek more of it. Such a situation encourages people to change their behaviors in order to help them to continue to achieve stimulating experiences.

Benzos may be widely prescribed to treat anxiety and insomnia, but patients who misuse them can easily become addicted.

When there are extreme levels of dopamine in the brain, people may repeatedly seek out the pleasurable experience. They can become obsessed with seeking that same level of pleasure, which is exactly what happens with addiction. Drugs can cause these spikes in dopamine and can, therefore, cause addiction as a result of drug misuse.

Benzos work a bit differently to cause addiction. The feelings of pleasure that make drugs attractive to people at risk for benzo addiction occur when dopamine levels spike. Benzos weaken inhibitory interneurons in a specific part of the brain, which is responsible for preventing dopamine levels from surging by minimizing the rate of firing of the neurons that produce dopamine.

Can You Become Dependent Or Addicted To Benzodiazepines

Why are Benzodiazepines so Addictive? (e.g. Ativan, Alprazolam, Temaze ...

Once a person has been taking benzodiazepines regularly for days, weeks, or longer, receptors in the brain change and adapt to their presence. The center of the brain that controls mood and the ability of a person to feel happy is affected by the constant presence of benzodiazepines and may become unable to elicit those responses without the drug, triggering dependence.

Dependence is different from addiction. People who use a drug, prescribed or not, develop a dependence on the substance to deliver a desired effect. But as the dependence deepens, higher levels of the drug are needed to achieve the feeling of well-being that is craved. The level of dependence a person has developed will affect the severity of withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped.

Addiction is defined as a substance abuse disorder and is characterized by continued drug use despite negative consequences to the user. Even if a person is addicted to benzodiazepines, an overdose is rarely fatal unless the drug was used in combination with other drugs or alcohol.

Also Check: Why Are Prescription Drugs So Addictive

Benzo Addiction: What Makes Benzos So Addictive

Benzodiazepine tranquilizers, commonly called benzos, belong to the CNS category of depressants. Benzos work by binding to the brains GABA neurotransmitter receptors, which helps reduce neuron activity and, by extension, nervousness and muscle spasms. Because of their effectiveness in lessening both physical and emotional tension, benzos are frequently prescribed for anxiety disorders, insomnia, and seizures.

Unfortunately, many people abuse these drugs to the point of dependence. Benzodiazepine addiction is a major part of the American drug epidemic. These drugs are so highly addictive that annual overdose deaths involving benzos rose every year during the first decade of the 21st century and totaled around 8,000 by 2014. Some of the most addictive benzodiazepines are Valium, Xanax, Ativan, Rohypnol, and Klonopin.

This article will explain the typical path to benzo addiction, the effects and risks of these drugs, and the medical approach to detox and recovery.

How People Get Addicted To Benzos

What makes benzos so highly addictive is that the body and brain quickly build up a tolerance, requiring larger doses to achieve the same effect. Regular use of benzos teaches the body to depend on outside means for relaxing, so patients become increasingly tense and irritable in the absence of frequent doses, and increasingly dependent psychologically on this easy means of stress relief. Also, most benzo use involves prescribable medications, and its psychologically easier to rationalize the abuse of a doctor-approved drug.

The medical system itself has helped encourage benzo addiction by being too quick to offer an apparent easy solution to tough problems. Benzos are a traditional first-line treatment for anxiety disorders in particular, and as many as 150 million prescriptions have been issued in some years.

Prescription benzos come in three types, all of which are potentially addictive.

  • Ultra short-acting drugs, which take effect the most rapidly and are used to treat insomnia or as part of pre-surgical anesthesia. They include midazolam and triazolam .
  • Short-acting drugs, which have a rapid but relatively short-lived effect. Useful in treating anxiety disorders, they include alprazolam and lorazepam .
  • Long-acting drugs, which release their active ingredients slowly to produce longer-term relief. Commonly prescribed for anxiety, seizures, and insomnia, they include chlordiazepoxide and perhaps the best-known benzo drug, diazepam .

Don’t Miss: How Do I Stop My Video Game Addiction

Benzodiazepine Overdose & Abuse Symptoms

If you believe that you or a loved one may be overdosing on benzodiazepines or any other drugs, call 911 immediately.

A review of the physical and psychological symptoms associated with benzodiazepine use illuminates the many dangers inherent in abusing this type of prescription drug. Benzodiazepine toxicity may cause the following symptoms:5

  • Physical weakness
  • Insomnia
  • Memory problems

As discussed, the development of tolerance to benzodiazepines is a medical condition, known as physicaldependence. Tolerance is the process by which the brain becomes increasingly accustomed to the drug and, for this reason, requires more of it in order for the person to get the familiar high. When the brain does not get its familiar dose, because the person is abstaining or reducing the familiar amount, withdrawal is triggered. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines is considered to be particularly dangerous, and in some instances, it can be fatal. For instance, seizures are a symptom of withdrawal.

How Quickly Does Tolerance For Benzos Develop

Benzos Addiction

Tolerance tends to develop when someone chronically takes benzos for long periods of time.4 Most people who are prescribed benzodiazepines for anxiety prefer these medications for the treatment of their condition because they can take them on an as-needed basis.4 Most patients can use benzos judiciously.4 But when someone uses benzos for a long period time, uses benzos in excess , this can lead to the development of benzodiazepine dependence and tolerance.4

Every persons body chemistry is different, and the time it takes for someone to develop a tolerance for benzos will vary from person to person. The amount of benzos someone uses and other factors can also influence how quickly they develop a tolerance to benzos.

Also Check: We All Fall Down Living With Addiction

Parallels Between The Opioid And Benzo Epidemics

Unfortunately, my story is increasingly common.

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse found in 1988 that a staggering 73 percent of heroin users used benzodiazepines multiple times a week for more than a year.

The combination of opiates and benzodiazepines has contributed to

Food and Drug Administration even issued a black-box warning about the dangers of combining the two drugs. Rather than shed light on these dangers, media coverage often blamed overdoses on heroin laced with fentanyl. It seemed like there was only room for one epidemic in the media.

Thankfully, media reports have recently started to raise awareness about the parallels between the opiate and benzodiazepine epidemics.

A recent essay in the New England Journal of Medicine warns about the deadly consequences of benzodiazepine overuse and misuse. Specifically, deaths attributed to benzodiazepines have increased sevenfold over the past two decades.

At the same time, benzodiazepine prescriptions have skyrocketed, with a 67 percent increase between 1996 and 2013 .

Although benzodiazepines like Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan are highly addictive, theyre also extremely effective for treating epilepsy, anxiety, insomnia, and alcohol withdrawal.

When benzos were introduced in the 1960s, they were touted as a miracle drug and integrated into mainstream society. The Rolling Stones even celebrated benzos in their 1966 song Mothers Little Helper, thus helping to normalize them.

Common Side Effects Of Benzodiazepines

When taken as prescribed, short-term use of benzodiazepines is generally safe. While the drugs have been proven effective for reducing anxiety, inducing relaxation, and promoting sleep, they may still produce uncomfortable, possibly dangerous, side effects. The most common side effects of using benzodiazepines include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Vision problems

If mixed with alcohol or other drugs, side effects will be intensified and could be fatal. Same day, or even next day, side effects like grogginess, drowsiness, and confusion can pose a serious risk of danger if driving or operating machinery.

Because of the symptoms they produce, like grogginess, drowsiness, confusion, and impaired coordination, benzodiazepines like Rohypnol have been used as a date rape drug. The drug can even cause amnesia, so the event isnt recalled.

Although they are widely prescribed for older adults, studies have shown that seniors have an increased sensitivity to benzodiazepines and a harder time metabolizing them. Side effects may be more apparent and longer lasting in the senior population.

When misused and taken at higher doses than prescribed, or taken illegally, severe side effects, including overdose, can occur. Some signs of abuse include the return of symptoms that were being treated in the first place, like anxiety and insomnia. Some signs may be severe, even life-threatening, and may include:

  • Weakness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coma

Read Also: What Does An Addiction Counselor Do

- Advertisement -spot_img
Popular Articles
Related news