Benzodiazepines, or benzos as they are commonly referred to, include the brand name drugs Valium and Xanax. They are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in America because they have proven to be effective medications in the treatment of anxiety, seizure disorders, and panic attacks. Sadly, even when used as prescribed, these drugs can be highly addictive, eventually requiring benzo addiction recovery. If you or someone in your life was prescribed but is now struggling with benzo addiction reach out to the medical team at Avedis Detox online or call 833.514.0579. The treatment team at our Los Angeles drug detox center can discuss how our benzo addiction recovery programs can help.
What Are Benzos and What Do They Do?
Benzodiazepines are prescription drugs that, when used correctly, will slow down activity in the central nervous system. They are designed to treat mental health disorders by producing sensations of relaxation, sedation, and relief, thus reducing the symptoms experienced by people suffering from:
- Panic attacks
- Seizure disorders
- Muscle spasms
- Withdrawal symptoms during an alcohol detox
The use of benzos is widespread in the United States. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in the 17 years from 1996 and 2013, the number of adults who filled a benzodiazepine prescription rose by 67% to a staggering 13.5 million. Furthermore, in a study of over 300,000 people who received opioid prescriptions between 2001 and 2013, the percentage also being prescribed benzos rose to 17% in 2013 from just 9% at the start of that 12 year period. The study further noted that the people using both drugs concurrently were at higher risk of emergency room visits and needing to be admitted to a hospital for a drug-related emergency. Many with a benzo addiction are likely familiar with one of these exact scenarios, unfortunately.
The 5 most commonly prescribed benzos are:
- Alprazolam (brand name Xanax)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Temazepam (Restoril)
The Common Side Effects of Benzos
There are a litany of side effects that come with using benzos, ranging from mild to severe. Overdose is a risk if you develop a use disorder and do not enter into a benzo addiction recovery program. Some of the short term effects of low doses of benzos may include:
- Poor coordination
- Slurred speech
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty breathing
On the other hand, with a higher dosage or if used recreationally, benzos may deliver:
- Extreme drowsiness
- Slower reflexes
- Mood swings
- Erratic behavior
Because with regular use over a longer period of time, benzodiazepines can build up in the body, those with a benzo addiction in Tarzana may experience these long-term side effects:
- Severe disorientation
- Muscle weakness
- Lack of coordination
- Severely impaired judgment
- Alzheimer’s disease
The true danger is that even after benzo addiction recovery, some studies show that the decline in cognitive thinking and the ability to succeed at work or school may not improve for months. Therefore, the quicker you can treat your benzo addiction at Avedis Detox in Tarzana, the better.
A Rise in Benzo Overdoses
No statistic is more alarming and worthy of an immediate inquiry into benzo addiction recovery programs than this: In 2015, there were nearly 9,000 overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines. This was more than 4 times as many as in 2002. The majority of these tragedies have been credited to using benzos in concert with other drugs like opioids. Still, benzos pose a dangerous and life-threatening problem for those even with a prescription.
Be on the lookout, in yourself and a loved one, for these signs of a forthcoming benzo overdose:
- Complete loss of coordination
- Extreme drowsiness
- Pale skin
- Bluish lips and fingernails
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle pain
- Severely altered mental status
- Loss of consciousness
- Stopped breathing
If you recognize any of these symptoms of overdose in yourself or someone in your life, call 911 immediately.
What Happens In Benzos Addiction Rehab?
To remove every trace of the drugs from your system, you will go through a medical detox and be monitored to keep you safe and comfortable through withdrawal. Once on the other side, your rehab can begin as you are taught skills for coping with cravings and go through therapy to learn healthier ways to relax and reduce stress. You will also learn the role nutrition and healthy amounts of sleep can play in your benzo addiction recovery, so you can put back the pieces of your life.
Learn More at Avedis Detox
If you are misusing benzos and see the signs of an addiction-forming, learn how benzo detox and addiction recovery at Avedis Detox can help you win this battle. Contact us using our secure online form or call us confidentially at 833.514.0579 today.