Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that can be used to treat conditions such as seizures, anxiety, and panic attacks. These are often prescribed to patients when other options don’t work. If you feel that you or someone you love is now dependent or addicted to benzodiazepines, even with a legitimate prescription, consider reaching out for benzo addiction treatment. The dangers of prescription benzos shouldn’t be ignored. Contact Avedis Recovery at 833.514.0579 to learn more about how we can help.
Benzodiazepines affect the neurotransmitters in the brain. They are believed to impact the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitters, which control the activity of nerves. By calming this activity, it’s believed that it’s possible to resolve conditions like anxiety or seizures. However, there is still a risk of harm to the patient if the drugs are misused or taken over the long term.
What Conditions Require the Use of Benzodiazepines?
No conditions necessarily require benzodiazepines, but conditions that benefit from their use include:
- Panic attacks
Benzodiazepines are also used to help with muscle relaxation, sedation before surgery, general anesthesia, and to prevent severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Know the Risks of Prescription Benzos
The risks of prescription benzos shouldn’t be overlooked. While the dangers of benzodiazepines are lessened by taking them as directed and for shorter periods of time, that doesn’t mean that none exist.
Some of the side effects of prescription benzos include:
- Memory impairment
- Transient drowsiness
Benzodiazepines in any form may lead to physical dependency.
The Significant Dangers of Prescription Benzos
There are some significant dangers associated with using prescription benzodiazepines. Some of them include the risk of becoming dependent or addicted to the drug, developing a tolerance to the standard prescription dosage, and difficulty stopping the medication when the time comes.
People who take benzodiazepines are at a greater risk of developing dementia or memory issues.
Finally, there is the risk of overdosing. If a person takes too many benzodiazepines, serious medical complications could occur, including death. There is an antidote called flumazenil (Romazicon), which must be injected into the patient’s vein as soon as possible.
There is a genuine risk of withdrawal if someone suddenly stops using benzos, and the symptoms often require medical supervision to overcome.
The Dangers of Prescription Benzos: Withdrawal
The dangers of benzodiazepines are perhaps most obvious during withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can be painful and upsetting. Withdrawal symptoms can lead to death in some cases, which is why it’s important to get medically supervised detox if you plan to stop taking benzodiazepines. There may be medications available to help with the withdrawal symptoms, or you may be placed on a taper program.
Some of the most significant risks during withdrawal include having serious seizures, developing psychotic symptoms, and going into convulsions. There is also a risk of suicidal behavior due to changes in the chemical levels in the brain.
Contact Avedis Recovery to Discuss Getting Off Benzodiazepines
If you are interested in stopping your prescription benzos or know someone who would like help, then it’s time to look into a treatment program. There are partial hospitalization programs, inpatient programs, and outpatient programs that will help you or your loved one get through the detoxification phase and move on to recovery. Depending on the situation, you may need to complete detox to get off the substance, and then you may wish to look into mental health support or other therapies to prevent a relapse.
To learn more about the programs we offer in Tarzana and Los Angeles, contact us today at 833.514.0579. At Avedis Recovery, we are here to help.