Benzodiazepines, commonly known as Benzos, are a class of psychoactive prescription drugs used to treat conditions like anxiety and insomnia. They are some of the most frequently prescribed medications in the U.S., and most people abuse them. Some patients who have prescriptions also misuse their medication, and the use becomes abuse.
Abuse of Benzodiazepines, like any other drug, can harm your health, relationships, and even career. Let’s explore the world of Benzos and why they are so addictive.
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So, what are Benzos?
Benzos are psychoactive drugs with sedative and anxiolytic properties. They are mainly prescribed for anxiety disorders, panic disorders, insomnia, muscle spasms, seizures, and alcohol withdrawal.
Benzos work as central nervous system depressants. They achieve this by activating the brain to release a neurotransmitter, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which makes the nervous system less active. As a result of this slowed activity, individuals experience less anxiety (anxiolytic), feel calmer (sedative), and are induced to sleep (hypnotic).
Some of the commonly prescribed Benzos include:
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
Benzos are also purchased from street dealers under various slang terms like:
- Z bars
- Totem poles
However, Benzodiazepines bought off the street are often counterfeit, and many are tainted with fentanyl. This can be incredibly risky, and you should never buy Benzos illegally.
Are Benzo drugs addictive?
Benzos are highly addictive. While they are very effective in treating conditions for which they are prescribed, Benzo drugs can result in high dependence and addiction. This is because of their ability to produce feelings of relaxation and sedation.
Moreover, users can develop a tolerance for Benzos. While seeking to maintain a state of calmness and a positive mood, users tend to exceed the prescribed amount or frequency to sustain the desired feelings. As the dosage increases, so does tolerance for the drug, resulting in a need for more to achieve the same effect. This pattern ultimately leads to dependence and addiction.
Common side effects of Benzo drugs may include:
- Memory problems
- Mood swings
- Impaired coordination
Symptoms Of Addiction To Benzo Drugs
The symptoms of Benzos addiction can manifest in several ways, including the following:
- Cravings for the drug
- Drug-seeking behavior, even asking family and friends for their Benzodiazepine pills
- Obsession with the drug, always ensuring you have enough supply
- Poor judgment
- Social withdrawal
- Mood changes
- Wanting to quit but being unable to do so
When attempting to stop using Benzos, individuals may experience severe withdrawal symptoms like:
- Rebound anxiety
If you want to quit using Benzos, seeking professional help is essential. This can ensure you taper off the drugs safely and with minimal discomfort. The treatment for Benzo addiction involves various approaches, such as:
- Medically supervised detoxification
- Support group and aftercare programs
- Lifestyle changes
Benzo Drugs Abuse And Addiction
Benzos are a class of psychoactive drugs commonly prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia, and alcohol withdrawal, among other conditions. While they effectively treat these conditions, Benzos are highly addictive and should be used cautiously. You can quickly become addicted to Benzos due to their calming effects, leading to a desire for them to achieve a sense of normalcy. If you are trying to stop using Benzos, seek professional help. This ensures that the detoxification process is safe and that you are likely to succeed in quitting the drug and begin the journey to recovery.