Benzodiazepines, or Benzos, are highly addictive central nervous system depressants and rank as some of the most mood-altering drugs available. This class of drugs include popular prescription brands like Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Dalmane, Librium, Halcion, and Rohypnol (illegal in the US), all commonly prescribed for various problems related to anxiety.
Substantial changes in a loved one’s life become increasingly apparent when addicted to benzodiazepines. Since this type of drugs are basically tranquilizers, those abusing or addicted to benzos may seem oddly detached from life and sedated. These individuals may also display a general sense of apathy, losing interest in matters and activities that were once very important to them.
If you have a loved one abusing benzodiazepines or struggling with benzos addiction, Call our experienced team at (601) 503-7771 for compassionate help. We provide free consultations & advice to every caller.
In most families, the benzos addict has been manipulating the family members close to them. There is often a trend of selling the family hope that the problem will stop, or that they will “quit tomorrow,” contributing to a never-ending cycle of false promises and manipulation. The family usually is unable to solve the problem on their own, and the person struggling does nothing to correct the addiction.
Interventions for Benzodiazepine
An intervention for Benzos alone is not very common. Our experience shows us that the benzodiazepine addict is often also an alcoholic, a cocaine addict or addicted to opiates or other prescription painkillers. For example, in the case of cocaine, large doses of benzos are often used after a long cocaine binge in order to be able to avoid the come-down feeling and go to sleep.
Please be aware that large doses of benzos can be fatal to the user when combined with alcohol, barbiturates, tricyclic antidepressants, or opiates.
Benzodiazepines & Addiction
Although guidelines provide clear warnings against prescribing benzodiazepines for long-term use, many people end up using benzos long enough to become addicted. (It only takes a few weeks to become addicted; also, one need not take them every day to become addicted to them.) Others become addicted to these prescription drugs after abusing the substance(s) over a long period of time. People who regularly abuse benzos will generally develop a tolerance for the drugs and thus require increasingly high dosages to achieve the same effect.
Habituated users who suddenly stop taking benzodiazepines without tapering off properly run the risk of experiencing hallucinations, seizures, strokes, heart attacks, or even death in some cases. In fact, benzos are one of the only two types of substances from which sudden withdrawal can actually kill the addicted or dependent user; the other is alcohol.
Benzos and alcohol act upon the brain in similar ways. Benzos are, in some ways, like alcohol in pill form.
A newer class of drugs called Z-Drugs, which include Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata and Imovane, are non-benzodiazepine hypnotic agents used to treat insomnia or trouble sleeping. These drugs are not technically benzodiazepines, but are similar in effects and are abused in very similar ways.
Benzodiazepines, or benzos for short, are a large class of drugs that are broadly prescribed all over the world for common health issues including stress, anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia. Benzodiazepines have a calming effect on both body and mind and are thus often prescribed to serve as an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety agent), a tranquilizer or sedative (used as a calming agent, to reduce irritability or excitement), or hypnotic (used to induce sleep, treat insomnia). Benzodiazepines can also be used as anticonvulsants to treat and help prevent seizures, and as muscle relaxants, and are occasionally used to treat some types of depression (especially anxiety-related depression).
Most modern medical literature does NOT encourage benzos to be prescribed to treat depression. For one thing, benzos have a high propensity for abuse because of the way benzos make the user feel. Benzos are one of the most mood-altering drugs in existence – perhaps second only to opiates.
Benzos are psychotropic medications, meaning that they are mood-altering drugs; benzos are chemical substances that readily cross the blood–brain barrier and affect the central nervous system, altering the user’s mood, perception, consciousness, cognition, as well as behavior. Benzos act selectively on gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABA-A) receptors in the brain