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Benzodiazepine Addiction and Abuse

What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive drugs that are used as tranquilizing medicine in the majority of the cases. They are highly prescribed medications around the world, and in the United States nearly 5% adults are prescribed benzos. But the problem starts when people commence their usage without prescription from a medical expert. In standard cases, use of benzodiazepines are advised for disorders like seizures, sleeplessness, depression, anxiety, insomnia and muscle comfort.

What are the street names? 

The street names for Benzodiazepines are xanax, zannies, zannie bars, xany bars, bars, and k pins.

What are the causes?

On the one hand, people may have an inherited tendency of using drugs inherited from their family members, while on the contrary, it is proven that social and environmental aspects play a vital role. Some of the broad causes of benzo abuse are poor financial conditions, unemployment, mental disorder and family problems.

What are the signs & symptoms?

Unlike the symptoms of many other diseases, indications from the excessive dosage of Xanax and other benzos are very ordinary and general in nature. They may include a change in appearance and behavior leading to poor work performance. Some of the signs which are widely noticed and cause severe side effects due to constant and prolonged usage include:

  • Anorexia
  • Body and muscle weakness
  • Anxiety & stress
  • Excessive dependence on drug
  • Headache and sweating
  • Dizziness, vomiting and nausea
  • Slanted statements

What are the effects? 

In addition to dozens of signs and symptoms, if benzo abuse is persisted it can turn into a nightmare, and many negative long and short term effects might arise during or just after the excessive usage.

Instant or prompt effects:

  • Pain in the whole body
  • Fatigue and headaches
  • Irritation & anxiousness
  • Short memory
  • Poor sight and blurred vision
  • Mental stress and nervousness

Long lasting effects:

  • Unstable blood pressure
  • Seizures and hallucination
  • Coma or tremors
  • Severe depression and crumpled breathing

What are the withdrawal symptoms?

Similar to other anxiety relief drugs, withdrawing from benzodiazepine addiction can be a painful task even if you have used the medications according to prescriptions by the doctor. According to a study, if you been taking benzos for four months or less, then withdrawing will take less time than if you have been on a benzo for years. Rapid withdrawal from benzos can lead to worsening symptoms and for that reason medical experts recommend that patients should undergo a steady process for recovery from the addiction. Whereas, post-acute withdrawal syndrome can last to two years or a bit longer than that. Withdrawal symptoms are, heart palpitation, burning feeling going through the brain, twitching of muscles, etc.

Treatment

In addition to attending a certified detox program, benzo abusers should seek long term treatment including but not limited residential treatment, partial hospitalization, outpatient rehabilitation, etc.