Benzodiazepines belong to a group of drugs that have anxiolytic, hypnotic, anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant properties. These drugs are commonly prescribed for short-term relief from severe anxiety or insomnia. The person’s body develops dependence and tolerance to these drugs, and hence long-term use of Benzodiazepine can create problems. Benzodiazepine receptors are believed to be linked to GABA (g amino butyric acid) receptors. The activation of benzodiazepine-GABA complex is believed to dampen the high neuronal activity.

Benzodiazepines are similar to other kinds of sedative drugs and have a depressant effect on the nervous system. They get accumulated in the body and brain as they are fat soluble. These properties of benzodiazepine create widespread toxic effects on the body, causing illness with multiple symptoms, including different physical and mental problems. According to medical research, there are three basic reasons for Benzodiazepine epidemic in the United States – wrong diagnosis, wrong prescription, and wrong treatment.

Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed drugs – in fact, Alprazolam (Xanax), Diazepam (Valium), Clonazepam (Klonopin), and Lorazepam (Ativan) are listed among the top 100 most frequently prescribed drugs. The popularity of these drugs has increased because of the fact that they can be taken from time to time whenever the patient feels the need.

There are several ailments for which benzodiazepine is commonly prescribed, including convulsive disorders, muscle spasticity, sedation prior to the surgery, detoxification from alcohol and other drugs, anxiety, and involuntary movement problems. According to one research report on benzodiazepine, almost 15 percent of the population has taken this drug once or more. However, the frequency of benzodiazepine use and dependence in psychiatric treatment and substance abuse treatment is significantly higher compared to the normal clinical prescription.

Benzodiazepine Toxicity Related to Interaction with Other Drugs:

Benzodiazepine, when used alone, hardly carries any risk of severe toxicity. However, in most of the cases, benzodiazepines are used in conjunction with other drugs having similar kind of abuse potential, and this can significantly enhance the toxicity of benzodiazepine. Its interaction with other central nervous system depressants, such as hypnotics, sedatives, antidepressants, antihistamines, anticonvulsants, and alcohol, is highly synergistic. Its overdose in combination with alcohol can sometimes prove quite fatal.

Benzo slang words:

• Ativan
• bars
• blues
• candy
• downers
• Librium
• big V
• Rohypnol
• sleeping pills
• Valium
• tranks
• Xanax

Benzodiazepine Side Effects

• Memory Loss – When benzodiazepine, such as Midazolam (Versed), is used as a pre-surgical medication, which can provoke amnesia. This effect is quite different from sedation. Due to this, episodic memory (keeping track of the most recent events and remembering their time sequences) is highly affected. This is significantly prevalent in heavy alcohol drinkers who simultaneously use benzodiazepine. Also, patients who have taken doses of benzodiazepine continuously for more than a year develop defects in visual ability and continual attention.

• Retardation Of Psychomotor – This type of condition is normally found with a sudden increase in dosage. Also, it is more prevalent in the case of elderly people who have poor metabolism rates and are already susceptible to central nervous system depression. People abusing Xanax may develop several symptoms, including drowsiness, ataxia, poor concentration, muscle weakness, diplopic, vertigo, motor in-coordination, and psychological confusion. Also, there are reports showing benzodiazepine affecting driving skills, as it slows down the reaction time and hence increases the risk of accidents.

• Anti-Social Behavior – Some people who take benzodiazepine show symptoms of paradoxical disinhibition, such as aggression, overexcitement, resentment, irritability and impulsivity. Some severe cases may show attacks of violence. These symptoms are most common in the elderly and children.

• Depression – Reports have shown that benzodiazepine use can also cause depressive symptoms. In some severe cases, it may also invoke suicidal thoughts. Also, studies have shown that, with the higher dosage of benzodiazepine, depressive symptoms rise, and if the treatment is discontinued, then it reduces the depressive symptoms.

• Problems In Pregnancy – Benzodiazepine have adverse effects on the fetus, as it may lead to the development of subsequent withdrawal symptoms. Also, breast feeding mothers may suffer due to the excretion of benzodiazepine in breast milk.

• Over Dependence – Benzodiazepine treatment can develop physiological as well as psychological dependence depending on the drug’s dosage, potency, and duration of treatment. A high potent agent, such as alprazolam, will cause higher dependence in patients compared to low-potency drug agent, such as chlordiazepoxide. If the treatment is abruptly discontinued or with a rapid reduction of dosage, it may create withdrawal symptoms due to physiological dependence. Due to psychological dependence of benzodiazepine, the patient may lack self-confidence and develop reliance on the need for the drug agent. They will become very anxious. Sometimes this may lead to combined use of alcohol and benzodiazepine if they feel that they are getting the desired results.

• Withdrawal Effects – Due to the over dependence of benzodiazepine, patients may develop anxiety symptoms, insomnia, hypersensitivity, and autonomic volatility leading to increased blood pressure and heart rate, diaphoresis, and tremulousness. In cases where the drug is abruptly discontinued, the patient may develop serious withdrawal symptoms, including delirium tremens and seizures. It is important to note that some of the symptoms of withdrawal occur in most people who have taken the treatment of benzodiazepine for more than a few months. The severity of the symptoms may vary depending on the duration of the treatment and dosage prescribed.

Benzo Addiction can be Treated with Help from a Benzo Detox Rehab Center

Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed for a variety of ailments, including insomnia and anxiety. Persistent use can make the person addicted. Also, when the drug is taken in combination with other drugs causing abuse, the person may suffer from addiction disorders. Also, people with a history of substance abuse should not be prescribed benzodiazepines, and for them alternative drugs should be preferred.

Benzo addiction is not something you can treat alone. An effective benzodiazepine addiction treatment center can provide the expertise and support needed for recovery. The best benzo treatment center services will provide a safe medical benzo detox followed by inpatient rehabilitation with trained medical professionals and counselors.

If you or someone you care about needs help with Benzodiazepine addiction, please call (877) 674-2158. All calls are confidential.

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