Benzodiazepines, or benzos for short, are a class of highly addictive sedatives that also act as central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Also known as prescription tranquilizers or sedatives, benzos are often prescribed to treat conditions including panic or anxiety disorders, seizures, muscle spasms and insomnia. Examples of benzos include Valium, Xanax, Ativan and Restoril.
Because they are prescribed medicines, it’s easy for those taking them to become addicted, especially if they don’t strictly adhere to their prescription dosage.
Since the use of benzos comes with various psychological and physical symptoms, a benzodiazepine addiction can easily go unnoticed. Some of the key physical symptoms of addiction to watch out for include:
- Blurred vision
- Mood changes
- Inability to go for a long period without taking the drugs
An individual struggling with a benzo addiction may also show these behavioral or psychological symptoms:
- Impaired thinking and poor judgment
- Inability to cut back on the amount of drug used, despite wanting to do so
- Going to different doctors to get a prescription and then having that prescription filled at different pharmacies
- Asking friends, colleagues or family members for their benzo pills
- Becoming more withdrawn from family and friends and ignoring obligations and even hobbies they previously used to enjoy
- Over time, the individual may start losing interest in their personal hygiene and grooming
- Engaging in risky behaviors after using the drug e.g. driving under the influence
- The person may become more secretive than normal in an attempt at hiding their addiction from those close to them
- The individual resorts to uncharacteristic behavior to be able to afford or pay for the drugs. This may include stealing, maxing out their credit cards, draining their bank accounts or borrowing cash.
Signs of Chronic Abuse
Over time, an individual may develop tolerance to benzodiazepines. When this happens, they’ll need increasing doses of the drugs to achieve the desired effect or high. If they stop taking the drugs or reduce the amount taken, they quickly develop withdrawal symptoms.
This may eventually lead to chronic abuse of the drugs which is characterized by the emergence of headaches, insomnia, memory problems, anorexia anxiety and body tremors.
We Can Help
A benzodiazepine addiction is nothing to ignore and should be dealt with immediately due to the risk of overdosing. Those struggling with this addiction are also prone to combining benzos with alcohol or other drugs which can have devastating effects. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to benzodiazepine, it’s vital to seek help before things get worse.
Help is available from the Findlay Recovery Center in Ohio. We have a range of affordable drug and alcohol rehab and treatment programs designed to help people break free of their addictions. We also offer medically assisted detox along with tailor-made treatment programs for substance abuse. You don’t have to deal with addiction on your own. Reach out to us today and let us help you chart a different life free from addiction.