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Signs of Benzo Abuse

blurred image of woman sitting in her room on edge of bed with her head in her hands struggling with the signs of benzo abuse

Benzodiazepine is a type of medication known as a tranquilizer. As the term “tranquilizer” might suggest, this medication is used for its sedating effects. There are many reasons why someone might be prescribed benzodiazepines. They may have issues with their sleep schedule, while others may require additional support controlling their energy levels; benzodiazepines have even been prescribed to those suffering from withdrawal symptoms. This medication is incredibly effective and relieves those in need but it also carries a significant risk of abuse.

Benzodiazepines, commonly referred to as “Benzos,” are one of the most prescribed forms of medication in the U.S. Given this fact, it’s not hard to imagine how Benzos became one of the most abused medications in the country. Benzo abuse can wreak havoc on an individual’s mind and body, negatively affecting their professional career and social life. When the signs of benzo abuse appear, it is of the utmost importance that professional help is sought to mitigate any potential damage before it gets out of control. But what does this professional help look like, and what might one expect from benzo’s addiction treatment?

What Are Benzos?

Life isn’t always easy. In fact, it can prove to be incredibly stressful and regularly produce feelings of anxiety. Coping mechanisms and relaxation strategies can prove helpful in these scenarios, but additional support is sometimes required. This is where benzos find their audience. Benzodiazepine’s tranquilizing properties are derived from its effect on the nervous system, which stimulates the production of chemicals in the brain related to sedation and relaxation. Brand name benzodiazepines include: Valium, Xanax, Restoril, Ativan, and Klonopin. In overly simplified terms, benzos help the body relax when it cannot do so alone. Benzodiazepines are most commonly prescribed to those suffering from:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Seizures

Benzos are also sometimes given to patients before surgery and before using anesthetics. In this light, it’s not hard to see the appeal of the medication and its potential for abuse. Who wouldn’t want the ability to achieve a state of relaxation by simply taking a pill? Unfortunately, when abused, benzos can do far more harm than good as they carry a hefty risk of developing an addiction. This is not to say that benzo should be feared. On the contrary, it highlights the importance of adhering to the instructions of the medical professionals who prescribe them.

What Are the Signs of Benzodiazepine Abuse?

Benzodiazepine abuse can occur in two scenarios. The first is when an individual prescribed the medication takes more than the recommended dose. The second scenario is when an individual not prescribed the drug takes it anyway. Benzos are designed to help treat the symptoms of the conditions listed above. They are not meant to eliminate these symptoms entirely. Unfortunately, tolerance can build when taking these medications regularly, leading to individuals taking higher quantities of the drug to achieve the same effects. Ironically, this form of abuse can worsen the symptoms and conditions that benzodiazepines were prescribed to treat in the first place. Symptoms and signs of benzo abuse include:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Blurred vision
  • Doctor shopping
  • Obtaining benzos through illegal means
  • Taking benzos at inappropriate times, such as while driving
  • Increased anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Anorexia
  • General weakness

Abuse can quickly evolve into an addiction, further exacerbating these symptoms, decreasing overall mental health, and decreasing quality of life. For those abusing benzos or suffering from addiction, benzodiazepine addiction treatment can be the difference between successful moderation and personal turmoil.

Treat the Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction at Insight Recovery, Asheville, North Carolina

Benzodiazepine addiction can be a tricky issue. On the one hand, substance abuse can have highly adverse life-changing effects. At the same time, these medications are legitimately effective at treating the problems for which they are prescribed. So how does one find a middle ground, and how thin of a line must one walk to achieve balance?

At Insight Recovery, we understand how difficult the battle of benzo abuse and addiction is. That is why we have developed various programs and support groups to aid those needing treatment and professional help. For more information on the signs of benzo abuse, contact a specialist at our facility today, schedule an appointment at 828.826.1376, or reach out online for more information.