Substance Use

Benzos Dependency: Causes, Signs, and Treatment

Benzodiazepines, or benzos, have been around since the 1950s and were originally used as a short-term treatment for anxiety, insomnia, seizures, alcohol withdrawal, and other medical conditions. They are still commonly prescribed today. Despite the widespread use of these medications in the United States, benzos carry risks including dependence, addiction, and overdose. It’s important to understand how the medication should be used and to be aware of the signs and symptoms of when it’s time to seek treatment.

What are Benzos?

Benzos (also known as benzodiazepines) are sedative drugs that work by acting on the central nervous system of the body (CNS) by enhancing the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Common types of benzodiazepines include Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan. Benzos can result in serious mental health issues and severe physical effects if not taken as prescribed, mixed with other medications like opioids, taken with alcohol, or taking them for an extended length of time.

Effects of Benzodiazepines

The effects of benzos depend on the dosage, frequency, and duration of use. Generally, users will experience a sense of relaxation and calmness after taking the drug. Long-term use of benzodiazepines can also lead to physical dependence, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms when the drug is no longer taken. Other common side effects include:

  • Drowsiness

  • Slurred speech

  • Confusion

  • Impairment

  • Memory problems

  • High blood pressure

  • Raised heart rate

  • Loss of coordination

  • Anxiety disorder

  • Panic disorder

Benzos Statistics

Signs of Benzos Dependency

Some common signs of dependence on benzos include:

  • Increasing their dosage without consulting a doctor

  • Taking the medication more often than prescribed

  • Difficulty sleeping without taking benzos

  • Withdrawal symptoms when attempting to cut back or stop using benzos

How Treatment Can Be an Effective Path to Overcoming Benzos Dependency

Caron Treatment Centers understands the importance of addressing dependency on benzos and provides comprehensive treatment programs to help individuals. Our approach combines behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment, 12-Step facilitation, and individualized care plans designed to meet each person's unique needs. Additionally, our team of highly trained addiction medicine specialists provides evidence-based treatments and evidence-based care that help individuals gain the skills they need to live in long-term recovery.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms

Stopping your medication suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms, therefore having a professional help you taper your doses to wean your body off of benzos safely is critical. Don’t detox alone.

During detox treatment, you may experience benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. Common symptoms include:

  • Insomnia

  • Anxiety

  • Agitation

  • Sweating, upset stomach, and/or vomiting

  • Muscle pain

  • Headaches

  • Seizures

  • Tremors

By working with an experienced professional, you can find the right combination of medications and therapy to ensure a safe, successful recovery from benzodiazepine dependence.

Seek Treatment and Recovery from Benzos Use at Caron Treatment Centers

If you or a loved one is struggling with benzos use or substance use disorder, it’s important to seek professional treatment. At Caron Treatment Centers, our team of compassionate specialists will work with you to develop individualized treatment options that meet your unique needs and help you get on the path to lasting recovery.

If you or someone you know is suffering from or at risk of substance use disorder

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