What Are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines, also known as “benzos”, are a common class of drug prescribed by doctors to their patients. Benzos are typically prescribed to aid with symptoms and conditions of a wide variety of mental illnesses such as anxiety, panic attacks, and seizures.
While benzos are also prescribed to help with other ailments, these mental disorders are the most common, however; in addiction treatment, it is also common for medical practitioners to use the calming effects of benzodiazepines to assist with withdrawal symptoms from substances such as alcohol and other depressants.
More often than not, benzos are meant to be taken for shorter periods of time as individuals have shown to develop addictions to these substances quite easily.
Benzodiazepines are typically prescribed in short-term doses and commonly come in the form of a pill or tablet. Generally, these pills or tablets are to be swallowed like most over-the-counter drugs, but some are designed to be taken sublingually by placing the small pill/tablet under the tongue and allowing it to dissolve.
Occasionally, certain forms are given intravenously, although these methods are more commonly practiced and administered by medical practitioners under supervised care and are not often available for abuse by the patient or user.
Common Benzodiazepines Include:
Benzodiazepines are heavily regulated by the US government as a Schedule IV class drug due to their addictive traits and potency and are among the more heavily abused substances seen on the black market.
Consequences of Benzodiazepine Misuse
Those who suffer from benzodiazepine addiction know the power that this class of drugs can have over you. It is not uncommon to see patients who have been prescribed benzos fall into dependency, often without knowing that it’s happening.
As an individual continues to use their prescribed medication to help with their anxiety or other ailment, even as directed, their bodies and minds become reliant on them, both physically and chemically.
Just like with other substances, individuals develop of level of tolerance to these substances and before long, they find the need to increase the dosage to feel the same calming effects. This leads to further dependency and ultimately contributes to a higher likelihood of addiction and possibly even abuse.
Benzodiazepines are also commonly used by individuals who have not been prescribed the medication, but have heard about the potential mind-altering effects of them and simply wish to experiment with them. In cases like this, the possibility of developing a benzo addiction is significantly higher and results in users abusing the drug much quicker, often leading to deeper addiction issues and possibly even fatal outcomes.
Due to the severe abuse of benzodiazepines, addiction treatment centers have effectively familiarized themselves with the safest and most appropriate approaches to treating these cases. If you feel that you or a loved one is suffering from a known or possible benzodiazepine addiction problem, contact us to learn about the best steps in addressing the issue.