The Perils Of Benzodiazepine Addiction

May 29, 2015

Benzodiazepine tranquilizers are prescribed to patients who suffer from seizures, anxiety, insomnia or panic attacks. They’re also used to relieve stress in people who are undergoing drug addiction rehabilitation or alcohol addiction treatment. Although benzodiazepine can be abused for recreational purposes, it isn’t as common as people who take it for medicinal purposes.

A person can become addicted and not know it if he or she has been on it for a while and believes it’s safe for long-term use because it was prescribed. This unfortunately isn’t the case. When people stop taking benzodiazepine, they may experience anxiety, confusion, the inability to concentrate, mood swings and insomnia. It’s ironic that the withdrawal symptoms from benzos are the same as the conditions they treat. Other side effects include irritability, nausea, weight loss, memory problems, hallucinations, hand tremors, suicidal ideation, psychosis, headaches and heart palpitations. The psychiatric problems can be so severe that they resemble mental conditions such as mania or schizophrenia.

The Perils Of Benzodiazepine Addiction

The symptoms of withdrawal from benzos can sometimes be life-threatening, as they can cause seizures. This tends to occur in patients who abruptly stop taking them or reduce the dosage too drastically. Long-term users are also at a greater risk of experiencing death during recovery unless they are receiving drug addiction treatment from trained professionals. If a person has been on a benzodiazepine for a long time, it’s best for him or her to gradually wean off them. If not, the withdrawal will be even worse. Shockingly enough, the withdrawal from a benzodiazepine tranquilizer like diazepam and lorazepam may be more extreme than detoxing from an opiate like heroin. This is because withdrawal from opiates very rarely leads to death. The person may want to seek out an inpatient drug rehab to monitor him or her carefully for a while.

People who suffer from this addiction need to slowly reduce the dose because the symptoms will be worse if there isn’t a gradual reduction. Even patients who haven’t taken benzodiazepine for very long or aren’t taking high doses may have severe withdrawal, so it’s important that a person looks into his or her options for drug rehab centers if necessary. Because the benzos may have been a way to cope with a mental health problem, choosing one of the dual diagnosis treatment centers may be the best option. Even with treatment, symptoms may remain for months because of the body’s need to reverse the psychological dependency. Once treatment has begun, it’s not uncommon for people to experience depersonalization, a condition where they just don’t feel like themselves or feel like their limbs aren’t connecting with the rest of their body. The important thing to remember is that healing and recovery take time. With a little bit of patience and persistence, life can begin a new. If you or someone you know is battling with an addiction to  benzodiazepine tranquilizers, call our facility today for more information on how to get help.