Benzodiazepines are commonly abused for their sedative effects and their widespread availability has contributed at least partially to this. They work by slowing down brain activity and bodily functions, inducing a calming effect in patients. The brain chemical, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) is increased when benzodiazepines are introduced into the body, slowing down brain activity associated with rational thought, emotions, memory and essential functions such as breathing.

What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are prescription drugs that are also known as tranquilizers and sedatives. Known for the calming effects they produce, they are often prescribed for sleeping disorders, anxiety disorder and panic disorder. However, they open up huge potential for abuse. People who have not been prescribed benzodiazepines can obtain them illegally for their calming effects, and patients can alter the strength and frequency of their dosages without a doctor’s approval. Well-known examples of benzodiazepines include Xanax and Valium. Today, only about 15 types of benzodiazepines are approved by the FDA for use in the United States, although more than 2,000 types have been produced.

Benzodiazepine Examples


What are the Side Effects of Benzodiazepine Addiction?

When benzodiazepine addiction takes hold, patients will find themselves seeking out more as their body has accustomed itself to the substance. Only by taking larger and more frequent doses can the same effect be achieved. Below are some signs of benzodiazepine addiction:

  • Drowsiness
  • Blurry vision
  • Poor judgment
  • Risk taking behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Doctor hopping

When a person has reached a state of dependency on benzodiazepines, cutting it out suddenly or reducing the dosage can result in uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. These can be difficult to endure and manage, which is why medically supervised detox is always the recommended course of action.

Understanding Benzodiazepine Overdose

At the recommended doses, benzodiazepines can be effective in relieving anxiety and sleep problems. However, overdosage can result in serious side effects, which includes the following:

  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of coordination
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty breathing

It is important to note that the signs and symptoms of benzodiazepine abuse can vary by individual. If you or a loved one have a benzodiazepine addiction, seek help immediately. At Spark To Recovery, we provide a safe space and all the support and resources you need to recover – all you have to do is reach out.


How to Treat Benzodiazepine Addiction

To date, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any medications for treating benzodiazepine addiction. However, many rehabilitation centers have recognized a combination of medical treatments, therapies and medically supervised detoxes as the best way of helping patients break out of chemical dependency. Many patients with benzodiazepine addiction also have a mental health disorder, and this dual diagnosis is known as a co-occurring disorder. Co-occurring disorders are treated with a holistic approach aimed at the mind, body and spirit.

Why Work with Spark To Recovery?

At Spark To Recovery, we believe that no two patients are the same and will work with you to cater the most suitable treatment program to your needs. You can be assured of receiving the best care from our team of doctors, drug addiction treatment experts, therapists and counsellors in a safe and supportive environment.

Start your benzodiazepine addiction therapy today. Call Spark To Recovery at 818-849-5467 today if you want to schedule an appointment with us.

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