There are many different prescription medications that help individuals lead normal, healthy lives. Unfortunately, many of these prescription medications are addictive when misused. One common prescription medication that people can develop an addiction to is benzodiazepine, otherwise known as benzo. To overcome a benzo addiction, individuals should attend benzo detox followed by benzo addiction treatment.
What Are Benzos?
Benzos, or benzodiazepines, are sedative prescription medications that slow down the body’s central nervous system and relax muscles. Because of the relaxing effect of benzodiazepines, many doctors prescribe them to individuals that struggle with anxiety, insomnia, or seizures. In fact, because some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are insomnia and seizures, doctors may even prescribe benzos to people that are suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Types of Benzodiazepines
There are three categories of benzodiazepines, ultra short-acting, short-acting, and long-acting. Examples of common short-acting benzos are Xanax and Ativan. Examples of common ultra short-acting benzos are Versed and Halcion. Common long-acting benzos include Valium, Klonopin, and Librium.
Effects of Benzos on the Brain and Body
There are various short-term and long-term effects of benzo abuse on the brain and body. Some common short-term effects of benzo abuse include mental confusion, anxiety, blurred vision, headaches, forgetfulness, irritability, and fatigue.
Common long-term effects of benzo abuse on the brain and body include disinhibition, impaired concentration and memory, dementia, drowsiness, decreased reaction time, ataxia, loss of coordination, amnesia, permanent cognitive defects, motor vehicle crashes, muscle stiffness, depression, sexual dysfunction, and fractures of parts of the body, such as the hip.
Although very few people ever overdose on benzos alone, when mixed with other substances, using benzos can cause people to overdose, and even die. This is especially true when benzos are mixed with other sedatives, such as alcohol.
Most Commonly Abused Benzos
Many individuals that misuse benzos abuse Xanax and Valium. This is partly due to the fact that these are two of the most commonly prescribed benzos, as they’re used to treat the common conditions of anxiety and sleep issues respectively. Ativan and Klonopin are also commonly misused benzos.
Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
When people chronically misuse benzos, they will develop a dependency on the medication. Drug dependency then turns into drug addiction. Drug dependence is characterized by withdrawal symptoms when a person minimizes or discontinues their use of the drug.
Common benzo withdrawal symptoms include:
- Inability to concentrate
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abnormal sensations
- Trouble concentrating
- Sleeping issues
- Breathing problems
- Problems with blood pressure and heart rate
Causes of Benzo Addiction
Individuals develop benzo addictions for a number of reasons. One common reason why a person may develop a benzo addiction is because he or she took more of the prescription medications than the doctor prescribed.
Another common reason why a person may develop a benzo addiction is because he or she is taking benzodiazepines for a longer period of time than the doctor prescribed. More often than not, when individuals take more of their medications than what they were prescribed to take or take their prescription medications for a longer period of time than what they were supposed to, it’s because such people genuinely feel that making these decisions will further lead to them to overcoming their conditions. Unfortunately though, doing so often leads to benzo addiction.
Often, people that misuse benzos intentionally do so because they want to feel the relaxing and euphoric effects of the medications. Regardless of whether or not a person’s misuse of benzos is intentional or not though, it will still likely lead to benzo addiction.
Signs of Benzo Addiction
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Lack of coordination
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulties with relationships at home
- Work and school problems
- Obsession with trying to secure benzos or the money to buy benzos
- Criminal behavior
- Inability to handle basic responsibilities like paying bills
Signs of Benzo Overdose
Some individuals that misuse benzos mix the prescription medication with other substances. Doing this is highly dangerous and can lead to an overdose death.
Common signs of benzo overdose include:
- Trouble breathing
- Blue lips and fingernails
- Blurred or double vision
- Loss of motor function
- A profoundly altered mental state
To treat benzo addiction and avoid benzo overdose, individuals should attend benzo detox followed by benzo addiction treatment. Benzo detox should occur in a medical detox facility. That way there are physicians and medical staff monitoring the entire detox process.
One benefit to having physicians and medical staff monitoring the detox process is that they can provide individuals who are detoxing prescription medications to help them manage their withdrawal symptoms. This is great for individuals that are detoxing from highly addictive substances with a wide range of intense withdrawal symptoms such as benzos.
Benzo Addiction Treatment
Once individuals complete benzo detox, the next step is benzo addiction treatment. During benzo addiction treatment, individuals will receive different forms of addiction therapy. These addiction therapies will help individuals that suffer from benzo addiction identify their addiction triggers.
Once addiction triggers are identified, addiction therapies will teach the benzo addict how to manage his or her addiction triggers. That way, once individuals leave benzo addiction treatment, they can function in the real world as sober individuals. Common forms of therapy that are used during benzo addiction treatment include psychoanalysis, cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and holistic therapy.
Receive Benzo Addiction Treatment At Little Creek Recovery
Little Creek Recovery is a drug and alcohol treatment center that’s located in Pennsylvania. One thing that sets Little Creek Recovery apart from other alcohol and drug treatment centers is that it specializes in treating men. As a result, all of the inpatient treatment programs at Little Creek Lodge are for men only. Women that want to attend addiction treatment at Little Creek Lodge must attend one of the recovery center’s co-ed outpatient treatment programs.
The reason why we here at Little Creek specialize in treating men only for addiction is that we know that men struggle with substance abuse at much higher rates than women. Little Creek also understands that it’s often harder for men to open up in addiction therapy than it is for women. Therefore, we here at Little Creek decided to dedicate our efforts to treating men that suffer from addiction to substances such as benzos.
To help men open up and make the most out of addiction treatment, we integrate internalized recovery through therapeutic and 12 step models, with a focus on the spiritual paradigm. We do this by incorporating holistic forms of treatment, such as music therapy, into our addiction treatment programs. That way, we can treat the bodies, minds, and souls of our male patients.
If you’re a male that’s suffering from benzo addiction or some other substance addiction, take advantage of our male specialized, inpatient addiction treatment programs. Women can take advantage of the outpatient addiction treatment programs here at Little Creek Recovery.
If you want to learn more information about us first, contact us today! We are more than willing to answer any questions that you may have about our addiction treatment center.