Benzodiazepines—or, as they are more commonly known, benzos—represent the most commonly prescribed class of pharmaceuticals in the world. You may not know them by this name, but you surely know them by some of their specific branding, like Xanax and Valium. Essentially, when we talk about benzos, we are talking about prescription-strength tranquilizers. These drugs are commonly prescribed for a reason: When rightly administered they can be helpful in alleviating anxiety, muscle tremors, insomnia and more. However, there are signs of benzo addiction to be aware of.
There is a dark side to the easy access of benzos. Because these drugs are so plentiful, and so relatively easy to obtain, it is easy for benzo use to slip into benzo abuse. In fact, even those who are taking benzos entirely according to a doctor’s orders may find themselves struggling with benzo addiction.
But what does benzo addiction look like? What are some of the signs and symptoms you can use to recognize benzo addiction?
Health Side Effects & Signs of Benzo Addiction
Understand that benzos decrease stress and provide an overall “sedate” feel to the user—not necessarily bad things in and of themselves. When proper benzo use gives way to benzo addiction, though, there can be a number of serious health side effects—among them:
And while benzo use seldom results in death, it can be lethal when benzos are taken in conjunction with alcohol. Meanwhile, benzo overdose can sometimes result in coma.
Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
Addiction to benzos creates true physical and psychological dependence. As such, it is not at all easy to just quit using them “cold turkey.” In fact, attempts to do so can result in some significant withdrawal symptoms. Some of the benzo withdrawal symptoms include:
Fatigue and weakness
Elevated blood pressure
Nausea and vomiting
Because of the intensity of these symptoms, it is highly recommended that benzo detox be pursued in a clinical facility—not at home.
How to Help with Benzo Addiction
If you are concerned that someone you know and love is addicted to benzos, use the list of symptoms above to confirm your suspicion—and if you believe that they have indeed slipped into benzo addiction, be open with them about your concern. Try to avoid sounding judgmental or accusatory; instead, simply let them know that you are worried, that you love them, and that you desire to see them reach a full recovery.
Encourage them to seek benzo addiction intervention, too—in the form of drug detox and ultimately a benzo addiction recovery program.
Intervention for Benzo Addiction
Indeed, recovery is more than possible for those in the throes of benzo addiction—but because of the serious nature of benzo addiction, clinical intervention is usually necessary. The best place to begin is with clinical detox, which rids the body and mind and establishes a firm foundation for lasting recovery.
From there, enrollment in an inpatient addiction treatment program is recommended, though there are also outpatient recovery programs that may be worth checking into.
It all begins with a conversation. Call New Start Recovery today. Let us know about your benzo addiction concerns, and allow us to evaluate the problem and recommend a course of action.