Benzodiazepines: Abuse, Addiction Effects and Treatment

Benzodiazepines, sometimes referred to as benzos, are prescription drugs that can lead to addiction. Prescription drugs like Valium, Xanax, Klonopin and more are the most common substances abused by Americans who are 14 and older since prescription drugs can be easily shared between friends and family members.

What are Benzodiazepines prescribed for?

Benzodiazepines are often prescribed to treat:

  • Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorders
  • Compulsive behavior
  • Panic disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Seizures

First discovered by Leo Sternbach in 1957, these substances have sedative, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic and muscle relaxant properties. Illicit use and popularity of benzodiazepines stem from accessibility. Benzos are prescribed to patients by their physicians. However, many of these drugs can now easily be obtained, illegally, without a prescription. Some users may even visit multiple doctors so that the same prescription can be provided repeatedly. Many people unknowingly contribute to abuse by sharing their prescription drugs with the people around them. Because of their high risk of abuse, benzodiazepines are controlled with strict regulations regarding their production, distribution and usage.

Benzodiazepines Use and Withdrawal

Repeated use of benzodiazepines can lead to:

  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Amnesia
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Hostility
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations

In high doses, benzodiazepines can lead to coma or death when taken alongside other substances such as alcohol. Many users prescribed benzos may not even know they are abusing the drug, which is why it is important to understand and speak with a doctor about the risks and symptoms of addiction.

Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment

Detox and behavioral therapy can help to begin the recovery process for benzodiazepine addiction. Contact Elan today if you or someone you know would like more information regarding our treatment services.

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