A Dangerous and Dominant Addiction Threat
Benzodiazepines, also known as “benzos”, are powerfully addictive sedatives commonly used for sleep and anxiety disorders. Up until about 10 years ago, benzos were the leading cause of prescription addiction, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Gardens at Lake worth, a treatment center in Florida, realizes this and is here to help. Benzo abuse has become less common than prescription painkillers, but SAMHSA reports that benzo-related ER admissions tripled in the last 15 years. Benzodiazepines have been a factor in a number of high-profile celebrity deaths, including the passing of pop singer Whitney Houston, who died from a combination of Xanax® and alcohol. Some of the more common brand-name benzodiazepines include:
Xanax remains the world’s most popular drug. Prescriptions for benzodiazepines in the United States increase by 12 percent every day.
Health Risks of Benzodiazepines
While short-term benzo use has been proven effective in treating anxiety, panic attacks and sleep disorder, prolonged use can have lasting negative health effects, and can even be deadly. These drugs dramatically increase the flow of dopamine in the brain, causing lasting changes in its rewards system that can trigger addiction. In addition to a decrease in cognitive ability and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, benzo abuse can cause:
- Slowed heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Memory loss
- Chronic headache
- Drowsiness, sleepiness and fatigue
- Dry mouth
- Slurred speech
- Blurred vision
- Impaired coordination
- Severe intestinal distress
Symptoms of benzo overdose can include seizures, coma, slowed breathing and death.
Mixing Benzos with Alcohol
Benzodiazepines are even more dangerous when mixed with alcohol. Most benzo-related overdoses actually involve alcohol because of the two drugs’ similar effects. Both slow the heart rate down considerably and, when taken together, can cause the heart to stop beating all together. When this happens, overdose victims have a very limited window to get help. Mixing alcohol and benzos is a particularly common problem among teenagers who mistakenly believe that prescription drugs are somehow less dangerous than “illicit” street drugs.
Recognizing the Signs of Benzodiazepine Abuse
If you believe that someone you care about is abusing benzos, it’s critical that you act to get them help as soon as possible. Some of the behavioral signs to look for include:
- Blurred vision
- Poor coordination
- Disturbing dreams
- Reduced inhibition
- Impaired judgment
- Trouble sleeping
If there is a problem, it’s imperative to get help immediately.
Treating Benzo Addiction
Detox from benzodiazepines is usually very difficult, and nearly impossible without professional, medically supervised assistance. After detox, people with benzo addiction must undergo comprehensive rehab treatment where they can learn life skills and strategies so that they can live and function without benzos. Recovery from any benzo addiction may require continued care beyond detox and a 30-day rehab program. Clients should receive ongoing therapy and aftercare so they can maintain success. The Gardens at Lake Worth offer comprehensive care to clients suffering from benzo addiction.
Get the Help You Need Now
Our admissions staff is standing by to answer any of your questions and guide you into treatment. Call The Gardens at Lake Worth located in South Florida now at (844)-357-3422 to learn about our program and begin the healing process today. You don’t have to let benzo addiction rule you or your loved one’s future. We also specialize in those struggling with their marijuana addiction.