The widespread damage done by opioids in recent years has pushed other addictions out of the public eye. For example, prescription drug abuse and addiction remain a serious problem. Benzodiazepine abuse and addiction prove especially troubling. Moreover, it’s easy for someone to overdose and withdrawal is dangerous.

What are Benzodiazepines?

In fact, benzodiazepines are a family of medications that act as depressants for the brain and nervous system. Some benzo drugs act as anticonvulsants. However, doctors prescribe them for several conditions including anxiety disorders, insomnia, and seizures. For example, a few better-known benzodiazepines include:

  • Xanax
  • Ativan
  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Dalmane

What is Benzodiazepine Abuse and Addiction?benzodiazepine abuse and addiction

The lines between abuse, dependence, and addiction get a little blurry sometimes.

As a general rule, benzodiazepine abuse means someone takes too much of a benzo or uses it in some way other than their prescription. For example, it’s benzo abuse if someone mixes a benzo with another drug for a better high.

Dependence happens when someone takes benzos for long enough that their body develops a tolerance. In a sense, their body needs the drug for normal functions. However, someone with dependence will experience withdrawal if they stop taking the drug.

Addiction has physical and psychological parts. Someone with a Klonopin addiction, for example, will go into physical withdrawal if they stop taking Klonopin. They’ll also crave the drug on a psychological level.

Signs of Benzo Abuse

As with other kinds of substance abuse, you can see signs of benzo abuse. For example, some common symptoms include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Poor memory
  • Poor concentration
  • Coordination problems
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Worse reaction time

The signs are quite similar to someone who is drunk. It’s important for you to remember that some people won’t show every possible sign of benzodiazepine abuse. Also, these signs only mean something if they represent a change from the normal and keep showing up.

For example, take someone who is always a little clumsy. If they get a bad flu, they might demonstrate several of these symptoms because they’re running a fever. They’ll be themselves again in a day or two.

Treating Benzo Addiction

Benzodiazepine withdrawal poses serious risks. Given these symptoms, your treatment must start with detox. Furthermore, a detox center employs medical staff who can monitor your condition around the clock. They can provide medications that manage blood pressure, prevent seizures, and stabilize your mood. After you pass the acute withdrawal phase, it’s safe for you to move on to a formal rehab program.

Rehab programs use a variety of treatment methods that address different aspects of addiction. In addition, some addiction treatment programs stick with traditional talk therapies. These days, though, many rehab centers also use holistic programs. The idea is that holistic therapy options offer a better approach for treating the whole person.

For example, a common cross-section of therapies you might see include:

Learn About Crest View Recovery Center

Crest View offers a benzodiazepine treatment program at our center near Asheville, NC. A unique feature of our treatment approach is our reality therapy. In fact, reality therapy prepares you for entering back into your daily life by putting you in everyday situations during treatment. This structured exposure also helps you gauge your own progress.

Don’t let benzo addiction choose your future. Specifically, you can choose a better future with help from a quality rehab program. Call 866.327.2505 and let Crest View Recovery Center help you discover that better future.

Article Reviewed by Patrice Wishon, LCSW, LCAS, CCS

Patrice Wishon, LCSW, LCAS, CCSPatrice has over 30 years experience working in social work and mental health/substance abuse counseling. She received her Master’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked in a variety of settings, including community-based outpatient, hospital and classroom settings. Patrice specializes in substance abuse treatment, trauma and women’s issues.