The sedative effects of this prescription medicine are widely used for treating anxiety and insomnia. Despite its medicinal impact, there are increasing cases of abusing this drug due to various reasons like peer pressure and self-medication.
In this article, we are going to share the common signs of benzodiazepine addiction and how you can effectively manage or avoid it. Continue reading to find out more.
A Brief About Benzodiazepines
It is a psychoactive drug with an effective sedating impact that helps patients suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia. You can also use this prescription drug to treat other conditions like alcohol withdrawal symptoms and seizures.
When you are taking this medicine, the recommended duration without withdrawal symptoms will be one to four weeks. Also, it works best when you pair it with other behavioral therapies, so you can transform your bad habits into positive ones.
Furthermore, there are many brands of this drug in the market, which include the following:
Always remember to follow your prescription bottle when medicating with this drug, to avoid misuse, dependence, and addiction.
How Serious Is Benzodiazepine Addiction?
When we talk about benzodiazepine addiction, it is usually associated with opioid abuse as well, where 115 people have died from this action. Here are other information showing the intensity of this issue:
- An increase of 67% of abusers for this substance from 1996 to 2013
- 23% of the people who died from opioid overdose were also found abusing benzodiazepines
- Opioid overdose and abusing benzos have shown a direct relationship with each other
7 Signs for Benzodiazepine Addiction
We have summarized the common symptoms you need to observe so you can tell if you or your loved one is abusing this sedative drug. Consequently, consulting with a medical personnel for professional intervention is your best decision to overcome this addiction.
#1 Physical Signs
Similar to other substance abuse, you will experience physical side effects for overdosing with this medication. The intensity of the adverse and withdrawal effects greatly depends on how long you have been using this drug.
Here are the top signs you need to look out for abusing this medicine.
- Low sex drive
- Vomiting and nausea
- Bleary eyesight
- Loss of muscle strength
- Slow fine body coordination
- Inability to safely drive
#2 Behavioral Signs
Overdosing with this prescription drug can also affect your behavior and thinking. Similar to alcoholism, this drug can depress your senses and emotions. Here are the common behavioral changes you can feel or see for someone addicted to this drug.
- Lost of enthusiasm with their usual tasks, hobbies, and even on living their life
- Feeling lazy and tired most of the time
- Inability to think well and fast
When it comes to treatment programs, you will need to undergo counseling and behavioral therapies to correct your unhealthy habits and mindset.
#3 Susceptibility to Other Health Dangers
Like other drug abuse, there is a domino effect when you abuse this prescription medicine. For instance, one side effect is a longer sleeping pattern of the patient, which reduces his appetite and contributes to unexpected weight loss.
Another example will be depressed breathing and heart rate, which can lead to coma or possible death. You also need to watch out for the withdrawal impacts of this substance as it can be painful and life-threatening.
#4 Cravings for the Drug
Medication with this drug only lasts for four weeks, so if you have cravings for it, then you have established a dependence and later addiction. With that, there is a huge risk that you or any person will seek another source of this drug from the streets.
Other abusers will source benzodiazepines from other people who have a prescription for it. Therefore, when you have an uncontrolled urge to take the drug even after prescription, that’s a strong sign of dependence or addiction.
#5 Is It An Addiction or Drug Dependence?
This psychoactive drug is highly addictive when you do not follow its prescription. The first phase will be dependence on the substance, and then later an addiction. The latter is a more serious case considering there will be more detrimental consequences on your health and behavior.
Here are the prominent signs of benzodiazepine addiction:
- An insatiable urge for the drug
- Inability to monitor one’s usage
- Disregarding the health consequences of abusing this medicine
- Having a secretive attitude from using this sedative drug
#6 Taking Benzodiazepines with Other Substances
Alcohol drinking is one of the common substances used along with benzodiazepines. Both have a sedating effect on the user, and it projects serious ill effects like the severe depression of heartbeat or breathing.
Alcohol amplifies the relaxing impact of this medicine which gives that pleasurable feeling to the user. It is never safe to intake these two substances together because of their life-threatening result.
#7 Going to Multiple Doctors
A patient who typically gained dependence or addiction will do his best to get a supply of this drug after prescription. With that, that person will go over multiple physicians or doctors to get many prescriptions for this medicine.
This is one strong sign that an individual has a strong dependence or addiction to benzodiazepines.
Summary: Common Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction
When you can recognize the telltales of developing an addiction, you can decide to go for early intervention so you can gradually achieve sobriety. In line with this, here is a summary of the most common symptoms that you are addicted to benzodiazepines.
- Sleepiness or drowsiness
- Having a hard time speaking clearly
- Nausea and vomiting
- Short breaths
- Slow body reactions and movement
When Is The Right Time To Undergo Treatment
Once you have convinced yourself that you need professional help, then you can go to your nearby addiction specialist or doctor with in-depth experience and knowledge about it.
Also, you can slowly open up with your loved ones about this, so you can get honest and genuine moral and emotional support. Take note, you are never alone in this path towards wellness and sobriety.