Everything you need to know about benzodiazepines dependence and treatment options from Northlake.
Benzodiazepines, also known as benzos, are a class of prescription drugs which include tranquilizers, and sedatives. They are often prescribed to manage anxiety, and sleep disorders and can even be prescribed to treat alcohol withdrawal.
Risk of Benzodiazepine Use
Benzodiazepines can cause cognitive impairments, drowsiness, increased reaction time, ataxia, motor incoordination, and anterograde amnesia. Additionally, benzodiazepine use can cause an increased risk of hip fracture in persons older than 65 years. Benzodiazepine use has also been associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Benzodiazepines are commonly abused. This abuse is partially related to the toxic effects that they produce and also to their widespread availability. With continued use, both tolerance and physiological dependence on benzodiazepines may develop. As a result, people may feel the need to take more benzos to produce the desired effect and then continue taking them to avoid withdrawal. Though these aren’t the only contributing factors, both of these phenomena can contribute to ongoing, compulsive use, or benzodiazepine abuse.
Benzodiazepine dependence defines a situation in which one has developed one or more of either tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, drug seeking behaviors, such as continued use despite harmful effects, and maladaptive pattern of substance use. In the case of benzodiazepine dependence, however, the continued use seems to be associated with the avoidance of unpleasant withdrawal reaction rather than from the pleasurable effects of the drug. Benzodiazepine dependence develops with long-term use, even at low therapeutic doses.
Common benzodiazepines include:
- Alprazolam (Niravam, Xanax, Xanax XR) commonly treats anxiety, panic disorders
- Chlordiazepoxide (Librax) commonly treats anxiety,
- Diazepam (Valium) commonly treats nerve pain, panic disorders, seizures
- Lorazepam (Ativan) commonly treats anxiety, insomnia, sedation
- Midaolam (Versed) commonly treats sedation, seizures
- Oxazepam (Serax) commonly treats anxiety
- Temazepam (Restoril) commonly treats insomnia
Benzodiazepine Use symptoms include:
- Blurred Vision
- Cognitive Decline
- Dry Mouth
- Memory Problems
- Muscle Weakness
- Respiratory Depression
- Slurred Speech
- Slower reaction
- Suicidal Thoughts
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Anxiety Attacks
- Body Aches
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Muscle Spasms
- Panic Attacks
- Weight Loss
Assessments and Treatments for Benzodiazepine
If an individual is suffering with addiction to benzodiazepines first need to be assessed to see what type of treatment might be needed to help the individual due to their severity of addiction. There are several different types of treatment for Benzodiazepine addiction such as Acute Detox, Inpatient treatment, Intensive Outpatient treatment, Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT), and Outpatient treatment. If an individual is looking for treatment the first step might be Acute detox which can last a week or more depending on the severity of the addiction. Then the individual might need either inpatient which is typically 28-day program if inpatient is not what the individual is looking for then there is step down from it such as Intensive Outpatient treatment which is group and individual sessions that might include the MAT treatment based on the assessment and the individuals needs. Then Outpatient treatment program and then AA support groups to help support the individual in recovery.
The Ness Center offers several of the following types of treatments to help individuals with Benzodiazepine Addiction such as Intensive Outpatient treatment, Outpatient treatment and Medically Assisted Treatment(MAT).