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Signs of Benzo Addiction

man considers the signs of benzo addiction

If you or someone you care about is abusing benzodiazepines (benzos), benzo addiction treatment may save your life. Benzos are highly addictive depressants that can be prescribed by a physician or purchased illegally. Contact Vertava Health Mississippi at 844.951.1931 to learn more about the signs of benzo addiction.

What Are Benzos?

Benzodiazepines are categorized as sedatives or hypnotics. They are prescribed to treat migraines, seizures, and anxiety disorders. Due to their addictive nature, benzos are typically only prescribed for short periods of use.

They are one of the most commonly abused medications in the U.S., according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Brand names for benzos include Valium, Ativan, and Xanax.

Recreational use of benzos is becoming more common. The drug is frequently used as a “companion” with cocaine to counteract the stimulant effects of that substance.

Know the Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction

Benzos affect different people in different ways. Some people will exhibit many signs of benzodiazepine addiction, while others show few signs unless or until their addiction becomes severe. If you suspect someone you know is abusing benzodiazepines, watch for these warning signs:

  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness, lethargy
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Poor motor skills (tripping, falling, or dropping things)
  • Complaints of dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Panic and panic attacks
  • Anger, irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Missing work, school, or other obligations
  • Accusing others of stealing their prescribed medications or frequently “losing” medications
  • Doctor shopping

Financial problems that do not seem to have a transparent cause may also be a sign of benzo abuse. If a loved one is selling off their valuable belongings, or items disappear without explanation, it may be to support their drug use.

The Dangers of Benzo Addiction

Recognizing the signs of benzo addiction in yourself or someone else is the first step in getting help. The longer treatment is delayed, the more serious the health risks may become. Short-term side effects can be uncomfortable and problematic. They include clammy skin, slowed reflexes, and erratic behavior, but long-term effects can alter the individual’s life forever.

Long-term dangers of benzo abuse include:

  • Cognitive decline and dementia caused by brain damage
  • Memory loss
  • Accidents
  • Rebound anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Coma
  • Fatal overdose

Benzodiazepines are even more dangerous when mixed with other substances.  Drinking alcohol or using other sedative substances will amplify the relaxant qualities of benzos, potentially causing a dangerously low heartbeat and breathing rate.

How Do Benzo Addiction Treatment Programs Help?

Committing to a treatment program that is specifically designed to assist people with benzodiazepine use disorder gives individuals the best chance at recovery. There is a high risk of seizure and other medical complications when detoxing from sedative substances. It is dangerous to stop taking benzos all at once or on your own.

A medically supervised tapering-off protocol keeps patients safe and minimizes painful withdrawal symptoms.

A high number of people with benzo addiction have co-occurring disorders. They may have originally been prescribed benzodiazepines to treat anxiety or panic disorder or to assist with alcohol withdrawal. Finding other medications and non-pharmaceutical treatments is necessary to reduce the reliance on benzos and the risk of relapse.

A benzo-specific treatment program employs medical professionals who are trained and experienced in providing for the needs of patients with co-occurring disorders.

Vertava Health Mississippi Offers Benzo Addiction Treatment

The benzo addiction treatment program at Vertava Health Mississippi is staffed with caring, experienced professionals. A continuum of care that includes medically supervised detox all the way through to a vigorous aftercare program gives our patients the education, coping skills, and renewed health they need for long-term recovery. Call Vertava Health Mississippi today at 844.951.1931 to learn more.