Surprising Facts About Benzodiazepines and Benzo Addiction
When a doctor prescribes you medication, you possibly never think it can do more harm than the injury or condition itself. The truth is, using benzodiazepines can lead to a benzo addiction and the need for drug rehab.
Of course, millions of people use benzos safely, but being aware of the risks of their use can put you in the best position to use this medication safely. Read on to learn some surprising facts about benzodiazepines and benzo addiction.
What are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are pharmaceutical drugs that many medical professionals prescribe. They go under names like Xanax and Valium and can help reduce anxiety, sleep, convulsions, mental illness, and neuromuscular conditions.
Fact 1# It’s Easy to Become Addicted to Benzos
You may only have set out to use benzos to help you sleep or alleviate anxiety, but they can quickly become too much of a lifeline. When you take a benzodiazepine drug, your dopamine levels increase. This sudden surge can cause your brain to be flooded with a feel-good neurotransmitter.
Wanting to feel that time and time again can cause a reliance on benzos to provide it. Researchers have even found that they can be as addictive as cannabinoids, GHB, and opioids. People who take benzos can build up a tolerance in around six months, and at least 44 percent of users can find themselves dependent.
Fact 2# Benzos Can Cause Cognitive Impairments
Whenever doctors prescribe benzos, they often tell their patients that they are for short-term use. Regardless, some people go on to use them for years. In some of those people, researchers started noticing cognitive impairment.
Some people forgot how to perform tasks they already knew. They were also forgetting things they used to be able to recall easily. This impairment was picked up in benzo users older and younger than age 60.
Fact 3# Withdrawal Symptoms are Hard
Most doctors will never advise quitting many drugs cold turkey, and benzos are definitely at the top of that list. As a result of a long list of withdrawal symptoms, a drug rehab facility might be the best option for someone suffering from benzo addiction.
Anyone addicted to benzos who tries to quit can experience nausea, headaches, sweating, sleep disturbances, irritability, muscular pain, and stiffness. Muscle tremors, heart palpitations, anxiety, and panic attacks are also part and parcel with benzo withdrawals.
Fact 4# They Come with a Lot of Side Effects
Even using benzos responsibly can put you at risk of a lot of different side effects. In the short-term, some people suffer from side effects like headaches, confusion, depression, nausea, diarrhoea, dry mouth, fatigue, drowsiness, and impaired thinking, among many others.
Anyone who injects benzos is also putting themselves at risk of infections, deep vein thrombosis, and vein damage.
In the long term, side effects can be as disastrous as anxiety, depression, paranoia, aggression, memory loss, impaired thinking, headaches, nausea, addiction, and more. At this stage, and even earlier, a drug rehab facility may be necessary.
There are many situations where benzodiazepines are a valid medical treatment. However, it’s crucial to follow your doctor’s directions and seek help if you believe they are no longer in your best interests.