Benzodiazepines (benzos) are a type of prescription drug used to treat insomnia, panic disorders, and anxiety. These drugs are highly addictive when abused, creating long-term health risks and leading to worsening of mental health disorders. Treatment is necessary when benzo abuse occurs, as people cannot stop using it on their own. At Solution Based Treatment, we can offer that type of treatment for you. 

How Does Benzo Abuse Happen?

To understand the social and occupational side consequences of benzo abuse, it’s important to know what happens in the body and mind when these drugs are used. They slow down the function of the central nervous system. In this way, it helps reduce anxious feelings and controls panic. Benzo abuse occurs when a person uses more than he or she should. Benzo abuse can lead to addiction and dependence because of how the drug interacts with and changes the brain’s communication process. This can lead to compulsive behavior and an inability to stop using. 

Common Side Effects of Benzo Abuse

Benzos used according to a prescription are less likely to cause addiction. They also are less likely to lead to significant, negative side effects. However, some initial side effects of overuse may include:

  • Weakness and loss of motor control
  • Poor judgment and decision making
  • Blurry vision
  • Mood swings and irritability 
  • Drowsiness 

Some also experience slurred speech, slowed breathing, mental confusion, and muscle weakness. In short-term use, the drug’s effects tend to wear off quickly, minimizing long-term concerns.

Some people combine benzos with alcohol. This creates more significant outcomes, including depression, withdrawing from activities, and engaging in increasing risk-taking behavior. It also creates a higher risk for overuse.

Long-Term Side Effects of Benzo Abuse

The longer benzos are used, the higher the risks are for complications. They can cause both physical and mental harm to an individual. Some of these side effects include:

  • Changes in cognitive function, including visuospatial changes
  • Changes in verbal learning ability
  • Muscle weakness
  • Hallucinations or paranoia 
  • Potential kidney, liver, and heart disease 

Some mental health conditions can worsen without proper management. This includes the worsening of anxiety and depression. 

Recognizing the Symptoms of Benzo Addiction

Prescription drug abuse does not occur, commonly, in those who take medications as prescribed by their doctor. Long-term use of benzos may lead to addiction. Work closely with your prescribing doctor to minimize that risk.

However, using drugs outside of the prescription rules or using drugs not prescribed to you can lead to addiction. Common signs of abuse include running out of the medication too soon, doctor shopping, and isolating. Some people may also experience withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings when they don’t have access to the drug. This is an indication of dependence. When it occurs, it also means a person is unable to stop using the drug on his or her own and may benefit from detox programs.

Getting Treatment for Benzo Abuse

It is never too soon to reach out for help with drug abuse, including benzos. If you feel as though you have dependence or you cannot stop using these drugs on your own, turn to Solution Based Treatment. It is possible to treat the underlying anxiety, panic disorders, and insomnia with other medications. This may allow you to stop using benzos safely.

To learn how we can help with prescription drug addiction, check out our programs, including:

  • Residential treatment programs
  • Intensive outpatient programs
  • Partial hospitalization program
  • Faith-based treatment
  • Dual diagnosis treatment

Seek Treatment to See Change – Call Solution Based Treatment Now

Benzo abuse damages every facet of life by becoming the most important part of it. Yet, it is possible to reclaim health and build confidence with proper treatment. Solution Based Treatment can offer that help. To learn more, call 833.999.1941 or connect with us online today.

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