What Are the Signs of Benzo Abuse?

Benzodiazepines—commonly known as benzos–are a popular group of prescription medications commonly used to treat conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. When used as prescribed and as part of a comprehensive treatment program, benzos are highly effective in helping people cope with these conditions. However, benzodiazepines are highly addictive. When these medications are used for longer than intended or misused, users are putting themselves at great risk for serious health complications, including overdose and death.

This article will highlight the signs of benzo abuse as well as the signs of benzo addiction. If you or a loved one are experiencing benzo addiction symptoms and need help, benzo detox is the first and most important step in taking back control of your life. Sequoia Recovery Centers will help you break free of benzo addiction with evidence-based detox programs and other interventions to help you regain your physical and mental health. Call us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol detox centers in Washington.

An Introduction to Benzos

As stated in the introduction, benzodiazepines are a popular class of drugs that are commonly prescribed by doctors. Drugs such as Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Xanax account for approximately 66 million prescriptions yearly. These medications act on specific receptors called benzodiazepine receptors, which are most plentiful in the central nervous system. These medications stimulate the production of the neurotransmitter GABA which increases calming effects in the brain.

The speed at which benzos work depends on the type of medication that is used. Benzos such as Valium and Halcion are known as short-acting benzos and will begin to work within 30-60 minutes after being administered. On the other hand, long-acting benzos such as Librium, Klonopin, and Xanax take more time to work but the effects last on average 11 to 20 hours. In some cases, the lasting effects of long-acting benzos can last upwards of 1-3 days.

The Signs of Benzo Abuse

As with most prescription medications, benzodiazepines are potent and highly addictive. Even if taken as prescribed, there is a possibility that users will become dependent and even addicted to these medications. Benzo abuse symptoms can be difficult to spot at first because users who are dependent on these medications go to great lengths to conceal their use. However, there are tell-tale signs of benzo addiction that can be seen in several areas. The most common physical signs of benzo abuse are as follows:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches

The most common behavioral benzo abuse symptoms include the following:

  • Withdrawing and isolating from family and friends
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Forging prescriptions
  • Doctor shopping (going to multiple doctors to get more medications)

The most common cognitive signs of benzodiazepine addiction include:

  • Confusion
  • Poor concentration
  • Reduced inhibition and greater risk-taking or impulsive behavior
  • Impaired judgment
  • Memory difficulties

Common social symptoms of benzo abuse include:

  • Increased hostility toward others
  • Sudden and unpredictable mood swings
  • Emotional detachment
  • Intense irritability or anger

When the signs of benzo addiction are noticed, it is important to find professional help as soon as possible. Sequoia Recovery Centers offer a benzodiazepine detox program for those in need.

Medical Detox is the Key to Long-Term Recovery

Benzo addiction is a serious matter and requires a disciplined approach. The first the most important step in long-term recovery is medical detoxification. When users quit using benzodiazepines, the brain and body react violently and cause withdrawal symptoms, including the following:

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Increased anxiety and panic attacks
  • Nausea
  • Dry heaving
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Seizures

Medical detoxification takes place in a state-of-the-art facility and within a safe and secure environment. Under the strict supervision of experienced medical personnel, medications will be administered that make the withdrawal process less painful and more tolerable. Along with medication management, other interventions such as nutrition therapy, exercise therapy, and even talk therapy can be used. Once a patient achieves physical and psychological stability, they will be transitioned into an intensive inpatient treatment program.

Call Sequoia Recovery Centers Today

Benzo addiction can be life-threatening if not addressed in a timely manner. Sequoia Recovery Centers can help you start your journey toward long-term recovery on solid footing. Our evidence-based detox programs are customized to meet your unique needs. Our experienced and compassionate staff will work with you every step of the way to ensure your mental and physical well-being. We also partner with reputable treatment facilities to provide you with the best in continuing care after detoxification.

Take back control of your life with the help of Sequoia Recovery Centers. Call us toll-free right now.