Benzodiazepine Addiction – How It Looks Today

Benzodiazepine Addiction Considered

 

Many people have a benzodiazepine addiction. Benzodiazepines are anxiolytics or sedatives. This type of prescription is for panic disorders, anxiety disorders and some other disorders. Some doctors will prescribe benzodiazepines for muscle relaxation and seizures, too. Unfortunately, some people develop an addiction to this medication.

 

How do you know if you have a benzodiazepine addiction? Keep reading to find out more about the signs of benzo dependence and other information regarding this type of addiction.

 

Most Common Signs of Benzo Dependence

 

Many doctors, therapists or other professionals will diagnose someone with benzodiazepine addiction. There is a benzo addiction diagnosis if there is a minimum of 2 out of 11 symptoms within 12 months.

 

The most commonly found signs of benzo dependence include the following:

  • Taking benzodiazepines in a higher dosage or for longer than the doctor prescribes them
  • Spending a lot of time obtaining, using and recovering from using the drug
  • Experiencing benzo withdrawal symptoms when you aren’t taking the drug
  • Needing more benzodiazepines to achieve the same effects you originally got from the drug
  • Experiencing performance issues at school, work or home because of the medication use

If you struggle with any of these signs of benzo dependence, be sure to ask someone for help. Some programs are available to help people recover from benzodiazepine addiction.

 

Due to the nature of this medication, along with addiction-based chemical properties, some people abuse them. Some people need to take benzodiazepines for a medical condition. However, when a doctor prescribes this medication, they should watch their patient closely. If signs of addiction occur, the doctor should help the patient get resources to overcome their addiction.

 

Psychological and Physical Benzodiazepine Abuse Symptoms

 

You read about the common symptoms of benzodiazepine addiction. There are also psychological and physical symptoms associated with this type of addiction. Some of these symptoms include the following:

  • Slurred speech
  • Physical weakness
  • Confusion
  • Lack of motor coordination
  • Blurred vision
  • Making poor decisions
  • Poor judgment
  • Not being able to defend oneself
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Worse anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Anorexia
  • Headaches
  • Memory issues

If you experience any of these psychological or physical signs of benzodiazepine addiction, make the call to a treatment center today. Don’t keep using the medication. Continuing to abuse benzodiazepines could lead to a coma or even death from an overdose.

 

Behavioral Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction

 

An addiction to benzodiazepines may come up over time. You may not realize you have an addiction to this drug until more symptoms occur. Substance abuse can be sneaky like that. When you feel the need to use this medication all the time, have cravings for it or experience symptoms related to addiction, it is time to get help.

 

In addition to the symptoms above, you may experience behavioral signs of benzo dependence or addiction. Some of these signs include the following:

  • Withdrawing from your family and friends
  • Not completing your obligations or attending to your responsibilities
  • Fearing that you won’t get the medication anymore
  • Always making sure you have a plan for when to pick up your prescription well ahead of time
  • Ensuring you always have some of the medication on you all the time
  • Stealing, borrowing money, draining your savings or using credit cards to pay for the medication
  • Buying this drug off the streets in addition to getting a prescription from your doctor
  • Continuing to find and use the drug after you no longer have a prescription for it
  • Spending a lot of energy and time obtaining the drug
  • Exhibiting a reduction in maintaining grooming or hygiene
  • Being secretive about what you are doing
  • No longer attending social events so people can’t see you are high
  • Experiencing personality and mood changes
  • Seeing multiple doctors so you can get a prescription for this drug
  • Taking similar OTC medications when you can’t obtain this one
  • Begging other people to give you some of their benzodiazepines
  • Manipulating loved ones into getting a prescription for this drug so you can have it

It is important to remember that not everyone experiences all these symptoms. You might have any number of these symptoms. There may be other things you have going on with this type of addiction, as well.

 

In addition to these symptoms, if you are cooking, injecting or crushing benzodiazepines to get a stronger high, this signifies addiction. You can reach out to an addiction treatment center for help today. In the treatment program, you can get many services to help you overcome benzo dependence and addiction.

Handling an Addiction to Benzodiazepines

 

Do any of the symptoms you read here today ring a bell? Have you been experiencing one or more of these symptoms? If so, you don’t have to struggle with benzodiazepine abuse any longer? You can talk to addiction recovery professionals to get the help you need.

 

Handling an addiction to this drug can be challenging. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms. In addition, everyone’s addiction history, family history and other life factors are different. Individual needs are why we recommend that everyone who needs to stop taking benzodiazepines have professional help. We can get you set up in a detox center. This way, doctors can wean you off benzodiazepines safely.

 

You may not know if you have a benzodiazepine addiction. It is perfectly normal to be unsure. You may have been taking your medication according to the prescription label. However, this does not mean you don’t have an addiction. If you can’t stop using benzodiazepines without withdrawal symptoms, it might be time to get addiction help. With professional help, you can finally stop letting this drug take over your life. You can finally start a recovering lifestyle that suits your needs and wants.

 

Contact us today to start receiving treatment for benzodiazepine addiction.

Clonazepam Overdose: Can It Be Deadly?

Clonazepam Overdose | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Clonazepam (Klonopin) is a prescription medication indicated for the treatment of seizures, anxiety and panic disorder. Because it depresses the central nervous system (CNS), drinking alcohol or consuming another CNS depressant while taking clonazepam can result in an overdose.

Clonazepam belongs to a category of prescription drugs known as benzodiazepines or benzos. Benzos work by stimulating the production of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that reduces activity in the CNS and therefore incites feelings of relaxation and euphoria.

The risk for severe side effects, including overdose, is higher for people over the age of 65. Older patients are more sensitive to clonazepam’s effects and should be prescribed smaller doses to prevent adverse side effects.

Clonazepam Interactions

Clonazepam is very hard to overdose on when used alone, and a potentially fatal overdose typically occurs only due to an interaction with other substances in the system. According to recent research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10,500 people died in 2016 from an overdose that involved benzos.

After clonazepam is consumed, our body eventually cleanses itself of the substance by breaking it down with enzymes. However, some substances can impede the activity of these enzymes, making it much harder for the body to clear out to clonazepam. As such, clonazepam concentrations can accumulate and become toxic, particularly when accompanied by substances with a similar mechanism of action, such as opioids or alcohol.

Medications that inhibit the activity of these monooxygenase enzymes include the following:

  • Sedatives
  • Alcohol
  • Some antifungals
  • Opioid painkillers, such as oxycodone
  • Muscle relaxers
  • The antidepressant Serzone (nefazodone)
  • Fluvoxamine, a drug that treats obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Tagamet (cimetidine), a heartburn medication

Common Clonazepam Side Effects

Like other medications, even low doses of clonazepam can cause mild side effects, including the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Sleep disturbances

These side effects are usually minor and brief and abate within a few hours or days following clonazepam use. The occurrence of side effects during a taken-as-prescribed therapeutic regimen does not indicate an overdose. If these side effects are intense and impair daily life, however, the doctor will likely decrease the dosage or switch medications altogether.

Signs and Symptoms of a Clonazepam Overdose

The symptoms of an overdose on clonazepam or some other benzo can range from mild to severe, and, in some cases, be life-threatening. The vast majority of severe or fatal clonazepam overdoses occur when it is used in combination with other CNS depressants, such as opioid medications or alcohol.

If you have been prescribed clonazepam, your physician should be aware of other medications or substances you are using, including over-the-counter medications, nutritional supplements, vitamins, or alcohol. If the physician suspects there may be an interaction, an alternative to clonazepam may be prescribed to prevent dangerous complications.

The intensity of clonazepam overdose symptoms depends on several factors, including the following:

  • How much clonazepam was used
  • Individual body chemistry
  • Sensitivity to depressants
  • Other substances present in addition to clonazepam

Mild clonazepam overdose symptoms may include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Muscle weakness and slowed reflexes
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Loss of balance and impaired coordination
  • Blurred vision
  • Tremors
  • Uncontrolled muscle movements
  • Difficulty breathing

Severe clonazepam overdose symptoms may include the following:

  • Slurred speech
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Hallucinations
  • Abnormal or irregular heart rhythm
  • Low blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Respiratory depression
  • Seizures
  • Fainting, unresponsiveness, or unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

If you suspect that you or a loved one is overdosing on clonazepam, contact emergency medical services at 911 immediately.

Treating an Overdose

In the case of a clonazepam overdose, medical personnel will give the person activated charcoal to absorb some of the clonazepam while en route to the nearest hospital emergency center, thereby preventing potentially lethal symptoms.

After arriving at the hospital, the doctor will usually pump the person’s stomach to remove any undigested clonazepam to forestall any further complications. Likewise, they will administer a benzo agonist called flumazenil, which blocks and reverses the effects of clonazepam. Lastly, to rebalance the body, the physician will likely administer intravenous fluids.

Clonazepam and Suicide

If you recognize that a loved one has taken clonazepam and seems to be at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or violent behavior, follow these steps:

  1. Call 911 or your local emergency hotline.
  2. Remain calm and stay near the individual until professional help arrives.
  3. Clear the area of any other drugs, weapons, or any object they could use to cause harm.
  4. Listen compassionately without judging, arguing, yelling, or appearing threatening.

Treatment for Clonazepam Addiction

Clonazepam has a high potential for abuse, as well as for forming a tolerance and physical dependence, and ultimately addiction. Addiction to clonazepam can be successfully treated through a multitude of therapeutic techniques, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), individual and family counseling, and group support.

Furthermore, research suggests that clonazepam addiction treatment is most successful if combined into a single comprehensive recovery plan with other holistic practices like art and music therapy, yoga, and meditation.

We can help you to restore sanity to your life and experience the happiness and wellness you deserve! Call us today to find out how!