Benzo Addiction

What is Benzo Addiction?

Benzodiazepine addiction is a serious and life-altering disorder that can adversely affect the physical, mental, and emotional health of the person suffering, as well as those invested in his or her life.

Drugs classified as benzos are prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders and insomnia but are frequently obtained as a product of drug diversion and used for nonmedically approved purposes.

All benzos, regardless of potency, are central nervous system (CNS) depressants, commonly known also as sedatives or “downers.” As such, they lessen neurological action in the CNS, reduce anxiety, and induce euphoric effects such as relaxation and intense feelings of well-being. Misuse of benzos, however, can and often does lead to dangerous complications including heavy sedation, respiratory suppression, coma, and death.

Benzos are addictive because once used, they have a profound impact on a chemical neurotransmitter in the brain in the brain known as GABA. Once released, this chemical induces deep muscle relaxation and sedation, as well as pleasant feelings that encourage the person to use more of the drug in an effort to sustain this comfortable state.

Benzo Dependence

Chronic use of benzos often leads to a state of dependence, in which the person using finds it difficult to function normally without using the drug. When he or she tries to quit or cut back significantly, the body undergoes a great deal of stress attempting to regain stability. This conflict then causes a host of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, effects which discourage cessation and encourage relapse.

Benzo Tolerance

Over time, GABA receptors become desensitized to benzo use, and response thereby diminishes. When the person is no longer experiencing the desired effects, they often have no choice but to turn to a higher level of drug use in order to achieve their objective. This condition is known as tolerance – one of the primary precipitators of serious drug-related complications, overdoses, and general acceleration of drug abuse.

While there is currently no cure for benzo addiction, people who choose to participate in addiction treatment can recover and look forward to a life of sobriety and wellness.

If you or a loved one is struggling with benzos or any other substances, it’s not to late to get help.

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