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.

Substance Abuse And Anxiety Disorders

Shows the pain of comorbidly occurring anxiety disorder and addiction

The Relationship Between Anxiety And Addiction

Anxiety and addiction often occur comorbidly. This means that substance abuse and anxiety disorders happen at the same time. You can struggle with substance use disorder (SUD) while also struggling with anxiety. 

In this article, Midwood Addiction Treatment will examine the following: 

  • What is anxiety? 
  • How does anxiety relate to addiction? 
  • What treatments are available for anxiety? 
  • What non-addictive anxiety medications can help you? 
  • How can you get help for substance abuse and anxiety disorders? 

What Is Anxiety?

You know the feeling. It gnaws at your intestines like a parasite. Your diaphragm contracts like a fist. Your stomach clinches. Pain spreads over your neck, back, and shoulders. Your palms sweat. Your jaw stiffens. 

These are just a few examples of how we might experience anxiety in our bodies. Often, we experience discomfort before we truly realize how anxious we are. We may even see a doctor for our discomfort. We might hope to medicate the discomfort away. 

We all might experience anxiety at some point in life. Some research indicates that anxiety can benefit us. But what about when the anxiety becomes too great? 

Anxiety Disorders

Nearly everyone feels anxious at some point. A student might feel anxious when cramming for an exam. Your palms might become clammy when you get a negative email from your boss. But sometimes anxiety interferes with your life. For some people, anxiety might grow especially intense. Or, it might become chronic. That is, lasting much longer than it ought to. 

The Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) says that, “the term ‘anxiety disorder’ refers to specific psychiatric disorders that involve extreme fear or worry.” The DSM-V uses a time frame of 6 months to diagnose an anxiety disorder.  Some examples of anxiety disorders include: 

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Agoraphobia

How Does Anxiety Relate To Addiction?  

Many people who suffer from substance use disorder (SUD) also suffer from anxiety. Earlier, we referred to this as comorbidity. Those with anxiety disorders have a 33% – 45% chance of developing SUD. 

Anxiety isn’t just a feeling. It involves processes in the brain. Likewise, addiction involves the brain. Your brain has a trait that scientists call neuroplasticity. Your brain doesn’t remain fixed. How you live changes your brain. Down to its cells. Your thoughts and feelings move your brain internally. 

Anxiety, Addiction, and The Brain

One study asserted that anxiety and addiction were the most common psychiatric ailments in the US. A reason for this might be that they impact similar parts of the brain. Recent research points to an area of the brain called the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST or BST). The BNST involves parts of the brain that regulate our moods. It also influences our sleepiness, alertness, hunger, and relationships. 

With anxiety disorders, the BNST remains active longer than necessary. It sustains fear in a person. The BNST includes parts of the brain that influence how we behave. So, if we live in a sustained state of fear, that fear will affect how we live. How we think. How well we sleep. Even how we eat. 

The BNST activates during addiction as well. This study linked it to cravings in both smokers and alcoholics. Although we need more research, scientists continue to discover new links between BNST and addiction. 

What Treatments Are Available For Anxiety?

We must accept anxiety as a normal part of life. Anxiety exists to protect us from danger. From time to time, we will feel it. But we needn’t succumb to it. We needn’t live our lives in service to it. There are ways to deal with anxiety. Strategies for coping do exist. Keep reading to find out more! 

Medication As Treatment For Anxiety

Benzodiazepines (benzos) may help keep anxiety at bay. This group includes drugs like alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan). Benzos act quickly, and you can take them as needed. However, please note a major caveat. Benzos can become very addictive

Non-addictive anxiety medications exist as well. Some people experience relief from drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The SSRIs take some time to build up in your system. A few weeks may pass before you notice any effects. For this reason, SSRIs are much less addictive than benzodiazepines.  

Therapies For Anxiety

Cognitive behavior therapy helps allay some symptoms of anxiety. It helps a sufferer practice metacognition. Simply put, metacognition is thinking about what one thinks about. We don’t have to blindly trust all of our thoughts. CBT helps us ask questions of our thoughts. Doing so allows us to critically evaluate what we believe. Exposure therapy may help as well. This method helps you break your fears into smaller, controlled doses. This can make them appear more manageable. Work with your treatment provider to discover what therapeutic approach best suits you. 

Self-Care For Anxiety

To recover from anxiety, one must care for oneself. Self-care can also soothe symptoms of addiction. Meditation can decrease symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Reducing alcohol use may likewise reduce anxiety. Anxiety tends to disturb one’s sleep. Make a point to keep regular sleep and wake times. 

Make a point to find a hobby. Do things you enjoy. Spend time with people who encourage your recovery. How we eat can also impact our anxiety. Create a sustainable diet and meal plan for yourself. Try out a physical activity, like a sport. Resistance training and aerobic exercises can alleviate many symptoms of anxiety. 

How Can You Get Help For Substance Abuse And Anxiety Disorders? 

Midwood Addiction Treatment understands what you need. Our experienced team will tailor a treatment plan to fit your specific needs. No two people are exactly the same. So, no two recovery paths will be the same. 

Remember that hope is real. Recovery is possible. You are not alone. If you have questions about substance abuse and anxiety disorders, contact Midwood Addiction Treatment now. Don’t wait any longer to demand the best for yourself. Help is available. Contact us now at 888-MAT-1110.