An alarming study from the Journal of Psychiatric Research has found that 26% of psychiatric patients misuse their prescriptions of benzodiazepines. A highly addictive medication, doctors often prescribe them as anti-anxiety medications to help people cope with mental health symptoms or medical conditions.
Psychiatrists prescribe benzos to people who suffer from mental health disorders and or severe anxiety. People who ingest opioids and benzodiazepines together often end up overdosing.
Are Benzos Addictive or Dangerous?
Benzo drugs are highly addictive. Many people develop tolerance and abuse these drugs.
People often abuse them. Addiction can take over quickly and a person will begin to seek out more of the drug. Sometimes they are prescribed. Often addiction progresses to the point that the drug user seeks out their drug on the street.
Sometimes a bad batch of pills makes it into the news, especially when drug dealers taint them with fentanyl, a powerful narcotic responsible for thousands of deadly overdoses in the past few years. Either of these drugs can restrict a user’s breathing, causing them to die. In combination, this makes a fatal overdose much more likely. (Alcohol is also a dangerous drug that people use with benzos.) Because they both suppress the nervous system, it can cause fatal overdoses.
Despite this, American doctors and psychiatrists often prescribe these drugs. While some people take them for anxiety, they are also sometimes used for people with neurological issues or pain. People with insomnia usually take them at night, as they help a person relax and get some sleep
Benzos can be highly addictive and difficult to stop using. A person addicted to benzo will experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms such as seizures.
Major Takeaways From the Study:
The study on psychiatric patients found that people who take benzos often misuse them. Sometimes they use them alongside other drugs, and they were far more likely to abuse other drugs as well.
Many people surveyed had been using benzodiazepines for years through a prescription. 68% admitted they had been misusing them for as long as they had been taking them. But they believed they were using the drug to keep mental health symptoms at bay.
People who have been using benzos for a while were four times as likely to misuse benzos, including getting or taking them from friends or family members.
The study shows that a doctor needs to keep monitoring psychiatric patients for substance use. It would be helpful for them to opt for benzos as a last resort and favor non-addictive substances and other medical treatments.
People who become addicted to benzos will need to detox with medical assistance.