Signs and Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Use, Abuse Addiction & Facts

Benzo Addiction Counselor

Getting Off Benzos in Treatment is Easier

What Are Benzodiazepines? How Are They Ingested or Used?

Benzodiazepines, also called benzos, are a type of medication that affects the central nervous system causing the user to relax. They are prescribed to help with anxiety disorders, insomnia and seizures. Sometimes they are prescribed to promote muscle relaxation.

These medications are in pill form and often are initially prescribed by physicians to users for legitimate medical reasons. Unfortunately, they are one of the most often-abused prescription drugs due to their habit forming nature. When someone takes a prescribed benzodiazepine, it helps with the symptoms of underlying anxiety, but does not address the actual cause. When an individual takes benzos without a prescription, or purposefully takes more than prescribed for the sedative or intoxicating effects, it becomes abuse.

Long-term use of benzodiazepines can lead to tolerance and addiction. Approximately 80% of those who abuse benzos use another drug to get high as well. The most common type of drug also abused are opiate drugs – which carry with them extremely serious risks.

Benzodiazepines are known by many street names, including:

  • Benzos
  • BZDs
  • Tranx
  • Qual
  • Goofballs
  • Candy
  • Z Bars
  • Zannys

(Benzodiazepines may be called by their brand names, as well)

Here are a few of the brand names of these types of drugs that are abused:

The most popular “benzo” by far is Xanax, but there are several other brand names, including:

  • Ativan
  • Valium
  • Ativan
  • Restoril
  • Librium
  • Klonopin

Some drugs may have different names in other countries or use a different name when generic.

What Are the Symptoms of Problematic Benzodiazepine Abuse?

The most common symptom of abusive benzo use  is a physical and psychological dependence developing toward the benzos.  Many benzodiazepine users begin to withdraw from activities they once loved. Benzo abuse is most obvious when the abuser is without the drug – they can experience a pretty upsetting unwell feeling.

A person who is high on a benzodiazepine drug may slur their words, or fall asleep suddenly when other tasks need to be done. They may experience confusion or seem to be slow in their thinking and reaction times. They may not remember what happened while they were on the drug. Some users experience impairment such as double vision or changes in balance.

What Are the Long-Term Effects and Dangers of Benzodiazepine Use?

Overdose among those who have a benzodiazepine addiction is one long-term danger of benzodiazepine abuse. Many users multiply this risk by using alcohol or other drugs (extremely dangerous). Users can become physically addicted to benzos, requiring more pills to get high and putting themselves in danger of overdose.

Long-term, chronic users may experience increased respiratory infections, changes in their eating and sleeping patterns, vertigo and headaches. They may accidentally overdose on drugs in an effort to get “higher” than the last time they used. Some overdoses can lead to comas, respiratory failure, and even death.

Signs and Symptoms of Full Blown Benzodiazepine Addiction

Users who are addicted to benzodiazepine will exhibit drug-seeking behavior, such as doctor shopping, stealing to support their addiction, or even forging prescriptions. Many users experience a decreased quality of life as they damage their friendships and family relationships. They may experience financial problems or job losses as they become more and more interested in getting high than participating in everyday activities. They will spend a lot of time and effort seeking more drugs, and may even end up buying pills off the street.

You may notice a person becomes irritable, angry, or explosive when they cannot get ahold of their drug of choice. They may suffer from anxiety attacks or even thoughts of suicide.

People who are addicted to benzos will often experience dangerous and painful withdrawal symptoms if they try to quit using the drug. A team of professionals should medically supervise detox from benzodiazepines. It’s important to be supervised by a trained team that can monitor the user for any complications and prescribe medication to alleviate painful or uncomfortable symptoms.

Getting Help with Benzodiazepine Addiction or Prescription Drug Abuse

As stated above, it’s highly recommended that habitual users taper from the drug in a supervised medical setting (because the withdrawal effects are severe). Our facilities offer a sympathetic, professional staff with experience in helping addicts start the path to recovery. You can regain your life and learn to live without Xanax (or any other benzo). The first step is reaching out for help. Make a 100% confidential phone call today to learn more about your treatment options. Call the phone number above.