Benzodiazepines are a type of medication that treats people who have trouble sleeping or experience severe anxiety and other conditions. While this medication is very effective, it also comes with a high rate of abuse. If you or a loved one is taking this drug, you should be familiar with the benzo side effects that come with abusing this addictive sedative. Knowing what these side effects are can help you spot when someone is abusing their medication and is at risk of serious harm.
Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek welcomes Florida residents who are struggling with an addiction to benzodiazepines or other types of sedatives. Our treatment programs include a wide mix of therapies along with medical support to create a whole-person recovery experience with fewer risks of relapse. Programs are designed around each individual’s symptoms and include group and private therapy sessions in a discreet location.
Understanding Benzodiazepine Abuse
Benzodiazepines are a powerful sedative that treats anxiety and reduces seizures and muscle spasms in adults. Benzos work by interacting with the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors to reduce the brain’s sensitivity to external stimulation.
It is sometimes called a central nervous system or CNS depressant and is currently used to treat alcohol withdrawals, anxiety disorders, panic disorders, seizures, and sleep disorders. Benzodiazepines are also used in surgery to help patients relax and cause amnesia. Some of the common brand names of benzodiazepines include:
- Xanax for treating anxiety and panic disorders
- Librax for treating anxiety and alcohol withdrawals
- Klonopin for treating seizure disorders
- Valium for treating muscle spasms and insomnia
- Aitvan for treating seizures, anxiety, and insomnia
- Halcion for treating short-term insomnia
Those who are prescribed benzodiazepines should abstain from using alcohol or recreational drugs with this medication. Doing so can cause a serious addiction that can turn into abusing illegal drugs like heroin or meth.
At Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek, our team can treat benzodiazepine abuse and help you break the addiction before it is too late. We use a combination of behavioral therapies along with medical support to ease withdrawals, cravings, and other disruptive symptoms.
Recognizing Benzo Side Effects
As with any medication, there is a risk of experiencing some side effects. While these are generally mild, the more you abuse the medication, the more side effects you may feel. At normal doses, the most common effects of taking benzos are drowsiness, fatigue, and lethargy. It helps people relax and avoid overly intense emotions that can cause panic and fear.
If you take more than prescribed or mix it with alcohol or other sedatives, you may experience some of the following benzo side effects:
- Slurred speech
- Dizziness and disorientation
- Decreased motor coordination
- Trouble concentrating
- Short-term memory loss
- Slowed breathing
- Low blood pressure
Normal doses will rarely cause the above symptoms. If you experience any of these, talk to your doctor immediately; they can adjust the dosage accordingly.
Long-term benzo abuse will cause a chemical dependence and addiction, along with severe cognitive impairment and decline and an increased risk of dementia in older adults. Treating long-term addiction may require 24/7 care to finally break the addiction and begin healing.
If you or a loved one is abusing their benzo medication, the best way to stop the abuse is by enrolling in an accredited addiction treatment program. They use FDA-approved medication to ease withdrawals and cravings safely while you participate in behavioral and holistic therapies.
Call Evoke Wellness in Coconut Creek, FL, for Benzo Addiction Treatment
Evoke Wellness is a full-service addiction treatment center that supports individuals who are ready to stop abusing their prescription medications. We take the time to build trust and a deep connection with each of our patients. Therapists will guide them to uncover the root cause behind the abuse and develop new coping skills to manage their symptoms and triggers. We use proven therapeutic techniques in all of our programs, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- Motivational interviewing (MI)
- Trauma therapy
- Relapse prevention therapy
- Family therapy