Like many prescription medications, benzodiazepines can be abused and lead to addiction. These sedative drugs can play a crucial role in helping someone with severe anxiety or panic disorder feel calmer so they can function. But when taken excessively or recreationally, they can lead to dangerous side effects. Learn about benzo abuse warning signs to know if someone in your life is at risk of addiction.
Whether you suspect a loved one of benzo abuse or think they have become dependent on the drug, My 5 Palms can help. Our addiction treatment programs are customized for our clients to ensure all their recovery needs are met. If you need advice on helping a loved one overcome benzo abuse or addiction, fill out our online form or call us at 1.844.675.1022 for guidance.
What Are Benzos?
Benzos, the shortened name for benzodiazepines, are a class of drugs that are commonly prescribed to treat conditions like:
- Alcohol withdrawal
- Bipolar disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
Benzodiazepines have sedative effects that help people feel calm and relaxed. Like many other pharmaceuticals, they are fast-acting medications used as needed rather than once daily.
How Does Benzo Abuse Develop?
Although benzodiazepines should be accessed by prescription only and used as directed, some people engage in benzo abuse. This term refers to taking benzodiazepines without a prescription or using the drug other than as prescribed by your doctor.
What makes people abuse benzodiazepines? Some people simply enjoy the pleasurable feelings and relaxation offered by benzos. Others use benzos to self-medicate anxiety, stress, and difficulty sleeping. Even with a valid prescription, a person can participate in benzo abuse by taking a higher dose than advised or using it more frequently.
Benzo Abuse Warning Signs to Keep in Mind
Benzos are frequently misused to cope with stress, anxiety, trauma, and other mental health issues. But misusing benzodiazepines can be harmful to your health. Keep an eye out for the following benzo abuse warning signs to prevent potential addiction in a loved one.
Taking More Than Prescribed
Sometimes, people take more of their pills than recommended by their doctor to increase the sedative effects. But this also raises the risk of adverse side effects, overdose, and dependence.
Taking Benzos Recreationally
If someone takes benzos when their symptoms are absent, they use the drug recreationally. Benzos are intended to address anxiety, insomnia, and other conditions but should only be used as needed to manage symptoms.
Doctor shopping is a practice that involves making appointments with multiple doctors to obtain more benzodiazepine prescriptions. Doctors typically limit how often they will prescribe or refill benzo prescriptions to prevent a person from misusing them. Some people try to get around this restriction by visiting different doctors and getting a prescription from each of them.
Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms
Over time, a person’s body can depend on benzodiazepines to feel calm and relaxed. Once they have developed a dependence, they will feel uncomfortable when the drug is not in their system. They may experience benzo withdrawal symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, seizures, loss of consciousness, severe depression, and muscle cramping.
Find Help for Benzo Abuse in Florida at My 5 Palms
If you think someone you love may be abusing benzodiazepines, talk to them about getting help. My 5 Palms provides evidence-based treatment for benzo abuse that you can count on. Our caring team of addiction treatment experts will ensure that your loved one gets through benzo withdrawal safely and receives support every step of the way. Contact My 5 Palms today at 1.844.675.1022 for more information about helping a loved one end benzo abuse.