“Benzodiazepines: Effects and Addiction Symptoms Unveiled”

Benzodiazepines are controlled substances with a high potential for dependence and abuse. Seek medical advice and treatment if you want to discontinue the use of benzodiazepine, or if you already stopped and are suffering from withdrawal. To speak with a counselor concerning any questions you have about benzodiazepine withdrawal and detox call our 24 Hour Toll-Free Addiction Helpline 888-446-5952.

What Are Benzodiazepines or Benzos?

Benzodiazepines, also called benzos, are a class of widely prescribed drugs used to treat anxiety, insomnia, panic disorder and convulsions. Commonly known brand names include Xanax, Valium and Restoril.
These psychoactive prescription drugs are central nervous system (CNS) depressants. They enhance the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a natural chemical in the brain. GABA is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter that decreases or “slows down” brain activity. For that reason, benzos are classified as sedatives and often referred to as depressants for their calming effect.

Commonly Prescribed and Misused Benzodiazepines

The following list contains the five most commonly prescribed benzos, which are also the brands most often found on the illicit drug market.

Brand Name (Generic Name)

Xanax (Alprazolam)
Klonopin (Clonazepam)
Valium (Diazepam)
Ativan (Lorazepam)
Restoril (Temazepam)

What Are the Symptoms and Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction?

When used properly under a doctor’s care, benzodiazepines are safe and effective for the short term treatment of anxiety, insomnia and panic disorder. However, benzos can be addicting if used chronically. Long term use can lead to increased tolerance requiring higher doses to get the same initial effects. Users may develop a physical and psychological dependence on benzodiazepines. Even when taken under a physician’s care users can quickly become abusers and addicts.

In addition, benzos such as Xanax and Klonopin are often taken illicitly (for nonmedical purposes) by recreational drug users for the euphoric effects produced. Drug abusers frequently use benzos in combination with other drugs such as opioids and alcohol. A high risk for overdose exists when these drugs are used together, resulting in decreased heart rate and respiration that can potentially lead to death.

Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction

  • Taking benzos in larger amounts and for longer durations than prescribed, as well as having a persistent desire to take the drug.
  • Attempting to control or stop the use of the drug without success.
  • Spending much time acquiring and using the drug, as well as recovering from negative side effects.
  • Continuing to take benzodiazepine despite experiencing psychological or physical problems caused by its use.

Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Addiction

DrowsinessReduced inhibition
Poor coordinationImpaired judgment
Blurred visionSlurred speech
Memory lossIrritability

Withdrawal–What Happens When You Stop Taking Benzodiazepine?

Attempting to recover from benzodiazepine addiction on your own without the help of a medical professional can be very difficult, if not dangerous. Minor withdrawal symptoms may include:

Sleep problemsSweating
Difficulty in concentrationHeadache

Sudden withdrawal can result in serious medical problems for those who have used high doses over an extended period of time. More serious withdrawal signs and symptoms include:

HallucinationsIncreased blood pressure
Whole-body tremorsIncreased heart rate
SeizuresIncreased body temperature

Benzodiazepine Addiction Help and Treatment

If you have become addicted to benzos, it is important to seek the help of trained and dedicated medical professionals. Holy Land Rehab offer a variety of outpatient treatment options tailored to your specific needs starting with benzodiazepine detoxification and medically managed withdrawal. Patients will simultaneously participate in a rehabilitation program and then graduate to the support phase of treatment.

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