Benzodiazepines (benzos) are prescription tranquilizers that can also be sedatives. They are prescribed to help with a number of different conditions that cause anxiety or panic disorders. They can also be prescribed to help with insomnia, seizures, or as part of a plan to help with alcohol addiction recovery. There are a number of different benzodiazepines that have been produced, but there are only 15 in the U.S. that are FDA approved. They are classified into three categories based on how long the effects last. Some examples include ultra short-acting Versed, short-acting Xanax and long-acting Valium.
Benzodiazepines may have a calming effect but they are highly addictive, and when someone is addicted to them there are physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms of addiction that are present.
Symptoms of Addiction
Benzo addiction is referred to as hypnotic, sedative, or axiological use disorder, and in order to have the addiction, there must be two of the possible 11 symptoms within the same 12-month period. Benzodiazepines are commonly abused because they are easily available.
There are a number of different symptoms, but some refer to the amount of time trying to get the drug and the amount of drug someone has to take as they build up a tolerance. As someone takes more benzos and builds up a tolerance, he or she will require more of the drug in order to achieve the same high. Withdrawal symptoms will emerge once the abuse stops or the dosage is cut down.
Benzo physical and psychological addiction symptoms include weakness, blurred vision, drowsiness, and poor judgment. In addition to physical symptoms, addicts can have mood changes and may partake in risky behavior, which includes driving after taking the drug or combining benzos with alcohol and other drugs. If the addiction is bad, the user will have to keep up with their habit so they may be doctor shopping in order to get more, or they may be asking friends, families, and colleagues for more pills. Death is rare when only benzodiazepines are being abused, but as the addiction worsens and they combine benzos with a number of other drugs or alcohol, then death could be more likely.
When taken in regulated doses for short periods of time, only a small percentage of users will show addiction. When stopped abruptly, there can be withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms will appear three to four days from the last use, but short-acting varieties can appear sooner.
Causes of Addiction
Some people have a tendency due to genetics to sufferfrom addiction, but there isn’t a lot of proof that some factors play a significant role in the addiction. Some common environmental factors that could play a slight role include low economic status, unemployment, and peer pressure.
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