Today, prescription drug use for anxiety is common. Short-term medications can help people relax, sleep, and rest in times of high stress. Many people are prescribed benzos after a significant life event or crisis to create a temporary state of calm. Most often, doctors will prescribe a limited supply of benzos, also known as benzodiazepines. These prescription drugs treat insomnia, panic disorders, anxiety, and muscle tension. Nearly fifty million prescriptions are written for benzos each year in the U.S. They are an extremely popular choice for short-term treatment. However, because benzos are so common and treat both sleep disorders and anxiety, they are frequently abused. Their short-term effects can lead to dependency and benzo addiction. Luckily, today there are thousands of programs around the country for benzo addiction treatment.
What Are Benzos?
Benzodiazepines are synthetic drugs designed to slow down the brain’s processing speed. Like most prescription drugs, benzos alter brain chemistry by increasing GABA in the brain. Our brains naturally make GABA to calm the nervous system. Benzos offer a higher amount of GABA and decrease our natural GABA production. Benzos also increase dopamine production, the chemical that causes joy and euphoria. Dopamine can also be highly motivating. Frequent use of benzos will dramatically decrease the natural production of GABA and dopamine. This makes it increasingly difficult to stop taking the drug. Common benzo prescriptions include:
Because benzos can cause the brain to stop producing GABA and dopamine, they are taken for only a few weeks at a time. Unfortunately, their effects can easily lead to benzo abuse and long-term addiction.
What Is Benzo Withdrawal?
Like any addictive substance, stopping benzo use can cause withdrawal symptoms. If someone uses benzos longer than a couple of weeks, long-term effects may occur. The effects of benzos on someone’s brain can cause users to struggle to complete tasks. They may not understand the world around them. They may seem disoriented and struggle with speech. Communicating with someone abusing benzos may feel like talking to someone who can’t catch up or be present in the conversation. The cognitive effects of benzos on someone’s brain can cause users to struggle to complete tasks, understand objects, people, and scenarios with the world around them, and experience changes in their speech and language abilities.
During benzo withdrawal, the brain stops receiving GABA and dopamine from the benzo but hasn’t made its own again. Often, initial symptoms like anxiety and insomnia return and worsen along with mood swings, short-term memory loss, hallucinations, digestive trouble, and depression. Withdrawal can be an incredibly difficult time for both a user and their family. It is always safest to undergo detox at a facility that supplies medical support without access to other substances. During benzo withdrawal, people are more likely to seek other drugs or overdose in an attempt to lessen withdrawal symptoms.
Choose Baltimore Detox Center for Benzo Addiction Treatment
The effects of benzo abuse and withdrawal can be intimidating. Our staff at Baltimore Detox Center can hold your hand through every step of benzo detox and recovery. If you or a loved one have developed a dependency on benzos or other prescription drugs, Baltimore Detox Center can help you safely detox and recover. Our intimate Baltimore-based clinic treats both substance addiction and mood disorders with various types of therapy. As the second free-standing detox center in the city, our inpatient programs can get you on the road to recovery. Learn more about our benzo addiction treatment and other programs by calling us at 833.714.1575 or completing our online form today.