What are benzos, and what happens if you become addicted? The effects of addiction are devastating on you, your family, and your loved ones. Facing an addiction that stems from a prescription drug that initially was beneficial to treating a physical or mental health issue can be even more challenging. If you are struggling with addiction to one of the many types of benzodiazepine tranquilizers prescribed by doctors, Sunflower Wellness Retreat, a residential addiction treatment center in eastern Kansas, can help you in your journey back to health and wholeness.
What Are Benzos? Prescription Use
Doctors have prescribed benzodiazepine-class drugs such as Valium and Xanax for decades as a pharmaceutical treatment for a wide variety of mental health conditions and brain or neurological conditions. Drugs such as Valium can be beneficial if you suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorders, insomnia, and even as a treatment for seizures if you have diagnosed epilepsy.
Because this class of drugs is a tranquilizer, the effect of these drugs is to create a temporary sedation effect that slows down the rate of neurotransmitters in the brain. By slowing this brain activity down, these drugs can slow down or stop the brain’s response to panic, anxiety, and stress, and create a calming effect on you.
Side Effects and Risks of Benzodiazepines
Like any pharmaceutical drug, benzodiazepine prescription use can be associated with certain side effects or risks, and your doctor should explain these risks to you in light of your personal health profile.
Because this class of drugs has a sedating effect on your brain, it should be no surprise that many of the potential side effects are related to slower responses and reaction times in your brain’s neurotransmitters. These include:
- Feeling sleepier than normal or groggy even after a full night’s sleep.
- A sense of dullness or confusion when faced with everyday tasks.
- Potential impairment of gross or fine motor skills, leading to dizziness or difficulty driving.
Serious risks when taking this class of drugs can occur if you also drink alcohol at the same time. This can lead to an overdose effect that could be fatal. There are also risks if you are over 65 as extended use of this class of drugs could trigger an onset of early dementia. The greatest risk of long-term benzodiazepine use is addiction.
Benzo Addiction and Treatment
Like many prescription drugs that create a change in your brain chemistry and produce an altered or improved mental state, benzos can become addictive if they are abused or are used for a long period of time.
Addiction to this class of drugs has increased markedly over the last several years due to overprescribing by physicians. While these drugs can be an important treatment for a wide variety of mental health or neurological health conditions, your physician must monitor your use and offer treatment options that complement the use of these prescribed drugs, such as individual therapy programs that allow you to create and explore alternative coping mechanisms for your anxiety, stress, or insomnia.
Treatment for benzo addiction is possible, and we, at Sunflower Wellness, applaud you for taking the first steps to learn more about how you can regain control of your health. For more information about the premier residential addiction treatment facility in eastern Kansas, reach out to our caring, professional staff at Sunflower Wellness Retreat today at 855.730.8825. We look forward to partnering with you to win your battle against benzo addiction.