Benzodiazepines or benzos for short, are a class of sedatives or tranquilizers. They are commonly used and prescribed in the U.S. for conditions including anxiety, insomnia, seizure control, and muscle relaxation in case of muscle spasms. Common benzodiazepines in the market include Valium, Xanax, Ativan and Restoril.
Benzos act on the central nervous system to produce sedation, muscle relaxation, and lower anxiety levels. Some people also experience intense feelings of euphoria and well-being after taking these drugs. This last effect contributes to people seeking out benzos for pleasure rather than for medical purposes.
Benzodiazepine Tolerance and Dependence
Benzos are prescription medicines and some people start taking them on their doctors’ recommendation or prescription. However, tolerance to these drugs is extremely common. An individual who develops tolerance to benzos needs increasing doses to achieve the same effects originally produced by lower doses. This happens when the brain becomes accustomed to the drugs, requiring more to achieve a familiar high.
Tolerance may lead to dependence on the drug especially when benzos are taken for a longer period though this may also occur in as little as four weeks. Factors such as the duration of drug use, its potency, and the individual’s physical makeup influence physical and psychological dependence on the drugs.
Dependence on benzos means that a person is unable to function without them. Those who develop a dependence on benzos often experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using them. Dependence isn’t the same as addiction though it increases the chance or risk of addiction.
Some of the physical effects of benzodiazepine dependence include;
- Slowed thought process
- Memory impairment and difficulties
- Poor concentration
- Impaired judgment
- Slowed reaction time
- Dizziness and light-headedness
- Muscle weakness or tremors
Individuals who develop a dependence on benzos are unable to cope without them and may have unsuccessfully attempted to cut down on using them.
Don’t Wait. Get Help Today
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or dependence on benzodiazepines, help is available. At Impact Outpatient Program in Kentucky, we offer a range of addiction treatment programs designed to assist clients to break free from addiction including intensive outpatient treatment and outpatient drug rehab.
Admission to these programs depends on the severity of your addiction as well as your schedule. We also offer a telemedicine option providing virtual therapy sessions for those who, for one reason or another, are unable to physically attend their regular sessions.
We use a combination of evidence-based therapies and individualized programs to give our clients the best chance of conquering their addictions. We aim to keep treatment costs affordable to reach as many people as possible and work with different insurance providers to achieve this.
Our focus isn’t just on helping you to get better but also on rebuilding a productive, healthy life free from addiction. Contact us today and let’s help you find a path to lasting sustainable recovery.