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Benzodiazepine Abuse: Symptoms & Signs of Dependence

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Benzodiazepines are a sedative class drug commonly prescribed by physicians to treat anxiety, seizures, sleep disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. This class of drugs has significant abuse potential. A person with physical dependence on the effects of benzodiazepines may encounter a host of other problems due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepines may also wreak havoc on the user’s physical and mental health, leading to co-occurring disorders. There are several physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms of benzodiazepine addictions. Common symptoms of physical dependence and psychological dependence on benzodiazepine prescription may include:

  • Muscle weakness

  • Blurred vision

  • Drowsiness

  • clouded judgment

  • shopping for doctors will prescribe

  • asking acquaintances if they have any benzodiazepines

  • changes in behavior

  • risky behavior, such as driving under the influence

  • taking benzodiazepines with alcohol or other drugs with benzodiazepines

  • weight loss

  • sleep disturbances

  • increase in anxiety symptoms

  • respiratory depression

The body builds a tolerance over time, and the person will require a higher dose of benzodiazepine to reach a high. If the individual abruptly stops or has a significant dose reduction, withdrawal symptoms will worsen. The symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal can be just as hazardous and deadly as alcohol withdrawal. 

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What is Benzodiazepine dependence?

Benzodiazepine dependence is commonly referred to as sedative use disorder. The term benzodiazepine dependence and soothing use disorder come from the physician’s book to diagnose mental illnesses. This book is called the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, also known as DSM-V. 

This drug is commonly abused due to the ease of getting a prescription for benzodiazepines. The addictive nature of sedation and muscle pain relief makes it a hazardous prescription drug. It is also common for a person to use benzodiazepines legitimately and, over time, develop an addiction to the medication. This was very important to follow the doctor’s orders and take your benzodiazepine dosage as prescribed to avoid adverse effects. It is essential to have a mature discussion with your doctor about their approaches to benzodiazepine discontinuation. This will help prevent addiction to benzodiazepines and other sedatives. It is also essential to remember not to take benzodiazepines with alcohol. This will increase the sedative effects and may lead to death.

Physical and Psychological Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Abuse

Several symptoms can warn an individual of benzodiazepine abuse

  • Physical weakness

  • Slurred speech

  • Confusion

  • Poor decision-making abilities and poor judgment

  • Blurred vision

  • Dizziness

  • Drowsiness

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Anorexia

  • Insomnia

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Tremors

  • Headaches

  • sleeping problems

behavioral signs that a loved one is abusing Benzos

People with substance use disorder will try to hide their psychological and physical dependence. Substance dependence disorder can change people and cause them to do things they would not normally do, such as lie, cheat or steal. Their thoughts will vary and be focused on how to get their next dose.

An individual with substance dependence disorder may show the following behavioral symptoms 

  • withdrawal from social responsibilities

  • fear of being without the drug

  • participates in uncharacteristic activities

  • engaging in risky behaviors such as driving under the influence

  • reduce the effort to maintain proper hygiene

  • secretive about their daily life

Showing Signs Of benzodiazepine Addiction

Benzodiazepine abuse can quickly turn into a full-blown addiction. It is common for those who use this drug to become addicted in as fast as three weeks.

Addiction can be marked as physical dependence on a substance. If a person can take the medication without their loved one finding out, they become more likely to become addicted. 

Finding Individualized Treatment For Benzodiazepine Abuse

You want to be prepared before approaching them about their substance abuse disorder. At Maple Mountain mental health & Wellness, we provide an individualized approach to struggling with the effects of substance abuse disorder. We specialize in treating your physical dependence while improving your mental health! If you are concerned that someone you know is abusing benzodiazepines is essential to research the different approaches to benzodiazepine treatment and detoxification from benzodiazepine.

There are many vital parts to treating substance abuse disorder. You will receive one-on-one counseling and group activities to improve your overall self-efficacy here. We use different approaches to help you reinvent a better you! Our world-class treatment center will ensure that each individual’s circumstances are considered, including any co-occurring disorder present, to provide the best chance at a successful recovery.

Please call 911 if you are experiencing a medical emergency or call our admissions department for support at (801) 499-9316

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