Signs of Benzo Addiction: Everything You Need To Know
What is Benzo Addiction?
Benzodiazepines, also referred to as “benzos,” are drugs used to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and muscle tension. When used as prescribed by a medical professional, benzos can be effective and beneficial. However, if they are not taken correctly, signs of benzo addiction may start to appear.1
Benzodiazepines have a high addiction potential. This is due to the combination of their pharmacological properties and their effects on the brain and body. Often, the signs of benzo addiction are discrete. Friends, families, and even the individuals themselves may not notice them.
This oversight can delay crucial interventions and support, which is why it’s important to know what the signs of benzo addiction are. Here are some common symptoms to be aware of:
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Shallow breathing is one of the most concerning physical signs of benzo addiction. Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants. This means they slow down various bodily functions, including respiration.
Depression is when an individual experiences persistent sadness, hopelessness, or a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed. Generally, most cases of substance use disorder also co-occur with symptoms of depression.
Changes in Social Circles
Factors That Affect The Signs Of Benzo Addiction
Men are generally less likely to be prescribed benzos than women. However, that doesn’t mean that men are immune from potentially developing substance use disorder due to benzos. They may display increased aggression, risk-taking behaviors, or start combining benzos with alcohol or other drugs.
Duration of Benzo Use
What Are the Dangers of Suddenly Stopping Benzodiazepine Use?
For instance, if a person took benzodiazepines for anxiety, they might become more anxious after stopping. Additionally, those using the drug for sleep might find it even more difficult to sleep after discontinuation.
Potential for Overdose
Severe Withdrawal Symptoms
- Panic attacks
- Disturbed sleep
- Hand tremors and sweating
- Difficulty concentrating
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle pain or stiffness
- Increased sensitivity to light, noise, or physical touch
- Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
Co-Occurring Disorders With Signs of Benzo Addiction
Further Note About Signs of Benzo Addiction With Co-Occurring Disorders
Understanding the interplay between co-occurring disorders and recognizing the signs of benzo addiction is essential for holistic mental health care. By spotting these signs, loved ones can intervene early. Healthcare professionals can also guide an individual toward recovery.
The Role of Healthcare Professionals in Managing the Signs of Benzo Addiction
Primary Care Physicians (PCPs)
PCPs often have long-standing relationships with patients. This makes them well-equipped to notice some of the first shifts in behavior or health. When a patient exhibits signs of benzo addiction when not on the drug, the PCP can take initial steps to address the issue or recommend further treatment.
Mental Health Professionals
Therapists and counselors may pick up on the emotional or psychological signs of benzo addiction. Patients may discuss feelings of dependency, heightened anxiety without medication, or other related concerns. This thorough discussion helps detect potential signs of benzo addiction.
Neurologists and other medical experts may also encounter patients misusing benzos. They can identify certain signs of benzo addiction or misuse. This is based on the patient’s condition and the drug’s typical effects on such conditions.
Ripple Ranch Recovery Center: Understanding and Addressing Benzo Addiction
What Do We Provide?
At our facility, we believe in a holistic approach to recovery, as we understand that addiction is often a manifestation of deeper, underlying issues.
What Therapies Do We Offer?
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: We use CBT to identify and change negative behaviors contributing to benzo addiction. As a result, individuals can alter emotional responses and behaviors related to benzo use.
- Medications: Our recovery team may recommend medications to aid benzodiazepine detoxification. A common example is flumazenil. Flumazenil is a traditional antidote for benzodiazepine overdose. By working as a partial agonist, it reverses the effect of benzos.
- Family Therapy: We educate families to make them more supportive allies in the recovery process. Family therapy offers a safe environment for family members to express their feelings and concerns. This honest communication is vital for recovery.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): Additionally, we employ EMDR to address the underlying trauma for many patients. This can help with co-occurring disorders as well.
- Alternative 12-Step Models:Ripple Ranch Recovery Center provides an alternative to the traditional 12-step model in order to help patients who need help with healing and recovery.
Reach Out and Begin Healing
Spotting the signs of benzo addiction can make all the difference. Act now and seek the support you or your loved one deserves. For further inquiries, feel free to contact us.
- 5 https://www.samhsa.gov/medications-substance-use-disorders/medications-counseling-related-conditions/co-occurring-disorders#:~:text=The%20coexistence%20of%20both%20a,affected%20by%20a%20mental%20illness.