In the wake of an exploding and debilitating opioid addiction epidemic, benzodiazepine addiction is also on the rise, and is mostly being overlooked. The American Journal of Public Health published a study in April 2016 that found benzodiazepine, or benzo as it is colloquially referred to, overdoses were the second most common prescription deaths in 2013.
Don’t let this happen to you. If you’re addicted to benzodiazepines, please call Intervention Association to find a drug rehab center near you and change your life forever with a free consultation. You won’t regret it.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, benzodiazepines are depressants that produce sedation, induce sleep, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, and prevent seizures, causing similar effects to alcohol. Benzodiazepine use is particularly high among heroin users and can be obtained from a prescription. Similar to prescription opioids, overprescription can cause people who become dependent to seek a cheaper high with drugs like heroin.
Symptoms of use include drowsiness, blurred vision, poor coordination, amnesia, hostility, disturbing dreams, and impaired judgment. Overdoses on the drug comes from slowing down the nervous system so much that it shuts down, causing numerous health hazards and complications.
Perhaps the drug was dismissed as un-addictive due to past scientific studies that cleared it as non-habit forming. Further research, reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found that “when benzodiazepines limit the interneurons’ restraining influence, the dopamine-producing neurons release more dopamine,” causing an imbalance requiring the use of the drug for much-needed dopamine. The researchers found that despite different drugs producing a varying chain of dopamine surges, the end result is ultimately the same.
Despite similar challenges and results, the benzodiazepine problem has been completely overshadowed by the opioid epidemic, fostering unawareness and neglect for people addicted to the drug. The number of deaths from benzo overdoses is climbing faster than opioid deaths, though overdose deaths from opioid are much higher overall.
Without an adequate response to these addictions and fatalities, focusing our efforts solely on opioids, the problem will likely continue to escalate until it’s our new overarching epidemic. To abolish addiction, we must treat the source. Root causes that often contribute to and exacerbate addictions, such as mental health disorders, are still not being adequately treated with dual diagnosis mental health treatment.
In addition, using opioids and benzos simultaneously is common. Using the drugs together makes it much more difficult to get sober because of the added challenges of detoxing off both drugs, which results in more intense withdrawals and greater risks of seizures and other complications.
If you’re addicted to benzodiazepines, there is no time to waste. Call Intervention Association today to set up a consultation at one of the addiction recovery facilities in our network. You won’t regret it. Come see what true support can feel like a drug rehab clinic.