Benzodiazepines are medications that are most commonly used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. They work by helping calm down the central nervous system, allowing for symptoms associated with anxiety disorders to lessen in intensity. When taken as prescribed, benzodiazepines can be a vital aid in helping those who grapple with anxiety disorders live mentally and emotionally healthy life. Unfortunately, however, benzodiazepines are extremely addictive and can cause more harm than good. Those who become addicted to this type of substance often find that they not only require treatment but benzodiazepine detox as well.
Why Are Benzodiazepines Abused?
Benzodiazepines, such as Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin, interact with gamma-aminobutyric acid neurotransmitters, or GABA neurotransmitters. GABA is responsible for regulating the central nervous system. When benzodiazepines are abused, they increase the function of GABA, leading to effects such as sedation, detachment from reality, and extreme relaxation. On paper, these symptoms may seem extreme and unwanted by most, but those who are looking to use benzos to cope with their pain often find relief in them. Therefore, continuing to use benzodiazepines in a manner consistent with self-medication can quickly lead to the development of addiction, which is life-threatening.
Signs and Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Addiction
When someone is abusing benzodiazepines, they are going to exhibit a number of symptoms that can be detrimental to their overall well-being. Someone who is under the influence of benzodiazepines as a result of abuse can develop the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Physical weakness
- Detachment from surroundings
- Problems breathing (reduced respiratory rate)
There is a major difference between what signs and symptoms appear when someone is under the influence of benzodiazepines and when they are addicted to them. The signs and symptoms of benzodiazepine addiction can include the following:
- Continuing to abuse benzodiazepines despite the negative consequences that develop as a result
- Spending a significant amount of time thinking about, recovering from, or using benzodiazepines
- Neglecting responsibilities at home, work, and/or school
- Suffering legal and/or financial repercussions as a result of benzodiazepine use
- Decreased hygiene practices
- Sudden changes in weight
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
Each individual person who is abusing or is addicted to benzodiazepines will experience their own combination of these and other symptoms. Typically, the more severe the benzodiazepine addiction, the more intense symptoms are. However, symptoms of benzodiazepine addiction can be intensified not as a result of how much is being abused, but as a result of other factors such as a co-occurring mental health condition.
Why Do You Need Benzodiazepine Detox Addiction Recovery?
When someone is addicted to a mind-altering substance, there is going to be a period of time where they go through withdrawals when they stop using their substance of choice. This is the nature of addiction and subsequent recovery. While many people can detox from certain substances with minimal risk, detoxing from benzodiazepines is not one of them. That is because detoxing from benzodiazepines can be extremely difficult and even deadly.
During benzodiazepine detox, individuals can experience a wide array of symptoms that can impact their mental, physical, and emotional well-being. The most common symptoms experienced during this time can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Physical aches and pains
- Problems sleeping
- Increased anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Muscle spasms
In some cases, these symptoms can be successfully managed with over-the-counter medications and rest. However, it is generally recommended that those who want to detox from benzodiazepines do so in the care of professionals, as these symptoms can create much bigger problems. Most notably, there is a risk for seizures to develop when detoxing from benzodiazepines, which can be fatal. This occurs because regular abuse of benzodiazepines leads to increased function of GABA in the brain. When benzodiazepines are no longer being abused, GABA cannot function at the same increased rate that it is used to, which can cause seizures to occur. Because of the risk for seizures and negative side effects associated with other symptoms, it can be life-saving to obtain professional detox services for benzodiazepine addiction.
Benefits of Benzodiazepine Detox
The severity of one’s benzodiazepine detox will be determined based on a number of various factors such as how long benzodiazepines have been abused, how much is being abused at a time, and if the user has any other co-occurring health conditions. It is important to remember that the answers to these questions might not be fully clear at the time of detox, which is one of the main reasons why detoxing in the care of professionals is highly beneficial.
Arguably, however, the most important reason to obtain benzodiazepine detox in a professional manner is to maintain safe physical and psychological health during this time. Several things can go wrong during benzodiazepine detox and death can become a possibility. When individuals are in the care of professionals, any and all issues that they develop can be addressed at the moment to help maintain one’s overall wellness.
Treatment For Benzodiazepine Detox and Addiction Treatment In Nashville
If you are addicted to benzodiazepines and are ready to put a stop to your use, contact Detox Nashville right now by calling our experienced staff and compassionate team members.