Are you or a loved one is taking benzodiazepines? If so, it’s important to be aware of the signs of benzo abuse before starting this medication. Benzodiazepines, or benzos for short, are a type of central nervous system depressant that treats insomnia, anxiety, and panic disorders. They produce a calming effect by slowing the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) along with producing euphoria in high enough doses. If a person takes more than prescribed or takes them with alcohol or other drugs, they greatly increase the risk of forming a strong addiction to the medication.
At Crestview Recovery, we work with Portland area residents who are struggling with an addiction to benzodiazepines, opioid pain medication, or other types of addictive substances. Our team has years of experience treating all types of addiction through a combination of behavioral therapy and medical support. Each program is tailored to the individual and focuses on all aspects of the addiction. To learn more about our benzo addiction treatment programs, call 866.262.0531 today to schedule a tour and meet our compassionate team.
The Dangers of Benzo Addiction
Most benzo prescriptions are only for 2–4 weeks, as taking it for longer can overwhelm your system and lead to physical dependence and addiction. Benzos make chemical changes in your system and negatively affect the production of dopamine and other important neurotransmitters. In fact, your body begins to rely on a continuous supply of benzos to continue functioning. If you stop taking benzos suddenly, you will experience intense withdrawals and powerful cravings for more of the drug.
The dangers of benzo addiction come from long-term abuse. Taking benzodiazepines for an extended period of time can lead to a number of psychological issues that include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sleep disorders
- Sexual dysfunction
At Crestview Recovery, our programs are very effective in treating benzo addiction symptoms and the underlying cause behind the abuse. Clients will work with a behavioral therapist in group and private therapy sessions to develop new coping skills to stop the abuse once and for all.
4 Signs of Benzo Abuse
Familiarizing yourself with the signs of benzo addiction is crucial if you or a loved one is taking benzodiazepines for severe anxiety, sleep disorders, or panic disorders. If you are worried that someone you know is abusing their benzo prescription, here are some of the common signs of benzo abuse:
- One of the biggest signs of abuse is needing to refill the prescription before the refill date. They may have multiple prescriptions from different doctors or for different people if they cannot get a refill.
- Benzo abuse can lead to trying harder drugs, like heroin and meth. As tolerance levels build, they need to take more to feel the same effects. This can lead some to try illegal drugs so they can continue to feel the intense euphoric sensations.
- Physical signs of benzo abuse include physical weakness, slurred speech, lack of motor control, drowsiness, and difficulty breathing.
- Psychological and behavioral signs of benzo addiction include frequent mood swings, having trouble making complex decisions, and participating in risky behavior such as unprotected sex, stealing, and impaired driving.
Recognizing the signs of benzo addiction can save the life of a friend or loved one who is abusing their medication. The risk of death is relatively rare. However, those who take large amounts of benzodiazepines with alcohol or other drugs will increase the risk of overdosing and coma.
Join Crestview Recovery for Our Benzo Addiction Treatment Program
At Crestview Recovery, we support men and women who are struggling with benzodiazepine addiction at our full-service addiction treatment facility. Moreover, our programs treat all benzo addiction symptoms through group and private therapy sessions using behavioral and holistic therapies. We also provide medication-assisted treatment to ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and ready for a positive change, call 866.262.0531 today to speak with one of our caring team members.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.