How does a Benzo Addiction Start?
Medications like Xanax and other benzodiazepines were created by pharmaceutical companies with the best intentions. These types of medications act as a tranquilizer to help calm a person who is struggling with anxiety. Benzos assist in relieving stress, fears, and anxiety of the person taking the medication, but also release a pleasing effect in the body. Some people immediately feel the high that comes from benzos and begin abusing the medications. Others develop their dependence over time.
What is Benzodiazepine?
Benzodiazepine – also known as “benzos” – a psychoactive drug that is commonly prescribed for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, seizures, muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal, and agitation or some forms of anxiety. Benzos are often used as a premedication for some medical or dental procedures. Benzos were also being prescribed to help people who were going through alcohol withdrawal, but it was found that this medication can also be highly addictive. Whether the medication is being used to help treat withdrawals or other physical and mental health issues, a person can become addicted to the medication.
In general, benzos are safe and effective for treatment of a number of conditions if used only in the short term. Long-term use or abuse of the drug often leads to a powerful addiction effect and extremely intense withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use. These drugs are also commonly taken with other drugs or alcohol and as such, they have been associated with a number of high-profile celebrity drug overdoses in the past several decades.
Benzodiazepines possess multiple medicinal applications due to the sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and amnesiac properties of the drug. That said, there is no approved long-term usage in a medical sense due to the high potential for addiction, abuse, and the powerful withdrawal that accompanies the cessation of use of the drug in higher amounts, or over a long time frame.
Most often, benzos are administered orally, but abusers have been known to administer the drug intravenously, by way of insufflation, intramuscularly or rectally in order to speed up the rate at which the drug is absorbed into the body or to make for a more powerful high.
How a Benzo Addiction Progresses
Once a person becomes tolerant to a benzodiazepine, they’ll need more in order to get the high that they’re looking for because their original dosage is no longer effective. They may be able to get an increased dosage from their doctor, but eventually, they will run out from abusing the medication. When this happens the primary doctor may notice the problem and stop prescribing the medication or recommend the person switch to a non-narcotic. At this point, the abuser will begin seeking other means of obtaining the medication, which may include seeing multiple doctors, stealing the medication or buying it illegally.
The Dangers of a Benzo Addiction
When the disease of addiction takes hold of the person, he or she disregards the potential dangers of substance abuse. Long-term abuse of medications like Xanax puts the person at a high risk of a fatal overdose. Benzodiazepines depress the central nervous system, which may cause shallow breathing and issues with the person’s heart. The long-term abuse of the medication may also cause the person to experience symptoms of withdrawal if they try to stop. Some symptoms may include depression, anxiety, and body aches. The more dangerous symptoms include seizures and suicidal thoughts.
Overcoming an Addiction to Xanax
Although it may seem like you’re in a hopeless situation when you’re struggling with a Xanax addiction, you can get help. A qualified addiction treatment facility has a carrying, knowledgeable staff who will ensure that you receive the care and treatment that you need. The first step towards overcoming an addiction to Xanax is to go through a medical detoxification process. This is to make sure that you don’t suffer from any of the uncomfortable and dangerous side effects from stopping your use of the medication. From here, you’ll begin in-depth addiction treatment where you’ll learn how to manage your life without having to turn to mind-altering substances. You’ll be amazed at how different life strategies can help you manage the stresses of life without having to pick up a benzodiazepine again.