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Recognizing Benzo Abuse

a person looks at a pill bottle to show benzo abuse

Millions of Americans are prescribed benzodiazepines, or benzos, to treat muscle spasms, insomnia, seizures, panic, and anxiety. While highly safe and effective when taken as prescribed, benzos carry a significant potential for misuse, abuse, and dependency. For these reasons, benzos are considered a controlled substance and not intended for long-term use.

Benzos’ mood and mind-altering effects are the root cause of their misuse and abuse. Many people who are prescribed benzos misuse them by taking more than directed to alleviate symptoms. Many others take benzos recreationally, solely for their euphoric effects.

If you or a loved one struggles with benzo abuse or addiction, Evoke Wellness at Cohasset can help. Our benzo detox center in Massachusetts helps patients detox safely and comfortably while preparing them for comprehensive treatment. Call 866.931.6429 to learn more.

What Are Benzos?

Benzos are central nervous system depressants that primarily work by enhancing the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), causing a calming or sedating effect. Common benzodiazepines include the following:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax®)
  • Clonazepam (Klonapin®)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium®)
  • Diazepam (Valium®)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan®)
  • Triazolam (Halcion®)
  • Temazepam (Restoril®)

Due to their potential for tolerance, dependence, and addiction, benzos are typically prescribed only for short-term use. Misuse or prolonged use of benzos can lead to withdrawal symptoms and other adverse effects.

Benzos should only be used under the supervision and guidance of a healthcare professional, and it is crucial to follow dosages and instructions carefully. Abruptly stopping benzos can be dangerous. Thus, a healthcare provider should develop a plan to taper use when the medication is no longer needed.

Signs and Symptoms of Benzo Abuse

Unfortunately, the misuse or abuse of benzos is common. Many younger people use benzos recreationally, mixing them with alcohol or other drugs, which is dangerous. This polysubstance abuse increases the risks of addiction and overdose.

The signs and symptoms of benzo abuse can vary between individuals based on which drug is being abused and the presence of other substances. Being aware of and able to identify the signs and symptoms of benzo abuse can help prevent significant consequences, including overdose and death.

Common signs and symptoms of benzo abuse can include the following:

  • Sedation and drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired motor skills and coordination
  • Lightheadedness and dizziness
  • Mood swings and emotional instability
  • Increased irritability
  • Forgetfulness, memory problems, or difficulty concentrating
  • Increased tolerance
  • Social isolation
  • Neglect of responsibilities
  • Unpredictable behavior

Individuals who are misusing, abusing, or addicted to benzos may ask to borrow pills from others, steal them, or buy them illegally. Seeking multiple prescriptions from different doctors or pharmacies, known as “doctor shopping,” is a common practice.

The high cost of illegally obtaining benzos can lead to financial issues. Further, legal issues can arise when individuals engage in unlawful activities to obtain drugs or get caught with benzos without a prescription.

Seeking Treatment for Benzo Abuse

Treatment for benzo abuse or addiction involves a combination of medical, psychological, and behavioral interventions. Because withdrawal from benzos can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening, the first treatment step should be a medically supervised detox to manage withdrawal symptoms gradually and safely.

Other essential components of treatment for benzo abuse can include the following, based on individual needs:

  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Behavioral therapies
  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy and peer support
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Family counseling and support
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Holistic therapies
  • Relapse prevention
  • Aftercare

At Evoke Wellness at Cohasset, benzo treatment begins with a thorough intake assessment to determine the best treatment plan for your needs and circumstances. Our experienced staff knows substance use disorders (SUD) impact all areas of life, including the body, mind, and spirit. Therefore, we utilize evidence-based and holistic therapies to promote the comprehensive healing needed for lasting recovery.

Contact Evoke Wellness at Cohasset for Benzodiazepine Abuse Treatment

When you or your loved one is ready to end the cycle of benzo abuse or addiction, Evoke Wellness at Cohasset is here to help. In addition to the highest quality of care, our luxury rehab center offers a welcoming environment where patients feel comfortable and supported.

Our experienced treatment team understands how SUD impacts families and offers a robust family therapy program. Recovery is possible. Contact us online or call 866.931.6429 to learn about benzodiazepine treatment.