Benzodiazepines are potent prescription tranquilizers, most used to treat anxiety-related disorders, sleep disorders, seizures, and symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal. When used as prescribed by a medical professional, benzodiazepines are highly effective in treating the symptoms associated with the above-listed disorders. However, this specific type of medication also has an extremely high propensity for abuse.
Even individuals who use this medication as prescribed are liable to develop substance abuse or dependency disorder with daily use if they take the medication for as little as two weeks straight. For this reason (among several others), benzodiazepines are always prescribed short-term. It is not uncommon for individuals who have prescribed this medication – or who have not prescribed this medication – to begin abusing it, which essentially means taking it in any way other than how it was directed to be taken by a medical professional. People who misuse benzodiazepines are doing so in hopes of achieving a high. It is a common misconception that medication prescribed by professional doctors or clinicians cannot be dangerous. This could not be farther from the truth.
Prescription medications like opioid painkillers and benzodiazepines are extremely dangerous when taken other than as prescribed.
Benzodiazepine Abuse and Addiction
Can benzodiazepines get you high? In short, yes. When any benzodiazepine – like Xanax, Valium, or Klonopin – is taken in a high dosage, it can get you high. However, it is important to understand the initial high will eventually wear off and be replaced by a host of unpleasant physical and psychological feelings.
People will spend weeks, months, and years chasing the initial high, only to find that their substance abuse disorder is getting worse and worse, and what once produced feelings of euphoria now produces feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and intense physical discomfort. If you believe that you may be suffering at the hands of a benzodiazepine addiction, there are several signs and symptoms to look for, including (but not limited to):
- Continuing to use benzodiazepines despite negative personal consequences
- Using benzodiazepines instead of fulfilling personal obligations or participating in day-to-day activities
- Attempting to cut back or quit but being unable to do so for an extended period
- “Doctor shopping,” or attempting to get benzodiazepine prescriptions from more than one doctor at a time
- Stealing prescriptions from friends, family members, or strangers
- Using more of the medication than was originally intended
- Mixing benzodiazepines with other drugs (also known as polydrug abuse)
- Engaging in risk-taking behaviors while high on benzodiazepines, like driving while intoxicated or engaging in promiscuous sex
- Experiencing problems at work or school as a direct result of compromised motivation
- Experiencing legal and financial issues, often due to the high street value of prescription medications that people take to feel a “high”
- Defensiveness when family members or friends express concern relating to drug use
- The development of a tolerance, meaning that a higher dose of the medication will be required for the same effects to be produced
- Withdrawal symptoms, like anxiety, sleep-related issues, depression, muscle aches and pains, nausea and vomiting, and in extreme cases, hallucinations and grand mal seizures – their withdrawal symptoms will occur shortly after use is entirely ceased
Garden State Treatment Center and Benzodiazepine Addiction Recovery
At Garden State Treatment Center, we have extensive experience treating all symptoms of benzodiazepine abuse and addiction, from the symptoms of withdrawal to the symptoms associated with long-term abuse. We understand that benzodiazepines are highly addictive and that quitting is never as simple as merely deciding to quit. Professional addiction treatment will always be necessary – and that is where we come into play.
For more information on our comprehensive program of benzodiazepine addiction recovery, give us a call today. We look forward to speaking with you soon and getting you or your loved one started on a fulfilling and lasting recovery journey today.