Is my loved one addicted to benzos

Benzos: Signs Your Loved One Is Addicted Part 1

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Benzodiazepines also known by the slang term Benzo are a class of sedatives commonly prescribed for relief from panic attacks, anxiety, insomnia, seizures and to induce muscle relaxation. If you suspect a family member or friend has an addiction to benzos, there can be serious and dangerous emotional, behavioral, and physical effects that may require the person to undergo medical detoxification and enter a drug rehab to regain their quality of life.

What Are Benzos and Why Are They Dangerous?

Benzos work similar to other tranquilizers and sedatives that will promote a calm demeanor, promote sleep, and allow the physical body to relax. When taken as prescribed, Benzos can reduce the ability of neurons in the brain to trigger a mental or emotional stress response or physical anxiety. For person’s suffering from PTSD, seizures, or severe insomnia, Benzos can help the individual live a better quality of life. The most commonly prescribed Benzos include:

  • Diazepam or Valium
  • Alprazolam or Xanax
  • Chlordiazepoxide or Librium

Benzo Withdrawals

When these sedatives are taken for longer periods of time or at higher rates and doses than prescribed, a person will build up a tolerance and physical dependence on benzodiazepines. Once the individual attempts to cut down on the intake of Benzos, the body will go through withdrawal symptoms that may include:

  • irritability and panic
  • sweating and anxiety
  • headaches and insomnia
  • muscle pain and stiffness
  • inability to concentrate

The dangers of quitting this class of drugs cold-turkey and without the proper medical and mental support can leave a person struggling with physical side effects that can be debilitating. Psychosis, mania, and paranoia can overtake a person while detoxing from benzos and leave them vulnerable to unpredictable behaviors.

Depending on the quantities that were previously consumed, life threatening withdrawal symptoms can include convulsions and seizures. For these reason, detox and withdrawal from an addiction to Benzos should not be done without someone else present – for the safety of the individual.

Symptoms of Addiction to Benzos

While most family may already know a person is taking Benzos for medical reasons, they should always be vigilant that their loved one is not going outside the recommended dosage and timing. If you suspect your loved one may be addicted to their prescribed Benzo medication and has even resorted to purchasing illegal street drugs to compensate for the increased usage, here are some signs of addiction to Benzos:

  • physical symptoms – slurred speech, nausea, drowsiness, constipation, and headaches
  • psychological symptoms – increasingly confused or annoyed, mood swings and memory problems
  • mental obsession – always looking for ways to get more or use more of the drug
  • polydrug use – mixing of other depressants including alcohol and street drugs
  • personal loss – losing interest in family, work, and social activities

Regain Freedom With Drug Treatment Program in Fresno California

It is recommended that anyone addicted to Benzos seek professional help when detox and also enter in a drug rehabilitation program designed for drug dependencies such as opioids and benzos. First Steps Recovery provides recovery services to Fresno and all Central California communities that include inpatient detox and rehabilitation, intensive outpatient programs, and ongoing relapse prevent and support. We use medical, evidence-based treatment options that are customized to meet the needs of our clients.

First Steps Addiction Treatment and IOP Program

To address an addiction to Benzos, it is often suggested that the individual enter an inpatient facility where a higher success rate for recovery is more evident. With an inpatient program, the person stays within the facility from 28 days up to 6 months while healing physically and mentally from the effects of long-term drug use. They also learn about the disease of addiction and how to prevent relapse and cope with life issues once they return home.

An addiction to Benzo drugs is serious, which is why an inpatient program is suggested where the individual is removed from the distractions of everyday life. If you are looking for help for yourself or for a loved one, please call First Steps Recovery today: 844-489-0836.


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