benzodiazepine. addiction. treatment.

an introduction to benzos

What is addiction?

Humans are talented in finding cures for all the ailments they encounter since the beginning of time. Some treatments occur naturally, like the herbs and foods that affect the body and mind, while others are manmade.

Benzodiazepines fall under the latter group. They are manufactured tranquilizer medications that have an effect on the brain, the central nervous system, and suppress the activity of nerves.

Benzodiazepines predominantly treat anxiety since they work by curbing the excessive activity of the nerves in the brain. The neurotransmitters in the brain are chemicals that the nerves release so that they can communicate with each other. Profuse nerve activity brings on anxiety and other psychological disorders.

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How to know if someone is abusing benzos?

Signs + Symptoms of benzo abuse

Signs of Drug Abuse

Signs of drug abuse can be tough to establish, especially in children and teens. The youth are going through hormonal changes as well as coping with the stresses and pressures from peers and the environment they inhabit. For youngsters, you need to look out for in drug abuse is changes that vary from a healthy growth development.

For adults, the nonspecific signs may tip you off that an individual is abusing drugs. However, it is essential to note that symptoms of chronic abuse of benzo imitate the indications that it is treating.

Drug abuse signs:

  • Volatile  mood swings,
  • Deterioration in performance,
  • Changes in physical appearance,
  • Poor behavior affecting relationships in a negative way,
  • Anxiety,
  • Eating disorders (anorexia),
  • Insomnia,
  • Crippling headaches.

High doses of benzo produce signs of acute toxicity that needs immediate professional medical attention. If a person has taken an overdose, the doctors require the pill containers so that they can establish the quantity and type of pills taken.

Drug Overdose symptoms

  • Drowsiness and dizziness,
  • Confusion,
  • Hazy and impaired vision,
  • Lethargy (weakness),
  • Incoherent or slurred speech,
  • Uncoordinated movement,
  • Respiratory difficulties,
  • Coma.

Addiction Doesn’t Wait. Neither Should You.

Treatment Options for Benzo Abuse

Once an individual faces their benzo abuse head-on, without denying their problem, they can get help. Drug abusers generally play down the nature of their drug abuse. Their alternative reaction is to pass blame it on the stresses they feel from family, work, society, anywhere they can.

  • The people at home and work (or school), must also recognize that there is a problem: addiction is a compulsive behavioral disorder. The patient will have a supportive team surrounding them as they undergo their treatment. Workers need to know that they will not lose their jobs but can get assignments to safer tasks since they must not operate machines nor drive vehicles.
  • The immediate treatment for acute toxicity and overdose will vary. If the physician needs to pump the stomach contents, the medical procedure would be gastric lavage. A tube goes into the stomach and water pushes out the pill fragments.
  • The doctor can give a single dose of activated charcoal that prevents further absorption of the drug and causes nausea and vomiting.
  • In cases of severe poisoning, a patient receives counteractive medication that requires careful monitoring because the antidote can bring on seizures for chronic benzodiazepine abusers.
  • Inpatient treatment is best if the overdose is deliberate, implying that the patient has suicidal tendencies. A hospital psychiatrist will interview the drug abuser after their trip to the emergency room. The person will receive therapy if they are at risk of further hurting themselves or others.
  • Chronic abuse treatment requires the gradual reduction of the benzo to avoid withdrawal difficulties and seizures. The taper dose can be one-quarter of the daily requirement, for not less than four weeks. The reducing dosage depends on the patient’s pattern of drug abuse and is under the strict care of a physician.
  • The doctor may prescribe different benzo (tranquilizers) that have long-acting metabolites so that the patient undergoes a smoother and sometimes longer process of discontinuation.
  • Constant therapy and social support will help the individual in their strides to stay drug-free.

The complete discontinuation of benzodiazepines treatment must be under the management of a physician. Patients who are tapering their drugs as outpatients, from their homes, must not cease taking their reducing dose on a whim as it can lead to severe symptoms recurring.

Addiction Doesn’t Wait. Neither Should You.

Get Help Today

Quit using benzos today at Karuna Recovery

Karuna Recovery offers living spaces that are drama free, healthy environments to their occupants. Sober living support equips people who are determined to achieve their healing goals and life aspirations. Residents need only to follow the Karuna Recovery Residence Standards, and they will find that they can navigate mainstream life when they can manage their addictive triggers and situations better. You can cease abusing benzos for good at Karuna because they allow and guide your recovery steps to fit your speed. The combination of your hard work, Karuna’s philosophy and experience will equip you for a sober life.


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Karuna Recovery offers a unique blend of addiction treatment, aftercare, and support services in an effort to truly make a difference when combating the disease of addiction. To learn more about our programs or how we can help find out more today.