Benzodiazepines, or benzos for short, belong to a class of drugs that are used to treat a variety of conditions. They work by affecting how the neurotransmitters in your brain by slowing down activity. This reduces nerve activity and calms down the brain. Unfortunately, while they are a very useful kind of drug, they can lead to abuse and negative health consequences. Let’s go over 5 things you should know about benzodiazepines.
1. What Are They Used For?
Benzos are used to treat many different conditions including
- Anxiety Disorder: This can include general anxiety disorder, different phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Convulsive disorders: They are used to treat seizures normally caused by epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis.
- Sleep disorders: They are sometimes prescribed to treat insomnia and other sleep issues.
- Detox: They are often used to help people detox from drugs or alcohol.
All benzos work similarly to varying strengths and action time depending on which kind you are taking. The most popular of the benzo category include Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, and Valium.
2. Common Side Effects of Benzodiazepines
There are a lot of side effects associated with benzo use. These side effects become intensified and more dangerous when Bezos are abused. They can include:
- Memory loss
Out of these side effects, drowsiness, dizziness, and sleepiness are the most common ones. However, the most serious side effect of benzo use is the risk of physical dependence and addiction. There is a lot of concern for this when it comes to benzos.
3. Benzo Dependence and Abuse
Overall, all benzodiazepines have a high potential for misuse and dependency. When prescribed by a doctor, they should only be taken for a short period, lowering this happening. However, when they are abused, it will happen. Many people do not set out to abuse benzos, and it can happen accidentally. For others, they abuse benzos for the high that they cause when taken in large doses. Some of the symptoms of benzo abuse can include problems with coordination, confusion, slurred speech, and extreme drowsiness.
4. Benzo Abuse Can Cause Brain Damage
Benzos can damage the brain in many different ways. The first way is that it damages the user’s term memory. The long-term memory most affected is episodic long-term memory. This means the important events in someone’s life like their wedding or the birth of a child.
Episodic memory also means the person’s ability to remember words of language rules they once knew. Benzodiazepines also obstruct visuospatial abilities, processing speed, and verbal learning abilities. Visuospatial refers to how an individual processes, sees, replicates, and understands where one object is concerning work similarly to other things.
5. Benzodiazepines Overdose
A benzo overdose occurs when someone takes too much of the drug all at one time. There is too much in your body at once for your body to handle. An overdose is not only dangerous; it is also life-threatening. Signs of an overdose can include difficulty breathing, unresponsiveness or weakness, blue nails and lips, tremors, altered mental status, and coma.
If you do or know someone who has a problem with benzodiazepine and is ready to get sober, the best way to start is by participating in a medically assisted detox.
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After long-term use, the brain is rewired and does not quite know how to function when it does not get a dose of benzos after long-term use. This is when withdrawal symptoms begin including muscle pain, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, intense drug craving, seizures, and even coma. Therefore, a medically assisted detox is always recommended for your safety. Let us help you turn your life around.