September 4th, 2023
According to a study conducted in 2022, a significant portion of individuals prescribed benzodiazepines continued to receive inappropriate prescriptions, even though they were no longer required to take them. When analysed by researchers, it was found that over half of these users were identified as candidates for reducing or stopping benzodiazepine usage. Given the addictive nature of benzodiazepines with prolonged use, these statistics raise concerns within communities worldwide.
If you’re facing challenges with your benzodiazepine usage, support and assistance are accessible to you. Seeking help for benzodiazepine addiction is a positive step towards addressing your concerns and improving your well-being.
What is benzodiazepine addiction?
Benzodiazepine addiction is a type of substance use disorder where users feel a strong urge to seek and use benzodiazepines, even when it brings adverse effects. People with benzodiazepine addiction often take higher doses of these drugs to get the desired results, leading to physical and psychological dependence. It’s a serious issue that can cause severe harm to the user’s health, as well as putting strain on their relationships.
There are many different types of benzodiazepines available in the UK, all having the potential for addiction. Here are some of the most common forms;
Xanax is used for anxiety and panic disorders. Its addictive potential stems from its ability to induce relaxation and euphoria, which can lead to dependence and abuse when taken in excessive amounts or for prolonged periods. Click on the button below to learn more.
Diazepam addiction is a concern due to the drug’s potential for dependence. Misuse or prolonged use can lead to sedation, relaxation and a desire for more, creating a cycle of abuse that can be difficult to break. If you would like to learn more about diazepam addiction, click the button below.
Lorazepam addiction is dangerous due to its potential for physical and psychological dependence. Excessive use can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms and respiratory depression, posing significant risks to health and well-being.
Librium is a prescription medication for anxiety and alcohol withdrawal. It has addictive potential due to its ability to enhance the effects of the neurotransmitter, GABA, resulting in sedation and relaxation. Prolonged use can lead to dependence and abuse.
Klonopin is a medication used for seizures, panic disorder and anxiety. It has addictive potential due to its ability to produce sedation and relaxation, making it susceptible to misuse and dependence with prolonged use. Click the button below to learn more.
Mogadon addiction results from long-term use of a benzodiazepine sedative that causes dependence and withdrawal symptoms upon cessation. Its calming effects can be habit-forming, leading to abuse, overdoses and other health problems.
Temazepam is commonly used to treat anxiety and insomnia. It is addictive because it can cause a feeling of calmness and relaxation, leading to dependence and withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped or reduced. Click on the button below to learn more.
What can cause a benzodiazepine addiction to develop?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to determining how a benzodiazepine addiction develops. Each person’s experience is unique and influenced by various factors. The following factors are some of the most common pathways that lead to benzodiazepine addiction;
Using benzodiazepines for an extended period, even when taken as prescribed, can increase the risk of developing benzo addiction. The longer the duration of use, the higher the likelihood of dependence.
Using benzodiazepines for non-medical purposes, such as to achieve a euphoric or sedative effect, can lead to benzo addiction. Misusing these drugs for their pleasurable or calming effects can quickly escalate into a problematic pattern of use.
People with mental health conditions like anxiety, panic disorders, or insomnia may be more susceptible to developing a benzodiazepine addiction. These medications are commonly prescribed to manage such conditions, but if you have pre-existing psychological vulnerabilities, you may be at a higher risk of misuse and dependence.
Genetic factors can greatly influence how the body metabolises benzodiazepines and how the brain responds to the drugs, making certain people more susceptible to developing a benzodiazepine addiction.
History of substance abuse…
If you have a history of substance abuse, such as alcohol or illicit drugs, you may be more prone to developing a benzodiazepine addiction. Past addictive behaviours can increase the risk of forming new dependencies.
Environmental influences, such as one where substance abuse is prevalent, can contribute to the development of benzodiazepine addiction.
Am I addicted to benzodiazepines?
Reflecting on your benzodiazepine use can play a crucial role in recognising and addressing a potential benzodiazepine addiction. By taking the time to assess your relationship with benzodiazepines, you gain self-awareness and a clearer understanding of the impact they have on your life.
Take the time to answer the following questions:
- Have you found it difficult to control or limit your use of benzodiazepines, even when you’ve tried to cut down or stop using them?
- Do you experience cravings or a strong urge to use benzodiazepines, especially when you haven’t taken them for a while?
- Have you needed to increase your dosage or frequency of benzodiazepine use over time to achieve the same effects?
- Do you continue to use benzodiazepines despite experiencing negative consequences in your personal life, relationships or work?
- Have you experienced withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, insomnia, irritability or physical discomfort, when attempting to reduce or stop using benzodiazepines?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional, as you may be showing signs of benzodiazepine addiction.
Why is being addicted to benzodiazepines so dangerous?
Benzodiazepine addiction can affect your physical and mental well-being, making the treatment process even more complicated. Some of the common benzodiazepine addiction symptoms include:
Physical health consequences: Prolonged and excessive benzodiazepine use can lead to a range of physical health issues. These may include;
- blurred vision
- impaired coordination
- muscle weakness
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Respiratory depression
- Increased vulnerability to infections
Long-term use can also contribute to organ damage and other systemic health complications.
Cognitive impairment: Benzodiazepines are known to impair cognitive function. Chronic use and addiction can lead to cognitive deficits such as:
- Memory problems
- Attention and concentration difficulties
- Slowed thinking processes
- Decreased mental acuity
These cognitive impairments can impact various aspects of daily functioning and quality of life.
Emotional and psychological disturbances: Benzodiazepine addiction can profoundly affect your emotional and psychological well-being. It can lead to increased:
- Mood swings
- Emotional instability
Paradoxically, the initially prescribed drug to alleviate anxiety can exacerbate these symptoms over time. This is known as benzodiazepine rebound anxiety.
Dangerous risks of other drug interactions: Benzodiazepines affect the central nervous system (CNS) by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which reduces brain activity and promotes relaxation.
Depressant drugs, such as alcohol, also affect the CNS and, when taken together, can amplify each other’s effects. This could lead to extreme sedation, confusion and respiratory depression. Moreover, it can also lead to a loss of consciousness and suppressed breathing, which can be fatal in some cases.
How can Oasis Runcorn help with benzodiazepine addiction?
At Oasis Runcorn, we offer a specialised benzodiazepine addiction treatment programme which provides a clear and focused path towards recovery. Our programme is designed to eliminate the distractions and pressures of daily life, allowing you to concentrate on your journey towards healing fully.
Our detox programme gently eliminates harmful toxins accumulated from benzodiazepine abuse. Our team of dedicated professionals ensures your comfort and provides round-the-clock support.
Once detox is completed, you will move on to our comprehensive benzodiazepine rehab programme. Through individual therapy sessions and group support, you will explore the root causes of your benzo addiction and develop effective coping strategies.
How can I help a loved one with a benzodiazepine addiction?
We understand how heart-breaking it feels to watch a loved one go through benzo addiction. To help with the situation, here are some tips that may be beneficial for you and your loved one:
- Educate yourself: Learn more about benzodiazepine addiction, including the signs, addiction symptoms and treatment options. This information can be found online or through a medical professional.
- Offer support: Talk to your loved one about their benzodiazepine addiction and offer your support and encouragement to seek professional help.
- Be honest about your concerns: Express concerns to your loved one non-judgmentally. Let them know you are worried about their well-being and want to help.
- Set boundaries: Set healthy boundaries around their benzodiazepine addiction. This may mean refusing to lend them money, refusing to enable their substance use or cutting ties until they decide to get help.
- Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself is important too. Make time for self-care activities that help you manage stress, such as exercise, meditation or therapy.
What are the next steps?
If you or someone you love is dealing with benzodiazepine addiction, remember that help is within reach, and you are not alone. A benzodiazepine addiction can easily consume your life, but reaching out for support is a brave start to regaining control of your well-being.
At Oasis Runcorn, our healthcare professionals can offer the guidance and resources needed to recover successfully. Take the courageous step today and live a more joyful and healthier life.