What are benzos? The word benzos is short for benzodiazepines. This prescription medication can come with a range of side effects, including the potential for addiction. Explore what benzos really are, what kind of drugs qualify as benzos and how to get treatment for an addiction to benzos.
What are Benzos?
Benzos are essentially tranquilizers. Medical professionals prescribe them for patients who suffer from conditions like anxiety, panic attacks, seizures, and insomnia. In rare cases, patients might get a benzodiazepine as an anesthetic before a surgical procedure.
Benzos fall under the Controlled Substances Act. All benzos are Schedule IV drugs. This means that using benzos without a medical prescription is illegal. In addition, doing so can be very dangerous.
There are several brand-name and generic drugs that fall under the category of benzos. Just a handful can include the following:
What are the Side Effects of Using Benzos?
The side effects of benzos come in two varieties: intended and unintended. The intended results of taking benzos usually include lower anxiety levels, sedation, and muscle relaxation. The unintended side effects, however, can be far less desirable.
Many people who take benzos feel very dizzy after consumption. Drowsiness is also common, and that feeling can last for a full day or longer. This isn’t ideal since most people who take benzos still want to see friends, work and function in daily life without being exhausted.
Benzodiazepines can also cause headaches, dry mouth, nausea and impaired cognition. Memory loss is possible, and gastrointestinal distress is likely. In short, taking benzos even once comes with a number of risks and unpleasant side effects.
What Happens if You Abuse Benzos?
Even those who take benzos for legitimate medical reasons can suffer from side effects. However, those who abuse benzos face even greater risks.
Abusing benzos might mean taking them illicitly, or without medical supervision. It might also mean increasing dosage, mixing benzos with other substances or taking the drugs inappropriately.
Taking too much of a benzodiazepine can lead to an overdose. If that happens, individuals may experience symptoms that include trouble breathing, tremors and difficulty moving. An overdose might result in blue lips or fingers, and it can cause serious weakness. In extreme cases, an overdose on benzos can lead to a coma or even to death.
Abusing benzos can also lead to addiction. Trying to withdraw alone can be unpleasant and dangerous in some instances, so you should always seek medical assistance.
Can You Recover From an Addiction to Benzodiazepines?
In a word, yes. Recovery from a benzos addiction is absolutely possible. However, it’s a challenge. That’s why medical professionals strongly recommend seeking out addiction programs.
In our women’s addiction treatment program, patients have access to:
- Individual therapy
- Sober living options
- Group therapy
- Relapse prevention education
- Narcotics Anonymous or 12 Step meetings
- Exercise therapy
- meditation therapies
What are benzos holding you back from? If you or someone you love struggles with a benzodiazepine addiction, seek help and you can find out. At Soledad House in San Diego, California, you can overcome addiction thanks to evidence-based treatment plans. Call 866-314-3222 to embark on a journey to your sobriety.