Benzodiazepine Addiction and Abuse

Has your Xanax or other Benzodiazepine addiction cost you a job, or a relationship? Do you think a life without benzodiazepines would be difficult, or unmanageable? You’re not the only one to answer yes to these questions. In today’s society Benzodiazepine addiction is not uncommon. With the stresses of everyday life, many are recommended these prescription drugs by their doctors to deal with anxiety and depression.

Although these drugs are proven to be effective, the debate of their use comes into question when you consider how highly addictive and dangerous they can be. Xanax and other benzodiazepines have side effects that are supposed to relax the user; however, when these drugs are abused the results can be deadly to the users and those around them. Can you imagine yourself living a new life, free from the dependence of your Benzedrine medicine? Believe it or not there is help available that allows you to come to terms with your addiction, learn new ways to live, and manage your anxieties. If you want to know more about benzodiazepine addiction and treatment options, this is a great place to start.

Benzodiazepine Addiction and Abuse

Have you ever woken up and not known where you were, or how you got there? That is exactly what can happen when you abuse a benzodiazepine, it is scary because these drugs are also used socially. When you abuse a benzodiazepine you are really putting yourself in jeopardy, because the side effects can be deadly.Take this into consideration, between 2004 and 2010 emergency room visits from people suffering from the effects of Xanax went up from 46,000 to almost 125,000, according to The Drug Awareness Warning Network. This is not including any of the other benzodiazepines available on the market.These drugs are easily abused because they are designed to lower your stress, anxiety, or depression. The feeling you get after taking this medication may make you believe that you can escape from your worries, and be calm and happy. However, this is a slippery slope for some people.This is because while on their medication they want to feel that effect more often, and take more than they were supposed to take. This is abuse, and the signs, symptoms, and lasting effects of this type of misuse are right around the corner.

Signs and Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Abuse

It can be easy to think that taking a few additional benzodiazepines during the day is harmless, but the truth is you’re actually opening yourself up to some serious side effects. Some of these symptoms may not seem that serious, and you may have even brushed them aside. This is not a good habit to keep. If you think you or a loved one is abusing benzodiazepines, then here are a few questions you can ask yourself.

  • Are you taking more of your benzodiazepine then is prescribed?
  • Do you use your benzodiazepine medication at social gatherings?
  • Are you taking your benzodiazepine every 2 or 3 hours instead of every 4 as recommended?

If you’ve identified yourself as a possible addict, then you should know that help is available. You must also be on the lookout for symptoms of benzodiazepine abuse such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Irritation
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Dry mouth
  • Sedation

If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, you should seek help right away. Benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Ativan are some of the most commonly abused prescription medications besides opiates. These drugs are dangerous, especially when they are abused in social environments and mixed with other drugs. Continuing to feed your drug addiction and ignore these early symptoms will only make things worse and lead to more severe effects.

Side Effects of Benzodiazepines

While you might think that the effects of benzos are nothing to worry about right now, you must understand that you’re putting yourself and others in danger. For example, in 2012 a Kentucky man was parked on the side of the road when he was hit and killed by a man under the influence of Xanax. Stories like this are easy to find, and sadly happen much too often.

Other unfortunate stories of benzodiazepine abuse include theft, broken of relationships, and even death in some cases. Benzodiazepines like Xanax can have highly addictive, and dangerous side effects.

The most common side effects of benzodiazepine abuse are:

  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty concentrating.

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Long-term abuse of benzodiazepines has recently been linked to increasing your chances of developing Alzheimer’s. The research showed that elderly test subjects who had taken benzodiazepines for 6 months up to the study, had 84 % more of a chance to develop Alzheimer’s than those who did not take benzodiazepines.

This study was conducted in 2014, and was reported on in the Harvard Health Publications by Beverly Merz. If you’re addicted to a benzodiazepine you should consider your options for detox and rehabilitation before things become worse

Overdose Symptoms of Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepine overdoses can occur if someone is addicted or abusing the drug, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency benzodiazepine fact sheet. Signs that you or loved one may be overdosing from these drugs includes:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Clammy skin
  • Dilated pupils
  • Weak pulse
  • Coma
  • Hallucinations
  • Possibly death

Don’t allow yourself to have to go through an overdose situation, because there is no guarantee that you’ll survive the experience. You can get the help you need today and find a reliable rehab treatment center that will put you on the path towards recovery.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal and Detox

Wanting to quit on your own can be tempting. You wouldn’t have to leave the comfort of your own home and it wouldn’t disrupt your daily life. However, withdrawal from Xanax and other benzodiazepines can be very dangerous!

Benzodiazepines are different from most drugs because of the rare but possible chance that one could die from its withdrawal. For this reason, it is highly recommended to be slowly weened off of these drugs while under careful medical supervision.

General benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Panic attacks
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Hand Tremors
  • Nausea and dry heaving
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle pain and stiffness
  • Changes in perception/ Hallucinations

The list of withdrawal symptoms is not meant to scare you, but to show you the seriousness of your benzodiazepine addiction. For benzodiazepines especially, it is very important that you go through withdrawal and detox while under close medical care.

Benzodiazepine Treatment and Rehab

If you are looking into treatment for your benzodiazepine abuse, then you are on the right track to making a better life for yourself. There are many different treatment options that you can explore for your addiction, and the options will vary on many different factors such as:

  • Length of Stay (1 year, 6 months, 90-30 days, 30 or less days)
  • Insurance Coverage (Some insurance will cover up to 100%)
  • Facility Type ( Drug specific, all men/women, luxury)
  • Demographics (All men, all women, all teenagers)
  • Treatment Plan (12 Step, Holistic, Faith Based)

Once a treatment facility is selected you can begin your journey of recovery. There is usually a similar process at all facilities which we can fill you in on to help ease your nerves.

  • Intake: You will be assessed by the professionals at your rehab and asked questions about you and your drug use. You must be honest about your drug use because this will determine how they treat you through detox and the rest of your stay.
  • Detox: This is when you are closely monitored as your body withdrawals and recovers from the effects of your Benzodiazepine abuse.
  • Rehab: This is when you learn about your addiction, what makes you use, and what you can do so you don’t use in the future. This is where your treatment plan comes in to action.
  • Aftercare: After you have completed your rehab process, there is an option for outpatient therapy such as group or individual counseling. This option is local, and designed for you to be slowly introduced back to your life and responsibilities.

There are many treatment options for benzodiazepine addiction, we recommend you call us to discuss which would be the right fit for you.

Addressing Benzodiazepine Addiction

Coming to Terms with Your Benzodiazepine Addiction

If you answered yes to some of the following questions, or something else made you realize that you are addicted, this is good! The first step on the road to recovery is admitting and accepting your addiction. Once you can come to terms with the fact that you have a problem, you can begin to look for help and start your journey.

Helping a Friend or Family Member Address Their Benzodiazepine Addiction

Addiction can be just as hard on the family or loved one then it is on the user. Drug addiction can turn someone that you love into someone that you don’t recognize, physically and personality wise. The best thing that you can do for your loved one is help show them that there are treatment options available, and explain to them why it is beneficial.

When an addict is deep in their addiction, they sometimes will be depressed, maybe even have suicidal thoughts, the last thing they are thinking about is a life without drugs. This is why you should follow some do’s and some things that you should not do as well.


  • Explain to the user that you love him or her, and forgive them for their actions
  • Tell the user that there is a better way for him or her to live
  • Offer your help, and let them know they are not alone
  • Make sure that they do not quit their use abruptly before entering treatment.


  • Do not bring up rehabilitation while he or she is under the influence.
  • Let their emotions and defensive tactics distract you from your goal.
  • Let them think that you are only there to attack them.
  • Let them tell you that he or she is okay without treatment

The Bottom Line: You Can Beat Drug Addiction

If you’ve reached this point it is hard to deny the fact that you’re serious about beating your drug addiction, and that is something to have pride in. Your life matters and there is no reason why you should allow a pill to dictate the rest of your life when help is available. Remember, choosing to go into a rehab treatment center for drug abuse will help you rid yourself of the horrible side effects you’ve had to endure, extend your life span, and most importantly place you on track towards regaining you own life. So don’t fight addiction alone. Instead allow us to help you live the life you deserve to have.

Payment Options for Benzodiazepine Abuse Treatment

If you made it this far, we know you are serious about treatment options for your benzodiazepine addiction. There are facilities that focus just on addictions like yours, and can help get your life back on track.

There are many stresses involved with picking the right rehab facility, one of them being how will you pay for treatment. If you call us today we will verify your insurance benefits for you, and go over the best rehab options for you.

We can help you make sense of your benefits and advocate for maximum coverage to get you into one of our top rehab centers.

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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