For many patients, a prescription for a benzodiazepine is a lifesaver.
It can help them manage issues related to insomnia, anxiety, seizures, muscle spasms and more, enabling them to be functional at home and on the job.
Unfortunately, for those who abuse these potent sedative drugs, the results can be devastating. Addiction and even death caused by overdose or accident under the influence are not uncommon occurrences. However, the good news is that treatment is not only available but also proven to be an effective choice for those struggling with substance abuse and addiction.
If your loved one is abusing his benzodiazepine prescription or abusing these drugs without a prescription, treatment is recommended if he is unable to stop on his own. Call now for more information.
Commonly Abused Benzodiazepines
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), all benzodiazepines approved for use in the United States are classified as a Schedule IV substance under the Controlled Substances Act and often referred to as “downers,” “blues,” “bennies,” “benzos” and other slang terms.
There are only 15 different types of benzodiazepines approved for medical use in the US. Of these, the most commonly abused include:
- Valium (e.g., diazepam)
- Klonopin (e.g., clonazepam)
- Xanax (e.g., alprazolam)
- Ativan (e.g., lorazepam)
These are all longer-acting drugs that are commonly prescribed to patients who struggle with a chronic anxiety disorder.
Signs of Benzo Abuse
Benzodiazepines are sedating in effect, so someone who is under the influence of these drugs may appear to be out of it or tired. This is often the effect even if someone is taking the drug exactly as prescribed, especially if he is new to the drug or his dosage has recently been adjusted. However, when someone is abusing benzos, these effects may be ongoing or more pronounced. They may also be accompanied by other behaviors, including:
- Crushing the pills before ingestion
- Taking more than the doctor ordered or taking them more often than recommended
- Taking any amount of any benzodiazepine for any purpose without a prescription from a doctor
- Combining use of benzos with any other prescription medication, alcohol, or other drugs
- Engaging in “doctor shopping” or “pharmacy fraud,” in which the person gets multiple benzodiazepine prescriptions from multiple doctors or fills a single script at multiple locations
Other habits that are commonly associated with addiction to any substance can also indicate dependence upon benzodiazepines:
- Lying about use of benzos
- Responding aggressively to questions about use of the drugs
- Stealing money or committing fraud to pay for more pills
- Experiencing mood swings that are based on use of the drugs
- Obsessing about getting more pills or getting high
- Difficulties maintaining a job or doing well in school
- Losing interest in relationships, hobbies, goals and other things that used to be important
Treatment for Benzo Abuse and Addiction
Benzo abuse and benzo addiction can both lead to a deadly overdose. Early identification of the problem can be a lifesaver for your loved one. If you believe that your family member is abusing his prescription, intervene. Your concern may be enough to help your loved one stop using the drug. If he finds that it is impossible to moderate use of benzodiazepines, treatment is recommended. Call now to get started.