Benzodiazepines are typically used for treating insomnia and anxiety, and should normally be taken just for short-term use. This medication affects the central nervous system and often helps people with sleeping, racing thoughts, unusual talkativeness, increased activity, agitation, or becoming easily distracted. Benzodiazepines also assist with muscle relaxation, alcohol withdrawal, seizures, panic disorders, and more. Xanax and Valium are two of the most well-known forms of benzodiazepines.
Benzodiazepines can become very addictive, and they can certainly build a tolerance in people both who use it therapeutically and for those who misuse the drug. In general, people who were prescribed to take benzodiazepines, even for a short amount of time, should discontinue their use slowly to avoid any unwanted withdrawal symptoms.
As a person takes benzodiazepines, they begin to feel a relaxing sensation in their body – their muscle tension eases, and they may feel a lot less anxious. Many people become reliant on these sensations because they feel that without the medication, they cannot achieve the same results. Individuals who abuse this drug may continue taking the medication, even after their prescribed period is complete. In doing this, the body may develop a tolerance to taking regular amounts of the medicine, leaving the person to take more to feel the desired effects that they experienced in the beginning of their medication usage.
If someone builds a tolerance to and becomes addicted to benzodiazepines, withdrawing from it can be very unpleasant. Withdrawal symptoms include rebound insomnia, irritability, restlessness, weakness, blurred vision, panic attacks, tremors, sweating/flushing, nausea/vomiting, headaches, seizures, psychosis, hallucinations, and more. If the medication is meant for short-term use, the withdrawal symptoms may be brief, but intense. If the medication is for longer use, the withdrawal symptoms develop slowly but last for about a week.
The best way to safely withdrawal from benzodiazepines is under the care of a physician. By working with a doctor, a person’s usage and symptoms can be monitored, as well as work with the physician to construct an action plan that will help them recover more quickly and safely.
The feelings of anxiety and sleeplessness can be so challenging, but that does not mean that we must always rely on our medication to solve that. Exercising before bed, staying busy and active throughout the day, speaking with a counselor, recording our thoughts/worries down in a journal, and cleaning are just a few constructive ways to work through our racing thoughts and anxiety, even after medication. No matter the situation, there are many healthcare professionals and resources available to help someone deal with their mental illness or addiction to medication.
Benzodiazepine addiction can be deadly. If you are struggling with a tolerance and dependency on benzodiazepines, you are not alone. Seeking treatment as early as possible can help you start living the best life possible. Call New Vista Behavioral Health today to be connected to one of our treatment programs today for detox, residential treatment, and a full continuum of care. 855-577-0113.