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| Benzodiazepine Addiction
Benzodiazepine, or benzo for short, is a drug used in prescription medications for the treatment of anxiety-related disorders. Many people do not even know of their addictive nature since doctors are the ones that give these dangerous pills to them. In reality, those that take these drugs longer than six months at a time or increase dosage due to tolerance have a high risk of becoming addicted. This is due to the drug’s effect on the brain and nervous system, causing dependence and reverse reactions when the drug is not administered. Although there have been hundreds of benzos created throughout our existence, the benzos that are approved for prescription by the FDA include Xanax, Ativan, Librium, Valium, Versed, and Halcion.
- Inability to focus on tasks
- Blackouts and memory lapses
- Decreased desire for hobbies and interests
- Loss of appetite
- Intense mood swings
- Lethargy and apathy
Benzos are supposed to be prescribed for short periods of time. When benzos have been taken over a period of a few months or longer, tolerance starts to form. Tolerance is when it may take a larger dose to feel the desired effects since the body is already used to the amount of the drug being administered daily. Developing a tolerance to benzos is dangerous since it usually leads to dependence. Dependence is when the body does not function at its best unless the drug is present in the body. When tolerance rises, the body stops making the natural chemicals that the drug works to replace, causing the body to not function properly when the drug is not present. When the body is dependent on benzos, withdrawal side effects occur when the drug is not taken. Medical detox is the process of removing chemicals from the body with the oversight of a medical staff. The Florida House Experience suggests that anyone that wishes to become independent from benzos go through a medical detox program. This ensures that the entire process is guided and under medical supervision in case anything were to happen. Also, a medical staff can provide withdrawal medications if need be. When a person who is addicted to benzos goes through medical detox they experience symptoms of:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Suicidal thoughts
- Panic attacks
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