Benzodiazepines, commonly referred to as benzos for short, are a category of sedative drugs. Many of them are widely prescribed for anxiety disorders and sleep problems because of their calming effect. Valium and Xanax are two of the most-recognized brand-name benzos. They are also addictive, making benzo addiction a genuine possibility. Long-term use of benzos often results in building a tolerance. People who develop a tolerance for benzos require more of a drug or need to use more frequently to produce the same impact.
Benzo addiction is, of course, a serious problem. Look out for the signs and symptoms that indicate when benzo addiction is present to best support yourself or a loved one. Timely intervention for an addiction to benzos can make a significant impact in whether or not the worst consequences of addiction can be avoided.
Signs of Benzo Addiction
The signs of benzo addiction are mostly behavioral in nature. Developing a benzos addiction often takes time. Yet a benzo addiction is often quickly noticeable to the person struggling with it and their close loved ones. For most people struggling with addiction, their life’s purpose becomes focused on fueling their addiction.
Here are a few behavioral signs of benzo addiction to look for:
- Doctor shopping, which is when people visit multiple doctors to increase their supply
- Stealing prescriptions from friends, coworkers, or family members
- Social withdrawal and isolation
- Failure to uphold work or family responsibilities
- Secretive behavior
- Lack of grooming or hygiene
Another sign of an addiction to benzos is mood or personality shifts. People struggling with benzos addiction are rarely their best emotional selves. On their own, benzos are not as dangerous as other drugs such as heroin or meth. But they can be deadly when used in combination with alcohol.
Recognizing the signs of benzo addiction when they first appear may help to fend off an addiction entirely. In fact, it’s possible to prevent benzo abuse and addiction simply by sticking to your prescription. If you notice your prescription is not having the effect you are hoping for, discuss it with your doctor instead of abusing your benzo prescription.
Symptoms Experienced During a Benzo Addiction
The physical symptoms people experience as a result of benzo addiction also demand attention. They may appear far before the more overt behavioral signs. Abusing benzos often causes:
- Memory problems
Without guidance or accountability, it’s easy for people to use those symptoms as an excuse to enter a downward spiral of drug abuse. Medicating benzo abuse with even more benzo abuse is obviously not helpful in the long run.
Addressing Addiction to Benzos at Sunstone Recovery
The first thing to do upon recognizing the signs of benzo addiction is to get connected to a source of treatment. Treatment comes in many forms. Inpatient and outpatient are two broad categories that encapsulate the majority of treatment options. Inpatient treatment involves a residential stay at an addiction treatment facility. Clients disconnect from their lives during an inpatient stay that can last anywhere from 30 days to 90 days (or even longer in some cases). The major benefit of inpatient treatment is the level of intense care that is available 24/7.
In contrast, outpatient treatment lets clients remain at home. They may visit a facility for therapy sessions or to attend a support group. Yet they remain free to go about their normal lives and continue working if they desire.
The core of treating addiction to benzos is therapy following an initial detox. Detox achieves initial sobriety and sets the stage for comprehensive treatment. Therapy then builds coping skills, targets problem behaviors, and addresses mindsets that hold someone back from living a sober life.
Find out more about benzos addiction treatment by reaching out to us at 855.833.9199.