Benzodiazepines are generally effective for reducing anxiety when used therapeutically and short term. Despite this, the risk of dependency can still be significant. Long-term effects of benzodiazepine use include drug dependence, addiction, neurotoxic effects, and a reduced level of cognitive, physical, and emotional health. In the case of benzos, anything longer than three months is now considered long-term use. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, learn more about our benzo addiction treatment. Please call us today at 855.833.9199 for more information about our prescription drug treatment options.
Do You Need Help for a Benzodiazepine Addiction?
Many of the signs that an individual needs help with a benzo addiction are the same signs that an individual is suffering from any other harmful drug addiction. Some signs are subtle, while others are more obvious. Changes to look for in you or a loved one are :
- You are experiencing sudden changes in behavior or demeanor ( becoming withdrawn, socially isolated, or edgy when without the drug).
- Family and friends are concerned about your drug use.
- You have suffered a personal setback such as relationship problems or losing a job due to your prescription drug use.
- You would like to quit but have tried and cannot do so independently.
- Your basic habits (such as sleeping, eating, and hygiene habits)have changed in a way that affects your overall health. This could include eating too much or too little, sleeping too much or too little, or neglecting basic hygiene.
What are the Side Effects of Benzos?
Long-term use of benzodiazepines can be risky on its own, even when dependence on the drug hasn’t yet developed. That being said, benzos are highly addictive, and the potential for dependence and addiction goes up with using the medicine over time or engaging in drug abuse. Abusing the prescription drug benzodiazepine can be the act of taking too much of your prescription for longer than is needed or using someone else’s prescriptions. When you are in addiction to this drug, it can become evident that your life is suffering due to your drug use. Many possible side effects can alert a family member to prescription benzodiazepine abuse. Some side effects of addiction to benzos to look out for include:
- Mental fog
- General flu-like symptoms
- Sleep issues( hypersomnia or insomnia )
- Sexual dysfunction
- Loss of interest in activities
- Personality changes
- Depression and anxiety
- Employment and interpersonal issues
- Mood swings
- Cognitive decline or impairment
- Visual disturbances
- Memory loss
These are all considered potential side effects of long-term benzodiazepine use. With professional help for benzodiazepine dependence, these symptoms can go away in three to six months. Every person’s reaction to or potential dependence on a drug is unique. While some long-term users may never experience these issues, many do. Some users experience problems indefinitely, such as long-term cognitive impairment or sexual dysfunction. It is highly recommended that you do not use a cold turkey approach if you attempt to quit using benzos, especially if you take them for an extended period. The recommendation is to taper off of the drug slowly. Because these drugs have the potential to be fatal, it is recommended you do so under a doctor’s guidance in a professional drug treatment facility.
Find Healing from Addiction at Sunstone Recovery
Sunstone recovery has Telehealth therapy addiction treatment options that can help you or a loved one break free from your long-term use of benzos. While they are helpful during brief periods for certain conditions, dependence on these drugs poses many dangers to your long-term health. Please call us today at 855.833.9199 to begin your journey to sobriety and better health.