Benzodiazepines are medications prescribed for anxiety to those who experience a constant state of anxiousness and to those who are at risk of having periodic anxiety attacks. Some examples of benzodiazepines, also referred to as “benzos”, include Ativan, Xanax, Ambien, Klonopin, and Valium.
These medications work by increasing the activity of GABA which slows a person’s brain activity, as well as by creating dopamine surges. The lessening of anxiety attacks along with the feelings of instant reward and feelings of joy benzos create make the medication highly addictive.
Recognizing Addictive Behaviors with Benzos
Someone may continue taking Benzos without issue.
However, there are also many who soon find they need to increase the amount they are taking to continue to get the same effects from the drug. Increasing the amount taken can increase the risks of addiction.
It is important to specify that even those on low doses can develop an addiction when the medication is taken on a regular basis. It generally doesn’t take long, less than a few months in many cases, for someone to develop an addiction to benzos.
With addiction comes drug abuse. The abuse is due to a person’s addiction and the need to continue feeding their brain with the chemicals they have come to depend on in the benzodiazepines. There are signs of abuse that include:
Isolation – Someone who is abusing benzos due to addiction will isolate themselves from their friends and family.
New friends – A person addicted to benzos may end up hanging out with a new group of friends. These friends may also be addicts, or those who have access to the benzos the addict seeks.
Risky behavior – Someone addicted to benzos can indulge in risky behavior. An example of this would be to drive while they are under the influence of the benzodiazepines.
Money misuse – Someone who is abusing benzodiazepines may exhibit a misuse of money. In fact, the misuse may be to such an extreme that they begin borrowing money they can’t pay back and even stealing money.
Lying – Benzodiazepine addicts can get to the point where they feel the need to lie to others. Often times, this lying is done in order to obtain more benzos, or to cover up how bad their usage has become.
Mixing drugs – As a benzo addict feels the need to increase the amount taken in order to feel a certain way, they may begin to add more drugs to their usage. Sometimes, they will mix the benzos with these drugs and sometimes they may take the other drugs as a replacement for the benzos when they aren’t available.
Less care to hygiene – When a benzodiazepine addict gets further into their addiction, it can take a toll on their personal hygiene. They may begin to care less and less about their appearance, or even regularly bathing.
American Addiction Centers can Help
American Centers can help a person detox off benzos and give them the tools to stay off them.
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