Abuse of benzos has been increasing over the years. Even though they are commonly used to treat medical or mental health conditions, they are still highly addictive drugs. They are considered a controlled substance to monitor the drug’s distribution closely. However, people still get access to it to abuse it by either receiving prescriptions from multiple doctors or getting it off the streets illegally. Because of this, we must remain aware of what they are, signs of abuse, and what to do to get help if you or a loved one becomes addicted to them.
What are Benzos?
Benzodiazepines, commonly known as benzos, are depressant drugs that are often prescribed to help with anxiety, muscle spasms, and reducing seizures. Benzos can be obtained legally with a prescription, but they are often abused illegally. Alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Klonopin) are the most commonly abused benzos on the illicit market. Other benzos include diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan).
Symptoms of Benzo Abuse
When benzodiazepines are being abused, they start to be used in larger amounts or over longer periods of time than intended due to the individual building up a tolerance for the substance. When individuals do not meet the tolerance they’ve built or are trying to reduce their use, they may start to experience withdrawal symptoms. Some of these withdrawal symptoms specific to benzos include:
- Feeling like you can’t function without using benzos
- Increased depression or anxiety
- Confusion and disorientation
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Headache, heart palpitations, or sweating
- Psychosis after stopped use, such as delusions, paranoia, or hallucinations
- Gastrointestinal issues that may resemble irritable bowel syndrome
- Insomnia or anorexia
- Irritability, restlessness, and agitation
- Poor memory and concentration
- Feelings of unreality, depersonalization, derealization
How Do You Get Addicted to Benzos?
Addiction to benzodiazepines becomes more of a risk for individuals who are prescribed them for long periods of time or who continue to use them past the recommended timeline. People who use benzos for longer than 1-4 weeks are more likely to develop an addiction or dependence on the drug. After use for this long, individuals often build up a tolerance for the drug. This means that they require larger doses or more frequent doses of the drug to get the same effects. If use is stopped, then withdrawal symptoms may occur. Many people often continue to use it to avoid these withdrawal symptoms because they can be very uncomfortable. People also often become reliant on what they perceive as positive effects of the drug and will continue using it for longer because they are not ready to stop use to manage mental health concerns on their own without the help of the benzos.
How Do You Detox from Benzos?
Detoxification, or detox, from benzos, requires ongoing supervision from a medical professional. It is recommended that when you are starting to stop use of benzos, you should try to enter a 24-hour rehab facility. Withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines start within 6-12 hours after the final dose. These symptoms continue for up to several weeks. Withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous, so it’s important to have 24/7 supervision by a medical professional. Detox centers often have medications available as well to help manage withdrawal symptoms and make the experience a little more comfortable.
West Valley Detox: Finding the Best Benzo Detox in Los Angeles
West Valley Detox offers state-of-the-art treatment in a beautiful location. You will be able to receive quality treatment for your substance use and mental health concerns while being comfortable and healthy. Once you arrive, we offer medically assisted detox and residential treatment. We provide round-the-clock care with experienced and highly trained staff who are excited to provide you with one on one treatment. Our clinician-to-patient ratio of 3:1 allows this. In addition to therapy for addiction and mental health, we also offer help with nutrition, art therapy, grief counseling, yoga, life skills, and more. We will work alongside you to tailor an individualized treatment plan with our client-focused and highly customizable curriculum.
There are over 14,000 drug rehab centers in the United States. But there’s only one West Valley Detox. Contact us today with a confidential and free call to start your journey to recovery.