What are Benzodiazepine Drugs?

Benzodiazepines, or “benzos,” are a group of drugs that are primarily prescribed to patients to treat anxiety. This class of drugs works by effectively impacting the neurotransmitters of the brain, reducing the activity of the nerves in the brain that bring about feelings of anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and sleep difficulties. Because benzodiazepines are legal to consume with a prescription from a certified physician, they are easily accessible and thus widely abused. When purchased on the street without a prescription, benzos go by many different names such as roofies, roach, downers, tranks, and goofballs. These types of drugs are often taken in conjunction with other substances such as alcohol or other medications.

When taken with such substances, toxic and even life-threatening combinations can result, putting the user at great risk.

Some benzodiazepine drugs can be used as “date rape” drugs, which are substances secretly administered to another person, leaving them unable to fight off sexual assault. Because these drugs are tasteless and colorless, often those who have been drugged do not know so until it is too late.

Common Types of Benzodiazepine Drugs

There are a number of different benzodiazepine drugs available on the market today. The most widely used and recognized benzos include:

  • Klonopin:
    Clonazepam, most often referred to as Kolopin, is another anti-anxiety medication in the same family as Xanax. It too effectively enhances the GABA neurotransmitter helping to better cease negative feelings and emotions brought on by anxiety. When administered properly, Klonopin has proven successful in treating panic disorders and preventing some types of seizures such as petit mal and akinetic seizures.  The most common side effects associated with Klonopin use are sedation, dizziness, feelings of depression, lack of inhibition, confusion, amnesia, weakness, and more.
  • Xanax:
    Alprazoloam, or Xanax, is a medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders that can be characterized by worry, sweating, lightheadedness, trembling, flushing, insomnia, troubles concentrating, exaggerated startle responses, and more. This drug works by enhancing the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This neurotransmitter is responsible for inhibiting activity in the brain that causes feelings of anxiety. Some of the side effects of Xanax can include weight changes, speech issues, meory problems, and constipation. 
  • Valium:
    Diazepam, known as Valium, is a medication that is prescribed to treat anxiety, tremors, agitation, hallucinations, seizures, delirium, and even alcohol withdrawal.  Users often report side effects such as euphoria, fatigue, drowsiness, ataxia, and diarrhea after consuming Valium. More serious side effects of use of this drug include depression, neutropenia, and respiratory depression.

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

Once a person has developed an addiction to benzodiazepine drugs, they will likely begin to exhibit a series of signs and symptoms of their use. One of the most common symptoms of addiction is tolerance to the drug of choice. Over time, the body will require the drug in larger quantities in order to reach the same pleasurable feelings. If the user ceases consuming the drug, the body will go into shock and unpleasant withdrawal will set in as it attempts to adjust to its new drug-free state.

Another sign of benzo addiction is “doctor shopping.” Users will set up appointments will numerous doctors or pay visits to different emergency rooms in order to secure prescriptions for their drug of choice. This behavior is incredibly risky.

Those suffering from an addiction to benzodiazepines may begin to neglect their responsibilities as they delve further into the depths of their drug abuse. They may end up losing their jobs, facing expulsion at school, or wind up in legal trouble if they are caught procuring drugs through illegal means.

If someone begins to exhibit these signs of addiction to drugs such as Valium, Ambien, or Xanax, it is imperative that they seek out professional help and enroll in a Valium, Ambien, or Xanax addiction treatment program immediately.

Effects of Benzodiazepines on the Body

The way in which benzodiazepines will impact an individual varies, and depends on a number of different factors. It is for this reason that an appropriate dose should be determined by a licensed physician, so as to avoid unwanted side effects and potential overdose. When determining the right dose, an individual’s age, weight, and health are typically factored in. When taken recreationally or without a prescription, more harmful side effects are likely.

When taken in high doses, users put themselves at risk for overdose. Overdose occurs when too much of the drug has been consumed than the body can cope with. Side effects of a high dosage of this type of drug include mood swings and aggressive behavior, slurred speech, declined mental functioning, excitability, confusion, unconsciousness, coma, and even death. These side effects can be felt soon after consumption and can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

Prolonged use of benzos can bring about chronic side effects that impact the user’s daily life. The most commonly reported long-term side effects of benzo use include memory loss, depression, lack of motivation, fatigue, nausea, sleep disturbances, headaches, weight gain, changes in personality, skin rashes, and anxiety.

Withdrawal: Xanax

Xanax, one of the most popular benzodiazepine drugs, is highly addictive. For this reason, rehabilitation centers see a great deal of patients entering their care in order to receive Xanax addiction treatment. The first step to recovery from this drug is Xanax withdrawal. Xanax withdrawal is a crucial step in the treatment process, as it rids the body completely of the drug. Unlike with other drugs, stopping use of Xanax cold turkey is not recommended. This is because Xanax is such a strong substance that cold turkey Xanax withdrawal can be quite dangerous to the body and brain. Instead, it is recommended that Xanax withdrawal occur by tapering off the drug to prevent shocking the body’s systems.

Once Xanax withdrawal begins, a number of Xanax withdrawal symptoms may begin to set in. These symptoms can include sweating, shaking, muscle spasms, nausea, diarrhea, convulsions, headache, weight loss or weight gain, heart palpitations, irritability, nervousness, confusion, and anxiety. The severity of the Xanax withdrawal symptoms a recovery patient experiences will largely depend on their level of addiction and history of abuse. If an individual is suffering from a severe Xanax addiction, it’s important to seek professional detox to ensure a safe physical withdrawal. 

The duration of the Xanax withdrawal symptoms an individual may experience during their Xanax addiction treatment typically lasts between five and 14 days. For this reason, it is highly recommended that Xanax withdrawal take place under the care of medical professionals as the withdrawal symptoms can be particularly unpleasant and severe. It is during the Xanax withdrawal period that most recovery patients relapse, as it becomes increasingly more difficult to endure. The withdrawal experiences with other benzodiazepine drugs such as Valium, Ambien, and Klonopin are very similar to that of Xanax, involving severe withdrawal symptoms and requiring medical supervision.

Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment

Xanax addiction treatment options and other benzodiazepine addiction treatment options vary, and can be suited to meet the unique needs of each individual recovery patient. In many cases, it is recommended that those overcoming an addiction to benzos enter an inpatient facility. By enrolling in a residential program, recovery patients can ensure they receive the 24 hour supervision and support they need throughout this challenging time.

Most Xanax addiction treatment programs and other benzodiazepine addiction treatment programs incorporate intensive individual and group counseling. Counseling on an individual level allows the recovery patient to uncover the root cause of their addiction with the guidance of a medical professional equipped to provide the resources and tools necessary to prevent relapse and promote long-term recovery. Many recovery patients find group counseling effective for offering a network of support, comprised of individuals with similar experiences of benzodiazepine addiction treatment and Xanax addiction treatment.

Whichever form of benzodiazepine addiction treatment a recovery patient selects, it should ultimately allow them to discover the best way to effectively resist the urge to use days, months, and even years after they’ve left treatment.

The Bluff Approach

Bluff provides unmatched benzodiazepine addiction treatment, carried out by board certified and highly trained medical professionals. Each recovery patient who enters our facility will first undergo a thorough evaluation of their unique situation, gathering information on the duration and severity of their addiction, as well as family and medical histories. This information is then used to develop an individualized benzodiazepine addiction treatment plan that promotes long-term recovery.

At our tranquil rehabilitation center, recovery patients find peace and comfort as they treat their minds, bodies, and souls. We offer amenities like no other and provide our patients with recreational activities including meditation, yoga, and equine therapy.

Contact Us Now

If you or someone you know is battling an addiction to benzodiazepine drugs, do not hesitate to contact us now. Our medical experts are standing by 24/7 to take your call and set you on your path towards health and wellness.


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