Tranquilizers abuse–1: Benzodiazepines

Tranquilizers abuse–1: Benzodiazepines

Doctors prescribe tranquilizers to patients suffering from extreme fear, nervousness, worries, anxiety, tension and other associated mental disturbances. The most commonly prescribed tranquilizers include benzodiazepines, thioxanthenes, butyrophenones, phenothiazines, clozapine and rauwolfia alkaloids.

When people obtain tranquilizers such as benzodiazepines without any prescription or resort to frequent usage to deal with their condition, it can lead to an addiction impacting both their physical and mental well-being.

Benzodiazepines are frequently consumed together with alcohol or other medications

Benzodiazepines are among the most widely prescribed drugs worldwide. Some of the common benzodiazepines are diazepam (Valium), chlordiazepoxide (Librium) and alprazolam (Xanax). These drugs are used in the treatment of muscle spasms, anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, withdrawal effects of alcohol, as well as chronic stress and worry.

Even moderate dosages of these drugs, when taken regularly, can result in physical and psychological dependence such that the body develops a tolerance towards them, compelling the person to use these drugs increasingly in larger doses to produce the same sedated, tranquilized effect. Benzodiazepines can be abused by individuals in one of two different ways, one by using increasingly higher doses or second by obtaining them illegally.

Benzodiazepine abuse can lead to serious illnesses, or even death when taken in combination with other substances such as alcohol. Benzodiazepines work by increasing the action of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Identifying causes and effects of benzodiazepine abuse

When taken in normal or regular doses, benzodiazepines can relieve anxiety and insomnia with only a few side-effects such as drowsiness or dizziness. But, higher doses can cause serious and toxic side-effects such as misperception, weakness, amnesia, slurred speech, foggy vision, difficulty in breathing, hostility and irritability, making a person inactive to vulnerable. That is why they are often used in date rape since they make a person unable to repel an attack on them.

Chronic use of drugs can cause a range of side-effects such as coma, anxiety, insomnia, anorexia, headache, weakness and in higher quantities may lead to significant changes in appearance and behavior disrupting one’s relationships and work performance.

Individuals with dependence on benzos suffer from withdrawal symptoms, and even seizures, if the drug use is stopped abruptly. Since the drug affects the cognitive ability of a person, it can interfere with concentration and coordination ability, visuospatial ability, response to the stimulus, observing ability, the speed of processing thoughts, the capability to engross verbal lessons and impaired driving skills. In the case of the elderly, the drug can lead to frequent falls. When pregnant women abuse benzodiazepine, they may increase the risk of a rare disorder called floppy infant syndrome, a condition in which the baby lacks muscle tone and does not develop normally, in their children.

There can be innumerable causes of getting addicted to these drugs but the common ones are:

  • a genetic tendency for addiction
  • other mental disorders
  • physical disabilities
  • impaired interpersonal relationships
  • low socioeconomic status
  • low self-esteem
  • trauma
  • unemployment
  • peer pressure

Convalescing from benzodiazepine dependence

Withdrawal effects caused by benzodiazepine abuse can be serious. But under the proper medical and psychological supervision, it is feasible to recover and attain long-lasting sobriety.

If you or someone you know is suffering from an opioid overdose, contact the Florida Prescription Addiction Helpline to get the customized treatment solutions at some of the best prescription drug rehab centers in Florida. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-292-3211 or chat online with our representatives for more information on the best prescription drug rehabilitation facilities in Florida.