Colorado is in the midst of a prescription drug epidemic, and addiction to benzos is a big contributor. While opioids are the more well known of the prescription medications that more and more people are getting hooked on, benzos are becoming increasingly popular as well.
"Benzos” is short for benzodiazepines, a type of drug that is typically prescribed to treat anxiety and insomnia. They are also known by other street names such as "downers." They come in brand names such as Ativan, Valium, and Xanax and are being increasingly prescribed to patients to help them deal with their anxiety or inability to sleep. Despite how frequently benzos are being prescribed, they are much more addictive than people may think.
Are Benzos Really Addictive?
Before benzos hit the market, barbiturates were heavily prescribed as sedatives for patients looking for help with insomnia and other sleep disorders. However, barbiturates were found to be extremely addictive and dangerous and were subsequently replaced in the medical community with benzodiazepines.
However, benzos have proven to be just as addictive. From 1998 to 2008, benzo abuse almost tripled, proving how potentially addictive benzos can be among those depending on them to alleviate their anxiety and give them the rest they desperately seek.
Benzos induce feelings of relaxation and sedation by interacting with specific neurotransmitters in the brain and inevitably affect how nerves communicate with each other in an effort to calm things down. Long-term use of benzos can cause neurological changes over time, and the longer benzos are used, the effect of benzos decreases. This prompts patients to reach for more in order to achieve the desired effects.
The longer benzos are used in increasing amounts, the higher the level of tolerance becomes. Often, physiological dependence results, causing a serious benzodiazepine addiction if left unchecked.
People who take benzos to get high can either take the tablet whole, crush it, or snort it. Adverse effects associated with benzo abuse include vivid dreams, irritability, hostility, and even amnesia. Users may also experience nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, and problems sleeping.
Adding alcohol to the mix can make the situation very dangerous because the effects of alcohol consumption will be felt much faster. Since both alcohol and benzos have an effect on the central nervous system (CNS), undue depression of the brain and respiratory system can result. Respiratory depression can cause inefficient breathing and can decrease oxygen supply to the brain, potentially leading to blackouts or even death.
People who have a history of substance abuse are more likely to become addicted to these drugs. Despite the fact that these drugs can be very effective in treating many medical ailments, they can easily be habit-forming if users are not careful with them.
Overcoming Addiction to Benzos in Colorado Drug Rehab
Beating an addiction to benzodiazepines without professional help can be extremely difficult because of the change in brain chemistry that they cause. The odds of relapsing without outside help are very high, which is why it is important for those who are addicted to benzos to seek help from a professional Colorado drug rehab facility in order to boost the odds of full recovery.
If you are currently battling an addiction to benzodiazepines, get in touch with a Colorado addiction treatment facility. Quitting "cold turkey" and being successful at beating the addiction is unlikely and can even be very dangerous because of the serious withdrawal symptoms that are commonly experienced.
Medical professionals in rehab facilities can help customize a treatment plan for you to slowly wean off the benzodiazepines. They can also help you establish effective coping mechanisms to deal with life's stressors without the need to reach for addictive medications.