The long-term effects of benzo abuse can lead to devastating results and consequences. The number of people prescribed benzodiazepines is staggering, and this drug is dangerous when abused. The results of abusing benzos can be lifelong and life-threatening. While benzodiazepines are not as widely discussed as opioids or other drugs when it comes to addiction and abuse, they are just as dangerous and life altering. Just as with other drugs, oftentimes it is imperative that someone receive professional and medical assistance when trying to end the abuse of these medications.
Benzos, or benzodiazepines, are a class of drugs usually prescribed to treat anxiety disorders or insomnia. First marketed in 1955, Librium was discovered by a chemist named Leo Sternbach. From there other forms of the drug were developed and put out onto the market. It was at first believed that benzos were the safer alternative to using barbiturates, and achieved similar results. This fueled doctors to prescribe them to help treat their patients’ ailments.
In the 1980s, however, it was noted that benzos are addictive, and patients began abusing them, resulting in dependence and addiction. This made regulatory rules and label warnings begin to appear when prescribing these medications. Benzodiazepines are a Schedule IV drug, making them only legally attainable through a prescription from a doctor. The long-term effects of benzo abuse are still being researched today, and knowing the risks is vital to surviving addiction to these medications. Oftentimes, professional treatment for benzo addiction is needed.
With the popularity of the drug in the 1960s through 1980s, there have since been many variations of benzodiazepines created and released onto the drug market. There is not just one form of the medication, and knowing the different names and functions can help to identify the drug as well as how to get help to stop taking it.
This drug is also known as Xanax. It is mainly used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. This is one of the more common forms of benzodiazepines. It enhances the brain’s production of GABA, causing users to feel a calming effect that essentially lessens anxiety. The long-term effects of benzo abuse cause this neurotransmitter to alter its productivity resulting in needing more and more of the drug in order to achieve the desired effects.
Also known as Valium, diazepam is also used to treat anxiety disorders. It treats the disorder the same way. However, this form of benzos also is used to treat seizure disorders. Because it targets GABA, and calms the brain, it can help to prevent seizures from occurring.
This drug is also known as Klonopin. This drug is used in the treatment of seizures. Acting on the brain in the same way that other benzodiazepines do, it can help in preventing seizures from occurring. However, long-term effects of benzo abuse can still be caused when using this drug.
Benzos are meant to be used for short periods of time. They are not meant to be a long-term solution due to the effects that they can have on the brain, body, and mental wellbeing of users. The long-term effects of benzo abuse can lead to some severe reactions within the body in all three of these areas.
Abusing benzos long-term can lead to sleep problems. Although these medications are sometimes used to treat insomnia, an adverse reaction to long-term benzo abuse can be sleep problems. The drug can cause changes in sleep patterns in the long run. The chances of getting a deep, restful night’s sleep are lessened when using this drug for long periods of time.
Even though these drugs are used to treat anxiety, using and abusing them long-term can result in exacerbated mental health symptoms such as anxiety. Learning and implementing other self soothing techniques can help to ease the symptoms without the medication.
Cardiovascular issues are another of the long-term effects of benzo abuse. They slow cardio functionality, and this causes less blood to pump into the heart, leading to other physical ailments and illnesses.
The effects of long-term benzo abuse include loss of cognitive functionality. Benzos inhibit memory, thinking, and motor functionality. Ending the drug helps to reverse some of the symptoms of cognitive decline.
Abusing benzos long-term causes dependence, and leads to using more and more of the drug to feel the desired effects. This can lead to overdose, and potentially death. Seeking help for benzodiazepine abuse and addiction is the best way to prevent this from happening.
Benzodiazepine abuse can have devastating effects on your body, mental health, and brain functionality. It can be extremely difficult to stop using the drug once a dependency has been formed. However, if you or a loved one suffer from benzo addiction, there is help. Here at Louisville Addiction Center, we offer a safe and comfortable environment for you to begin the healing process from benzo abuse. There is help out there and it is just a simple phone call to make.
Our team of professionals can assist in guiding you to receiving proper treatment. Contact us today and begin your journey of recovery.