Things You Should Know About Anti-anxiety Drug Abuse
As a class of pharmaceuticals, benzodiazepines are among the most widely prescribed medications in the world. There are just under 30 different drugs on the market in this category, and the chances are that you have taken one of them in the past, are currently taking one now, or know someone who is taking the medication. Among the popular brand names for these drugs is Xanax, and xanax detox is a growing need in our society. As a class, they are commonly called anti-anxiety drugs. They are used to reduce anxiety in a patient, but they are also used as an anti-depressant. This latter use is often for individuals who suffer from depression but are not responding to anti-depressant medication.
How they work
All of the benzodiazepines work on the brain by calming the neurotransmitters. This induces a mild hypnotic state that relieves anxiety. The calming of the neurotransmitters also have the effect of relaxing the muscles throughout your body. In this way, it is sometimes used as an anti-convulsant for some patients. Although these medications have a useful function and they are prescribed for a variety of real illnesses, they are also abused by many people. Some of the abuse comes from people purchasing the medications illegally, but just as often, they are abused by people with a prescription. It is not uncommon for a person to become addicted over time because doctors simply write too many prescriptions. Whatever the case may be in any particular person’s situation, the addiction to benzodiazepines is real, and the effect on people’s lives is destructive.
Physical symptoms of abuse
There are a few symptoms of abuse that manifest themselves when you are taking too much of the drug, but the problem is that they are also side effects of the proper use of the drug, so a patient needs to consult with their doctor for help. Of course, there are many people who are taking these drugs without a prescription, so there is no way to determine the difference between a side effect and drug abuse. However, among the physical symptoms are dizziness, drowsiness, memory problems and issues with concentration. Again, some of this is not a sign of abuse, so if you begin to notice these physical problems in a loved one and they are using a benzodiazepine, you may want to pay attention to the possibility of an addiction forming.
Problems in their social and professional life
Like many other drugs, the effect on a person’s life is noticeable. Many of the problems are common with other drugs that are abused. Things such as financial loss, especially when high priced pills are being illegally purchased on the street, is common. People also have a tendency to lose friends and lose jobs as they slowly withdraw from life. People addicted to this class of medication become lethargic. They begin to live their lives as if in a trance. In truth, this is what the medication is supposed to achieve, but it is accomplished on a much smaller level. When benzodiazepines are abused, they go beyond anxiety relief, and they become a former shell of the person they used to be.
Dangerous effects of benzodiazepine abuse
One of the biggest dangers when abusing this drug is that your breathing slows down. When used in large doses, it is possible that your breathing can stop. Obviously, this can lead to death. To make matters worse, consuming alcohol increases the effects of this drug, so even if a person has not taken an overdose or has only taken a slight overdose, drinking alcohol can create the equivalent of a heavy overdose. If all of this wasn’t bad enough, people begin to develop a tolerance to the drug, so they increase the amount they are taking to get the same feeling. However, the body’s response to the drug becomes worse, especially with respiratory problems.
What happens if you quit cold turkey?
If you are addicted to a benzodiazepine, you may be thinking about quitting on your own. Although you may be able to do this, there are problems that you may experience. Some of the issues are not life threatening such as experiencing anxiety and other conditions which were the reason you were first prescribed the medication. It is also possible to experience anxiety even though you never experienced anxiety before their drug abuse problem developed. Severe withdrawal problems include hallucinations, psychosis and seizures.
Of the different ways to get off of xanax, the best and safest way is to check into a drug rehabilitation facility that has experience with the benzodiazepine class of medications. They will be able to help your body detox in the safest manner possible.