What Are “Benzodiazepines”?

Also known as “benzos” and sedatives, benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, and even alcohol withdrawal. They affect various regions of the brain enhancing the flow of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) to the receptors for the chemical. GABA decreases the excitability of neurons and helps users feel calmer and more relaxed. Our brains normally produce small amounts of GABA during the day. Benzos cause much more GABA to be available, which can cause intense feelings of relaxation.

Recreational Benzo Abuse

While benzodiazepines can be an incredibly effective tool, they come with an enormous potential for abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, benzo-related deaths continue to rise and were at an all-time high of almost 7,000 in 2013. Benzo abuse is particularly dangerous when mixed with alcohol as they enhance each other’s potential, increasing the risk of overdose and death.

Popular Benzo Brand-Names

There are numerous brand-name benzodiazepines used to treat a range of issues, from sleep deprivation to general anxiety disorder. Some of the more common brands include:

  • Ativan® (Lorazepam)
  • Halcion® (Triazolam)
  • Klonopin® (Clonazepam)
  • Librium® (Chlordiazepoxide)
  • Restoril® (Temazepam)
  • Serax® (Oxazepam)
  • Valium® (Lorazepam)
  • Xanax® (Alprazolam)

What Causes Benzo Addiction?

Benzo abuse floods the GABA receptors and causes intense feelings of relaxation. In response to the extra GABA, the body shuts down its natural GABA production. After a short time, a benzo abuser is left with no way to feel natural relaxation or sedation other than by taking the drugs. Withdrawal symptoms set it shortly after benzo use ceases.

Why Is Benzo Withdrawal Dangerous?

Benzo detox comes with a variety of potentially life-threatening symptoms and should be monitored by an experienced and qualified medical professional. Some of the more common benzo withdrawal symptoms include:

Detoxification from benzos can be life threatening. Benzo withdrawal can cause seizures, which can be deadly. No one should detox from benzos without first talking to a professional.

There are many other withdrawal symptoms from benzos, including:

  • Aches/pains
  • Agitation/restlessness
  • Anxiety/panic attacks
  • Blurred vision
  • Chest pains/tachycardia
  • Depersonalization
  • Depression (possibly severe)
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Double vision
  • Dysphoria
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Fatigue/weakness
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Hearing impairment/tinnitus
  • Headaches
  • Hot/cold spells
  • Hypertension
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased sensitivity to touch/sound
  • Insomnia/hypersomnia
  • Impaired memory/concentration
  • Loss of appetite/weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle spasms/ cramps
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Nightmares
  • Numbness/tingling
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Paranoia
  • Photophobia
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Stiffness
  • Sweatiness
  • Tachycardia
  • Tremors
  • Visual disturbances

What Can You Do?

Do not attempt to detox from benzodiazepines on your own. Sol Recovery Center offers prompt and efficient referral to quality benzo detox. The representatives at our Arizona treatment facility are standing by to help you get the help you need now. Call us 24/7 at 866-239-1700.