Psychiatrists and primary care physicians commonly prescribe benzodiazepines to treat anxiety disorders, some of the most common mental health diagnoses. Due to the strong addictive potential of benzos, there has been a shift to prescribing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which have fewer risks and side effects. Nevertheless, upwards of 50 million benzo prescriptions are written annually, most of them renewals for people who may have been using this drug for years. Prolonged benzo use is usually not a great idea. After all, it can lead to dependence and addiction, which often goes unnoticed because it happens gradually.
If you are curious about the signs of benzo addiction or want to learn about treatment options for women with an addiction to this class of drugs, call Painted Desert Recovery. In New Harmony, Utah, benzo abuse treatment at our rehab center is evidence-based and trauma-informed. Painted Desert also offers experiential and nutritional therapies for addiction. Reach out for information by completing this online form or calling us at 844.540.0357.
Is There a Difference Between Benzo Abuse and Addiction?
Benzodiazepines are considered sedatives or depressants, colloquially called downers, because they calm an overactive nervous system. The effects on an average, non-anxious nervous system include elements that appeal to those who abuse benzos without a prescription—euphoric sedation and an escape from stressful reality.
If you acquire benzos on the street, you are probably aware that you are misusing this drug and may have an addiction. If you have been taking prescription benzos for years, you may be physically dependent without fully realizing it, especially if you usually take the drug as prescribed. The line between physical dependence and addiction is very fine.
What Are the Signs of Benzo Addiction?
Do you use benzodiazepines safely and as instructed, with no signs of tolerance or dependence? Or do you find that you begin to physically crave your next pill a little before it’s time to take it? Have you requested an increased dosage from your doctor because the old dose stopped working as it once did? How can you be sure you are addicted to benzos? If you have these questions floating in your head all the time, you may be worried that you’ve developed an addiction.
Consider professional addiction treatment for benzo abuse if any of the following signs and symptoms of benzo addiction is true for you.
1. Physical Symptoms
Benzo addiction can lead to physical effects, such as:
- Muscle weakness
- Blurry vision
- Chronic sleepiness
You may also experience changes in your sleeping pattern, like chronic sleepiness.
2. Behavioral Symptoms
Some behavioral changes may have taken place since you began using benzos, such as:
- Social isolation
- Falling behind at work or school
- Seeking prescriptions from multiple doctors
- Withdrawal from activities once immensely enjoyed
- Reduced inhibition
Risky behavior may also have increased. For example, you may choose to drive even when high on benzos.
3. Emotional and Psychological Symptoms
It’s often challenging to notice benzo abuse signs that involve emotions and mental health. Look for these signs:
- Mood swings
- Emotional detachment
- Inability to manage emotions
- Flares of hostility or anger
Some of these signs of benzo addiction may lead to a separate diagnosis of a co-occurring disorder.
4. Cognitive Symptoms
Benzo addiction can affect your cognitive function. You may start to notice:
- Poor focus
- Impaired judgment
- Sluggish thinking
- Inability to understand things
- Difficulty forming new memories
It’s important to remember that disruption and changes to your cognitive function actually impede your day-to-day functioning.
5. Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
You can experience withdrawal symptoms even when you’re not detoxing from benzos. They can arise when your benzo prescription isn’t filled on time or when there’s any disruption in your regular drug usage. Withdrawal symptoms include:
If you’re already familiar with benzo withdrawal symptoms, you may be ready to consider getting admitted into a rehab program. After all, the challenging detox process is often what most people struggling with addiction worry about when they realize they need help to overcome their substance use disorder.
Consider Painted Desert Recovery’s Benzo Addiction Treatment for Women
Please ask for support if you recognize any of the benzo abuse signs listed above. At Painted Desert Recovery, our evidence-based and experiential therapies are not only effective, but they are also supportive and provided with expertise and compassion in equal measure.
Call us at 844.540.0357 or reach out via our online form. Let’s talk about benzodiazepine use, misuse, and addiction and how it may harm you long-term. You can leave benzo abuse behind with help from Painted Desert Recovery.