Prescription medications have saved many lives and helped people enjoy an improved quality of life. But, when these substances are abused, the results are less than desirable. The US is now in the midst of an out-of-control opioid crisis. More than 47,600 people died from opioid overdose in 2017, according to the CDC. To put another way, opioid overdoses account for more than 67.8% of all fatal drug overdoses, or 192 deaths every day. With this in mind, let’s look at some facts about benzos and why we should be concerned about this drug.
While we are focused on opioid issues, many other prescription drugs are also causing deaths, but we don’t hear much about those. For instance, meth has been making a stealthy comeback recently. Fentanyl has taken its place as the number one deadliest drug in America. Also, illicit drugs such as cocaine are on the rise along with psychedelic drugs such as LSD.
We’ve also overlooked the prevalence of Benzodiazepine (benzos) abuse and addiction that is rampant in our nation today. Below are some surprising facts about benzodiazepines that everyone should know.
What Are Benzos and Why Do People Become Addicted?
Benzodiazepines are depressants that are widely prescribed and abused in the US. Currently, about 15 different types of benzodizepines are available to treat physical or psychological issues. People use benzodiazepines because they work well to treat anxiety. Some of the more familiar drugs in this group of prescription sedatives are Ativan, Valium, Librium, and Xanax.
The drug works by calming nerve impulses to produce a state of well-being. This feel-good state is what causes problems after prolonged use results in increased tolerance, leaving the user to need more of the drug to get the desired effects. Consequently, about 44% of users become dependent on benzos.
Why Should We Worry About Benzo Abuse?
Many people think prescription medications are safe because their doctor recommended the drug. They don’t worry about side effects or dangers and this complacency can cause carelessness in following dosing directions.
Unfortunately, many people who use the drug as prescribed experience withdrawal symptoms when the drug is withheld. Withdrawal can cause seizures and psychosis for individuals who take high doses of the drug. Like many other prescription drugs, the chemical composition and action in the body make benzos easy to abuse.
We should worry about benzo abuse because the side effects can be difficult and in some cases dangerous.
The side effects can include, but are not limited to:
- Drowsiness, fatigue, lethargy
- Impaired motor functions
- Slurred speech, stuttering
- Confusion, depression
- Tremors or shakes
- Respiratory depression
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Side effects experienced with high doses can include:
- Hostile or erratic behavior
- Slowed reflexes
- Mood swings
Long term abuse of benzos can cause the following:
- Muscle weakness, poor coordination
- Impaired thinking
- Slurred speech
Many benzo users combine the drug with other substances such as alcohol or other drugs. This behavior enhances the effects but also increases the chance of dangerous consequences.
More Surprising Facts About Benzos You Should Know
Many benzodiazepine users had no intention of becoming addicted or dependent on the drug. But, the strong wave of pleasure the drug provides is irresistible to some users. Here are a few more facts about benzos you should know:
- Becoming addicted is surprisingly easy. The progression from using to abusing can occur very quickly.
- Quitting can be extremely difficult. Withdrawal symptoms will cause most users to continue using the drug to avoid discomfort.
- Benzo abuse can cause cognitive impairment. Long-term benzo use can result in memory loss and trouble performing simple tasks. This side effect occurs in users both young and old.
- The risk of developing Alzheimer’s increased with long-term benzo use. Researchers found that after about 5 years of benzo use, elderly people were at 84% higher risk for developing neurodegenerative disease.
- Benzos are associated with early death. Studies show that benzodiazepines cause the greatest number of early death compared to all other prescription medications tested.
Hopefully, this information will prove useful if you or someone you know are considering using these drugs. If you have further questions about these facts about benzos, please contact Best Drug Rehabilitation today. We will be happy to answer your questions or recommend a treatment program if you need help stopping benzos.
Article Source: bestdrugrehabilitation