Benzodiazepines, more commonly referred to as benzos, are a potent and habit-forming classification of prescription medication frequently prescribed to individuals who are suffering from severe anxiety-related disorders. They may also be prescribed in a medical detox setting to treat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, which can be severe and life-threatening.
Not only are benzos some of the most frequently prescribed medications throughout the entire country, but they are also some of the most dangerous when abused – and some of the most commonly abused. The truth is that medications prescribed by physicians are not typically viewed as dangerous; however, this is not always the case. Benzodiazepines of all kinds have the potential for abuse, and all benzodiazepines are addictive.
Benzo addiction is a serious issue throughout the United States one study suggests that between 11 and 15 percent of all American adults are currently prescribed one type of benzo or another, and a significant amount of those men and women will eventually develop a substance abuse disorder as a direct result. When an individual begins to present symptoms of benzo abuse or addiction, he or she will generally try to justify the apparent disorder by rationalizing.
He or she might regularly say things like, “If this medication was dangerous, my doctor would never have prescribed it,” or, “I don’t have a problem with benzos, people naturally build a tolerance so it makes sense that I would take a higher dosage than I did before.” If you or someone you know has been taking benzos other than as prescribed, seeking professional medical help will be necessary. Attempting to quit cold turkey can prove to be life-threatening – medical detox will always be an essential step on the road to long-term benzo addiction recovery.
Are All Benzos Addictive?
Benzos are addictive, but are all benzos equally as addictive? Some more commonly prescribed examples of benzos are Ativan, Klonopin, Librium, Valium, and Xanax. Xanax and Valium are some of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. The truth is that all benzos are equally as addictive. However, some have shorter half-lives than others, meaning that addiction is liable to take hold more quickly.
For example, Xanax has a very short half-life, and it happens to be the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine – and the most commonly prescribed medication in the entire country. Currently, there are over 44 million Xanax prescriptions written on an annual basis. The effects of Xanax generally take hold within 30 minutes. Valium has an even shorter half-life, and the effects take hold within the first 15 minutes after use. Another highly addictive benzo that is no longer frequently used in Rohypnol. Originally this type of benzo was used in the treatment of sleep-related disorders.
Unfortunately, it quickly became known as a “roofie” because sexual predators would drug their victims with this potent medication. Since then, the medication has been banned – though it can still be found in the illicit drug market.
Allure Detox and Benzodiazepine Addiction
In short – yes, all benzodiazepines are addictive. While some of these medications may lead to the more speedy development of a substance abuse disorder, none are safe to use other than as prescribed. If an individual begins taking benzo other than as prescribed and abuses the drug for any length of time, he or she will begin experiencing symptoms of withdrawal upon ceased use. Benzo withdrawal is extremely dangerous and can be life-threatening when not constantly overseen by an experienced team of medical professionals.
At Allure Detox, we have extensive experience treating the symptoms of benzo withdrawal effectively and efficiently. If you or someone you love has been suffering at the hands of benzo addiction and needs help to quit, Allure Detox is available to help. Call us today for more information on our comprehensive medical detox program.