Over the past several years, opioid narcotics like prescription painkillers and heroin have grabbed the media spotlight, seeing as so many innocent men and women have lost their lives to opioid-related overdose. Something that is rarely addressed – but something essential to address – is the abuse of benzodiazepines. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that between 2015 and 2016, roughly 12.5 percent of American adults abused benzodiazepines. While a little over 12 percent might not seem like a significant number, it is important to note that this percentage equated to over 30.5 million individuals.
Interestingly enough, most individuals who abuse benzodiazepines do not abuse one drug at a time – the vast majority are victims of polydrug abuse (meaning that they abuse more than one drug at a time). Even more interesting is the fact that most cases of polydrug abuse involving prescription medications involve medications of the same classification. This means that the majority of men and women who actively abuse benzodiazepines are mixing different types of benzodiazepines together.
What Are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines – more commonly referred to as benzos – are a prescription tranquilizer generally used to treat moderate or severe anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety and persistent panic attacks. Some examples of benzo brand names include Valium, Klonopin, and Xanax. Xanax is one of the most frequently prescribed medications throughout the United States, and it is responsible for a very high number of benzo-related overdose deaths on an annual basis.
Benzos were first introduced to the pharmaceutical market sometime in the 1960s and quickly became an alternative to (what were believed at the time to be) more potent and dangerous drugs. However, it was soon discovered that benzos were equally as dangerous and equally as habit-forming.
It is important to understand that when benzodiazepines are used exactly as prescribed by a medical professional, they can be taken safely. Benzodiazepines are often prescribed in a medical detox setting for the treatment of alcohol addiction withdrawal. At Allure Detox, we utilize this medication as part of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) when deemed necessary.
Can You Safely Mix Benzodiazepines?
Can benzos be safely mixed? The answer is always the same, regardless of the person in question – no, benzos can never be safely mixed. Mixing benzodiazepines has resulted in hundreds and thousands of untimely deaths, including the deaths of major celebrities like Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, and John Belushi.
Their toxicology reports did suggest that other substances were present in their systems at the time, but excessive amounts of different benzodiazepines were undeniably one of the predominant causes of death. Medical professionals will never prescribe more than one benzo at a time for several different reasons, including the fact that these drugs are extremely potent and addictive, and combining them will only exacerbate these side effects.
Allure Detox and Benzo Abuse
At Allure Detox, we have extensive experience treating men and women of all ages and personal backgrounds who have struggled with benzo abuse and dependency. If you or someone you love has been taking benzos other than as prescribed, seeking professional help will be of the utmost importance – if professional help is not immediately sought, the consequences can be dire.
The first step of every recovery process is medical detox, where patients will undergo the symptoms of benzo withdrawal in a safe and supportive environment. Our benzo detox is comprehensive, reputable, and accredited – we are one of several licensed medical detox facilities in Florida. To learn more about or program or to learn more about benzo addiction and recovery, please reach out to us at any point in time.