Benzodiazepines – also referred to as benzos – are depressant medications that slow down central nervous system functioning and work as mild to moderate tranquilizers. Those who take benzos as prescribed are not usually at risk of developing an addiction, however, these drugs are so potent and habit-forming that dependence can occur even when they are used as directed. They are usually prescribed to treat anxiety disorders or sleep disorders, such as insomnia. However, they can also be prescribed to treat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Prescribers are now more careful when prescribing benzos than ever before, seeing as their propensity for abuse is continuously becoming more clear.
There are three main types of benzodiazepine – long-acting, intermediate, and short-acting. Long-acting benzos will typically result in more mild symptoms of withdrawal. However, those who have been struggling with an addiction to fast-acting benzo will likely experience severe symptoms of withdrawal – symptoms that can be life-threatening when not properly treated in a medical detox facility. The length of time the prescription medication has been abused will also affect the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Someone who has been using the drug short-term may not experience the same symptoms that someone who has been using the drug long-term.
Dangers from Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use
When prescribed by a medical professional, benzos will never be prescribed to be taken long-term. Long-term benzo use is never a good idea and can lead to a host of serious psychological and physical problems. Some of the symptoms of long-term benzo abuse include:
- Memory loss/confusion/impaired thinking and judgment
- Lack of motivation
- Depression and persistent feelings of sadness and malaise
- Anxiety/ongoing panic attacks/paranoia
- Weakness, lethargy, and fatigue
- Noticeable changes to personality
- Interrupted sleep patterns, often marked by disturbing nightmares
- Weight gain
- Skin rashes/itching
- Stomach issues, usually marked by persistent nausea
- Withdrawal symptoms with ceased use
Individuals who have been abusing benzos long-term will always experience symptoms of withdrawal, regardless of whether they were taking the short-acting or the fast-acting version of the medication. Symptoms of withdrawal can last between a week and a year, depending on the severity of abuse. It will be crucial that anyone who has been struggling with a prescription tranquilizer abuse disorder seeks professional care in a medical detox facility. At Allure Detox, we have extensive experience treating the potentially dangerous symptoms of long-term benzo abuse.
Benzodiazepine Detox and Withdrawal Symptoms
The symptoms of long-term benzo detox and withdrawal range from milder to extremely severe. The more mild symptoms of long-term use include:
- Stomach pain
- Difficulty falling and staying asleep
- An inability to concentrate
More severe symptoms of long-term use include:
- Extreme agitation
- Aching muscles and muscle spasms
- Severe anxiety and panic attacks
- An altered perception
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Extreme paranoia
- Suicidal ideations
Allure Detox and Benzo Detoxification
At Allure Detox, we understand how severe the detox process can be when long-term benzodiazepine use is involved. We are dedicated to providing each client with the quality of clinical care and respect they deserve. The symptoms of prescription tranquilizer abuse require additional care because they can be dangerous if not adequately treated and closely monitored. At Allure Detox, we provide around-the-clock care in a comfortable, clinical setting. If you or someone you love has been struggling with benzodiazepine abuse or addiction, there is help available.
To learn more about our program of medical detox or to learn more about the detox process involved with long-term benzodiazepine use, please feel free to give us a call today. Benzo addiction can greatly impact every single aspect of life: interpersonal relationships, career, health, finances…if you are prepared to commit to living a better way of life, all you have to do is pick up the phone and we will help get you started.