Benzodiazepine addiction is extremely common; due to the demand for their effects and their addictive properties.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal can have life-threatening symptoms if not carried out medically and correctly. This means that many lose hope of ever becoming benzodiazepine free.
PCP rehabs are all too aware of the dangers these prescriptions drugs present and how common addiction to them is. If you or a loved one need help for a benzodiazepine addiction we can help you to break free once and for all.
What are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are a group of medically controlled Class C prescription drugs, that have a sedative and calming effect. They are often prescribed for acute cases of insomnia, detoxification from alcohol/drugs, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, seizures and muscle spasms.
They are very addictive due to the body quickly developing a tolerance to them. For this reason, they are only usually prescribed on a short term basis and monitored very carefully.
Types of Benzodiazepine
Common types of benzodiazepine drugs include:
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Nitrazepam (Mogadon)
- Temazepam (Restoril)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Librium (Chlordiazepoxide)
- Alazopram (Xanax)
- Flurazepam (Dalmane or Rohypnol)
Different types of benzodiazepines have different potencies, a different onset of pharmaceutical effects and duration of peak effects.
Common Street Names For Benzodiazepines
Common street names for benzodiazepines include:
Blues, Vallies, Diazies, Mothers little helper, Moggies, Benzos, Jellies, Eggs, Roofies, Temazies, Downers.
The Effects of Abuse and Addiction to Benzodiazepines
The effects of abuse and addiction to benzodiazepines include:
- Loss of appetite
- Numbed emotions
- Extreme drunkenness – similar to alcohol
- Suicidal ideation
- Severe lethargy
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Repressed breathing
- Death from overdose
Addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease that often leads to death if left untreated. PCP rehabs are experts in treating benzodiazepine abuse/addiction and other addictive prescription drugs.
Please call us for more information on how we can help.
How Addictive are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are extremely addictive and can cause tolerance and dependence after only 10 to 14 days of daily use.
Once tolerant to a certain dosage of benzodiazepines, you will no longer gain any of the desired benefits. If you are prescribed for longer than 10 days, it is likely that your doctor will gradually wean you off so that you do not suffer withdrawal effects.
Higher doses of benzodiazepine dependence, where the dosage has been increased over time, require much more careful medical management and a longer detoxification period.
Clinically, the safest way to detox from benzodiazepines is to admit to a detox facility for a professional medical detox.
How Addiction to Benzodiazepines Occurs
Addiction to benzodiazepines usually occurs through one of three main pathways:
- You become addicted through a legitimate prescription, but you purchase additionally online, from street dealers, or gain additional prescriptions from different doctors.
- You purchase them illicitly, have no medical need for them but enjoy the effect that they produce.
- You have another addiction, perhaps to alcohol or another drug. You regularly take them to increase the effects of the other drugs or to come down from them.
What Is Benzodiazepine Dependence, Abuse and Addiction?
Benzodiazepine dependence occurs through repeated exposure to the drug. Dependence can manifest from a genuine prologued prescription (one that is prescribed for longer than 10 to 14 days). Dependence can also develop through regular abuse of, and addiction to benzodiazepines.
Benzodiazepine abuse is when you are taking benzodiazepines that do not belong to you, taking them in addition to a prescription, purchasing them illegally, crushing and snorting or diluting and injecting them, combining them alcohol or other drugs for increased effects.
Benzodiazepine addiction can happen through dependence and abuse. Repeated exposure causes substantial changes to the brain’s neural pathways. These changes drive the individual to extreme measures in order to get benzodiazepines and use them, usually to excess.
An addicted individual will not be able to reduce the amount they take themselves. The changes to their brain hard-wire them to seek and take benzodiazepines, regardless of the risks to their own well being and to others. They will have a distinct lack of control around their drug-taking and will suffer negative consequences as a result.
Benzodiazepine Mortality Rate
England and Wales have tragically seen a steady increase in benzodiazepine mortality rates. In 2016 there were 406 deaths recorded attributed to benzodiazepine misuse. This is the highest death toll since records first began. (Source)
Can I drink alcohol whilst taking Benzodiazepines?
Whilst taking benzodiazepines you should not drink alcohol or take any other drugs (unless all are prescribed by your ‘doctor).
Drinking whilst taking benzodiazepines will put you at high risk of accidents, vulnerability, blackout and overdose.
What Are The Dangers of Benzodiazepines?
When used for medicinal purposes, benzodiazepines have limited but effective therapeutic effects. The danger arises when an individual has prescribed them on a long term repeat prescription, or when they are obtained illegally – this can lead to physical dependence, abuse and addiction developing.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
Benzodiazepine withdrawal, without a doubt, is one of the most difficult and dangerous withdrawals out of all the prescribed and illegal substances available.
Stopping too quickly or abruptly can result in life-threatening benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms:
- Severe anxiety and panic attacks
- Suicide attempts
All of these withdrawal symptoms require urgent medical attention as can result in death if not promptly treated.
How Long Does Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Last?
How long a benzodiazepine withdrawal lasts will be dependent on a number of factors:
- The daily dosage you are physically dependent on
- How long you have been taking benzodiazepines for
- Any other addictions present
- Your physical and mental health condition
Benzodiazepines are not quick to detoxify, most take weeks, and higher doses may even take months. PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms) can also happen for up to a year after stopping taking them. Although this is rarer, it can happen with those that have been taking larger doses for a long period of time
The safest way to detox from benzodiazepines is to admit to a reputable and regulated detox facility. PCP rehabs offer full medical detoxes for those dependent and addicted to benzodiazepines. We have four established, CQC registered treatment centres across the UK, including London.
We take benzodiazepine detox very seriously, as understand the implications that can arise if an individual is detoxed too quickly. We will ensure that you are safe throughout your detox, by using a prescribed medical detox and around the clock monitoring from our team of professionals.
Help and Treatment for Benzodiazepine Addiction
If you or a loved one have a problem with benzodiazepines and require help and treatment, please contact us without delay. We can facilitate same-day immediate admissions.
We offer affordable and effective benzodiazepine treatment of the highest specification.
PCP offer bespoke detoxes and rehab for those with any kind of problem with benzodiazepines. Our benzodiazepine rehab programmes are tailored to your individual physical, psychological, social and spiritual treatment needs. We treat the whole person and not just one singular aspect.
We have the medical expertise, addiction professionals, and evidence-based addiction treatments, to ensure that you receive the very best in affordable addiction treatment available, including essential relapse prevention techniques.
Call us today for a free assessment of your treatment requirements.