“Benzodiazepines are a type of medication known as tranquilizers. Familiar names include Valium and Xanax.” These medications are often prescribed to treat anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia. Benzos are amongst the most prescribed and abused medications in the United States. They have a high risk of abuse and addiction. With prolonged daily use the body can become physically dependant, causing the user to go through extremely painful and dangerous withdrawals. Knowing the signs of benzo addiction can help you intervene and change someone’s life.
Benzodiazepines are tranquilizers, they slow the heart rate and breathing patterns of users. If someone is abusing benzos their speech will become slurred, their sentences will make little to no sense. They will sound similar to someone who is extremely intoxicated on alcohol.
When someone is using benzos on a daily basis their bodies will become physically dependant. This means that addicts need to use benzos on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times a day, or risk extremely physical pain and discomfort. Addiction becomes very expensive, especially when the addict is required to use daily.
You may notice them slowly going in and out of complete consciousness, this is often referred to as nodding out. They may bump into walls, walk slower they will drop and misplace items frequently.
Someone who is abusing benzos will experience blackouts. A blackout is when the mind shuts off but the body goes on autopilot. When the effect of the drugs fade and the person gains a more complete level of consciousness back, they will have little to no memory of what happened during their blackout. Long term use can result in short term memory loss.
As mentioned before benzos will cause users to blackout and nod out, this doesn’t mean the user is getting any rest. When that person abuses benzos and requires them to fall asleep the REM state is rarely reached and the body never gets the rest it needs. This will lead to users sleeping for much longer periods of time. When that person does not have their benzos their chances of sleep will be minimal due to the physical withdrawals they will experience.
Addiction can cause some dramatic physical changes in a person. When someone is addicted to opiates they will usually put drugs ahead of all other things, in-front of food, family, friends and sleep. Benzos will suppress the appetite of the user, so weight loss is very common You may notice new bruises or cuts on that person that they can not explain.
Addiction to drugs like benzos will change the chemical makeup of the brain. Your loved one will become more easily upset over smaller things. They may become angry over something minimal, they may start crying at the drop of a hat. Seeing them happy will become a distant memory. They may find themselves stuck in a battle with depression.
It has been said that the eyes are a gateway to the soul. While benzo abuse isn’t as easy to notice in someone’s eyes as opiate addiction there are some things to look out for. You may notice that your loved one’s eyes seem more “empty” than usual. That they always seem to be looking past you or off into the distance. Think of what someone’s eyes look like if you were to wake them up randomly. Benzos can cause they eyes to have some sudden jerking movements, like a ping pong ball. In some user the pupils will dilate or become larger.
If you think a loved one is struggling with addiction to benzodiazepines then do something about it today. The disease of addiction is real, it claims too many lives every day. Contact Intervention Services now at 1-877-478-4621 to start the process of getting help for you, your family and your loved one. You don’t need to wait for things to get worse. An intervention can stop the pain and chaos and help bring peace of mind to you and your family.