Why Do People Become Addicted to Benzodiazepines?

Alprazolam (Xanax). Clonazepam (Klonopin). Diazepam (Valium). Lorazepam (Ativan). If you’ve heard of any of these drugs before, you know a few types of drugs that fall under the class of benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are human-made products that depress nerves in the brain through the central nervous system and cause sedative effects. GABA, also known as gamma-aminobutyric acid, works in the brain to reduce the activity levels of neurons in the brain, which send signals to one another for communication. Benzodiazepines works to enhance the effects of GABA, slowing down this brain activity and making it easier to relax. Benzodiazepines have been used for a multitude of medical purposes, including but not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Sleeplessness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Premenstrual syndrome

While benzodiazepines can be helpful in these instances, they can certainly become addictive if taken in larger doses or more frequently than prescribed – making this one drug that get abused unfortunately a little too often. The National Public Radio (NPR) emphasized that prescriptions for benzodiazepines increased 67% between the years 1999 and 2013, with many drug overdoses attributing to both benzodiazepines and opioid prescriptions combined.

One woman shared her story on Business Insider, explaining that despite attempts at therapy, nothing but the medication was giving her the relief that she needed for her mental illness symptoms. She expressed the fact that when not on the medication, unsettling side effects ensued: anxiety, heart palpitations, and nervousness. Unfortunately, this often occurs when a person has become dependent on medication, making it even more difficult to taper down. Benzodiazepines have been known to produce euphoric feelings, as a person may experience complete and utter pain-free relaxation. Both physically and psychologically, this class of drugs can easily become a form of addiction as many Americans try to escape the pain they’re experiencing.

Treatment for benzodiazepine abuse is possible, and often includes detoxification and therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) could be an excellent therapeutic approach, as one can work through troubling aspects of one’s life and ways of thinking that may be hindering their quality of life. If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today to learn more about benzodiazepine treatment. Recovery is possible.

Learning to be is part of the process of trauma recovery. Stop the cycle of merry-go-round treatment and find the solution you’re looking for in trauma treatment. Through effective residential treatment, Khiron House helps you find the path you need toward health and wellness in recovery. For information, call us today. UK: 020 3811 2575 (24 hours). USA: (866) 801 6184 (24 hours).