Benzodiazepines are a favorite among many drug users because of the calming effect that they have on the body. These drugs, however, can be highly addictive even when taken only as prescribed. People who are taking benzos, as they are commonly known, outside of a prescription or without following the recommended dosing guidelines might have an addiction problem. Of course, there are definitely some signs to look for if you are trying to determine if you or a loved one might be addicted to benzodiazepines.
What Drugs are Considered Benzodiazepines?
This class of drugs includes common prescription medications taken by people on a regular basis, such as:
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
Usually prescribed for anxiety, stress, insomnia, seizures, muscle relaxation, and assistance in recovery from alcohol abuse, these medications are dangerous when taken incorrectly or over a long period of time.
8 Signs You Have a Problem
1. Physical Symptoms
If you are experiencing headaches, weakness, memory problems, excessive sweating, swelling of the extremities, tremors, or coordination difficulties, you could be dealing with signs of a benzodiazepine addiction. These are common signs of withdrawal from this class of drugs, along with feelings of anxiousness or worsening anxiety when you take drugs like Xanax to treat anxiety in the first place.
2. Increasing Consumption
If you begin taking more medication than prescribed, this could be an early warning sign that you are headed for addiction. You might think that you “need” the pills, but that is exactly how they are designed to work. Take these pills only as needed for the shortest period of time possible. If you find yourself feeling like you just can’t get enough, it might be time to ask for help.
3. Buying Non-Prescription Pills
If you start seeking out non-prescription ways to get these pills or other illegal methods of obtaining them, you definitely have a problem and need to ask for help. This could lead to a lot of legal trouble in addition to dealing with the addiction itself.
4. Getting Multiple Prescriptions
Again, if you start “doctor shopping” to find more than one prescription for these drugs, it is probably a good indicator that you have a problem.
5. Avoiding Friends and Family
When you get addicted to benzodiazepines, it can be tempting to spend all your time getting “high” and recovering from the use of these pills. If you’re ditching your family and friends for the sake of the drugs, it is time to consider addiction recovery.
6. Anger or Hostility
Drug addiction can severely impact your mood. Plus, people often become agitated when they experience withdrawal symptoms from not having these medications. If you find yourself increasingly violent or angry, it could be as a result of your addiction to benzos or the withdrawal from them.
7. Loss of Priorities
If you start spending less time focused on work, school, or family activities for the sake of taking benzos, you are headed down a bad road. Eventually, you will completely cease going to work or school, or attending important events. You need to seek help sooner than later so you don’t lose your entire life to these drugs.
8. Continued Use Despite Awareness
If you know you probably can’t stop using these drugs on your own, but you continue to use them and increase your usage, you definitely have an addiction on your hands. You shouldn’t be ashamed of your addiction, because these are some of the hardest drugs to be weaned from in terms of withdrawal symptoms and addictive qualities. Some people who have been near death still keep using because they don’t know any other way. This is why so many people die from addiction, and it is an issue that needs to be addressed.
If you think you have a problem and you’re ready to stop, contact a qualified addiction recovery center today. You should not try to stop “cold turkey” on your own because the withdrawal effects could be deadly. A medically supervised detox is the first step on your road to recovery.
To learn more about benzodiazepine addiction, including treatment options, have a look at The Recovery Village.