As anxiety disorders continue to be diagnosed across the country, it’s not uncommon to hear about individuals looking for chemical relief to soothe their ailments. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are considered the most common mental illness in the United States. An estimated 18.1 percent of the population is affected, translating to 40 million adults each year. Fortunately, anxiety disorders are highly treatable, although only 36.9 percent of people will seek the help they need.
Anxiety disorders stem from a complex set of risk factors that include personality, life events, genetics, and brain chemistry. While a majority of those who suffer won’t seek help, those who do may be prescribed medications like benzodiazepines as means of treating their condition. Although the drugs may provide relief in the short term, they can lead a long road of misery and addiction. Benzodiazepines are incredibly potent central nervous system (CNS) depressants that can, in some cases, cause more harm than good. Understanding how these drugs affect your body may prevent some from using.
While not everyone will use these drugs to the point of developing substance use disorder, the risk is real, especially if the person is at a higher risk due to family history, genetics, or social or home environment. An estimated 12.6 percent of adults in the United States reported past-year use, with misuse accounting for 17.2 percent of overall usage.
If you’re living in New Jersey and you’re concerned about your benzodiazepine use, it’s important to seek help immediately. You should never try to stop using these drugs alone, as they can cause fatal side effects. Let’s learn a bit more about the types of benzodiazepines and how treatment can help.
Types of Benzodiazepines
Since benzos reduce anxiety and help with sleeplessness, they’re commonly prescribed to those experiencing severe insomnia and anxiety. Benzos produce their effects by stimulating gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitters in our brain that are responsible for various cognitive and motor functions.
We all possess natural GABA neurotransmitters, but using benzos will affect how these transmitters communicate and respond to each other, resulting in the calming effects that help those using the medication to feel a sense of calm. The most common anxiety disorders that benzos treat include the following:
Benzos are designed to help individuals that are struggling with mental health disorders, but using these substances can often lead to more problems. People who use benzo medications for prolonged periods can develop a tolerance to these drugs. Once they’ve become tolerant to these substances, they’ll likely become dependent on benzos and start to abuse them.
When someone abuses drugs, it means they use the substance in higher doses or more often than the doctor has prescribed or recommends. In some cases, they’ll use benzos more often than they should, while others will crush the medications and consume them in different ways, such as snorting or inhalation to speed up the effects.
Some people might mix benzos with other substances like alcohol, which can be both harmful and deadly. If you’ve reached this point, it’s crucial to seek treatment and overcome benzo addiction in your life.
The Problem With Benzo Prescriptions
Despite their ability to help those with anxiety disorders, they’re intended to be used for a short period due to their ability to cause addiction. Prolonged use of these medications can lead to adverse effects. Instead of providing beneficial effects like anxiety relief, long-term use of benzos will make anxiety worse due to developing a tolerance and dependence on the drug.
When our bodies begin to recognize and expect benzos to stimulate neurotransmitters, it needs more of the drug to reach the desired effect. This is known as tolerance. When our bodies start experiencing withdrawal symptoms due to a lack of the drug, dependence is evident.
One of the primary issues with prescription benzos is that without a proper tapering regimen and weaning off the drug, addiction is likely to occur with long-term use, even with a prescription from the doctor.
Signs of benzo dependence include the following:
The Need For Benzo Treatment Services in New Jersey
Since benzos fall under the depressant category of drugs, they have a significant risk of harm during the withdrawal phase. For this reason, medical detox must be sought out. If you live in the state, there are various facilities that can treat your needs. During detox, you will be monitored around the clock to ensure your comfort and safety by a team of clinicians. They will provide medications, such as other benzos, to help taper you off your drug of choice.
Another aspect that makes getting off benzos so challenging is the fact they’re often prescribed. It’s hard to accept those who have a prescription for drugs that they’re crossing the line. When it comes to addiction, no one chooses to become addicted to a substance. Even with prescription drug use, the lines are blurred. Sometimes, the person won’t know why they’re craving more, accidentally develop a dependence, then seek more benzos out of desperation to stave off withdrawals.
This is another reason why someone should seek treatment for benzodiazepines in New Jersey. When addiction drags on for an extended period, it tends to get much more severe. Since individuals who struggle with abusing benzos are commonly prescribed the drugs, it becomes increasingly challenging to cope without relapsing.
As was mentioned above, seeking help for benzos is necessary because it’s one of the few substances that require detox; otherwise, the results can be catastrophic. This is because benzos are depressants and cause the brain to become more drowsy than usual. If you do not reach out for help, these harmful effects can be long-lasting. Once you complete detox, depending on the severity of the addiction or if you’re diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder, you’ll likely be moved into another level of care. This is where you can focus on treating the roots of what led to your addiction. Benzodiazepine treatment in New Jersey will be tailored around your specific needs to ensure a tailored experience. If you’re suffering from addiction and you’re afraid for tomorrow, reach out and get the help you need today.