Benzodiazepine is a psychoactive drug. It is also called benzo and sometimes abbreviated as BZD. The very first drug of this type discovered was Librium, discovered accidentally in 1955. Medically they are used for anxiety, stress, insomnia and panic attacks. They are also used to treat epileptic seizures.
These drugs act by depressing the central nervous system and if used long-term are addictive. The instructions for use of benzodiazepines are clear about not using them for a long time, but many do end up becoming addicted.
The benzodiazepine drugs that are abused are either slow acting or fast acting. Some of these drugs include:
When used in low dosages, benzodiazepines are sedatives. In high doses, they are hypnotics. As someone abuses them for a long period of time, they develop a tolerance for them, and to get the desired effects, they will use higher and higher doses.
A person who is abusing benzodiazepines will manifest the following:
>Unsteadiness in walking or moving
>Irritability or hostility
The attitude of someone using these drugs becomes an indifferent one. He or she may not seem very interested in anything and be quite detached.
A benzodiazepine user, when addicted, will spend much of their time trying to get more drugs. They sometimes will visit more than one doctor in order to get enough prescribed. They can sometimes buy them from the Internet or get them on the street from drug dealers. The pills will come in pill bottles if the person is getting them from a doctor, or doctors. From dealers they come in plastic bags or bottles with someone else’s name on them.
An overdose often comes from taking this drug with alcohol. The depression of the central nervous system in this case can increase to the point of respiratory failure. Combining this drug with heroin or cocaine is also risky and can result in death.
Whether from overdose or drug-related accidents, there have been many visits to emergency rooms due to benzodiazepine abuse. In 2009 alone, there were 363,000 visits to emergency rooms for these depressants.
The primary effects of abuse of benzodiazepines are a lessening interest in life and goals. They withdraw from family and friends. When circumstances would normally make a person anxious, the benzodiazepine user would not become moved. They are sedated, and this is what another sees in them.
It has been noted by certain studies on long-term use of benzodiazepines that it interferes with the user’s ability to learn. Their speed of thought processing slows and perceptions are distorted to a degree. The longer period of time a person uses this drug, the more impaired they became. This is why it is very important to get someone who is addicted to a drug treatment center and get them off this drug.
Sometimes those who want to go through withdrawal and leave all benzodiazepines behind need to go through a medical detoxification program. When a person stops taking them they can have seizures and other harmful consequences. Withdrawal symptoms include:
>Distortions of perceptions
>Tingling, tickling and itching or burning of the skin
Some people also experience feelings of unreality and severe depression. Occasionally those going through withdrawal will be very confused, become psychotic or have fits. These more extreme symptoms usually only happen when the person has used benzodiazepines for a long time or at very high dosages.
Lasting sobriety is definitely possible, even with these dangerous drugs. Usually, as stated, the person will need to do a medical detoxification. There are also programs that will help him find the right facility in order to accomplish a safe detox. Then the person needs to find an effective program that will continue to get the person recovered. Very important is to proof the person against relapse. Some programs are more effective than others in providing lasting recovery.