The class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, or benzos as they are more commonly referred, causes millions of people to be addicted each year. Benzos are often prescribed to individuals experiencing any number of psychiatric disorders. The most common benzo available is known as Xanax, which is most often prescribed to individuals with anxiety and panic disorders. While benzos act quickly to calm the nervous system and relieve the anxiety and panic of the person experiencing it, they can also be incredibly addictive because of the euphoric effect that is given to the individual prescribed. This can in turn cause an addiction because the person becomes dependent on that feeling, never truly treating the cause of their panic or anxiety in the first place. Benzodiazepine addiction is one of the fastest growing addictions in America with tens of thousands of people seeking treatment for it each year.
What Causes an Addiction?
Your doctor may have prescribed you a benzodiazepine, like Xanax, because they feel that the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks. You might have been experiencing frequent and terrifying anxiety and panic episodes, which your doctor feels can be corrected with benzos. Unfortunately, Benzodiazepine medication does not take care of the actual problem. Most anxiety and panic disorders do well long-term with a therapeutic treatment known as CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy. It is an approach that creates a feeling of carelessness about the anxiety or panic that the person is feeling. Benzos simply mask the feelings of anxiety and panic, providing an incredibly quick and short-term moment of relief. This moment of intense relief is what gets people addicted to Benzodiazepine medication. Not to mention that the medication works on neurons within the brain to create a euphoric high-like effect that is very addictive to many people. Even if you have never had a drug addiction problem before, you are still at risk for developing one if you’ve been prescribed and are taking Benzodiazepine medication.
Am I Addicted?
Just because you’ve been prescribed a drug like Xanax does not mean you’re automatically an addict. Addictive behavior can develop shortly after beginning treatment with benzos or may even develop months or years down the line. You can consider yourself addicted when you find yourself totally dependent on the drug or are taking it even if you do not need it. Addiction can also be seen when your doctor stops prescribing you medication and you find yourself purchasing the medication illegally or visiting multiple doctors just to get your prescription filled again. Addiction can wreak havoc on your relationships, health and your financial standing.
Treatment and Getting Help
Treatment for benzodiazepine addiction is similar to many other types of addiction. You first need to notify your doctor that you are going into treatment for the addiction so that they can put a stop on any and all prescriptions of Benzodiazepine medication. Next, you can choose either from in-patient or out-patient treatment depending on which one works better for your schedule. Doctors and medical staff will watch you for withdrawal symptoms and will prescribe medication to help with the symptoms if you begin to experience them. Treatment for drug addiction also involves therapy and counseling, which are needed to help prevent the addiction for reoccurring.
Understanding the Long-Term of Your Addiction
When you’ve dealt with addiction before, no matter what type of addiction it was, it has a habit of haunting you later on in life. It might haunt you in a way that you feel badly and guilty about your past behavior and it can also haunt you in a way that makes you want to go back to it time and time again. Relapse often occurs when going through the recovery process, but it is always best to avoid relapse in an effort to prevent the Benzodiazepine addiction from coming back.
Living an addiction-free life is a wonderful way to get through your day. If you’re experiencing a problem with Benzodiazepine addiction right now, it is important that you reach out for help. If you have a loved one who you feel has an addiction problem, talk to them about it and see if they are willing to get help.