The Path towards Benzo Abuse
Most teenagers and young adults who are addicted swallow the pills or snort them after crushing them to get high. Abuse is particularly high among cocaine and heroin consumers. Additionally, opioid users often mix benzodiazepines so that the euphoria sensation lasts longer. Sometimes, alcohol withdrawal symptoms are treated with benzodiazepines too.
It is important to know that benzodiazepines are highly addictive. They are controlled in Schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act of The United States.
Benzodiazepines may cause aggressiveness, amnesia, irritability, and vivid nightmares.
Benzodiazepines slow down the central nervous system, provoking sleepiness and a chilled mood.
Effects of overdose include confusion, acute drowsiness, impaired coordination, decreased reflexes, coma and respiratory slow down. Overdose effects of combined abuse of benzodiazepines and opioids include: Profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and even death. The main signs are shallow respiration, clammy skin, dilated pupils, weak and rapid pulse.
Drugs that cause similar effects include: Alcohol, barbiturates, sleeping pills, and GHB
Benzodiazepines have a relaxing, calming effect, and are used to treat these conditions:
- acute anxiety, agitation or panic attacks
- overwhelming sleeping problems when other treatments fail
- to relax and/or sedate you during surgeries
- to reduce the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal if you are fighting alcoholism
- muscle spasms and epileptic fits, when a quick effect is needed.
For anxiety and insomnia, it’s best to use benzodiazepines only for a short time. Ongoing use for longer than 15-30 days is not recommended.
- Your body gets used to benzodiazepines quickly and after 15-3o days. It’s not likely that they will have the same effect afterwards.
- This does not happen if you take benzodiazepines every now and again, or for less than one month.
- If you take a benzodiazepine every day for longer than about 2–4 weeks, you may feel dependent on it. You may get withdrawal effects if you stop cold turkey and the feelings of anxiety will worsen.