Why It’s Important to Seek Treatment
When benzodiazepines were first introduced more than fifty years ago, they were seen as a safer alternative to barbiturates and other forms of sedatives that were known for being very dangerous and addictive. Benzodiazepines simply seemed to be less toxic and less likely to cause a dependence; at least a serious case of dependence.
For many years Valium was prescribed to stressed-out fathers, restless mothers and sometimes even to young adults in order to help them deal with the daily stresses of life. Even today, most men and women who take Valium on a regular basis might not be aware of how addictive they are until they attempt to quit taking them. This is when their eyes are usually opened.
Benzodiazepines are Highly Addictive
Valium is, by far, the most popular brand of benzodiazepine on the market. However, there are others like Ativan, Niravam, Xanax, Librium and Klonopin. What gives many people the misconception about safety when it comes to benzodiazepines is the relaxed feeling it can provide them with.
Benzodiazepines are also prescribed for problems such as insomnia, seizures, anxiety, muscle stiffness and even as a treatment for recovery from alcohol abuse. If you have ever been prescribed, or are taking any form of benzodiazepine, you need to be aware of the signs of addiction that you might be experiencing or have experienced in the past. Symptoms of benzo addiction include, but are not limited to:
- Taking more than the amount prescribed over time
- Anxiousness and anticipation leading up to the next dose
- Needing to take more to get the desired effects
- Cravings and feelings of extreme anxiety when it’s no longer in your system
- Impaired performance and forgetfulness at work or at home
If you are a father or mother and you think you might be addicted to whatever form of benzodiazepine you are taking, please read on. Your addiction might be affecting your family already. This is especially true if your children and your spouse depend on you to be fully alert and aware in order to fulfill your obligations to them.
Effects and Dangers of Physical Dependence
What makes drugs like benzodiazepines so addictive is the effect they have on dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical produced in the brain that is responsible for feelings of well-being and contentment. Benzodiazepines directly affect the levels of dopamine produced by the brain by increasing them dramatically.
Benzodiazepines keep people calm without necessarily producing feelings of euphoria as such. However, when you stop taking benzodiazepines after haven taken them for a significant amount of time, the anxiety levels shoot through the roof because the dopamine levels crash.
If benzodiazepine abuse continues for a significant amount of time, brain damage may occur. Many recovering addicts complain that they can never seem to return to normal again after quitting. They continue to experience profound feelings of fear, anxiety, hopelessness and even grave depression that can turn suicidal. The brain’s chemistry has been so compromised in these individuals that it’s hard to get them to return to normal. This is what is sometimes called a benzodiazepine brain injury.
Do You Need Help?
If you feel like you might be developing a dependency to benzodiazepines it’s critical to get help as soon as possible before further damage is done to your brain’s chemistry. Once this occurs, it can be very difficult to receive successful treatment for your dependency without having to take other forms of medication to alleviate the symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal.
Millions of men and women will often wait until signs and symptoms of their addiction become too severe to ignore. It’s imperative to not let things get to that stage until you seek treatment. The confusion, anxiety and weariness alone can affect the level of care and attention your children get from you.
If you are taking a benzodiazepine prescription and feel that you might be developing a dependency, a consultation with your doctor can be the first step. He or she can lower the doses of the drug so that you don’t encounter undesirable withdrawals.
If you have been taking them without a prescription, the situation is far more serious. An intimate discussion with family members will summon the support you will need during this time. You and your loved ones can then seek a reputable treatment facility to put an end to this addiction before it becomes life-threatening.
Daniel Factor is a freelance writer from Birmingham, Alabama. He is very passionate about helping those who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. If you’d like to learn more about benzodiazepine addiction and treatment, please visit https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/benzodiazepine-addiction/