Benzodiazepine Abuse & Addiction in Ohio
Benzodiazepines are a kind of prescription medication that depress the central nervous system. Because they do calm excessive nerve activity in the brain, they are used to treat seizures as well as anxiety. Additionally, they enhance the effects of GABA – a neurotransmitter that is responsible for the ways in which the brain nerves send messages to each other – in the brain. Basically, benzodiazepines reduce brain activity so if you suffer from panic disorder as an example, it may help to make you calmer by decreasing the activity in your brain that leads to feelings of panic and anxiety.
Benzos are also used to treat muscle spasms, seizures, sleep problems and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. In many cases, they are prescribed for different kinds of anxiety such as social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
Some of the most common types of benzodiazepines are Valium, Xanax and Klonopin. This class of drugs is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the county. While there have actually been more than 2,000 different kinds of benzodiazepines that have been produced in the past, only about 15 are currently approved by the FDA. Some of the long-acting benzodiazepines include Valium and Librium while some of the short-acting benzos are Xanax and Ativan.
Are Benzodiazepines Addictive?
Benzodiazepines are quite common, and they do have many medical benefits. However, they can also be very addictive, and they are commonly abused.
There are two main reasons why benzos are so commonly abused. The first reason is that they are so readily available and easily accessible throughout the state of Ohio and the rest of the country. Also, the effects that they have – feelings of deep relaxation and sedation – can sometimes be desirable for those who become addicted to them.
Benzos may be abused in a few different situations. There are people who take a large amount at one time or people who pair the medication with other substances such as opioids or alcohol, which can be extremely dangerous and can even lead to death. There is also chronic abuse of the medication. This occurs when someone becomes dependent on them after a prolonged period of time, and they no longer feel normal without taking them.
Some of the signs that someone may be addicted to benzodiazepines can include dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, blurred vision, coordination problems, speech problems, breathing problems or even coma. The signs of a long-term problem with benzos are similar to the signs of other drug addictions. For instance, people may lose interest in activities or relationships they used to enjoy, and it may begin to affect someone’s career or education.
Why Are Benzodiazepines Addictive?
For residents of Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and other Ohio cities, benzo abuse can be a real issue. This is also the case all over the country. Many people wonder why this class of drugs is so addictive.
When a person takes a benzodiazepine, it produces a surge in the levels of dopamine in the person’s brain. Much of the activity of these drugs on the brain is related to the GABA receptors. Because the drug creates stimulation of the brain’s reward mechanism, the addiction cycle is then created in the brain. The effects of benzodiazepines are similar to the effects of opioids or cannabinoids in this way.
The Most Commonly Misused Benzos
Benzodiazepine medications are often prescribed if you are experiencing anxiety, panic disorder, insomnia or seizures. What are the drugs that are the most common culprits in benzo addiction? These include a host of regularly prescribed drugs, including alprazolam, clonazepam, chlordiazepoxide, diazepam, lorazepam, temazepam and triazolam. These drugs go under the brand names Xanax, Klonopin, Librium, Valium, Ativan, Restoril and Halcion. Benzos are often used concurrently with opioids and with alcohol, leading to even more challenging health outcomes than if they were used on their own.
Benzodiazepine Addiction Statistics
Benzodiazepine statistics are being studied by researchers, lawmakers and medical professionals all throughout the state of Ohio. This is something that is also being studied all across the nation, particularly as the problem becomes worse.
Here are a few important national benzodiazepine statistics:
- Between 2002 and 2009, benzodiazepine prescriptions rose by around 12.5 percent.
- In 2011, Xanax prescriptions totaled 49 million.
- Benzodiazepines are extremely dangerous when mixed with other substances like alcohol or prescription painkillers.
While benzodiazepines are some of the most regularly prescribed drugs in the country, they are also some of the most addictive prescription medications. All throughout the nation, there has been a spike in overdose deaths related to benzodiazepines and/or a combination of benzodiazepines and other medications or substances. Fortunately, for those who struggle with a benzodiazepine addiction, there are many different treatment options available in Ohio such as The Recovery Village Columbus.