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Benzo Side Effects

Your insomnia was getting out of hand, so you went to your doctor to see what you could do. After going over some habits to implement, he decides to prescribe you a benzodiazepine. He says many people take benzos and that this will help you relax and after a few weeks, your sleep schedule should be back to normal. You thank him and head to the local pharmacy.

benzo side effects

After your first dose, you begin to feel relaxed. Your stress melts away as you begin to doze off. Next thing you know, you wake up in your lounge chair, still dressed from the day before. Groggily, you look at your watch and see that it is already 8:30 in the morning. You scramble to get ready for work and head out the door as quickly as possible. When you get to your desk, you feel a pounding headache as you still try to wake up from your daze. As you try to get through your day, all you can think about is how you will be making a call to your doctor after work to discuss these benzo side effects.

In Florida, alprazolam was present or the cause of just under 1600 deaths in 2021. Clean Recovery Centers understands that no one takes a medication prescribed by a doctor in the hopes of becoming dependent. We have seen this happen many times and are well-versed in treating all aspects of addiction. Our program is able to diagnose and treat mental health conditions at any phase and provide options for anxiety that are not a risk of developing dependence. In today’s blog, we will be looking at benzo side effects and how they affect the body and mind.

Benzo Side Effects Over Time

Benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety and insomnia and come in many varieties. Side effects can vary depending on potency and whether they are short-acting or long-acting. Most benzo side effects are tolerable, but some can affect everyday life. If side effects are becoming too much, talk to your doctor about what you can do to manage them.

Short-Term Side Effects Of Benzo Use

Short-term side effects of benzo use typically involve motor function and memory. Common short-term effects include dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, memory loss, slurred speech, muscle weakness, and loss of coordination and balance. These effects can be severe, and it is best to see how the benzodiazepine will affect you before trying to drive. Dizziness and drowsiness increase the risk of accidents, especially when trying to drive a vehicle.

Long-Term Side Effects Of Benzo Use

Long-term side effects of benzo use are similar to short-term. They include impaired thinking, memory loss, anxiety, depression, irritability, paranoia, and aggression. Despite treating anxiety, long-term use of benzodiazepines can actually increase anxiety symptoms between doses. This is due to withdrawal, a condition that occurs when the brain is dependent on benzos. The brain builds tolerance the longer benzos are used, and it sends signals throughout the body when it needs more. This is when withdrawal symptoms begin, and they can be very uncomfortable.

How Benzos Affect The Mind And Body

Benzodiazepines work in the brain by addressing overstimulation. They heighten the effects of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA gives off a calming response, which is why benzos are used in treating anxiety. However, benzos also cause long-term memory problems. When a benzo is taken, short-term memories are not converted to long-term, leading to memory loss. The person may not remember events that occurred while under the effects of the benzo, leading to gaps. They may engage in behaviors or situations they would not normally do, and have no recollection of what happened. This creates relationship strain, difficulties at work or school, and frustration of not being able to remember.

Behavioral Signs Of Benzo Use

Benzo use has a large effect on behaviors. Behavioral signs of benzo use often involve engaging in risky behaviors such as reckless driving or multiple sexual partners. If they are experiencing withdrawal symptoms between uses, behavior can become erratic, and they may experience angry and violent outbursts. They will do whatever it takes to get another benzo, and hurting others in the process is not a thought. Paired with memory impairment, they also may not remember the incident.

Physical Signs Of Benzo Misuse

Physical signs of benzo misuse are typically mild, but there are some rare severe side effects. Headaches, unsteadiness, constipation, dry mouth, and blurred vision are common and may lead to injuries from falls. More severe side effects include low blood pressure, jaundice, and in some cases, the development of breasts in males – also known as gynecomastia. Though these side effects are rare, they can cause serious damage to the body if left untreated.

Psychological Signs Of Benzo Misuse

Paired with behavioral, the psychological signs of benzo misuse can cause detrimental effects. Benzodiazepines work within the brain and affect different areas. The longer benzos are used, the more they begin to have opposite effects. Anxiety and depression begin to increase along with mood swings such as irritability. Delusions, hallucinations, and psychosis can lead to dangerous situations. The person will not know what is real and what is not, and will not recognize their loved ones. This puts friends and family members of the person using benzos in danger of violence. The person using may also experience thoughts of suicide. If the person becomes a danger to themselves or others, seek medical attention immediately.

Treatment For Benzo Use Disorder In Hillsborough County, FL

Managing a benzo use disorder can wreak havoc on your mind. Finding a benzo addiction treatment program will be the first step in the direction of recovery and can make all the difference in your success. With therapy and skill-building skills, you will be able to develop the tools needed to leave benzos behind and move forward with your life. It’s never too late to start, even if you have been taking benzos for years. There is always hope, and taking the first step is all you have to do to begin.

If you or someone you love is managing a benzodiazepine disorder, help is available right now. Clean Recovery Centers is here to help you find what makes you click, and discover the root causes of your addiction. Our addiction treatment utilizes a unique, three-phase approach not seen anywhere else. We take you through all aspects of addiction and help you see how mental health can be a large effect. Our program also focuses on wellness to help you develop healthy coping skills in times of stress or difficulty. Together, our dedicated team will help you find your success in recovery, and get clean, live clean, and stay clean. Call us today at (888) 330-2532 to learn more about our program offerings.

FAQs About The Side Effects Of Benzos

What are the most serious risks of benzodiazepines?

The psychological effects of benzos are considered especially dangerous. Benzodiazepines work within the brain and affect different areas. The longer benzos are used, the more they begin to have opposite effects. Anxiety and depression begin to increase along with mood swings such as irritability. Delusions, hallucinations, and psychosis can lead to dangerous situations. The person will not know what is real and what is not, and will not recognize their loved ones. This puts friends and family members of the person using benzos in danger of violence. The person using may also experience thoughts of suicide.

What happens if you take benzos every day?

By taking benzos every day, you risk developing dependence. When the brain becomes dependent, it will send signals that benzos are needed. This is in the form of withdrawal symptoms, which can be unpleasant and cause increases in anxiety, agitation, and mood swings. Memory impairment will also occur while taking benzos, which can lead to risky behaviors and cause relationship strain, poor work or school performance, and risk of legal troubles.

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