Benzodiazepines and Anxiety

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Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million people every year here in the United States. Those who suffer from anxiety often experience the negative effects of this disorder in various areas of their lives. They may struggle to deal with the challenges that occur in their everyday lives and may find it difficult to work through stressful moments. Anxiety can cause people to feel overwhelmed and even depressed.

Many individuals turn to medical professionals for help in treating anxiety. Sometimes, doctors prescribe medications to assist people who suffer from anxiety disorders. In many cases, anxiety can be debilitating, preventing individuals from carrying out normal, everyday activities. Benzodiazepines often provide calming effects fairly quickly, making them the treatment of choice for those who struggle with the effects of anxiety disorders.

Unfortunately, the combination of benzodiazepines and anxiety is not always a good one. Far too often, those who use these medications in order to deal with their anxiety find themselves physically and mentally dependent on these drugs.

They might begin to suffer from withdrawal symptoms whenever they don’t use the drug. And, as a result, they feel as though they need to use the medication in order to feel “normal”. This leads to continuous use and, in some cases, abuse and addiction.

Understanding Anxiety Disorders: Symptoms and Effects

Anxiety is a mental health problem and those who suffer from anxiety disorders have more than the occasional feeling of nervousness. Many times, people who have an anxiety disorder suffer from its effects on a regular basis. The symptoms of anxiety can be overwhelming, affecting people’s daily lives and causing them to feel overcome by the impact of persistent anxiety.

There are various types of anxiety disorder, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Each kind of anxiety disorder is different and has unique symptoms and signs. But, there are also some general effects and symptoms of anxiety, which include:

  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Sleeping problems
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shakiness and trembling
  • Feelings of doom, fear, and hopelessness
  • Sense of danger, even when it’s not present

Some individuals suffer from anxiety related to specific things; for example, many people have phobia-related anxiety. They may have an intense fear of things like flying, being in small spaces, social settings, or specific animals.

Others, however, experience symptoms of anxiety even when there is no impending doom or danger. There may be no specific cause of the anxiety, but the individual may still feel nervous and experience other intense symptoms of anxiety.

What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines, commonly known as benzos, are drugs that fall under the prescription sedative drug class. Sedatives work by calming the body’s central nervous system (CNS). They slow the brain’s function, causing individuals to feel a sense of relaxation and calmness when they use sedatives.

So, when a person uses benzos, he or she will experience a change in the way the body feels. Instead of the intense and uncomfortable symptoms of anxiety, the individual will feel calmer and more able to work through the challenges of the day.

There are many well-known benzo drugs that people can use to treat anxiety, as well as insomnia and seizures. Some of the common names within the benzodiazepine class of drugs include:

  • Valium
  • Xanax
  • Serax
  • Ativan
  • Librium
  • Klonopin
  • Restoril
  • Niravam

It’s easy to assume that, since these drugs are prescribed by medical professionals, they are safe to use. In some cases, people who use benzos remain untouched by addiction. But, in all truth, individuals who use these substances regularly are at risk of developing a dependence on these drugs. Even if a person uses a benzodiazepine exactly as prescribed and directed by his or her doctor, it’s possible for the individual’s body to become dependent on the drug within just a few weeks.

In some cases, people become emotionally or mentally dependent on the prescription medication they regularly use. They may begin to believe that they can’t function or “feel right” if they don’t use their medication. Missing even one dose can cause individuals to become worried. So, in a sense, although benzos are used to help treat anxiety, constant use of these drugs can actually increase anxiety.

Benzodiazepines and Anxiety: Dependence and Addiction

When a person uses benzodiazepines and anxiety affects their lives on a regular basis, it can be easy for them to rely on their medication for relief from the symptoms of their mental health disorder. But, benzos are habit-forming and can be highly addictive. After only using them for a short while, perhaps a few weeks or months, individuals can find that using benzos regularly leads to dependence.

Benzo abuse can cause some serious symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Drowsiness
  • Breathing problems
  • Increased anxiety
  • Excessive sweating
  • Coordination problems

Have you noticed that you have trouble functioning unless you have used benzo medication? You may be dependent on this drug. It’s important to seek help immediately in order to overcome this problem before it worsens.

Overcoming Benzo Dependence Through Professional Treatment

If you’ve been struggling with a dependence on benzodiazepines and anxiety problems, you have likely experienced many negative effects. You, like many others, may have found yourself using and, eventually, abusing benzo medications in order to treat the symptoms of anxiety in your life.

Substance dependence is a very serious matter. People who become dependent on or addicted to drugs or alcohol often struggle in many ways. Drug abuse can cause emotional, mental, physical, and financial hardship. It can be very difficult to work through these challenges and overcome substance use disorders. But, the good news is that you can be free from these issues.

Here at Northbound Treatment Services, we are dedicated to helping our patients overcome addiction and remain free from this problem. We assist our clients in safely detoxing from drug use, whether they are using illicit or prescription drugs. Then, we provide treatment programs, including various types of therapy, which can help individuals to gain the skills they need in order to avoid addiction relapse.

Addiction doesn’t have to be a part of your life anymore. You can end this problem today by calling (855) 858-6803. Allow us to walk with you as you pursue a new and healthier version of you.

Additional Dual Diagnoses We Treat

Addiction and mental illness often go hand-in-hand. Treating one and not the other is ineffective. It’s paramount for an addiction treatment center to identify co-occurring disorders and to treat them in tandem with the addiction.





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