Benzo Addiction: Symptoms and Benzo Addiction Treatment

Have you ever heard of something called “benzos“? They’re medicines that can help people feel less anxious or sleep better, but sometimes, things can go wrong. When people use benzos in a way that’s not safe or the doctor didn’t say, it can lead to a problem called benzo addiction.

This might make them feel really tired, and confused, and even change their mood a lot. But don’t worry, there’s a way out! In this article, we’ll talk about the signs that someone might be struggling with benzo addiction and how they can get the right help to feel better.

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What Are the Signs of Benzo Abuse?

Benzo abuse means using medications called benzodiazepines in ways that are not safe or prescribed. Here are the signs of benzodiazepine abuse:

  • Taking Too Much: If someone takes more benzos than the doctor said, that’s a sign. It’s like eating too much candy when you’re only supposed to have a little.
  • Using Without a Doctor’s OK: If someone takes these medicines without a doctor saying it’s okay, that’s not safe. It’s like using someone else’s special toys without asking.
  • Feeling Very Sleepy: If someone is super tired all the time and can’t stay awake, it might be because of benzos. It’s like feeling sleepy after staying up really late.
  • Acting Confused: If someone seems confused, forgets things, or acts like they don’t know what’s happening, it could be due to benzo use. It’s like when you can’t remember where you put your favorite toy.
  • Moving Slowly: If someone moves like they’re in slow motion, it could be because of benzos. It’s like walking really slowly on purpose.
  • Getting Dizzy: If someone feels like everything is spinning or they might fall, it could be because of benzos. It’s like how you feel when you spin around a lot.
  • Having Trouble Breathing: If someone is having a hard time breathing or it feels like they can’t catch their breath, benzos might be the cause. It’s like when you run really fast and your breath goes really quick.
  • Mood Changes: If someone’s mood changes a lot, like going from happy to angry quickly, benzos might be involved. It’s like feeling lots of different emotions all at once.

Benzo Addiction in Young Adults

Benzo addiction in young adults means that some people their age are using certain medicines in a way that’s not safe or healthy. It can make them feel very sleepy, and confused, and it’s important for them to get help from grown-ups or doctors to stop using these medicines and feel better.

Benzo Abuse Statistics

  • Among 30.6 million adults, around 5.3 million didn’t use benzodiazepines the right way (around 2.2%).
  • The age group in the US between 18 and 25 had the most people misusing benzodiazepines.
  • The folks who were 65 years or older were the least likely to misuse benzodiazepines.

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Do I Have Signs of Benzo Abuse?

Wondering if you might be dealing with benzo abuse? If you’re using medicines like benzos in ways the doctor didn’t say or if you’re feeling super tired, confused, or having mood changes, it’s a good idea to talk to a trusted grown-up or doctor to figure things out and get the right help.

Short Term Benzo Side Effects

Using benzodiazepines (benzos) might help with certain problems, but they can also have some short-term side effects. These are things that can happen soon after taking them. Let’s look at the top four common short-term side effects in simpler terms:

After taking benzos, you might feel really sleepy and find it hard to stay awake, like when you’re super tired.

Benzos can make you feel like everything is spinning or wobbly, similar to that feeling when you spin around too much.

Some people might feel confused or forget things easily, like when you can’t remember where you put your favorite toy.

Benzos could make your speech sound slow and not clear, like when you talk with marbles in your mouth.

Benzo Long Term Side Effects

Long term benzodiazepines (benzos) use might have effects that show up later on. These are called long-term side effects. Let’s take a look at the top four common long-term side effects:

photo of a person having a headache

If you use benzos for a while, you might start having trouble remembering things or feel like your memory isn’t as good as before, kind of like forgetting important stuff you learned.

photo of person feeling unwell a result of dependence

Using benzos for a long time might make your body get used to them, and you could find it really hard to stop using them without feeling really strange or unwell.

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Benzos over a long period might make your mood go up and down a lot, like feeling super happy one moment and then really sad the next.

tolerance results to takin more drug

After using benzos for a while, you might notice that they don’t work as well as they used to, so you might need to take more to get the same effects.

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Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms

Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are medications commonly used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. However, stopping prolonged or high-dose usage can make you experience withdrawal symptoms including:

icon anxiety

Anxiety Rebound

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icon muscle pain

Muscle Tension

icon showing vomiting which is a cause of drug abuse

Nausea and Vomiting

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Sensitivity to Stimuli

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Panic Attacks

icon Increased heart rate

Heart Palpitations

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Icon representing a depression disorder coupled with a substance use disorder called a dual diagnosis


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Difficulty Concentrating

icon depicting drug withdrawal effect like seizures


Benzo Withdrawal Timeline

  • Early Withdrawal (1-4 Days): Within hours to a few days after the last dose, anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia may intensify.
  • Peak Withdrawal (1-2 Weeks): Around the first week, withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, irritability, and muscle tension peak in intensity.
  • Subsiding Symptoms (2-4 Weeks): Over the next couple of weeks, symptoms gradually decrease, but mood swings and sensitivity might persist.
  • Protracted Withdrawal (Months): Some individuals might experience lingering mood changes, anxiety, and trouble sleeping for several months after discontinuation.

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What is Benzo Detox?

Benzodiazepine detox is a controlled process of gradually reducing and eliminating benzodiazepine medication from the body to safely manage withdrawal symptoms and minimize potential health risks, often under medical supervision. It helps the body readjust to functioning without the drug, reducing the chances of severe withdrawal symptoms and complications.

Benzo Detox Timeline

  • Stabilization (1-4 Days): Initially, a long-acting benzo might be prescribed to help stabilize the system and ease withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tapering (Several Weeks): Over the next weeks, the dosage is gradually reduced to minimize withdrawal while allowing the body to adjust.
  • Transition to Non-Benzodiazepine (Varies): Depending on the situation, a healthcare provider might switch to a different medication or approach to further support withdrawal.
  • Monitoring and Adjustments (Weeks to Months): Regular medical check-ins help track progress and make any necessary adjustments to the tapering plan.
  • Completion (Varies): The tapering process concludes when the individual is benzo-free and managing any residual symptoms.

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What Are the Benzo Addiction Treatments?

Benzodiazepine addiction, which can stem from misuse or prolonged use, requires appropriate treatment to overcome physical dependence and avoid potential health complications. Here are the benzo addiction treatment options:

  • Medically Supervised Detox: Gradual reduction of benzo dosage under medical care to manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent severe effects.
  • Behavioral Therapy: Counseling and therapy sessions that teach coping strategies and address the psychological aspects of addiction.
  • Support Groups: Group meetings where individuals share experiences and provide mutual encouragement throughout the recovery process.
  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Addressing co-occurring mental health issues alongside addiction for comprehensive care.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment: Some medications can aid in managing withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings.
  • Outpatient or Inpatient Rehab Centers: Choosing between staying at a facility (inpatient) or attending sessions while living at home (outpatient) depends on the severity of addiction and personal circumstances.
  • Long-Term Follow-Up: Continuing therapy and support even after the initial treatment phase to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse.

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Seeking help for benzo addiction recovery near you? We’re here to provide assistance! HART provides a secure and nurturing rehabilitation program tailored for young adults looking to conquer benzo addiction.

Through expert counseling, potential medication support, and a supportive community, you’ll be equipped with the resources to build a healthier, drug-free tomorrow. Reach out to our team to initiate your journey toward a more positive path, and let’s embark on this recovery journey together!

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