Benzodiazepines or “benzos” are a class of drugs that primarily function as “depressants.” They act on the brain and central nervous system to reduce anxiety, promote sleep and improve calm. As a result, they are frequently prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia, panic disorders, alcohol withdrawal, and seizures. However, as with most prescription medication, the side effects of benzos can lead to chemical dependence if misused. If you or a loved one is struggling with benzodiazepine addiction, reach out to Lighthouse Recovery for a personalized benzo addiction treatment program.
While benzos are often considered to be milder and safer than other drugs, they still have a high potential for misuse or abuse. In long-term use, their effectiveness decreases; hence, it isn’t uncommon for patients to increase their dosage, leading to dependence and addiction. To know more about the dangerous side effects of benzos and suitable benzodiazepine addiction treatment programs, call us at 866.308.2090.
Common Side Effects of Benzos
Benzodiazepines were first synthesized in 1955 and approved for clinical use from the 1960s onwards. In most cases, they are prescribed for short-term use, ranging from two to four weeks. The brand names for some of the most common benzodiazepines include:
Since benzos slow down brain activity, it increases one’s risk for injury or accidents. Thus, one is advised not to drive or undertake any strenuous physical activity when taking the medication. While a benzo overdose isn’t usually deadly, a person may still experience dangerous side effects and pass out.
Short-Term Side Effects
The short-term side effects of benzos include the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Slow motor function
- Lack of coordination
- Memory issues
- Impaired vision
- Dilated pupils
- Slowed breathing
- Dry mouth
- Clammy skin
- Weak pulse
- Confused or erratic behavior
For fast-acting benzos, the effects can usually be felt within 30 to 60 minutes of taking the drug. However, when snorted at higher doses or taken for non-medical reasons, the side effects are more pronounced. If the side effects do not subside in a few days, contact a physician at the earliest.
Long-Term Side Effects
In some cases, a person may begin misusing their prescription to feel high. In long-term use, due to the body building up a tolerance, they may need more and more of the drug to function normally.
Some of the long-term side effects of benzos include:
- Decline of cognitive function
- Impaired sense of judgment
- Lapses in memory
- Weakened muscles
- Slurred speech
- Loss of libido
- Increased anxiety
- Severe mood swings
Thus, long-term side effects of benzos correlate with a reduced quality of life. Someone struggling with a benzodiazepine addiction may gradually lose interest in life, become more withdrawn, and no longer take part in activities or hobbies that once brought them joy. In some instances, they may mix benzos with other drugs or turn to street drugs which can result in life-threatening complications.
Get Help for Benzodiazepine Addiction at Lighthouse Recovery Institute
At Lighthouse Recovery, we offer a beacon of hope to Florida residents and other clients, helping them overcome their addiction and rebuild their lives anew.
From partial hospitalization to outpatient programs and even aftercare services, we ensure our clients receive the highest levels of care, medical attention, and empathetic support to make a full recovery. In particular, our 90-day treatment programs with aftercare are designed to help patients get back on their feet in no time while continuing to enjoy ongoing support even after a program is formally complete.
It is never too late to change your life. Take the first step towards healing by calling us at 866.308.2090.