Benzodiazepine Addiction: Symptoms and Signs

Benzodiazepines belong to the prescription sedative class of drugs. Although benzodiazepines have a calming effect, they are highly addictive, and a person who abuses them faces a host of symptoms. Some of the physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms of benzodiazepine abuse include:

  • Weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Poor judgment or thinking
  • Doctor shopping
  • Asking friends, family, colleagues, and/or classmates for their benzodiazepine pills
  • Wanting to cut back on the volume of abuse but not being able to do so
  • Mood changes
  • Risk-taking behaviors, such as driving after abusing benzodiazepines
  • Combining benzodiazepines with alcohol or other drugs

Due to the natural process of building a tolerance, over time, a person will require a higher volume of benzodiazepines to reach the familiar high. When the abuse stops or the familiar dose is significantly cut down, withdrawal symptoms will emerge. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be particularly dangerous and even life-threatening. Undergoing medical detox under the direct care of a doctor is generally advised.

The drug class known as benzodiazepines is made up of prescription tranquilizers, also called sedatives or anxiolytics. They are prescribed for a host of conditions, such as anxiety disorder or panic disorder. As WebMD notes, benzodiazepines can be prescribed for the following medical conditions:

  • Insomnia
  • Seizures
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Anxiety
  • As part of a treatment plan for alcohol use disorder recovery

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