prescription drugs

Benzo is a world-wide prescription drug, which belongs to a class of psychoactive drug (chemical drug). Also known as a minor tranquilizer.

In 1955, Benzo was accidentally synthesized by Leo Sternbach while working at Hoffmann-La Roche on the development of tranquilizer.

Back in the 1960’s it would be common for Housewives to take Benzos that the Rolling Stones even based a song about it called “Mama’s Little Helper.”

By the end of the 1970’s, Benzo were the most prescribed medications, globally.

In the 1980’s, Benzo started to be suspected to be an addictive drug.

Present-Day, Benzo Related-Overdosage Death and Prescription rose doubled as of 2015.

Commingly Used Benzos:

  • alprazolam (Xanax)
  • clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • diazepam (Valium)
  • lorazepam (Ativan)
  • temazepam (Restoril)
  • triazolam (Halcion)

What are Benzos used for?

Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms – Infographic 

Anxiety(Commonly Prescribed)

Feeling of fear and apprehension, temporarily

Social Anxiety Disorder

Feeling judged and neglected

Nervousness

Fear, Constant Worry, over-thinking, and uncomfortable

Panic Disorders

Sudden feelings of life-threatening danger that doesn’t exist

Alcohol Withdrawal

Headaches, nausea, and possibly seizures

Muscle Spasms

Temporary painful muscle twitching and contacting

Seizures

Your nerves system misfiring and spasms throughout the body

Premenstrual Syndrome

Mood swings, food cravings, fatigue, irritability, and depression.

Insomnia(Commonly Prescribed)

Tired, hard time getting to sleep and getting rest

Social Anxiety Disorder

Feeling judged and neglected

Sedation during Surgery

Help the patient relax and block pain during surgery

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Feeling severe ongoing anxiety

What are the symptoms and side effects from taking Benzo?

  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Physical Weakness
  • Suicide (Rarely Occurs)
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Difficult Breathing
  • Poor Decision Making
  • Blurred Vision
  • Tremors
  • Memory Problems
  • Poor Judgement
  • Dizziness
  • Black Out
  • Slurred Speech
  • Lack of Motor Co-ordination 
  • Insomnia
  • Anorexia
  • Seizures
  • Inability to Defend Themselves
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Suicide Thoughts
  • Possible Death

What are the Withdrawal Symptoms and Risks

  • Drug Cravings
  • Short-Term Memory Loss
  • (Possibly) Seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Abdominal Pain
  • (Possible) Death
  • Abdominal Pain 

What are the differences between Benzo Addiction V.S. Dependency V.S. Homeostasis?

Benzo Addiction

Mentally, your mind and behavior changes while crave the drug and believe you will die if you don’t take the drug again

Benzo Dependency

Physically, your body is adapted to the presence of the drug and can’t function without it

Benzo Homeostasis

Trained your body and mind adjust with ritual behaviors for the daily intake dosage of your drug

Facts and Myths about Benzo’s

Myth

Benzodiazepines are first-line treatment for anxiety

Facts

  • Maybe be used for 2-4 weeks to treat severe symptoms of anxiety disorder, ideally while waiting for the full effect of other treatment options 
  • Diminish in effectiveness beyond 4-6 weeks 

Benzodiazepines are first-line treatment for insomnia

  • May provide short-term(1-2 weeks) symptomatic relief for severe insomnia while other treatment modalities are bring implemented
  • May result in rebound insomnia once stopped
  • Do not appear to be effective for chronic insomnia or last-night insomnia,experienced more commonly by older adults

Low-dose Benzodiazepines are not a problem

  • Benzodiazepine use can result in physical dependence at any dose with prolonged use
  • May be misused to prevent perceived or anticipated withdrawal rather than for their originally intended purpose

Is Benzodiazepine Dangerous?

data
data

According to SAMHSA Drug Abuse Warning Network states, “Emergency room visits involving buprenorphine increased substantially from 3,161 in 2005 to 30,135 visits in 2010 (Figure 1).”

data

Benzodiazepine and narcotic pain reliever combination admissions were almost evenly divided between females and males (49.2 and 50.8 percent, respectively). The average age of benzodiazepine and narcotic pain reliever combination admissions was 31.2 years; 66.9 percent were aged 18 to 34.

numbers

Is it safe to get off Benzos safely?

Recommended from professional doctors to not quit Benzo intake cold-turkey!

Quitting Benzo Intake cold-turkey can lead to sever withdrawal symptoms such as death, seizures, and suicidal thoughts

If you or anyone needs help on quitting benzo, please look for professional and licensed help near you with S.A.M.H.S.A’S Facility Locater

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Different ways people get off from Benzo addiction and use

Did you know when patients asked their doctors and physicians why they weren’t feeling well, maybe to do with the drug.

They didn’t believe so their patients had to come up with their own solution. So they started to do the Ashton Method. Even so, doctors think their patients can get off from Benzos eventually in 4 weeks, which isn’t enough time depending on every individual.

Micro-Tapering

Portioning the correct amount of medication over 4 daily doses while cutting back 1/100th mg each day.

At first, it can be complicated and looks like something out of a chemistry class because this requires precision, math, chemistry, and keep a record of everything you do.

The dangers of this method is:

  • No professional help nor supervision since people do this on their own and learn this from online.
  • One mistake can really bring harm into the health of the patient and others
  • This journey can take time depending on every individual, but the process can take 6 months to 1 year or so.
  • This practice is not based on science, but experience.

The Ashton Method

The Ashton Method was developed by Dr.C. Heather Ashton to help patients achieve drug-free freedom.

The Ashton Method Benzo Withdrawal Basic Principles

Basic Principles

  1. Gradual Dosage Reduction

-Individual Withdrawal Rate

-Adjust Drug

2.Psychological Support

-Simple encouragement to psychological therapies

-Long-term

-Informative

-Motivation

  • Keep in mind every person is different so everybody will reach differently to the method.
  • The process can take to days, weeks, months, even a couple of years to successfully recover
  • Different personal factors also apply such as the environment, the people they are around with, the stresses that exist where they are.
  • The results are successful if the patient, not the doctor will go through this method willingly 110%.
  • Doesn’t recommend rabid detox because the person will not have enough time to catch up with the process
  • May require adjustments time to time depending on progress, always go forward NOT BACKWARD STEP INCREASING DISAGE AGAIN
  • Withdrawal is recommended as outpatient treatment

Pros and Cons of Taking Benzos

Pros

  • Temporarily eases the symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, and pain.
  • Ease the pain during surgery in Hospitals

Cons

  • In the long run, the symptoms were supposed to ease come back tenfold
  • Your body and mind can quickly and easily become dependent on the drug
  • Overdose
  • Suicide
  • Constant pain and uncomfortable for long periods of time.

Benzos on the Elderly

With all of this to consider, the elderly have it worse since they are the age group over 55+ to be prescribed with benzo by their own doctors and/or physicians.

Along with the data on the suicide rate, overdose, and other symptoms being on benzos.

Studies have shown that there’s an increased risk of adverse reactions when the elderly are taking benzos, including hip fractions. Any small thing can impact by a huge scale depending on any little factor of the elderly. 

Benzos and Driving

There was a study done by the NCBI in 1998 Apr stating,” In two studies where subjects had blood alcohol concentrations less than the legal limit, BZDs were found in 43% and 65% of subjects.”

They concluded that BZDs approximately double the risk of motor vehicle accidents.

Patients who take Benzos are more likely to be involved in a car accident because Benzos effects their ability to drive. 

Slows down their reaction and focus on the road. 

Take away

Don’t do cold turkey from benzos.

Keep constant updates with your doctors and physicians

Conduct research yourself, don’t blindly agree everything the doctors says.

Doctors need to know the risks, factors into play, such as how to get their clients off from benzos safely.

Use benzos as a last resort, and when taking benzos take the minimal as possible, shortest as possible, for the least amount of time, possible.

Conclusion

As mentioned before, every individual is effected differently then one another. There are so many cons that out way the pros. The data conducted in this research doesn’t look pretty. The takeaway is to do research yourself, don’t cut off from benzos cold-turkey, and use benzos as the last resort.

This article was done by Axel Morales from Step House Recovery who is an Digital marketer who writes and conducts research on rehabilitation, health of the well-being, related fields. 

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