Drug and Alcohol

Am I Addicted to Benzos? How Will Detox Help?

Am I Addicted to Benzos? How Will Detox Help?

Meta Description: Are you addicted to benzos? Here’s how to recognize the signs of addiction to prescription tranquilizers.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

November 9, 2022

The word “benzos” is short for benzodiazepines, which are a class of prescription drugs used as tranquilizers. Benzos are often prescribed by medical professionals to provide feelings of tranquility. They can be used to help with symptoms of anxiety, seizures, and muscle spasms.  They're also used to treat sleep disorders, but most physicians prefer prescribing "Z-drugs" like Ambien instead.

If you're worried that you might be addicted to benzos, it is critical that you know the signs to look out for. The quicker that you seek help, the smoother the process of withdrawal will be, and the faster you can successfully complete treatment. 

Today we will explore the signs that point to possible benzo addiction, what the detox process will look like, and what comes next. 

Different Types of Benzos

There are both short-acting and long-acting benzos. The short-acting group is typically used for sedation, anxiety treatment, and amnesia before anesthesia.

On the other hand, long-acting benzos are used to treat insomnia in individuals who struggle with anxiety during the day. 

Street Names for Benzos

Common street names for benzodiazepines include:

  • “Benzos” 

  • "Downers"  

  • “Xannies” 

Brand Names for Benzodiazepines 

Brand names for different benzodiazepine medications include:

  • Xanax 

  • Valium 

  • Ativan 

  • Klonopin

  • Restoril 

  • Librium 

Signs of Addiction to Benzos

There are a few signs and symptoms that you can look out for if you are concerned about yourself or a loved one being addicted to Benzos. 

Benzo Addiction: Effects on the Brain

Benzodiazepines can cause memory loss. Many people who take benzodiazepines often forget small tasks that they need to complete throughout the day. You may also feel irritable, confused, or find it extremely difficult to complete tasks that take longer. 

Since benzos help to slow down your central nervous system (CNS), they can cause intense feelings of lethargy along with feeling more apathetic. A few long-term side effects can also occur when you're addicted to benzos. This includes memory loss, muscle weakness, confusion, and disorientation.   

Benzo Addiction: Physical Signs

The physical symptoms are usually the most obvious. These symptoms will vary depending on the person. However, common physical symptoms of benzo abuse include:

  • Drowsiness 

  • Slurred speech

  • Headaches 

  • Dizziness 

  • Nausea and vomiting 

  • Constipation 

  • Lack of coordination 

  • Vertigo 

  • Tremors 

  • Respiratory symptoms

Benzo Addiction: Risky Behaviors

This may be one of the more dangerous addiction symptoms because these behaviors can be fatal to you, your family, or others around you. Risky behaviors happen because once someone is addicted, it causes them to become obsessed and risk anything and everything for the drug. 

If you are constantly thinking about benzos while you're at work, driving, or with family, this can be a sign you are addicted. This is especially the case if you continue to use the drug during these daily responsibilities despite any consequences that may occur. 

Benzo Addiction: Denial   

If you constantly deny to your loved ones or doctor that you are struggling with an addiction, even though you know deep down that you are addicted, this is also a sign you may be addicted to benzos. 

You may find yourself saying things such as “I have everything under control” or “No, I don't have a problem." The denial can then turn into lying to the ones you care about the most to continue to hide your addiction. 

What Can a Benzo Overdose Look Like?

There are a few different symptoms you can look out for when determining if someone is overdosing on benzos. Common signs of benzo overdose include:

  • Confusion 

  • Dizziness 

  • Slurred speech 

  • Weakness 

  • Blurry vision 

  • Unresponsiveness 

  • Hallucinations

  • Coma 

  • Death 

Mixing benzos with alcohol is highly dangerous because they enhance the effects of one another. This increases the chances of an overdose, and alcohol is almost always present in benzo overdose cases. 

How You Can Detox From Benzos

The detoxification (detox) process is always the first step of addiction treatment. In most cases, it is also the most important. You can think of this as your fresh start or clean slate. The sole purpose of detox is to rid your body of the toxins from the drug. This way, you can begin the other treatment phases to achieve lasting recovery. 

However, during this phase, you also experience the most withdrawal symptoms because you are no longer taking the drug. Your body has gotten so used to the drugs at this point that it is unsure how to function without them. 

Medically supervised detox is vital because physicians can prescribe medications to help make the withdrawal symptom much more manageable. The detox process is especially tricky with benzos because once you stop taking them, your body stops producing GABA molecules, which provide feelings of calmness and relaxation. 

Withdrawal Symptoms You May Experience During Benzo Detox

Common withdrawal symptoms for benzos include:

  • Sleep disturbances 

  • Shaking and hand tremors 

  • Aggression

  • Anxiety and panic attacks 

  • Intense cravings 

  • Nausea and vomiting 

  • Hallucinations 

Next Steps: What Happens After Benzo Detox?

After you have successfully completed the detox phase, you can move on to the rest of the treatment program. This could either be an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab program. The program you participate in depends on you and your daily responsibilities; everyone is unique and will require different treatment approaches. 

For example, if you have struggled with a more prolonged and severe addiction to benzos, it might be more beneficial for you to participate in an inpatient treatment program. This involves living in a facility with staff and other treatment residents 24/7. 

An outpatient program is less structured and is ideal for someone who has daily responsibilities such as a career, going to school, or having to take care of children. An outpatient program allows you to keep living at home while completing treatment around your schedule. 

Both programs have their advantages. However, the important thing is getting help for benzo abuse. This dangerous addiction must be professionally treated.

Get Treatment for Benzo Addiction at The Edge Treatment Center

The Edge Treatment Center knows how dangerous benzo addiction can be. We use proven, evidence-based methods to treat addiction to Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and more!

Don’t risk a benzo overdose. Contact The Edge Treatment Center today, and free yourself from benzo addiction.

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.