Drug and Alcohol - Sobriety

What Are the Signs of Benzo Addiction?

Benzodiazepines are highly addictive drugs … and often abused. Benzo addiction is also treatable. Learn more in our blog.

What Are the Signs of Benzo Addiction?

Table of Contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

July 1, 2022

The Edge Treatment Center

Benzodiazepines, or “benzos,” are a highly addictive class of drugs that have seen use in the medical world for multiple reasons. For some, they are used to help treat anxiety by placating the mind and creating a more relaxed emotional state, while others utilize its sedative properties to promote healthier sleep habits. 

While their use as prescriptions has become more and more infrequent, benzos are still popular as an illicit substance for recreational use, bringing with them a number of dangerous symptoms. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of benzo abuse is the best way to help a loved one begin the journey of recovering from a destructive addiction to these substances. 

What Are Benzos?

Benzos are depressants that directly impact the body and mind. They are fast-acting drugs that have been used in a medical setting, but professionals have become warier prescribing them due to their highly addictive properties.

Their use as recreational drugs has become increasingly common, with illicit benzos being used for either achieving a high or as an attempt to counteract the stimulant effects of other drugs like cocaine.

Common benzos include Xanax, Ativan, and Valium, though there is an extensive list of different forms one could encounter. Benzos are an incredibly destructive class of drugs even before being combined with other drugs or alcohol.

Recognizing the signs of benzo use is the first step to identifying and overcoming addiction. 

Signs of Benzo Addiction: Mental & Physical Symptoms

Benzos affect an individual in a variety of ways, and each of one's symptoms can be further exacerbated by combining their use with other drugs or alcohol. Some of the most common symptoms of benzo use are:

  • Slurred speech

  • Compromised motor skills

  • Drowsiness

  • Confusion

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Sweating

However, there is a myriad of other symptoms that may also manifest even after one's high has subsided. While benzos may create a relaxing feeling, they can have several prolonged negative effects afterward, including: 

  • Forgetfulness

  • Confusion

  • Anger or irritability

  • Headache

  • Anxiety 

  • Panic

  • Depression

  • Lethargy

  • Fatigue

Recognizing any of these symptoms can be a reason to investigate how benzos may be affecting a loved one. Even if one does not outright observe an individual using benzos, there are behavioral signs that can indicate a developing addiction. 

Signs of Benzo Addiction: Behaviors to Look For

Those struggling with addiction to benzos may also exhibit changes in their habits and behaviors. An individual may become more confrontational or irritable, creating a very delicate atmosphere that is difficult to communicate in. Others may feel unfairly attacked or criticized about their lives, even when their use of benzos is not the subject of conversation. Additionally, rapid mood swings can make it incredibly difficult to maintain meaningful conversations and connections. 

Some may also feel compelled to prioritize their use of addictive substances over crucial relationships, spending more time physically and emotionally isolated from family and friends. Calling in sick to work with regularity and only accepting invitations out to places or events where one's use of drugs would be accepted are also common behaviors. Similarly, daily responsibilities such as regular chores or other obligations can be forgotten or abandoned. 

Financial problems are also common for those struggling with addiction, and it is common for an individual to budget their use of money around obtaining addictive substances. Trouble paying rent or affording groceries can be common, and an individual may begin to ask for money to cover basic expenses as a result of addiction, putting friends and family in a difficult position of wanting to support a loved one without enabling further use. 

The Dangers of Mixing Benzos with Other Drugs

Mixing benzos with other substances (often known as “crossfading”) can lead to very complicated and dangerous situations. Benzos are a common way to cope with the effects of other drugs, and benzos have even been used as a treatment for withdrawal symptoms, particularly with alcohol withdrawal. Combining benzos with other substances can introduce a myriad of other symptoms and effects that are difficult for the body and mind to process.

Abusing benzos this way can create a difficult situation that may bring about even more emotional and physical impacts on an individual and necessitates the help of dedicated professionals and detox to best address it.

The Importance of Dedicated Recovery From Benzo Addiction

Benzos are a highly addictive class of drugs, and their prolonged effects can continue to impact an individual long after one's high has subsided. Recovery can be difficult but completing a dedicated detox and treatment program can create the best situation for an individual to begin their recovery journey. 

Benzos can be incredibly dangerous, leading to permanent damage to one's body and mind. Additional risks include coma, death, and benzo overdose. Professionals are necessary to navigate one's unique symptoms and cope with withdrawal symptoms while facilitating a healthy, sober future. Coping with urges and cravings while battling feelings of anxiety, depression, panic, and more is difficult but never impossible with a dedicated, caring recovery community.

Ultimately, withdrawing from benzos is much easier at a drug rehab.

Get Treatment for Benzo Addiction Today at The Edge Treatment Center

Benzos are highly addictive and recognizing the signs and symptoms of their use is just the first step. At The Edge Treatment Center, we understand the need for a dedicated and caring professional recovery team to overcome an addiction to benzodiazepines. We can create a personalized recovery plan for you, guiding you through every step of the process so you can continue prioritizing a healthy, sober life.

For more information on how The Edge Treatment Center will help you or a loved one, please contact our team now.

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