Are Benzos Addictive?

Are Benzos Addictive?

If you or someone close to you has struggled with addiction or abuse related to prescription drugs like benzos, it’s important to know that you can get help to overcome your addiction. Many people who are given prescriptions wonder whether there are side effects, but too often people forget to ask: are benzos addictive? 


What are Benzos?

Benzos or benzodiazepines are a type of drug used for sedation. A doctor can prescribe benzodiazepine for things like panic attacks or anxiety disorders, seizures, muscle spasms, insomnia, or anesthesia. You might hear talk of benzos based on their generic name or their prescription name. Benzodiazepines include:


Generic name

Prescription brand name

Alprazolam Xanax
Chlordiazepoxide Librium
Clonazepam Klonopin
Clorazepate Tranxene
Diazepam Valium
Lorazepam Ativan
Oxazepam Serax
Temazepam Restoril
Triazolam Halcion


Benzos work very quickly, usually taking effect within 30 minutes. But they also stop working quickly, with side effects wearing off in a matter of hours. But how do benzos work, and are benzos addictive? Benzodiazepines work by slowing down brain activity. Benzos reduce the transmission of GABA in your brain. Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, is a neurotransmitter which means it sends chemical messages between your brain and your central nervous system. When you take benzos, they slow down these transmissions, which produces a sedative effect that’s quite calming.


Are Benzos Addictive?

So, are benzos addictive? Yes, very much so. Unfortunately, they are considered effective and safe in the short term, helping with short-term anxiety attacks or short-term bouts of insomnia or muscle spasms. However, if you take them regularly, take more than you are supposed to, or take them in any way other than the intended purpose, they can become addictive.


What are the Signs of Benzo Abuse?

If you are worried about a benzo addiction, check the common signs of benzo abuse. The signs of benzo abuse or benzo addiction start with withdrawal symptoms. Individuals addicted to benzos will start to show withdrawal symptoms if they don’t take another dose regularly. The withdrawal symptoms can include confusion, vertigo, dry mouth, and blurred vision.


But these are not the only signs of benzo abuse. Addiction to any drug comes with psychological, physical, behavioral, and financial symptoms. 


Individuals struggling with benzo abuse might see multiple doctors to get the same prescription concurrently, lie about their symptoms, or exaggerate claims of anxiety to get a prescription. They might steal prescriptions from other people, especially teenagers who have easy access to their parent’s medicine cabinet.


Individuals struggling with benzo addiction might not have money when they otherwise should stop engaging in social activities or hobbies that they once loved. You might notice they don’t hang out with friends or family as much, and they constantly seem tired or relaxed, a little drowsy, and unable to focus. School, work, or personal responsibilities may no longer be the most essential thing in their lives.


You might notice someone taking higher doses more often than is prescribed. Usually, someone struggling with benzo abuse will try to hide how much they take or how often they use it. They might have prescriptions under someone else’s name or buy pills individually from friends who have prescriptions.


What are the Symptoms of Benzo Withdrawal

If you are abusing benzos, your body will become accustomed to the drug and start to manifest withdrawal symptoms if you don’t take the same dosage regularly. Common side effects include muscle weakness, difficulty remembering what went on while you were under the influence of benzos, blurred vision, confusion, drowsiness, vertigo, and dry mouth. You might even experience low blood pressure, headaches, or shaking.


If you are showing signs of benzo abuse or symptoms of benzo withdrawal, it is vital that you reach out to a medical professional who can help you detox from benzodiazepines and get your brain back on track with regular communication.

If you or someone you love is dealing with a benzo addiction and has signs of benzo abuse, you can get help at Laguna View Detox. At our Laguna Beach luxury treatment facility, we start your path toward recovery with medically assisted detox services in Southern California. In our safe and secure treatment center, we can help you transition through benzo withdrawal symptoms and begin to overcome your benzo abuse. We understand that every individual struggles with addiction differently, so our team works with you to compose a personalized treatment plan complete with evidence-based practices to help you build a solid foundation early in your recovery and ongoing holistic treatment to help you achieve long-term success. Contact us today to get on the path of recovery.