What Are the Effects of Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines, more frequently referred to as benzos, are a type of prescription medication most commonly used to treat anxiety-related disorders, panic disorders, insomnia, and other sleep-related issues, muscle tension, and seizures. Medical professionals will typically only prescribe benzodiazepines to be taken for a short period, seeing as they are extremely potent, habit-forming, and can lead to a variety of serious physical and mental health issues when taken for an extended period. Some different types of brand-name benzodiazepine include Valium, Klonopin, Restoril, Ativan, Librium, and Halcion.
How Benzodiazepines Affect Mental Health
These medications work by slowing down the central nervous system, leading to feelings of relaxation while actively diffusing the emotional, mental, and physical side effects associated with extreme stress. Over the past several years, rates of benzodiazepine abuse and addiction have continued to steadily climb throughout the United States. Prescription benzodiazepines are now the second most commonly abused medication, closely following prescription opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone. It is no secret that abusing any chemical substance leads to severe mental health consequences. Therefore, it makes sense that men and women who have been actively abusing benzodiazepines will experience a wide range of psychological issues.
Abusing benzos destroys your mental health in a variety of ways. The severity of related consequences will depend heavily on whether or not there were any pre-existing mental health conditions, for how long benzodiazepines have been abused and in what amount, and a variety of other underlying factors. If you or someone close to you has been abusing benzos, it is important to reach out for professional help as soon as possible. Because the consequences associated with benzo abuse are so comprehensive and far-reaching, an integrated program of addiction recovery is always necessary.
How Do Benzos Destroy Mental Health?
Even though benzodiazepines are typically prescribed to treat the symptoms associated with mental health disorders, abusing these medications can lead to a worsening of symptoms. Using benzodiazepines other than us prescribed for any period can destroy mental health. Men and women who abused benzos typically describe the following consequences that are directly linked to the quality of their mental health:
- A worsening of symptoms associated with anxiety and anxiety-related disorders, including an increased frequency of panic attacks, increased social anxiety and a desire to be alone, and a worsening of the physical symptoms that go hand-in-hand with anxiety, like shakiness, profuse sweating, and hyperventilation.
- Overwhelming feelings of sadness and worsening symptoms of depression. In many cases, the external and interpersonal consequences associated with addiction lead to feelings of depression and hopelessness. Some of these symptoms include issues with family members and friends, legal and financial issues, and problems at work or school.
- An inability to regulate emotions or manage moods. Individuals who are suffering at the hands of benzodiazepine abuse or addiction typically suffer from severe mood swings, often characterized by extreme irritability and unexpected, angry outbursts. This inability to manage emotions also often leads to interpersonal consequences, which can further impact feelings of depression.
There has been a lot of evidence pointing towards the fact that long-term benzodiazepine abuse also leads to a wide range of serious cognitive issues later on in life, including memory loss and the development of Alzheimer’s. If you have been struggling with benzo abuse or addiction, there is truly no time to wait. Addiction is a progressive disease – seeking professional help sooner rather than later is crucial to the reversal of these negative effects on mental health.
Benzo Addiction Treatment at Agape Treatment Center
At Agape Treatment Center, we provide men and women of all ages with integrated addiction treatment, offering a program that focuses on psychological well-being and mental health. We understand that drug addiction can severely impact cognitive functioning, and we have licensed psychologists and psychiatrists on staff to help with this issue. For more information on our benzodiazepine addiction treatment program, reach out at any point in time.