Tag Archives: Benzodiazepines

Buspirone vs Xanax

Though they share similar medical applications, in a side-by-side comparison of buspirone vs Xanax, each has a clear advantage over the other for particular patients.

Ease of access makes some medications dangerous for patients who struggle with substance abuse. Additionally, the “desirable” side effects of benzos often lead people to abuse prescription drugs like Xanax.

Doctors sometimes turn to alternatives like buspirone to address the symptoms Xanax does in people who have struggled with substance abuse in the past.

What Is Xanax Mostly Prescribed For?

Xanax – also known by its generic chemical name, alprazolam – is primarily prescribed to address anxiety.

The class of drugs that Xanax belongs to – benzodiazepines or “benzos” – produce calming effects by binding with the brain receptors responsible for relaxation and magnifying their effect. This bind produces a sedative effect that makes Xanax a useful medication for treating anxiety as well as other conditions.

While doctors most often prescribe Xanax as an anti-anxiety medication, it can also assist patients with panic attack disorders. Additionally, Xanax has shown some promise in helping with both alcohol withdrawal symptoms and trouble falling asleep. Prescribing it for this purpose, however, is not officially recognized across the medical community.

Is Xanax Addictive?

The relaxing effects of Xanax can be habit-forming. People who abuse the drug put themselves at significant risk for developing a dependence. Several factors contribute to its potential for abuse, but the most significant is the fact that it releases dopamine.

Dopamine is a naturally-occurring chemical that activates the “reward centers” in the brain. When Xanax triggers an artificial release of dopamine, this causes the brain to associate the drug with the resulting pleasurable effects. The brain may begin to crave this “Xanax high.” Continued use can lead to a chemical dependence on Xanax just to function normally, leading to addiction.

Xanax finds most of its use as an anti-anxiety medication. Doctors have also found it capable of treating panic attack disorders.

Individuals who take prescription drugs for extended periods of time, their body will build a tolerance for it, meaning they need more of the drug to feel the same level of effect. This tolerance builds especially quickly in individuals who have a history with substance abuse, meaning those who have already dealt with dependence or addictions are at significant risk.

What Does Buspirone Do To The Body?

Buspiron (BuSpar), on the other hand, has a similar effect on anxious individuals as Xanax, but with a significantly lower potential for abuse.

How Does Buspirone Work?

While Xanax is a benzodiazepine, buspirone belongs to a classification known as azapirones. Azapirones have both antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties, but affect the brain differently than benzos.

Whereas Xanax interacts with receptors responsible for relaxation and sedation and associates strongly with dopamine, buspirone interacts with one of dopamine’s counterparts: serotonin.

The drawback to buspirone is that the sedative effects are milder than Xanax and take longer to work. Buspirone “kicks in” about a week after initial dose, and may not reach full clinical effect until about the six week mark.

Is Buspirone (BuSpar) addictive?

There is a sharp difference in the degree of understanding about how buspirone vs Xanax act upon the brain. The exact way that buspirone works has yet to be understood, but some suggest that it affects the way the brain processes fear and anxiety. Nonetheless, buspirone demonstrates an extremely low potential for addiction and is considered a valuable alternative to benzodiazepine anxiety treatments.

Xanax associates strongly with dopamine, while buspirone interacts with one of dopamine's counterparts: serotonin.

What Else Can Buspirone Be Prescribed For?

Though treating anxiety is buspirone’s only official medical use, studies have suggested that it may be a valuable medication for individuals dealing with withdrawal from opioids or alcohol.

In those studies, administration of buspirone appeared to reduce cravings for a dependent substance. Though these studies will not be enough evidence to make this a verified application of buspirone, further investigation may find that buspirone can effectively reduce cravings for opioids and alcohol during withdrawal.

Buspirone vs Xanax: How Do I Know Which Is Right For Me?

While Xanax dominates the prescription field when it comes to anti-anxiety medications, buspirone’s lack of abuse potential may make it the perfect alternative in patients at-risk for substance abuse.

If you struggle with anxiety, talk to your doctor about your prescription medication history to see whether buspirone could be a helpful alternative to Xanax. If you find the need to switch, this will also need medical supervision to avoid benzo withdrawal symptoms.

Finally, if you suspect that you or someone you love already suffers from prescription drug dependence or addiction, contact us today to see our range of options to help you get your life back drug-free.

Dangers of Mixing Valium and Alcohol

Valium can be an invaluable aid for individuals suffering from anxiety attacks or panic disorders.

Alcohol is one of the most easily available and regularly consumed substances in the world. Unfortunately, people commonly mix alcohol and Valium on accident–or even on purpose.

Understanding potential interactions between the two may help avoid intentional or accidental mixing. By discussing the physical effects of each substance, we can better understand why Valium and alcohol do not mix well.

Valium for Pain: How Does Valium Work?

Valium is the brand name for the drug diazepam, which scientists have classified as a benzodiazepine. This category of drugs is sometimes referred to as “benzos.”

Diazepam diminishes the reactiveness of neurons by essentially making communication between them more difficult. Not all benzos function in this exact method, but the neurons affected by benzos are usually the same.

For individuals suffering from anxiety, this effect can produce a calming sensation, and typically eliminates symptoms of anxiety.

Though its relaxing effects would appear to make it a good painkiller, taking Valium for pain is likely ineffective. It does not affect the neurons in the brain responsible for pain reception, and the risk of dependence makes it a poor option for pain treatment.

For individuals suffering from anxiety, this effect can produce a calming sensation, and typically eliminates symptoms of anxiety.

What Are Valium’s Medical Applications?

Valium is prescribed to help relieve symptoms of anxiety, seizures, and alcohol withdrawal, diazepam can also help relax muscles. Additionally, Valium has been found to have some off-label use as a sleep aid, and sedation for patients receiving intensive care.

Medical professionals strongly recommended against taking Valium for sleep at home, as it is all too easy for someone to develop a dependence on the drug. Under proper medical supervision for patient sedation in the ICU is unlikely to be risky, however, since doses are limited in quantity and repetition.

Does Valium Have Side Effects?

Like many prescription medications, Valium may have a number of side effects when taken.

While Valium side effects are typically described as simply ‘uncomfortable’, there are a few rare adverse effects that might arise. The following are some of the common side effects of diazepam use:

  • Sedation
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Tremor
  • Nausea

Valium has also been known to be a leading cause of seizures, trouble breathing, or suicidal ideation, but these cases are rare.

Additionally, the formation of a substance use disorder (SUD) in relation to Valium is a possibility. As a result, doctors will need to carefully monitor and pace Valium use, to minimize risk of abuse.

Does Valium Have Risk for Abuse?

Valium is manufactured as oral tablets in dose sizes of two, five, and ten milligrams. The generic chemical name, diazepam, is also manufactured as a liquid to be taken intravenously. Valium carries the potential for abuse in any and all of these forms.

Individuals who use benzos without a prescription or who take more than the prescribed dose increase their risk for developing a dependence upon them. People who self-diagnose or simply want something to help them “feel good” may seek illicit forms of Valium for its calming effects.

No matter the initial reason, abuse of Valium can cause an addiction to form. When an individual suffers from an addiction to diazepam, they are also likely to experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop suddenly.

Individuals who use benzos without a prescription or who take more than the prescribed dose increase their risk for developing a dependence upon them.

How Long Does Valium Last?

Valium stays in the body for a significant amount of time, especially when compared to similar substances. Valium’s half life of 46 hours makes it an exceptionally long-remaining drug.

This means it takes the average human body nearly two full days to get rid of half of the diazepam they ingest. In two day more, another half would be eliminated.

After enough time, all of the substance will be entirely eliminated. Since the half-life of Valium is so long, it can take as many as 12 days for it to completely exit the body, depending on the dose size.

Though the substance remains in the body for a long time, Valium’s intended effects last only about 12 hours.

Valium And Alcohol Interaction

Alcohol is a substance known as a “depressant” that can result in a plethora of side effects as well as health complications with long-term use.

The most notable side-effects of alcohol consumption include drowsiness, headaches, and breathing difficulty.

Side Effects of Mixing Valium and Alcohol

Since both Valium and alcohol can both cause individuals to feel drowsy, experience headaches, or have trouble breathing, combining the two can be risky.

Since Valium remains in the system for such a long period of time, there is a higher chance of accidentally having Valium and alcohol in your system at the same time.

For example, someone may take their dose of Valium in the morning, then later in the evening go out for drinks. If they have forgotten about the dose, or are unaware of the dangers of mixing Valium and alcohol, they risk experiencing life-threatening side effects.

The compound effect of both alcohol and benzos depressing the central nervous system (CNS) can cause dangerously slowed breathing. A person who has mixed them often appears to be asleep. Whether accidental or not, frequently mixing Valium and alcohol can result in overdose and even death.

The most notable side-effects of alcohol consumption include drowsiness, headaches, and breathing difficulty.

Treatment for Valium and Alcohol Addiction

A SUD is a life-threatening problem. Even if Valium’s effects may seem relatively harmless, a dependence on the drug can worsen over time, developing into addiction or even lead to death. This is why it is important to seek help if you think a loved one suffers from a SUD. If you suspect that a loved one is addicted to Valium–or any other substance–contact us today.

Xanax and Alcohol Mixed

Alcohol and Xanax (also known as Alprazolam) are both substances that are legal. They are also both substances that are widely available and commonly abused. This can make it difficult to recognize any issues. In regard to alcohol and Xanax, mixing the two can be incredibly risky even without a severe addiction to either. In moderation, alcohol does not cause severe damage every time it is consumed. Xanax is a controlled substance, that medical professionals issue to often help with anxiety disorders or panic attacks.

However, it is possible for them to both easily become an abused substance. Alcohol and Xanax can both have negative side effects. Mixing them can magnify what each substance does and cause greater harm. Combined alcohol and Xanax use increases risk for overdose, something many people may not realize.* To understand this better, it can help to know how each substance affects people and what happens they are mixed.

What is Xanax and what does Xanax do?

Xanax is the brand name for Alprazolam, which is a short-acting benzodiazepine often used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, or even nausea from chemotherapy. It is the most commonly prescribed psychiatric drug in the United States and often frequently abused. Like other legal drugs, there are counterfeit pills that can be found on the black market. While they may be similar, they are often cut with other substances and can cause significant harm. From McGill University, “GABA is a chemical messenger that is widely distributed in the brain. GABA’s natural function is to reduce the activity of the neurons to which it binds.”* Neurons can become overexcited, which can lead to anxiety. Benzodiazepines, like Xanax, work to enhance the actions of GABA, which depresses the over-excited central nervous system, and provide a sense of calm.

Clearly, when done legally and under medical supervision, Xanax is meant to be helpful and it has helped people. However, like any medication, it can have adverse side effects. Symptoms will vary for different people and will range in severity. Some common side effects can include: memory or concentration problems, depression, fatigue, suicidal ideation, or trouble breathing. Withdrawal from Xanax can be severe, and should be done under the supervision of a medical professional. Xanax is a short-acting drug that processes quickly and leaves the body quickly. This leaves you at a higher risk for withdrawal, since your body has less time to adapt to working without the drug.* Listing these symptoms is not a scare-tactic, but rather a way to convey issues that can arise. Further, it is helpful to understand the side effects to then understand how mixing alcohol will interact with Xanax.

What is alcohol and how does it affect us?

Simply put, alcohol is an organic compound; it is alcohol ethanol found in alcoholic beverages, which occurs by fermenting sugar with yeast. The alcohol humans drink acts as a suppressant to the central nervous system, similar to Xanax. It can boost one’s mood and increase their inclination to be social, while calming any over-excited nerves that usually make a person anxious. Many people drink for just these reasons. The negative aspects for alcohol, which become worse the more one drinks, are numerous, but the severity will affect individuals differently. Short-term effects might include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, anxiety, and fatigue. Alcohol can be addictive, which can lead to dependence and withdrawal. Long-term effects include liver damage, neurological damage, and various forms of cancer. Furthermore, the abuse of and addiction to alcohol can also lead to significant problems in one’s social and professional life.

Despite many of the negative aspects listed above, alcohol is one of the most common recreational substances. It has been around for thousands of years and it’s prevalence makes it widely accepted. In an article from National Geographic, archaeologist Patrick McGovern said, “Alcohol is central to human culture and biology because we were probably drinking fermented beverages from the beginning.” What is more, in modern times alcohol is marketed as a way to more fun and a better life. Even some of the adverse effects of alcohol, primarily concerning behavior during drinking and hangovers, are seen as humorous. This attitude combined with the popularity of alcohol makes it hard to recognize when it becomes a problem. Or that it can even become a problem at all. With that in mind, it is understandable how many people can then miss the dangers of drinking combined with something like Xanax.

Alcohol and Xanax Mixed

Alcohol and Xanax both suppress the central nervous system and mixing the two can intensify the actions of both substances. From an article published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), alcohol enhances the effects of Xanax which includes drowsiness, sedation, and impaired motor skills.* As both substances are sedatives, they significantly impair breathing when combined. As more alcohol is consumed, the areas of the brain that regulate “basic life-support functions—such as breathing, heart rate, and temperature control—begin to shut down.”* Consumption of alcohol and Xanax at any amount can be dangerous, but the risk of overdose becomes even more dangerous the more alcohol is consumed. Alcohol impairs one’s ability to think clearly, which makes recognizing symptoms of overdose even more difficult.

When taking Xanax, there is a warning not to consume alcohol. However, many people may either disregard this or not realize the severity of mixing the two substances. When dealing with addiction, someone might not be in a place to consider or assess the risks at all. What is more, with addiction, it is likely that someone could turn to using unregulated Xanax. This increases the risks with unknown substances added.

Treatment

It is possible, and often likely, that someone dealing with addiction will be facing issues with more than one substance. With alcohol and Xanax, it is tough to recognize that you or a loved one might have a problem.

At Reflections Recovery Center, we offer a detox center with a 5-day program. Withdrawal from alcohol and Xanax can both be dangerous to do alone. Our highly qualified team of medical professionals will work with clients to ensure a safe detox process. We also offer inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, with many resources available to create a unique and thorough treatment plan. Reflections can also treat co-occurring disorders, providing essential treatment for mental disorders and substance abuse disorders. Our goal is to help each client through every step of the process and to provide tools to maintain sobriety long after treatment. Alcohol and Xanax can be an incredibly dangerous combination. If you or a loved may be struggling with this, contact us today for help.

*Resources:
Understanding the Dangers of Alcohol Overdose – NIH
Side Effects of Benziodiazepines – Mind.org
Were Humans Built to Drink Alcohol? – National Geographic
Alcohol and Medication Interactions – NIH

Opioid and Benzodiazepine Abuse: Two Dangerous Drugs are Often Mixed


Both opioids and benzodiazepines are dangerous drugs in themselves, but a deadly cocktail is mixed when these two drugs are taken together. Even though the dangers of combining these two drugs are extreme, most recreational users do not understand just how dangerous it can be to take both drugs at the same time.

The Dangers of Opioids: Why are Heroin and Prescription Painkillers like Oxycontin so Deadly? 

The opioid addiction crisis that has swept across the United States in the past 20+ years, and increased exponentially starting in 2007, has brought more attention to the dangers of opioids, but many in the younger generation are still oblivious to the very real dangers.

Are Opioids Narcotics? 

Opioids are drugs in the narcotic class that include heroin, oxycodone, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Opium, fentanyl, and morphine. In a clinical setting, they are used to treat chronic pain, and many will receive a short-term prescription for opioids following surgeries or injuries such as broken bones. The drugs are also highly addictive, which means that long-term use should be reserved only for cases where the quality of life is severely decreased without the medication.

Opioid Overdose, Hypoxia, and Death 

What makes opioids so deadly is the fact that they suppress breathing function. The more opioids a person has in their system, the more the breathing is suppressed. In cases of overdose, the breathing suppression is so great that breathing stops completely. The body literally forgets to breathe – this leads to lack of oxygen to the brain (hypoxia), which quickly leads to brain damage and death.

In many of the cases involving opioid overdose, the individual falls asleep or loses consciousness. With the brain not able to make the conscious decision to breathe, breathing becomes shallower and shallower until the body stops breathing altogether.

How Benzodiazepines Increase the Dangers of Opioids 

Mixing and two or more drugs will always increase the dangers of those individual drugs, but when it comes to mixing benzos and opioids, the dangers are far greater. We have already established that the primary concern with opioid overdose is that the individual falls asleep or passes out – leading to the suppressed breathing function. When benzodiazepines are in the body, the likelihood of passing out or falling asleep is greatly increased.

Benzodiazepines are primarily used for their main effects: general anesthesia, muscle relaxation, drowsiness, and sleepiness. These effects may help with symptoms of anxiety or sleeplessness, but are downright dangerous for anyone experiencing suppressed breathing function.

Benzodiazepines and Opioids Prescribed Together 

In some cases, both types of drugs may be prescribed to a person. However, doctors and pharmacists will advise not to take the two together. Because so many people have overdosed on taking the two drugs in a relatively short period of time, doctors are reconsidering prescribing the two at the same time and checking prescription drug monitoring systems before prescribing.

However, in some cases, the two drugs need to be prescribed for two separate medical issues at the same time. In these cases, doctors warn about the risk of overdose and advise patients to look closely at the half-lives of both and to ensure sufficient time between dosages.

Recreationally Using Benzodiazepines and Opioids Together 

The real concern of mixing these two drugs comes to those who have not been prescribed one or the other, but are using the drugs recreationally. All you have to do is look online in forums and on social media to see the extent of the problem among today’s youth. Kids as young as 13 are regularly taking both opioids and benzodiazepines to get high. Besides the fact that both are some of the most addictive medications available, both have the very real danger of causing overdoses.

Today’s younger generation isn’t just taking a few pills here and there either, they are taking handfuls of pills and mixing them together to achieve an “even greater high.” Even worse, some that have found themselves addicted to opioids have realized that benzodiazepines are often used during medically assisted detox for opioids. The danger here is that many attempts to detox themselves from opioids by taking benzodiazepines. This should never be attempted, and detox efforts should be left to the professionals.

Can You Be Addicted to Opioids and Benzodiazepines at the Same Time

Yes, it is possible to develop an addiction to both opioids and benzodiazepines at the same time. Polydrug use like this is extremely risky, not only due to the risk of overdose, but because withdrawals from both drugs can be life-threatening. It is extremely important to get yourself or your loved one into medical detox to begin detoxing from both benzodiazepines and opioids as soon as possible.

Addiction Treatment for Opioids and Benzodiazepine Abuse

We cannot stress the dangers of opioids and benzodiazepine abuse enough. With an addiction to opioids or with an addiction to benzodiazepines, the risk of overdose and death is very high. However, if someone is mixing the two or are addicted to both, that person is a ticking time bomb. You cannot wait to get someone in this situation helps. You need to perform an intervention immediately, set a plan for recovery, and get them into detox as soon as possible.

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Benzodiazepine Prescription Drugs that Require Detox


Benzodiazepine Prescription Medications Can Lead to Addiction

Doctors prescribe benzodiazepine medications to treat medical conditions such as panic disorders, muscle spasms, seizures, anxiety disorders and the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. While benzodiazepine medications are not as chemically addictive as opioids, cocaine or methamphetamine, they still carry a significant potential for abuse.

Some people abuse benzodiazepine medications for a euphoric high or intense muscle relaxation, and several take these medications longer than advisable. Unfortunately, proper cessation of benzodiazepine medication can be tricky, and attempting to try quitting “cold turkey” can have deadly consequences.

Benzodiazepine Prescription Uses and Risks

People who take benzodiazepine medications for anxiety or other mental health disorders may build a tolerance to the drugs over time. They also develop a physical dependence at the same time, often compelling a cycle of abuse that leads to addiction.

Prolonged use of benzodiazepines will lead to ineffective treatment for the person’s prior symptoms and make it difficult to function at home, school or work. Some people will take these medications in hazardous situations, such as before driving or operating dangerous equipment.

When an individual reaches the point that a benzodiazepine prescription drug is interfering with daily life or has grown into an addiction, it’s crucial to know how to address this issue safely.

Stopping Benzodiazepine Prescriptions Safely

Most doctors will recommend a patient to take a benzodiazepine medication for a certain amount of time and then gradually decrease the dose to wean off the medication. People who improperly stop taking their benzodiazepine medications risk an intense resurgence of previous symptoms the prescription aimed to treat.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms typically include nausea, disorientation, anxiety, hallucinations, hypersensitivity, tremors, and heightened autonomic activities like heart rate and breathing. The most serious possible withdrawal symptom is a potentially fatal grand mal seizure.

When a person enters detox for benzos, medical professionals will administer medications to manage these symptoms and flush the remaining benzos from the patient’s system. This is a long process that involves slowly tapering off the dosage of benzodiazepines that can last weeks or even months, depending on the level of addiction.

Most detox personnel recommend tapering the patient’s previously abused benzodiazepine medication and then switching him or her to a longer-acting benzodiazepine. Then, the patient will slowly taper off of that medication until the physical benzo dependency has passed. During this time, treatment and counseling between doses can help the patient understand the root cause of his or her addiction.

Types of Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepine medications are available in a variety of brands, each of which has different properties. Some are fast acting but only last for a short time, while others are slower acting but last much longer.

Different benzodiazepine medications require different detox methods, so it’s vital to understand the risks of each type of benzodiazepine medication.

Xanax Addiction

Alprazolam, commonly known as Xanax, is an effective treatment for a variety of panic and anxiety disorders. This fast-acting medication reduces excitability and increases inhibitory brain activity.

Xanax addiction can easily lead to:

  • Difficulty functioning in work, school or social settings
  • Profound symptoms of anxiety and panic
  • Disorientation
  • Many other negative symptoms

Chlordiazepoxide: Librium Addiction

Chlordiazepoxide, also known as Librium, is a sedative used to treat anxiety disorders and the withdrawal symptoms of addiction to some other substances, such as alcohol. Librium produces extreme adverse effects when combined with some other substances such as alcohol and opioid-based prescription painkillers.

When abused, Librium can cause “paradoxical disinhibition,” a condition entailing symptoms that one wouldn’t typically expect to see from a person under the influence of a sedative, such as:

  • Increased aggression
  • Irritability
  • Impulsivity

Clonazepam: Klonopin Addiction

Clonazepam, known as Klonopin, is the third-most prescribed benzodiazepine medication in the United States. This drug treats various anxiety disorders such as:

  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Extreme phobias

Klonopin abuse can lead to difficulty focusing, memory problems, cravings for more Klonopin, lethargy and delirium. It is possible to overdose on Klonopin, which can lead to respiratory depression, coma or death.

Clorazepate: Tranxene Addiction

Clorazepate, or Tranxene, is a fast-acting benzodiazepine medication that treats several anxiety disorders. Abuse of this drug can lead to dependence, and like other benzodiazepine medications, it requires a careful discontinuation plan for safe cessation.

Diazepam: Valium Addiction

Diazepam, commonly called Valium, is a central nervous system depressant used to treat anxiety and aid relaxation. Valium can ease muscle spasms, prevent seizures and manage the symptoms of various anxiety disorders. Abuse of Valium can lead to tolerance and addiction.

Over time, Valium withdrawal can affect a person’s mental health and cause symptoms such as:

  • Heightened aggression
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • Feelings of intense anxiety

A Valium overdose can lead to coma or death.

Estazolam: Prosom Addiction

Estazolam, or Prosom, is a short-term prescription to aid sleep. Unfortunately, this drug can lead to dependency when abused, mixed with other substances or taken longer than prescribed.

Flurazepam: Dalmane Addiction

Flurazepam, known as Dalmane, is very similar to Valium and often prescribed as a sleep aid. Similar to Valium, abuse of this drug can easily lead to dependency and significant withdrawal symptoms.

Lorazepam: Ativan Addiction

Doctors generally only prescribe lorazepam, also known as Ativan, for short-term treatment for anxiety disorders. Even if a patient takes this drug as prescribed, it can still lead to tolerance and dependency, which can entail:

  • Profound memory loss
  • Impaired muscle coordination
  • Sensory problems

Midazolam: Versed Addiction

Doctors prescribe midazolam most often as an anesthetic sedative, but it can also help relieve the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Like any other benzodiazepine medication, users should gradually taper off this medication to avoid withdrawal.

Oxazepam: Serax Addiction

Oxazepam, also known as Serax, is a slow-acting benzodiazepine medication that helps users fall asleep and stay asleep. However, slow-release medication can lead to a tolerance, which can then lead to dependency without a cessation plan.

Temazepam: Restoril Addiction

Restoril, or the generic version temazepam, is a sleep aid intended for short-term use. Temazepam can cause short-term memory loss and other withdrawal symptoms with extended or inappropriate use.

Triazolam: Halcion Addiction

Similar to Restoril, Halcion is a sleep aid intended for short-term use. This drug carries a high potential for abuse, and abusing Halcion can lead to significant withdrawal symptoms.

Quazepam: Doral Addiction

Another benzodiazepine sleep aid is quazepam, also known as Doral. This medication depresses the central nervous system and is easily habit forming. Doctors generally only recommend Doral for occasional use.

Undergoing Safe Detox for Benzos

The thought of entering benzodiazepine detox can be frightening, but it’s important to understand how crucial medical assistance is during recovery. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can lead to profound physical and psychological symptoms, so attempting to quit a benzodiazepine medication cold turkey can be extremely dangerous, even fatal.

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Prescription Drugs that May Require Intervention, Rehab and Addiction Treatment


Doctors can prescribe hundreds of different medications for various medical conditions, and some drugs are riskier than others when it comes to addiction. Prescription drugs that regulate behavior, aid sleep, or allay the symptoms of psychological disorders all carry a significant potential for abuse. It’s crucial to understand the risks that come with some of the most commonly seen prescriptions in the country.    

Types of Dangerous Prescription Drugs

Many prescription medications carry a significant risk of addiction. Rehab for prescription drug abuse is available for those who need it, and anyone who may be starting a new medication should investigate the risks of addiction.

Lyrica

Lyrica is an anti-seizure medication. Although it is a Schedule V controlled substance, doctors often prescribe Lyrica to people suffering from:

  • Diabetes
  • Various seizure disorders
  • Fibromyalgia

These medical conditions are very debilitating, so Lyrica quickly grew to astronomical popularity shortly after its release thanks to the marketing behind it touting it as a treatment for fibromyalgia. This drug basically slows chemical transfers in the brain to regulate hyperactive neurons.

Lyrica produces a calming effect, and some users report the effects as being very similar to those of Valium. Doctors also often prescribe Lyrica for general anxiety disorder, post-surgical pain and some forms of chronic pain.

Lyrica abuse is fairly common, as many people will start to abuse this medication even after it stops working for them. There are also many known negative side effects associated with regular use of the drug, so someone struggling with Lyrica addiction will likely experience these symptoms.

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are a class of prescription medications used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. These drugs are central nervous system depressants that lower excitability and relax the nervous system, allaying the symptoms of panic disorders and anxiety. However, many doctors only prescribe these medications for short-term use, as long-term use can be risky in several ways.

Detox for benzos typically involves flushing the remaining benzo medications from the patient’s system and then reassessing the patient to determine a better course of treatment. Like any other type of substance abuse, benzo addiction recovery is possible through a robust, comprehensive treatment program that addresses the addiction as well as any mental health disorders.

Some of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine medications include the following list. Click on any of the names to learn more:


Alprazolam, Also Known as Xanax

Doctors usually only prescribe this medication for short-term use, typically to address anxiety or panic disorders. Long-term use can lead to dependency, fast tolerance build-up and a variety of harmful side effects, such as:

  • Paranoia
  • Problems focusing
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures


Diazepam, Also Known as Valium

Diazepam is a more potent central nervous system depressant than alprazolam, and doctors typically prescribe this medication to address medical conditions such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Musculoskeletal disorders

Some doctors also prescribe Valium to treat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.


Clonazepam, Also Known as Klonopin

Doctors typically prescribe Klonopin to treat anxiety, panic disorders or seizures. It is mainly prescribed for short-term use because of the highly addictive properties of the drug.

The medication functions as an anticonvulsant drug for its effects on the central nervous system. Many users report that the drug creates a euphoric high, encouraging some to abuse it or take it longer than necessary.


Oxazepam, Also Known as Serax

This drug can help people suffering from insomnia or who have difficulty staying asleep. Unlike other benzo medications, oxazepam is a slow-release formula meant to help a patient stay asleep through the night.

It is long lasting and slow acting, so many people who take oxazepam gradually build a tolerance over an extended period, typically six months or longer.


Lorazepam, Also Known as Ativan

Doctors prescribe lorazepam (commonly under the brand name Ativan) to patients who suffer from anxiety disorders. The drug carries a very high potential for addiction, so most doctors limit patients’ prescriptions to a few weeks at most.

Many people who take lorazepam consistently for a few weeks will display signs of withdrawal after the prescription ends. Lorazepam addiction treatment is a complex process that often begins with detox and can involve a wide range of replacement medications or other treatments.


Chlordiazepoxide, Also Known as Librium

Chlordiazepoxide is a powerful tranquilizer medication sold under the brand name Librium. Librium addiction can set in very quickly after a person starts taking the medication regularly. Symptoms of dependency worsen very quickly over time.

Soma (Carisoprodol) and Robaxin (Chlorzoxazone)

Muscle relaxant medications are common prescriptions for neuromuscular disorders, muscle pain and spasms. Soma is the most common brand name, but various types of muscle relaxers such as carisoprodol, robaxin and chlorzoxazone all carry significant potential for abuse.

These medications are depressants that treat pain quickly, which unfortunately encourages some patients to abuse them at the first sign of stress.

Soma abuse can lead to severe withdrawal effects, such as:

  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Hallucinations
  • Extreme pain
  • Anxiety
  • Disorientation
  • Psychosis

Ritalin, Adderall and Other Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Medications

Some ADHD medications that require addiction treatment after abuse include:

  • Adderall
  • Ritalin
  • Concerta
  • Dexedrine
  • And more

ADHD medications are generally stimulants that encourage neurotransmitter production in the frontal lobe of the brain. These medications can help improve focus, concentration and sleep patterns in individuals with ADHD. Unfortunately, the stimulating properties of these drugs can lead to abuse from both the people with prescriptions and others who may try to obtain them without a prescription.

Adderall abuse is common on college campuses and in high-stress work environments. A person who doesn’t have ADHD will experience intense focus, improved concentration, heightened energ, and other seemingly positive effects when taking these drugs. However, the drug’s effects are highly habit forming.

Ambien

Zolpidem, sold under the brand name Ambien, is a very powerful sedative prescribed to aid sleep. This drug carries multiple risks, including accidental overdose, dependency and a host of side effects from abuse.

Ambien addiction can lead to:

  • Memory loss
  • Sleep problems
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea
  • Sleepwalking
  • Hallucinations

Primidone and Pentobarbital (Nembutal)

Primidone addiction is common among older males who take the medication, particularly among those who take other medications for multiple sclerosis. This barbiturate is an anticonvulsant and can treat some anxiety disorders as well.

Pentobarbital, often found with the brand name Nembutal, is a more powerful barbiturate and carefully controlled substance. Pentobarbital is also one of the most commonly used drugs for suicide due to its potency and ability to coerce a peaceful, painless death. People who take this drug for longer than absolutely necessary risk creating a dependency once the effects diminish. Accidental death is also a very significant risk.

Loperamide and Imodium

Loperamide, sold under the brand name Imodium, is a laxative medication designed to aid digestion and bowel movements. While this may not sound like an addictive drug, loperamide abuse is fairly common due to the trace amount of opioids present in the drug. This drug is available over the counter without a prescription. Unfortunately, many people suffering from opioid addiction mistakenly believe it is a viable substitute.

Loperamide can actually help some individuals wean themselves off stronger opioids, but there are a host of negative side effects associated with long-term use of the drug, including:

  • Intestinal pain
  • Urinary retention
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Abnormal cardiac behavior
  • And other complications

The Need for Rehab for Prescription Drug Abuse

These medications can all provide health benefits, but it is important to know they can cause dangerous side effects if taken too often. Before taking these kinds of medications, it is extremely important that you weigh the risks and benefits of each.

And finally, keep in mind that entering a comprehensive prescription drug treatment program is the best way to treat any type of prescription drug abuse. At Reflections Recovery Center, we can help you or a loved one find the root cause of addiction and develop proper habits to maintain a long-lasting recovery.

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Why Are Benzodiazepines Like Xanax Widely Abused?


The number of deaths from benzodiazepine overdoses has risen steadily in the past 15 years. The number of those seeking treatment for addiction to benzodiazepines has likewise spiked during that same period.

While generally safe to use when taken according to a physician’s directions, these medications pose a serious risk of abuse for patients who rely on them for the treatment of anxiety, depression and insomnia.

A Family of Useful Medications

Benzodiazepines are a family of drugs with many familiar names. The most widely known names in the class are:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Librium
  • Ativan
  • Klonopin
  • Serax
  • Restoril

These medications are beneficial for treating a number of disorders, including anxiety, depression and seizures. With so many different medications in this category treating so many different disorders, it is no wonder that they are prescribed to many, many patients in the United States.

Prescription Numbers Rise

Between 1986 and 2013, the number of people with a prescription for one of the benzodiazepine family of medications rose from 8.1 million to 13.5 million.

It is fairly common for someone with a prescription for one of these medications to also be prescribed a second or third medication in the same class of drugs. Over time, the body develops a tolerance for a particular medication and doctors often increase the dosage or prescribe another benzodiazepine to restore the desired effects of the drug.

Stigma Decreases

Since Librium was introduced in the 1950s, the stigma associated with mental health problems has dissipated somewhat. Whereas in the past, few people would seek medical help for anxiety or depression, people now regularly seek treatment options for mental health during routine doctor visits. While this has led to advancements in mental health overall, it does also create more opportunities for addiction or abuse.

Prescription Use Seems Innocuous

Mild anxiety, insomnia or depression are common to many individuals who are prescribed benzodiazepines. Everyone experiences such symptoms from time to time, and in the midst of a bout with one of these conditions, it can be difficult to handle or assess the severity of your symptoms.

Determining whether temporary or long-term medication is the correct avenue of treatment can be a very fluid decision for patients and medical professionals alike. Some individuals become accustomed to drug regimens over time, and short-term relief can turn into ongoing dependence.

As you build a tolerance to the medication and your doctor prescribes higher doses or additional medications, it may not even occur to you that you may be growing dependent on the medication and that an addiction is forming.

While the health care industry makes every effort to help avoid drug dependence, these very safeguards can lead to the conclusion that certain drugs do not carry the risks for addiction that illicit drugs carry. This is one of the main reasons drugs like Xanax are so likely to be abused.

Risks of Prolonged Benzo Use

Risks of Quitting Benzo Addiction Without Medically Assisted Detox - Reflections RehabOver time, the body’s tolerance to benzodiazepines often becomes a dependence on the drug as well.

The medication is now a part of the chemical mix the system expects, and the body, therefore, depends on having the chemical for daily operation. Without it, a series of side effects may appear.

We generally call those side effects withdrawal symptoms.

In addition, continual use of drugs such as alprazolam may ironically lead to greater anxiety or depression for patients. As anxiety deepens, higher doses or additional medications are prescribed, leading to a cycle of increased use and even alprazolam addiction.

There is also a very well-documented risk of falling associated with Xanax and other benzodiazepines. Auto accidents are also much more likely for those taking the medications. Combining the medication with alcohol or other sedatives makes the risk of overdose much more likely and leads to thousands of deaths each year.

Don’t Fight This Alone: Get Benzo and Xanax Addiction Help

While Xanax addiction often sneaks up on those who come to abuse it, Xanax detox is often a difficult process. Getting into an alprazolam rehab program can ease the transition off the medication and help ensure success. Medically assisted Xanax detox can free you from the dependence and prevent medical problems that can result from withdrawal.

While in years past there was a stigma around getting mental health treatment, the country now recognize the importance of sound mental health. Don’t let any perceived stigma prevent you from seeking help for Xanax dependence. There is Xanax addiction help, and you owe it to yourself to give yourself the best chance for success.

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