Utah Benzodiazepine Addiction

Definition

Aside from the many street drugs being sold and used daily, there are many different types of narcotic prescription pills that are being abused by both teenagers and adults alike. Due to their availability and the mixing with other illicit drugs; the wide spread misuse of these abused prescriptions are causing a major health epidemic across the nation. From accidental overdose, even to death. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, over seven (7) million Americans are abusing prescription drugs at any given time (SAMHSA, 2010). Despite our society’s best efforts (safe disposal of prescription pills, etc.), prescription pill abuse is rapidly becoming one of the most dangerous and highly addictive substances abused to date. Besides opiate pain pill prescriptions, another kind of medication being misused are: sedatives (barbiturates), hypnotics (sleeping aids, Ambien, etc.) and anxiolytics (benzodiazepines). 

Benzodiazepine, barbiturates, and hypnotics are highly addictive can be extremely lethal when taken inappropriately without a prescription or mixed with other illicit substances (especially alcohol and other drugs that effect the central nervous system). They like other CNS medications (carisoprodol) affect the body in several different ways. The primary effect is feelings associated with relaxation and the reduction of tension and anxiety in hopes of lessening the frequency of panic attacks and aiding with insomnia. The initial effects of these pills are hard to detect as they create a calming and stabilizing effect over what is normally highly anxious behavior. Most of these pills will produce symptoms relating to slurred speech, intoxication, lethargy, slowed response time and drowsiness. These prescription pills are physically, emotionally and psychologically addicting. They can be smoked, snorted, injected or taken orally. The majority of time addicts prefer to snort these kinds of pills. 

Over time, users may behave almost like a zombie as far as slowed functioning of the brain and body and having a hard time with previously simple tasks such as, tracking a conversation, etc. Upon developing a tolerance to these types of pills, higher doses are self-administered which usually causes accidental overdose and/or death. Just like alcohol, many cases of DUI have been correlated with prescription pill abuse. It is possible to become addicted both psychologically, emotionally and physically to these types of pills. Here is a list of the more common types of Benzodiazepine, Barbiturate and Hypnotic prescription medications:

  • Benzodiazepines
    • Xanax
    • Valium
    • Ativan
    • Lectopam
    • Librium
    • Klonopin
    • Victan
    • Paxipam
    • Clozan
  • Barbiturates
    • Vesparax
    • Butisol
    • Fioricet
    • Phanodorm
    • Prominal
    • Mebaral
    • Brevital
    • Nembutal
    • Luminal
  • Hypnotics
    • Ambien
    • Quaalude
    • Sonata
    • Lunesta
    • Rhovane
    • Nobrium
  • Muscle Skeletal Relaxants
    • Soma (carisoprodol)

Signs and Symptoms of Use

Common signs of a benzodiazepine addiction and barbiturate or hypnotic addiction:

  • Addict is constantly running out of prescription before refill date
  • Involvement with the legal system
  • Loss of control
  • Sudden loss of job and inability to remain gainfully employed
  • Openly asking for prescriptions from other individuals
  • Suddenly missing different pill jars or pills from your jar
  • General lack of interest in treatment and prefers pills over getting help
  • Becomes extremely ornery when prescription runs out
  • Doctor shopping
  • Manipulative behaviors
  • Constantly requesting money and has none of their own
  • Coming up with ways (physical/mental health issues) to get more pills
  • Personal material things of the addict start disappearing
  • Personal material things of friends, family and loved ones start missing
  • Majority of relationship with friends and family are negatively affected
  • Isolation from both friends, family and loved ones
  • Calm and contentment
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Lack of hope
  • Tolerance to medication
  • Emotional dysregulation
  • Anxiety
  • Tired and fatigued
  • Lack of energy
  • Tremors or sudden jerk movements
  • Nervousness
  • Negative thinking
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Eye twitching
  • Sleeplessness/insomnia
  • Obsessive and phobic behaviors
  • Agitation and/or aggression
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Weight loss
  • Hostility 
  • Irritability
  • Decrease or increase of appetite 
  • Sense of impending doom
  • Memory loss
  • Nightmares
  • Clumsiness
  • Aching or painful jaw
  • Tooth ache
  • Grinding of teeth
  • Slowed and slurred speech
  • Slower brain functioning
  • Difficulty with articulation of thought process
  • Poor motor skills
  • Voice sounds much slower, slurred and deeper with intermittent cracking
  • Feelings of being disconnected from self (disassociation with reality)

Common symptoms of a benzodiazepine addiction and barbiturate or hypnotic addiction:

  • Respiratory depression/arrest
    • Primary cause of overdose/death
  • Weight gain
  • Dizziness and/or vertigo
  • Hay-fever
  • Low blood pressure
  • Physical dependence
  • Severe headaches
  • Menstrual bleeding between cycles for females
  • Head spasms
  • Emotional dependence
  • Muscle tremors
  • Metallic taste residue in mouth
  • Painful band around head or scalp in general
  • Bouts with amnesia
  • Heartburn
  • Inability to properly manage reflex actions
  • Distorted experiences of body movement
  • Blotches or rash on skin
  • Tinnitus
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Electric shocks in brain
  • Numbness
  • Fever
  • Tingling skin
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Bladder incontinence
  • Nerve and body pain
  • Disturbance of libido
  • Impaired judgment
  • Double vision or visual twinges
  • Impaired cognitive functioning
  • Impaired focus and memory
  • Sedation
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Withdrawal
    • Usually lasts for weeks and takes two weeks to cleanse the body from their effects
    • Overwhelming thirst
    • Hallucinations (during the day or especially when trying to sleep)
    • Abdominal pain and cramping
    • Delirium
    • Heart palpitations
    • Severe seizures
    • Sensory distortions
    • Shortness of breath
    • Insomnia
    • Headaches
    • Fluctuations in blood pressure
    • Constipation or diarrhea 
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Flu like symptoms
    • Feelings related to bugs crawling on skin
    • Skin burning
    • Restless leg syndrome
    • Light headedness
    • Sweating
    • Anxiety
      • Panic attacks
    • Fatigue
  • Overdose
    • Seizures
    • Confusion
    • Amnesia (Blacking out)
    • Psychosis (substance induced, etc.)
    • Hallucinations
    • Delirium
    • Hot or cold flashes (sweating)
    • Blueish tinge to skin from loss of oxygen
    • Hyperventilation
    • Slurred speech
    • Drowsiness
    • Fatigue
    • Coma and/or death

Treatment for Benzodiazepine Prescription Addiction

You or a loved one must be very careful when attempting to quit your addiction of benzodiazepine, barbiturate and hypnotic prescription pills. It is extremely dangerous to try and stop on your own. Because these types of pills are so invasive to the brain, sudden withdrawal may cause seizures or even death. The best possible outcome when detoxifying from these dangerous prescription pills is through a medically managed tapering program. Side effects from long-term use have been known to last for months before the user starts to feel normal again. Something else to take into serious consideration is that most detoxification facilities will use a lower dose of benzodiazepines to help eliminate withdrawal symptoms and possible seizures. Make sure when you are ready to plan your discharge from detoxing that you leave with no extra narcotic prescriptions. You will never completely embrace recovery if you are still prisoner to your addiction(s) and finding ways to justify continued prescription pill use.

To help you make the right choice or series of healthy choices, the next best step is for you or a loved one to enter a residential drug rehab center. Here you will be able to have total physical separation from your prescription pill addiction. You will be able to give yourself the time and healing necessary to restore your mind, body and soul. Not to mention to regain the energy and skills and tools needed to live a productive and meaningful life. It is expected upon completing your residential inpatient stay, you or a loved one will follow-up your recent treatment experience with an aftercare program tailored specifically to your unique and individual needs. If the opportunity presents itself or if you are able to afford living in a sober group home; this might be a good way to ensure your addiction does not get the best of you. In other words, recovering from a benzodiazepine, barbiturate or hypnotic prescription pill addiction can be very hard to manage on your own and may get the best of you if you or a loved one does not take the appropriate steps needed to ensure a full and rapid recovery. 

Zion Recovery Center is excited to help you change your life for the better and is only a phone call away 
385-207-2029. We can help you in every step of the healing process and can provide you with access to all the necessary resources needed to ensure a successful recovery that will last a lifetime. There is no better way to heal than from a faith-based facility that is backed by a life-time guarantee. So what are you waiting for? Call now and let the true and lasting healing process begin with Zion Recovery Center.