Benzodiazepines Addiction Treatment In United States
Benzodiazepines are a class of sedative drugs, which are generally prescribed, which have the properties of being anticonvulsant, hypnotic and sedative. In the field of addiction, these drugs are commonly used to detox people from alcohol because it prevents the common withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, seizures and muscle spasms.
The first benzodiazepine was discovered in 1954 by a pharmaceutical lab chemist named Leo Stembach. The initial one of these tranquilizing compounds was called LIBRIUM. Not long after came Diazepam and afterwards came Valium. After that the pharmaceutical companies have produced about 30 different kinds of benzo type compounds. Quickly becoming one of the most lucrative products since sliced bread – currently statistics show that 1 in four mature women in British Columbia Canada, a relatively conservative populace, is prescribed a benzodiazepine. Current use of this drug has widely surpassed merely safely detoxing someone off alcohol. Currently, this drug is prescribed to handle everything from “nervous before the wedding” to work-related stress, to any and everything in life that could possibly be construed as stressful. Since the mid fifties and into the present time, a multi-billion dollar marketing strategy has been constructed by sharp marketing professionals for these pharmaceutical drugs.
Safety of benzodiazepine
Benzodiazepine is safest if it used on a short-term basis but still there can be some cognitive impairments such as aggression and other paradoxical reactions, which mean the opposite effects of what the medication is supposed to do. Long-term use of benzodiazepine is not only not recommended; it is proven to trap the unsuspecting user by creating a tolerance, which means addiction and physical dependency, and also it has unbelievably harsh withdrawal symptoms upon stopping it. Benzodiazepine is in addition a drug widely abused, commonly sold on the street, and comes along with the same incredibly harsh withdrawal symptoms often resulting in a psychotic break, and sometimes resulting in hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital.
Benzodiazepines use for alcohol dependency
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are usually treated with benzodiazepine. It mainly prevents seizures and delirium (DTs) when the person has ceased his intake of alcohol. The most common benzos used to detox from alcohol are Diazepam commonly called valium and librium. They are long lasting benzos which is better to prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms than short acting ones such as ativan and oxazepam. The shorter life benzos are also more prone to rebound effects.
Benzodiazepines should never be used in the following situations or conditions:
- Respiratory problems
- Severe liver deficiency
- Sleep apnea syndrome
- Pregnancy, labor and lactation
- Breast feeding
- Phobic or obsessional states
- Chronic psychosis
- Major depression and thus precipitating suicidal tendencies
- Abrupt or over rapid withdrawal after long-term use is contraindicated - risk of a severe benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome developing with symptoms such as toxic psychosis, convulsions or a condition resembling delirium tremens.
- History of physical dependence on benzodiazepines or other cross tolerant drugs such as other GABAergic sedative hypnotic drugs, including alcohol - risk of rapid reinstatement of dependency. Benzodiazepines increase craving for alcohol in problem alcohol consumers. Benzodiazepines also increased the volume of alcohol consumed by problem drinkers.
- Driving a motor vehicle, increased risk of road traffic accident
- neuromuscular disease.
- Side effects of benzodiazepines
Common side effects
- upset stomach
- blurred vision
- impaired alertness
- falls or ataxia
- impaired coordination
- changes in heart rate
- Fewer common side effects
- dissociation or depersonalization dreaming or nightmareschest painparadoxical reactionsvision changesvery rarely jaundice.
- Benzo's withdrawal symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms of benzodiazepines will occur when the person has a physical dependency to the medication. It happens when the person uses the medication on a long-term basis. It happens when the drug is reduced or stopped abruptly. It would be less severe when gradually weaned off. It can take a very short time to become addicted to benzodiazepine.
Tranks and downers
Always seek professional help to detox from benzos. Do not cut off your medication before talking to your doctor.