South Dakota isn’t a state that makes headlines for drug problems like so many other states have during our nation’s drug epidemic. But that doesn’t mean the state hasn’t been severely impacted by addiction and drug use this last decade. Over the last ten years, drug deaths have increased 71% in the state, according to a 2019 report published by America’s Health Rankings. This clearly shows how badly South Dakota needs drug and alcohol rehabilitation services, as many of those lives could’ve been saved. What it doesn’t show, is how many people are struggling with addiction to drugs like tranquilizers, who may be the next statistics. Tranquilizers are a classification of drug which includes benzodiazepines, barbiturates, sleeping pills, and many other drugs which all produce sedation as their primary function. They work by slowing down the brain and body, which causes the person to relax and become sleepy. In high doses, tranquilizers produce unconsciousness and can be used in anesthesia. Certain tranquilizers are very strong and work mostly on the mind. These are known as major tranquilizers, and they’re used primarily to treat severe mental illness. Also known as antipsychotics, these drugs aren’t abused often because their effects aren’t generally considered to be pleasant my most recreational drug users.
The most commonly prescribed type of tranquilizer is known as minor tranquilizers. These drugs are used to treat anxiety and insomnia primarily and are extremely addictive. Tolerance develops rapidly, requiring more and more of the drug to produce the same results. When not taking the drug, the person will begin to have pronounced difficulties with the symptoms they initially took the drug to treat. This reinforces drug use, and soon the person needs tranquilizers at all times to feel normal. This is how addiction develops and the person is now worse off than before the drugs. Tranquilizers can kill in three ways. The most common is from an overdose, or simply taking too much of the drug. But tranquilizers can also amplify the effects of other depressant drugs like opioids and alcohol. When taken together, tranquilizers will cause the other drug’s effects to be more profound and can ultimately lead to a multi-drug overdose. Both of these can occur quite easily on tranquilizers because they lower a person’s inhibitions much in the way that alcohol does. So, after taking a dose of tranquilizers, the person is more likely to engage in risky behavior such as taking more of them. Even worse, tranquilizers severely impair memory so the person may keep taking them not even knowing how much they’ve had. Or they may begin drinking without even thinking about the tranquilizers that are already in their system. This is why overdose is so common on tranquilizers.
Anyone struggling with addiction to tranquilizers should get help as soon as possible. Never try to quit tranquilizers on your own, as it may not be safe. Many tranquilizers can have deadly withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, so require medical detoxification to get the person off them safely. This will also make the process more comfortable, utilizing medications that prevent seizures and alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Always speak with an addiction treatment professional or doctor before making any changes to your usual dosage of tranquilizers, as they may advise you to enter a medical detox. You can always call a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in South Dakota and speak with someone confidentially to discuss your options.
Here is a list of the different alcohol and drug addiction resources for Tranquilizers addiction in South Dakota. The list can be incomplete so please do not hesitate to contact one of our treatment specialists at 1-800-304-2219.