A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Benzodiazepines
A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Benzodiazepines
Published On: November 2, 20233.5 min read705 wordsCategories: Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines are a type of prescription drug most commonly used to treat conditions such as anxiety disorders, insomnia and seizures. It produces a calming, relaxing (sometimes even sleepy) effect on the individual. They are sometimes considered “minor tranquilizers.”
There are various disorders and conditions that benzodiazepines can be used to help manage or treat, but the risks that come with prolonged use have led medical professionals to be much more cautious with prescribing this substance.
In addition to the potential for abuse and psychological or physical dependence, knowing how this drug works and the risks and side effects are important for your safety.
In this article, we’re going to walk you through exactly what benzodiazepines are, what they’re used for, and the dangers that can come from abusing this substance.
What are benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are a type of psychoactive drug that works as a depressant (this means the drug acts like a sedative, as opposed to raising your energy). By reducing the activity in your nervous system, this substance produces a sedative-like effect in the individual, enabling them to feel more relaxed and at ease. This drug is typically consumed in a pill or tablet form.
Benzodiazepines are typically prescribed for individuals struggling with anxiety disorders, insomnia, muscle spasms or stiffness, and seizures, as well as sometimes to help manage symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Types of benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines typically fall within three categories — immediate, short-acting and long-acting benzodiazepines — and there are multiple forms of this prescription available, depending on the person’s needs. Many forms are interchangeable, but certain pharmacological properties or client profiles make certain versions more ideal than others.
The most common types of benzodiazepines are diazepam (brand name, Valim), alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), and lorazepam (Ativan). How quickly they start working, how long the effects remain active in a person’s body and the exact type that’s prescribed will depend on each patient’s unique circumstances.
Because benzodiazepines have such a high potential for abuse and dependence (in all forms), they should only be taken under the recommendation and supervision of a healthcare provider.
What schedule are benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are considered to be a Schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act.
Schedule I is recognized as the category of drug that has the highest potential for abuse, but the other four categories carry risks as well that shouldn’t be easily dismissed. All medications that fall within one of these five schedules have been categorized as such due to their potential for abuse and addiction and should be consumed with caution (even when prescribed).
Long-term effects of benzodiazepines
All drugs have the potential to cause unpleasant side effects in the user, which is why professional medical supervision is essential. Benzodiazepines are no different.
For individuals who are taking benzodiazepines continuously (or longer than a few months), stopping consumption suddenly can produce severe effects or withdrawal symptoms.
Short-term side effects of benzodiazepines include drowsiness, confusion, irritability, dizziness, and some individuals experience feeling uncharacteristically weak or unsteady.
Some long-term effects of benzodiazepines include:
Headaches or migraines
Memory impairment or amnesia
A feeling of depression
Sleep disturbances (such as vivid or disturbing dreams)
Hostility or aggression
Nausea and vomiting
Sweating or chills
If you think you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, send our team a message today and we’ll walk you through your next steps.
Take the first step today
Knowing where to begin with healing your body (mind, and life) from substance abuse can be overwhelming, but it’s not a journey you’re expected to walk alone. We’re here to help.
Here at Freedom Detox, your safety and long-term recovery are our top priorities, which is why our team works closely with you from day one to keep you comfortable and maintain consistent progress with your healing. Recovery and long-term sobriety are possible for everyone.
It’s okay if you aren’t sure what kind of treatment you need or which type of addiction recovery program is right for you — that’s exactly what we’re here to help you figure out.
Our center is one of the only accredited and certified free-standing detox centers in North Carolina. We pride ourselves not only on this accomplishment, but also in the way it is reflected in the care of our patients.
Customized Treatment Plans
We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. We meet with each client and customize an individualized course of action to ensure that all of their needs are met.
State of the Art Amenities
Our team wants to ensure that you are comfortable throughout your entire detox process, so we offer a wide array of amenities to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible.
We Do More Than Just Help You Detox.
Read reviews from past clients who have taken their first step to sobriety at Freedom Detox.
“Freedom Detox gave me a new outlook on being ‘Free.’”
“The love, time, and care y’all give is amazing, and I couldn’t be more grateful, and thankful.”
“I’ll never forget the time you guys spent with me.”
“You guys gave me hope.”
“You brought me back to reality.”
“This “family” of folks will always have a special place in my heart.”
Contact Us Today
We Are Available 24/7
"*" indicates required fields
We’ll Help You on Your Path to Sobriety.
Let Our Team Help Your Loved One
Freedom Detox is here to serve everyone, whether you want to find help for a family member, friend, or yourself.
Our team knows how much pain a person’s addiction can bring to their family members or friends who feel powerless to help. Plenty of people have had to watch those they love suffer a life of addiction and substance abuse, and no one else should have to live through that struggle.
One of the most selfless things you can do to help your loved one is to seek help when they can’t do it themselves. Our team has experience with taking in addicted clients and can help establish mutual trust so they feel safe with us.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as medical advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a doctor-patient relationship.