What are benzos?
Benzos is short for benzodiazepines, a class of drugs considered sedatives. They work by slowing down the central nervous system and reducing unusual excitement in the brain. Doctors often prescribe benzodiazepines to treat anxiety and depression. They’re also used to relieve muscle spasms, induce sleep, reduce seizures, and control symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
The term benzos is often used in casual, non-medical situations. Dealers may refer to benzodiazepines as benzos or downers. Benzodiazepines have a clinical drug name and a brand name.
Commonly prescribed benzodiazepines include:
How to take benzodiazepines safely
The number of people taking benzodiazepines has increased over the years. A doctor may have prescribed you benzodiazepines to help alleviate anxiety or another disorder. There’s nothing wrong with having to take benzodiazepines. In fact, benzodiazepines are generally safe medications to take, as millions of Americans use them to improve the quality of their life.
But it’s important that you follow your doctor’s prescription carefully. Benzodiazepines are often combined with opioids, which can have severe and dangerous effects on the body.
Here are tips to help you avoid addiction and overdose from benzodiazepines:
- Take your medication as prescribed.
- Read and follow the labels .
- Do not sell your prescription or share pills with friends or family.
- If buying benzodiazepines online, only buy from authorized licensed pharmacies online.
- Do not buy medication from street dealers.
Signs of a benzodiazepine overdose
More than 30 million people in the U.S. use benzodiazepines. And overdoses from benzodiazepines or a combination that includes benzodiazepines happen every year. As benzo addiction and overdoses rise, it’s important to get help right away if you believe you have an addiction or know someone who does.
According to the American Addiction Centers, signs of a benzodiazepine overdose include:
- drowsiness or extreme fatigue
- confusion, agitation, anxiety, and mood changes
- slurred speech or acting drunk
- physical weakness or lack of coordination
- hypotonia (lack of muscle tone)
- blurry vision
- difficulty breathing or depressed breathing
- stupor or unresponsiveness
- hypotension (lowered blood pressure)
It’s important to note that a benzodiazepine overdose can look like alcohol intoxication. If you think you’re overdosing on benzodiazepines or witnessing someone else overdose, call Poison Control Centers (800-222-1222) or call 911, if the person is not responsive.
Benzo addiction treatment at Skyward
We know that for many people, benzodiazepines are what help them get through the day. But when these medications lead to addiction and cause more harm than benefit, it’s time to get professional help.
Skyward Treatment Center provides outpatient and inpatient residential treatment for prescription drug addiction. From intake to discharge and post-treatment, our addiction treatment specialists care for you every step of the way. We offer expert treatment in a compassionate setting, including holistic treatment and medically supervised detox.
Our dedicated addiction treatment team is here 24/7 to help you become drug-free. We also offer same-day admissions. Call 713-815-4471 or complete our online form to learn about our treatment options.