Benzodiazepines are prescription drugs that are classified as Schedule IV category drugs. They are prescribed to relieve anxiety, panic, muscle tension, seizures, and insomnia. Benzodiazepines are also known as benzos and work by affecting nerve impulses. They bring in a sensation of euphoria or high and relieve pain. The high it produces is the reason that several users get addicted to it and use the drug beyond the prescribed term. Therefore, it is recommended to consume benzodiazepine only under a professional’s supervision.
Rising Benzodiazepine Prescriptions
Benzodiazepines also work as muscle relaxers. Therefore, they have been prescribed for overcoming physical pain. But due to the high it produces, some patients are unable to stop their consumption, hence, developing an addiction. Recently, there has been a rise in benzodiazepine prescriptions, which means more and more people are getting addicted to it.
Reasons Behind Rising Benzodiazepine Prescriptions
Experts say that benzodiazepine prescriptions have risen due to various factors. Some of which are:
- Insufficient training for primary care physicians for prescribing such high-risk drugs
- Limited time and resources for physicians to deal with patients with extreme pain and complex health conditions
- Easy to prescribe due to benzodiazepine’s ability to treat multiple conditions
- Financial incentives for physicians to prescribe these drugs
All of these reasons add up to make benzodiazepine an epidemic.
- Benzodiazepine overdoses have risen eight times from 1999 to 2016
- Benzodiazepine overdose causing death in women (ages 30 to 64) has risen by 830% between 1996 and 2017
- The number of people seeking outpatient treatment leading to benzodiazepine prescription doubled from 2003 to 2015
- Addiction treatment admissions for benzodiazepine abuse tripled from 1998 to 2008
- The number of people continuing benzodiazepine prescriptions rose by 50% from 2005 to 2015
- More than 30% of opioid overdoses happen due to benzodiazepine
Identifying Benzodiazepine Addiction
Have you been taking benzodiazepines for a while now? Here are some questions which you can answer to find out whether you are addicted to benzodiazepines or not.
- Are you taking more amounts than prescribed?
- Are you visiting multiple doctors and pharmacies?
- Do you take them at inappropriate times?
- Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when you skip a dose?
- Do you purchase them illegally?
- Are you using someone else’s prescription?
- Have you stolen or borrowed money to buy benzodiazepines?
- Are you taking them beyond your intended time?
- Do you have a strong desire to use them?
- Do you need them to feel normal?
If the answers to the above questions are “yes,” then you have been abusing benzodiazepines for a while now. This is an indication that you need medical help before the addiction becomes too severe to handle. The recommended way to overcome benzodiazepine addiction is by visiting a rehab.