Benzodiazepines (or benz) such as clonazepan (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax), are sometimes prescribed to treat anxiety, acute stress reactions, and panic attacks. The more sedating benzodiazepines such as triazolam (Halcion) and estazolam (ProSom) are prescribed for short-term treatment of sleep disorders. Usually, benzodiazepines are not prescribed for long term use because of the risk for developing tolerance, dependence, or addiction.
Continued use can also lead to physical dependence and withdrawal when use is abruptly reduced or stopped. Because all CNS depressants work by slowing the brain’s activity, when an individual stops taking them, there can be a rebound effect, resulting in seizures or other harmful consequences. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be problematic. Withdrawal from barbiturates can have life-threatening complications. Therefore, someone who is thinking about discontinuing CNS depressant therapy or who is suffering withdrawal from a CNS depressant should speak with a physician or seek immediate medical treatment.
Benzodiazepines induce a state of relaxation and sedation. Alertness and concentration are reduced due to depression of the CNS (central nervous system), and coordination is negatively affected thus the caution on prescription bottles that users avoid operating a motor vehicle or other machinery. Intoxication with benzodiazepines is very similar to alcohol intoxication with slurred speech, short-term memory loss, impulsivity, poor judgment, stupor, and unconsciousness at higher levels of ingestion.
Benzodiazepines & Opioids
Benzodiazepines are a frequent alternative drug of abuse for opioid addicted individuals. When taken together, opioids and benzodiazepines can be a lethal combination due to severe depression of the central nervous system and respiration.
A significant number of overdose deaths have occurred across the United States in recent years as a result of individuals mixing benzodiazepines and prescription opioids. These should never be combined unless explicitly directed by a physician and closely monitored for potential oversedation.
Source: NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
Research Drugs of Abuse
IOP and Aftercare have really helped me in my addiction and to know what to do in the future. Thanks for giving me my life back.
Everyone at both clinics (East & West) are extremely wonderful and helpful. I feel like they’re family.
This program is a good place. Without it, I don’t know where I would be right now. Thank you guys!
Excellent therapist and teacher.
ADS saved my life and are some of the greatest people I’ve ever known.
It helps to be able to talk with someone.
I learned a lot about addiction and disease and how to not feel guilty about my past. I was able to stay clean and get the help I needed by coming to class and talking and listening.
I came here wanting help and ADS has provided more than expected. I thank them very much.
I really enjoyed coming to class. It helped me a lot. Thank you.
Email a Counselor
Request a Presentation
Submit Your Request
Recent ADS Posts
- A co-occurring disorder is one that involves bo...
- It has been confirmed that music icon, Tom Pett...
- Fox8 News has provided media coverage of ADS...
- The New Yorker has published a fascinating, in-...
- Finally, it seems there is growing momentum for...