Woman sits up in bed, as she struggles with signs of benzo abuse

3 Common Signs of Benzo Abuse

Benzodiazepines or benzos are a type of medication that can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. They are also among the most commonly abused drugs in the United States. Signs of benzo abuse can be hard to detect because the symptoms may mimic those of other illnesses or mental health disorders. Learning how to spot signs of benzo abuse will allow you to know if you or someone you love needs benzo addiction treatment.

If you are unsure whether you have become dependent on benzodiazepines, reach out to Washburn House. We can conduct an assessment to determine if you are addicted to benzos and which treatment option would suit you best. Call us today at 855.298.3104 or fill out our online form to speak to one of our friendly staff members.

Why Do People Abuse Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are often prescribed for people struggling with anxiety. These medications have sedative and euphoric effects, which help people with anxiety and panic disorders to calm their minds and bodies. For some people, benzos make it possible to function in situations they would normally avoid, such as working or driving.

Unfortunately, it is easy to become dependent on benzos and take them too often, believing that you need them to get through all of your daily responsibilities. This leads to taking benzos too frequently, and you may even take higher doses than prescribed, especially if you develop a tolerance to your dosage. When this happens, you set yourself up for benzo addiction.

3 Common Signs of Benzo Abuse

If you or someone close to you is prescribed benzodiazepines for anxiety, seizures, insomnia, or another medical condition, you may not know how to tell the difference between prescribed use and benzo abuse. The medication has sedative effects to induce calm, so it is normal to experience a bit of drowsiness and even mild euphoria. 

You may notice some of the following common signs of benzo addiction or abuse if someone is misusing their medication:

Impaired Judgment

One of the most common signs of benzo abuse is impaired judgment, which can lead to risky behaviors such as:

  • Driving while high
  • Working or operating machinery when impaired
  • Instigating conflicts with others

Since benzodiazepines induce sedation, driving, operating machinery at work or in your yard, or even riding a bike while abusing benzos can increase your risk of getting hurt or injuring someone else.

Sleep Disturbances

If a person is abusing benzodiazepines, they can experience sleep disturbances and insomnia, including:

  • An inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • Waking up too early in the morning and being unable to get back to sleep
  • Experiencing nightmares or night terrors, which are frightening dreams that occur during rapid eye movement or REM sleep

When people misusing benzos have trouble with their sleep, they likely think they need higher doses to help them get more rest. This perpetuates the cycle of addiction, so they need professional help to taper off or quit using benzodiazepines.

Depersonalization and Derealization

Depersonalization and derealization are two common symptoms of benzo abuse. They are not harmful on their own, but they can also be scary and cause panic. Depersonalization is a feeling of detachment from your own body. You may feel like you are watching yourself through someone else’s eyes. Derealization is when things around you seem unreal. Objects may seem blurry or distorted, sounds seem distant or muffled, and people may look strange or unrecognizable.

Call Promises Washburn House When You See Signs of Benzo Addiction

Benzodiazepine addiction can be dangerous, so it is important to seek professional treatment if you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of benzo abuse. Contact Washburn House at 855.298.3104 to discuss our treatment options for benzo addiction.

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