Today, benzodiazepine sedatives are some of America’s most widely prescribed medications. You may also see these medications referred to as benzos. Unfortunately, benzos are not just frequently prescribed. They also rank high on the list of abused or misused prescription drugs. Are you concerned that you or a loved one may be abusing a benzodiazepine? Certain common signs will help determine whether or not your actions qualify as abuse. A benzo addiction treatment program provides the support you need to recover.
Benzos and Prescription Drug Abuse
Benzos are commonly prescribed as anti-anxiety medications. They’re often highly effective in this role. However, their use comes with some inevitable risks. Chief among these risks is the possibility of developing a physical dependence on your medication. Unless this problem is quickly addressed, it can lead to the onset of full-blown addiction.
For this and other reasons, doctors set limits on your benzo dosage. They also set limits on the amount of time you can take your medication. The overall effect is a reduced chance that any problems will occur.
You abandon these vital safeguards when you misuse benzo. Experts sometimes refer to this kind of activity as prescription drug abuse. You may also see the term prescription drug misuse instead. Both terms refer to a pattern of behavior that:
- Boosts your exposure to harmful medication side-effects
- It makes dependence and addiction more likely to occur
- Increases the odds that you will overdose on your medication
These same problems can occur with any form of prescription abuse, not just benzo abuse.
Spotting Acts of Benzo Abuse
Benzo abuse has two potential meanings. The first of these meanings involves the act of abusing or misusing your medication. You can do this in a variety of ways. For example, you can decide on your own to reduce the amount of time between medication doses. You can also decide to increase the amount of medication you take at once.
Some people abuse their medication for recreational purposes, not symptom treatment. Others crush their benzos to speed up the medication’s drug effects. In addition, some people obtain multiple prescriptions from different doctors in practice, known as doctor shopping.
You also abuse it when you take benzo without a valid prescription. For example, you may use an out-of-date medication previously prescribed to you. You may also ask someone else to give you their medication. In addition, some people steal benzos or purchase them illegally.
Benzo Abuse As a Diagnosable Substance Use Disorder
If you repeatedly misuse benzo, you may develop a substance use disorder or SUD. Some people with a benzo-related SUD are addicted to their medication. However, others are not. Instead, they have symptoms of damaging, non-addicted benzo abuse. Specific symptoms of this diagnosable form of abuse include:
- Having work, home, or school problems related to your benzo use
- A level of use that interferes with your main relationships
In addition, you may repeatedly take benzos in situations that risk your safety or that of other people.
Turn to Northpoint Washington for Prescription Drug Abuse Treatment
Prescription drugs are potent medications and can cause dependency even when used as directed. Are you or your loved one currently misusing a benzo medication? Talk to the addiction specialists at Northpoint Washington. We’ll help you determine the seriousness and potential consequences of your actions.
Northpoint also offers state-of-the-art treatment for benzo-related SUDs. Whether you’re affected by addiction or serious abuse, we provide the support you need to regain your well-being. To learn more about our customized inpatient approach, call us today at 425.437.3298. You can also get the process started with our convenient online form.