Benzodiazepine Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment
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Benzodiazepine Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

Benzodiazepines are highly addictive medications. They are some of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States and, in turn, have become one of the most widely abused medications. Benzodiazepine addiction can happen to anyone who takes it, which makes it extremely important to understand the signs, symptoms, and treatment methods of a Benzodiazepine addiction.

Benzodiazepines can be better known by their brand names, such as:

  • Xanax
  • Klonopin
  • Ativan
  • Valium
  • Onfi
  • Tranxene
  • Librium
  • Diastat
  • Restoril
  • Halcion

What is a Benzodiazepine?

Benzodiazepines are made up of prescription tranquilizers, also called sedatives or anxiolytics. They are prescribed for many types of conditions, such as:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Panic disorder
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures

The above symptoms stem from overactivity in the brain and/or body, which makes Benzodiazepines useful in treating them. Benzodiazepines work by calming the body and can help individuals with these conditions live a normal, relatively symptom-free life. However, anyone who takes Benzodiazepines runs the risk of becoming addicted to them.

Signs of Benzodiazepine Addiction

Since Benzodiazepines are a prescription drug, even the most well-intentioned user can become addicted to them. Addiction occurs if a doctor accidentally over-prescribes the drug or the user takes more than prescribed. More symptoms of Benzodiazepine addiction, according to The National Association of Addiction Professionals, include:

  • The sedative is taken in a higher volume or over a longer time period than first intended.
  • Considerable time is spent getting the drug, using it, and recovering from its effects.
  • When the drug is not in a person’s system, the person experiences withdrawal, which can include cravings for the drug.
  • Over time, more of the drug is needed to achieve the familiar desired effects (i.e., tolerance).
  • The person experiences impaired performance at home, work, or school due to the drug’s effects.

Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Addiction

If you feel as if you or a loved one are experiencing Benzodiazepine addiction, make sure you take note of the various behavioral and physical symptoms. Not everyone will experience every single symptom, but if you find that a large amount of them are being experienced, there is a very good chance that Benzodiazepine addiction is occurring.

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Isolation from family, friends, regular hobbies, work, or activities once enjoyed in favor of using Benzodiazepines
  • Experiencing heightened anxiety or fear when supply is low or not available
  • Unusual financial behaviors such as stealing money, borrowing money frequently, using savings accounts, opening new credit cards or maxing out credit cards in order to pay for the drug
  • Risky activities while using such as driving
  • Spending a large amount of time searching for the drug or using the drug
  • Secretive about whereabouts, daily schedule, or current state of mind
  • Noticeable mood swings and increased irritability
  • Creating volatile situations such as abusive language, abusive behavior, and unnecessary arguments
  • Unkempt appearance

Physical Symptoms

  • Physical weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Poor judgment
  • Insomnia
  • Slowed movements
  • Slowed breathing
  • Memory problems
  • Uncontrollable yawning
  • Blurry vision
  • Marked weight gain or weight loss
  • Poor balance
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Coma
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Death

Treatment for Benzodiazepine Addiction

While Benzodiazepine addiction is extremely dangerous and can lead to death, the good news is that it is a treatable condition. Everyone suffering from addiction has the ability to recover, no matter how severe the addiction may seem. The more an individual takes Benzodiazepines, the more their body builds a tolerance to them. In turn, this causes an individual to take more Benzodiazepines in order to chase the euphoric effect, causing an eventual addiction.

Medicated-Assisted Detox

The first step to overcoming Benzodiazepine addiction is medicated-assisted detox. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can bring debilitating withdrawal symptoms along with it which are near impossible to overcome alone. With the help of medication-assisted detox, an individual can safely and comfortably detox Benzodiazepines from their system and get a great, healthy start on their road to recovery.


There are many types of therapy involved with Benzodiazepine addiction treatment, such as:

All of these types of therapies can work together to yield the best long-term results for staying sober. At Channel Islands Rehab, we have developed the Total Immersion Method, which is a truly unique treatment program. Since no two roads to recovery are the same, everyone has unique needs and things to overcome. Rather than following a blanket system that may not work in the long run, an individual can get everything they need in one place.


Once an individual has completed medicated-assisted detox and a period of therapy, it doesn’t mean the work is over. Benzodiazepine addiction can be a lifelong battle, which is what makes aftercare such an essential part of recovery. Support, ongoing therapy, making self-care a priority, and having sober like-minded people in your life will make all the difference.

About Channel Islands Rehab

Benzodiazepine addiction is extremely difficult to overcome alone. Without the right tools, an individual is highly likely to relapse. Overcoming addiction is so much more than just staying sober — it’s about renewing your lifestyle. A lifestyle free of addiction and pain is possible, and we can help.

The Channel Island Rehab Total Immersion Method is not an out-of-the-box approach to addiction treatment, like many other rehabs. It is unique in that it involves specifically around you and your individual, unique needs. No two people’s journeys are the same at Channel Islands Rehab, allowing for the best chances for long-term success.

Complementing these vital treatments and therapies is our powerful, unwavering ring of support. Through these collaborative efforts, we help you to uncover the underlying issues of your addiction. Our ultimate goal is for you to leave the facility strong and confident, with a practical plan for lasting recovery.

At Channel Islands Rehab Treatment Center, we work to make your residential stay pleasant and stress-free. Our beautiful, calming home, located only one-half block from the ocean, gives you an opportunity to relax and reassess your direction in life. The facility overlooks the harbor, providing the most appealing of settings for reconnecting with yourself.

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