Usually referred to as Benzos, the depressant drugs are actually Benzodiazepines. They work by lowering brain activity, making the individual using them feel relaxed. Common types include Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin. They’re often prescribed to treat conditions like anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. When misused Benzos can lead to addiction, overdose, and even death.
More often than not, people who use Benzos are often getting them through legal methods with a prescription. However, once an addiction forms, they often acquire prescriptions through multiple doctors, forging prescriptions, or then buying them illegally.
The most common type used includes Valium, Xanax, Halcion, and Klonopin. However, the two most commonly found on the illegal market are Clonazepam and Alprazolam. These pills are most likely taken orally or crushed to snort. Benzos are also often used in occurrence with other drugs, specifically opioids, to enhance the seemingly positive effects.
Addiction to Benzos
When not taken appropriately, it is easy for an individual to become addicted to Benzos. With increased tolerance comes a need for more to feel the desired effects, which can lead to addiction and overdose.
Signs of a Benzodiazepine overdose include:
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty breathing
- Lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
However, knowing the signs of an addiction can help prevent overdose. If you or your loved ones are showing signs of a Benzo addiction, seeking treatment is the best option.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in 2018, Georgia saw 1,604 drug overdose deaths, with 67.3% (1,079) involving opioids. While this statistic primarily highlights opioids, it is essential to remember that benzodiazepines are often used in combination with opioids, increasing the risk of overdose.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that between 1999 and 2018, the age-adjusted rate of overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines in the United States increased from 0.6 to 5.6 per 100,000 population. Although these statistics are not specific to Georgia, they indicate a growing problem with benzodiazepine-related overdose deaths nationwide.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, there were 996 benzodiazepine-involved emergency department visits in the state in 2016. This number may not reflect the full scope of benzodiazepine addiction in Georgia but does indicate the drug’s impact on emergency medical services.
If you or a loved one are struggling with a Benzodiazepine addiction, Emerge Healing Center would love to help you experience what recovery can look like. Contact our skilled addiction and mental health professionals at Emerge Healing Center to learn more about our treatment and program options.