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Can Benzo Abuse Cause Mental Health Problems?

March 10, 2021 , Agape Treatment Center

Can Benzodiazepine Abuse Cause Mental Health Problems?

Benzodiazepines Directly Affect Your Mental Health

Benzodiazepines are a type of prescription medication most commonly used for the treatment of anxiety disorders, the more severe symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal, seizure disorders, and insomnia. Interestingly enough, even though benzodiazepines are used to treat mental health disorders, prolonged benzodiazepine abuse can lead to the development of psychological issues. Benzodiazepines like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium work by affecting the neurotransmitter GABA (which stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid) which prevents the firing of certain neurons that impact certain areas of the brain – like the areas that control the way we react to fear and anxiety. The impact of GABA is increased by benzodiazepines, meaning that the brain naturally produces less of this specific neurotransmitter.

Benzos Cause Addiction Which is a Mental Health Disorder

Benzodiazepines have an extremely high potential for abuse, and even men and women who take them exactly as prescribed are at risk of developing a physical dependence over time. As physical dependence develops, tolerance increases, meaning that a higher dose is required for the desired effects to be produced. Anyone who abuses a medication like Xanax or Valium for an extended period will also experience symptoms of withdrawal when use is suddenly stopped. Some of the more common symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal include sleep-related issues, an increased heart rate and increased blood pressure, body tremors, profuse sweating, and increased body temperature, and severe anxiety. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can also result in grand mal seizures, which is why admission to a medical detox program is essential in the case of benzo abuse and addiction.

Benzodiazepine Abuse and Mental Illness

While there are many psychological symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal, prolonged use of this type of medication can lead to the development of certain mental health conditions. Some research suggests that benzodiazepine dependence has the potential to cause depression and anxiety because of the way they interact with neurotransmitters like GABA receptors. Of course, the development of depressive disorders is more common among men and women who have a genetic predisposition or another pre-existing vulnerability. Substance abuse and dependence of any type can lead to erratic behavior, and it is very common for men and women who are struggling with prescription drug addiction to experience symptoms that could be associated with depression or anxiety – symptoms that ultimately resolve once treatment has been sought and sobriety has been maintained for an extended period.

Coming Off Benzos Can Cause Anxiety and Depression

however, it is also possible for benzodiazepines to have a lasting psychological effect. in addition to the development of depression, men and women who abuse benzodiazepines haven’t increased the risk of suicide attempts. If you or someone you love has been struggling with prescription drug addiction, there is help available. At Agape Treatment Center, we have numerous licensed and highly experienced psychiatrists on staff who help clients navigate the psychological ramifications of prolonged substance dependency. Not only do we offer intensive therapeutic care and psychiatric services, but we offer medication-assisted treatment whenever necessary. In some cases, antidepressant medications or anti-anxiety medications are used to treat men and women who have been suffering at the hands of a long-term benzodiazepine abuse disorder.

Contact our Benzo Addiction Recovery Program

At Agape Treatment Center, we work closely with men and women of all ages who have been suffering from a benzodiazepine abuse disorder of any severity. We offer a dual diagnosis treatment program, meaning that we tackle the physical, psychological, and emotional implications of active addiction simultaneously. In most cases, the psychological consequences associated with addiction can be easily treated with a combination of therapy and medication. However, in some cases more intensive treatment options are necessary. To learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment program, or to help your loved one get started on his or her journey of recovery, simply reach out to us today. we are more than happy to answer any additional questions you might have and begin developing an admission plan the moment you pick up the phone and give us a call