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What Is a Benzo?

a bottle of pills labeled "benzodiazepines" but what is a benzo?

Prescription drugs are commonly abused. Even though these medications can help relieve pain and improve quality of life, they can also be misused. In fact, the misuse of medications is now one of the most common forms of substance abuse in the United States. Some of the most commonly abused are benzodiazepines (benzos). But what is a benzo?

Kiwi Recovery provides benzo addiction treatment services for young adults and adolescents. Our outpatient treatment programs are designed with young people in mind and focus on helping them develop the coping skills needed to stay sober. We understand that benzo addiction can impact an individual’s life, so we strive to provide the most effective treatment available. Learn more about the services at our Concord, Massachusetts, treatment center by calling 617.751.6610.

What Is a Benzo?

Benzodiazepines, known as “benzos,” are a class of depressant drugs that act upon the central nervous system. They slow down the brain and body’s functions, which can relieve symptoms of anxiety, seizures, and insomnia. Essentially, benzos work by slowing down activity in your brain and nervous system.

Commonly Prescribed Benzos for Young Adults

Benzodiazepines are often prescribed to young adults for a variety of conditions. Some of the most common include the following:

  • Xanax (alprazolam) for anxiety disorders
  • Ativan (lorazepam) for acute anxiety episodes or panic attacks
  • Klonopin (clonazepam) for panic disorder or seizures.

These medications can be effective when used correctly, but they also come with risks. Taking too much of a benzo can lead to dangerous side effects, such as slowed breathing and even coma. Additionally, long-term use of these drugs can also result in dependence or addiction, making it difficult to quit without professional help.

Benzo Addiction in Young Adults

Unfortunately, the calming effects of benzodiazepines can also lead to misuse and addiction, particularly among young adults. Physical dependence can develop quickly, even when using the medication as prescribed. This is especially true for those who use these medications recreationally or without a prescription. Over time, the body becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug, leading to tolerance and the need for higher doses to achieve the same effect.

Dangers of Benzo Withdrawal

Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be dangerous and should always be done under medical supervision. Benzo withdrawal symptoms can include the following:

  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Sleep problems
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis

Delirium tremens (DTs) is a particularly dangerous set of withdrawal symptoms associated with benzos. DTs can occur within 48 to 72 hours of cessation and include confusion, agitation, tremors, fever, hallucinations, and seizures.

Without proper management, benzo withdrawal can be life-threatening. It’s crucial to understand that stopping “cold turkey” can be very dangerous and is strongly discouraged.

Seeking Professional Benzo Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to benzodiazepines, it’s important to seek professional help. Treatment typically involves a gradual tapering of the drug under a healthcare provider’s supervision to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Therapy, counseling, and support groups can also provide valuable tools for managing stress and avoiding relapse.

Young Adult Benzo Addiction Treatment at Kiwi Recovery

Kiwi Recovery is proud to offer specialized benzo addiction treatment services for young adults and adolescents in Concord, Massachusetts. Our programs are designed with teens and young adults in mind, utilizing evidence-based approaches and a holistic approach to healing. Our experienced team of behavioral health specialists is dedicated to helping young people recover from addiction and reclaim their lives.

If you or someone you know needs help with a benzo addiction, don’t wait—contact us at 617.751.6610 to speak with one of our professionals today. We’re here to support a healthy journey toward lasting recovery.