Benzodiazepine Addiction Signs & Symptoms
Benzos are highly addictive and they have high rates of abuse nationwide. There are many reasons why people begin abusing benzos… they may have a genetic predisposition towards substance dependency, they may have untreated underlying mental health issues, or they may have started to take the drug for a diagnosed disorder and then slipped into abuse. Some of the most common reasons behind benzos addiction include:
Underlying mental health disorders
In many cases those with undiagnosed mental health issues like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia will take drugs in order to alleviate their symptoms. If someone with a mental health concern is introduced to benzos they may find that the calming effects of the drug temporarily make them feel “normal”. This feeling is only fleeting and once it dissipates they will reach for the drug again. This will begin a vicious cycle of abuse.
Being initially prescribed the medication for an existing disorder
If someone is prescribed benzos and they begin to take them other than prescribed (for example, they take them throughout the day and they take more than the recommended dose) they can quickly develop physical and psychological dependency.
Genetic predisposition to alcoholism or drug abuse
If someone has a family history of alcoholism or drug abuse they are far more inclined to begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol themselves. Addiction is a hereditary disease – it is passed down through generations. There is an extensive amount of research to back this.
Self-medication as the result of unresolved trauma
Many individuals who have unresolved sexual, emotional, or physical trauma or who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder turn to drugs and alcohol to alleviate their symptoms. These symptoms might include anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, an inability to trust others, preoccupation with past events, and inability to focus. While taking benzos may temporarily relieve symptoms of trauma, abusing drugs will only worsen the symptoms down the road.
Those who grow up in lower income neighborhoods, those who surround themselves with people who “party” heavily (peer pressure), those who work high-stress jobs, or those who live in households with addicted parents (or one addicted parent) are more likely to engage in drug abuse. Environment has a lot to do with the way we handle stress and the “coping mechanisms” we are inclined to turn to.