Josh Chandler | December 16, 2022

Long Term Effects of Benzos on the Brain

What Are Benzos?

Benzodiazepines (benzos) are a form of the prescription drug known as a sedative or a prescription tranquilizer. Benzos are typically prescribed to treat the symptoms of mental health disorders such as anxiety, panic disorders, and panic attacks and to treat the onset of seizures or muscle spasms. When prescribed benzos, they can be highly effective in treating unpleasant and painful symptoms of these disorders. However, due to the sedating effects of these prescription drugs and the euphoric feelings that can occur, they can become highly addictive drugs when abused and there are long term effects of benzos to consider.

When you are experiencing severe symptoms of a mental health condition or are attempting to regulate your emotions or manage deep-rooted traumas without the proper psychological treatment, it can be easy for someone to look for a quick fix by abusing prescription drugs such as benzos. While you may feel momentary relief after taking benzodiazepines, as your benzo abuse progresses, it creates a cycle of abuse and worsening of symptoms of any co-occurring mental health disorders. Benzodiazepine addiction creates a strong physical dependency that can be challenging and dangerous to overcome on your own due to the severe withdrawal symptoms that can occur after quitting your use of benzos. To safely overcome your benzo addiction, you must have the ongoing support of addiction therapists and the supervision of medical professionals that will maintain your physical and mental health as you move through your addiction recovery process.

Click here to call Muse Addiction Center today. Our staff is available 24/7 to provide answers and begin the admissions process. Call (800) 426-1818.

What Types of Benzos Are There?

In a drug rehab facility in Beverly Hills, the versatile nature of benzodiazepines is a critical consideration in addressing mental and physical health conditions. These prescription drugs are intended to treat various symptoms associated with both mental health disorders and physical health conditions. Benzodiazepines come in various forms, each designed to target specific symptoms. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of these prescription drugs to address specific symptoms, highlighting the importance of a comprehensive approach in a drug rehab facility. Understanding the intricacies of benzodiazepines and their applications is essential in providing effective and tailored treatment for individuals grappling with the complexities of substance use disorders.

  • Alprazolam (Xanax) – This form of benzo is prescribed for anxiety disorder, panic disorder or to mitigate the onset of panic attacks
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium) – These benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed to treat symptoms of anxiety or treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin) – This form of benzodiazepine is intended to treat symptoms of panic disorder and minimize symptoms or onset of seizures
  • Diazepam (Diastat or Valium)- These types of benzos will be prescribed to treat anxiety symptoms, reduce muscle spasms, minimize epileptic seizures, and reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  • Lorazepam (Ativan, Lorrev XR) – These benzodiazepines are prescribed to treat and minimize the symptoms of anxiety disorder
  • Temazepam (Restoril) – This benzodiazepine is intended to provide short-term treatment for up to 7- 10 days to manage insomnia symptoms.
  • Triazolam (Halcion) – This form of benzodiazepine is another short-term treatment for insomnia that should only be taken for a period of 7-10 days to provide relief in the symptoms of insomnia and sleep changes.

The Long-Term Effects of Benzos

Benzodiazepines are intended to be a short-term treatment for a mental health disorder or physical health condition of seizures or muscle spasms. If you engage in long-term use of benzos, typically defined as use that lasts longer than 3 to 6 months, it can increase the risks of developing long-term effects that will impact your physical and mental health.

Research has shown that the long-term effects of benzodiazepine can include the following:

  • Research has demonstrated a correlation between long-term benzodiazepine abuse where benzos are taken at a high dose can lead to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • It has been proven that long-term benzo abuse can also be linked to the onset of dementia in older adults
  • Long-term benzo abuse has been known to impact cognitive functioning including slower thinking, inability to or lack of concentration, and difficulties focusing on one task leading to more time being required to complete a task at hand.
  • Benzodiazepine abuse leads to heart complications where the heart rate drastically slows down resulting in an increased risk of developing blood clots
  • In some extreme cases, the heart may stop beating leading to an overdose and, sometimes, death
  • Due to the sedative nature of benzodiazepines, breathing rates will become suppressed which can result in hypoxia. If hypoxia occurs, the amount of blood running through tissues throughout your body. A lack of blood running through the body’s tissues can result in a lack of essential nutrients, resulting in tissue death. If tissue death progresses, it can result in loss of life for the substance abuser.
  • Similar to other substances that individuals may abuse, long-term benzo abuse can lead to liver damage and long-term liver complications or liver failure
  • Engaging in long-term benzo abuse will lead to a tolerance for this drug that will increase the risks of addiction and progressively dangerous side effects ‘
  • For those individuals that have not experienced seizures before your drug abuse, you may experience the onset of seizures, and for those who were using benzos to treat seizures, the severity and frequency of your seizures will increase.
  • In some cases, long-term benzo abuse can lead to a coma or, in some cases, death

Learn about the Benzo withdrawal timeline here:

What Is the Benzo Withdrawal Timeline?

long term effects of benzos

Getting Help for Benzo Addiction

There is hope to overcome a benzo addiction. To effectively address and treat your benzodiazepine addiction, you must receive the help of an addiction treatment program specializing in safe detox and rehab practices. Due to the highly addictive components of benzodiazepines and the strong physical dependency that can be created through benzo abuse, it can be challenging to quit your use of benzos cold turkey. To safely detox from benzos, you must have the support of a medically supervised drug detox program that will provide medical supervision and monitoring. A benzo detox will include a slow tapering-off process that will allow your body the time it needs to safely adjust to functioning without the presence of benzos within your body and brain.

Once you have overcome any presenting withdrawal symptoms and removed the influences of benzos from your system, you can begin a drug rehab near Los Angeles to address your underlying causes of benzo addiction. Through a comprehensive treatment plan, patients are supported through evidence-based therapy methods to uncover the root causes of their addiction while gaining the necessary tools to treat their co-occurring disorder through natural, holistic therapies. As you strengthen your skills and abilities to maintain and treat any symptoms from your co-occurring disorder, you will become confident in your capacity to maintain a life of sober living and remain true to your goals of living in long-term addiction recovery.

Muse Treatment Center Can Help You Today

Muse Treatment Center is a premier addiction treatment center that offers the best in addiction therapy methods to support you safely and effectively in overcoming your benzo addiction. Our individualized treatment plans offer patients a supportive, whole-person integrated approach to healing that will enable them to heal and understand the underlying causes of their addiction and develop a new foundation of skills and coping strategies to ensure they can achieve long-term success in addiction recovery. We are waiting to hear from you to get you started on your recovery journey today. Call Muse Treatment at (800) 426-1818 to have any questions answered and take the first steps towards a new life of sobriety, health, and wellness now.

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Josh Chandler
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