Benzodiazepine Addiction In Canada
benzodiazepine is a sedative psychiatric drug which is also a hypnotic drug. This drug is given to patients who suffer from anxiety, insomnia and/or agitation. It is usually prescribed in conjunction with some other psychiatric drug. What benzodiazepine does is that it acts as a depressant on the central nervous system . That is why they will prescribe for mood disorders or anxiety, etc. Benzos are promoted usually for short-term treatment because they are known to develop tolerance and dependence on the user. And once they are addicted; it can get so bad that detox and drug rehab can become necessary.
It is very dangerous when someone has become addicted to benzos and stops taking it suddenly, some very obvious and life-threatening symptoms can occur. One of the symptoms is seizures, which are very dangerous for the health of the person. What can also be noticed by someone going through benzodiazepine withdrawal are anxiety (which can develop into panic attacks), he can be hypochondriac, have various aches and pains, nightmares, and insomnia. And that is only to name a few of the effects. Therefore, one has to be careful when stopping the long use of a benzodiazepine. This is why a lot of people need to go to drug rehab centers so that they can successfully go through addiction treatment.
What is Benzodiazepine Addiction?
Benzodiazepine is a prescribed medication that can become quite addictive. Either they get addicted to benzodiazepine due to recreational use or they develop benzodiazepine addiction over time as a prescribed medication. There is an addiction problem with benzodiazepine in Canada. It was found that 8.5 percent of the fatally injured drivers had benzodiazepine in their system. And this drug is seen all over the provinces. For example, in 1992, benzodiazepine came in third place in Ontario as the drug most found in victims of traffic accidents, some of them having benzodiazepine addiction problems. Benzodiazepine came right after alcohol and cannabis drug addiction. In Ontario, in 1998, a survey was made on elderly, and it was found that 22.5 percent of them were taking benzodiazepine. In Toronto, a survey made on injection drug users showed that 49 percent of them were using benzodiazepine with other drugs, which is dangerous but can also cause a multiple-drug addiction.
Benzodiazepine abuses and addiction are seen a lot in the provinces, especially in the province of Quebec. The rate for Quebec is 35.9 percent, which is the highest for a province while the lowest was the Prairies with a rate of 18.2 percent. A study also shows that most of the benzodiazepine that is prescribed is prescribed to women (67 percent). Thus women are more prone to benzodiazepine addiction.
Benzodiazepine addiction can become dangerous due to its adverse effects. Some of them include agitation, rage and depression, which can worsen if one takes benzodiazepine to treat that particular problem. One can also have suicidal thoughts as one of the side effects.
Information On Benzodiazepines Detox In Canada
Benzodiazepines are psychoactive drugs, which contain some very strong sedative, hypnotic, anti-anxiety, amnesic, and muscle relaxant properties. They are commonly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, agitation, seizures, muscle spasms, and alcohol withdrawal. These drugs will create a depressive effect and while they are generally safe for short-term use and in very small dosages, long-term use is not recommended and can cause some severe health problems for the individual. They can cause adverse physical and psychological effects, leading to mental and physical dependency to the drug. The withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe and take a long time to overcome. That is why there are drug rehabs and detox centers to help the person to overcome their benzodiazepine addiction.
Adverse Side Effects of Benzodiazepines
The most common benzodiazepines' side effects are the sedative and muscle relaxing effects. Other side effects can include:
- Lack of coordination
- Blurred vision
Benzo withdrawal has a cluster of symptoms that do appear when a person stops taking these types of drugs. The withdrawal symptoms can happen after a long-term use of the drugs or when the person stops taking them suddenly. Benzo withdrawal is very similar to alcohol withdrawal and barbiturate withdrawal. The tolerance and physical dependency are very severe, and the individual can experience both physical and psychological detox symptoms. The higher the dosage the longer the withdrawal period will last. Benzodiazepines detox centers will help someone overcome the withdrawal symptoms to complete detoxification.
Stopping these drugs rapidly can cause some severe withdrawal and detox symptoms such as:
- Convulsions, which may result in death
- Self harm
- Homicidal edition
- Urges to shout, throw, break things or to harm someone
- Organic brain syndrome
With all those withdrawal symptoms, the addict is better in a detox center or drug rehab to make sure nothing bad happens that they can't handle on their own. Once completed with the detoxification, a lot of people will have to attend a drug rehab center to complete their drug addiction treatment.
If someone decides to stop immediately the use of benzodiazepines, without proper care and supervision as found in a benzodiazepines detox facility, they will experience severe health problems, which could possibly be life threatening. The appropriate wean down program should be used.
The withdrawal symptoms can be experienced within 24 to 48 hours after stopping taking benzodiazepines, and these symptoms, if not handled properly, can last for four weeks to six months. This is what makes this drug so dangerous to long-term and heavy users. However, a detox facility will help.