Benzodiazepine Detox & Treatment in Nunavut
Benzodiazepines are a commonly prescribed central nervous system depressant and are still widely abused throughout Canada, despite lowered prescribing rates. Throughout the country, the overall quantity of benzodiazepines and benzo-related drugs dispensed declined around 6% in 2016 and 2017. CNS depressants such as benzodiazepines are designed to slow down brain function and create a calming or relaxing effect. However, the prolonged use of these drugs does create a dependency leading to addiction. When benzos are prescribed, it is often only for as-needed use, and not meant to be used daily. Yet, the misuse of these drugs is common, because drug users will take more than needed or use them for other reasons that they were prescribed for.
The Nunavut Territory has a sparse population and the smallest population with the largest land mass in the country. Most of the population in territory are Inuit, and drug and alcohol abuse do affect many families living the various communities. Community health programs and local Inuit services can help people who are struggling with addiction. Prescription drug addiction is a dangerous problem and can happen easily. When someone is prescribed benzodiazepines it is for a particular reason, and these drugs are often only prescribed for as-needed use. However, many benzo users will remain on the drug longer than needed and often take more than recommended. The daily use of benzodiazepines will cause dependency leading to addiction. The body builds a tolerance for the drugs and requires more of it to maintain itself, and the drug user will experience withdrawal symptoms.
The outward signs of benzodiazepines addiction include sweating, drowsiness, shallow breathing, slurred speech, impaired coordination, nausea, and dizziness. There are many dangers connected with abusing these types of drugs. Fatal overdose typically occurs when a drug user’s breathing or heart rate drops so low that it stops entirely. Overdose can occur when these drugs are mixed with other CNS depressants such as alcohol. Benzos are also commonly used in combination with opioids which all drastically increase the risk of overdose. Some of the immediate side effects of benzodiazepine abuse include mental confusion, anxiety, blurred vision, headaches, forgetfulness, irritability, and fatigue.
Benzo addiction is one of the hardest drug problems to kick because of the physical addiction to the drug. The long-term effects include impaired concentration and memory, loss of coordination, depression, dementia, and the risk of personal injury. It is important to recognize a benzo addiction before it starts. Some of the early warning signs include stealing medication, doctor shopping, buying the drugs illegally, and spending a significant amount of time getting and using the drugs. Drug users who are consuming benzos daily will experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms and will need more of the drug to achieve the same effects.
It is essential that proper treatment and help is gotten for this type of addiction. Benzodiazepine addiction requires detox and inpatient treatment. The drug rehabilitation resources are not extensive in Nunavut, but local community-based programs are effective in helping prescription drug addicts overcome his or her addiction. The treatment process should start with a detox, and some prescription drug users will require a medically supervised detox to help them overcome their addiction. If an addict is requiring specialized inpatient care, they would find help in southern Canada at a program in either British Columbia or in Alberta.