Drugs like Valium, Ativan, and Xanax are well known examples of a class of drugs know as benzodiazepines, or benzos. While benzos have widespread medical use for conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, seizures, and alcohol addiction, they are also some of the most abused prescription drugs available.

Benzodiazepine is a psychoactive drug that enhances the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA. Benzos have hypnotic, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), anti-convulsive, and sedative effects. Different benzos affect a person for different lengths of time. Long-term use of benzodiazepine carries a high risk of tolerance and dependency. Someone who suddenly stops taking benzodiazepine after regular use risks withdrawal symptoms including agitation, fearfulness, gastric trouble, tremors, insomnia, and muscle spasms. Some users may also experience psychological problems, delirium tremens, psychosis, depression, and suicidal behavior.

Benzos share tolerance with alcohol and other central nervous system depressants, and their affects mimic each other in many ways. While this makes benzos effective in treating alcohol withdrawal, it also makes it very dangerous to take benzos while drinking alcohol, as they can reinforce each other and carry a high risk of overdose.

Serenity House offers residential and outpatient treatment for a wide variety of addictions, including addiction to benzodiazepines. Our expert medical staff can help you safely detox from benzo use, and our licensed drug and alcohol abuse counselors will work with you to devise a personalized treatment plan to help you find true recovery.

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