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 / Benzodiazepine / How To Tell Someone's Addicted To Benzodiazepines?

How To Tell If Someone's Addicted to Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines, generally known as benzos, are a family of drugs used to treat conditions including anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia. Typically, these medicines are referred to as depressants because of their ability to slow down or depress the activity of the CNS. The benzodiazepine family of drugs includes widely used medications like Restoril®, Xanax®, Klonopin®, Valium®, and Ativan®. In addition, benzos are sometimes used to help minimize withdrawal symptoms for those undergoing alcohol detox. However, these substances are prone to abuse and addiction.

Abuse of Benzos

Abuse of benzodiazepines is far more prevalent than you may believe. Without treatment, substance abuse has the potential to harm your relationships, professional prospects, as well as your physical and mental health.


According to the National Center for Drug Misuse Statistics, an alarmingly high proportion of people continue to abuse prescription drugs and substances that depress the central nervous system (CNS), most notably benzodiazepines:


  • About 6 million people over 12 and above misuse sedatives and tranquilizers, with 20.1% doing so for the first time.

  • In the 18-to-25-year-old age range, prescription benzodiazepines are misused at a rate of 4.2% higher than any other age group, followed by those over 26.


Even people who are spending a fortune on fancy benzos are not immune. The Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States revealed that designer benzodiazepines were involved in overdose incidents and mortality statistics reported in 2019.


One example of this designer drug is flu-alprazolam, a short-acting benzo often sold under the shady name "alternative benzodiazepine." Fatal Fentanyl doses are also usually found in the fake benzo tablets on the streets of the United States. You should not purchase "alternative" medicines from any provider other than a licensed pharmacy.

If you think someone you care about might be abusing benzos, it is essential to know what signs to look for and what measures to take. When it comes to drug abuse, the sooner the problem is dealt with, the easier it is to treat. Here are some common ways to tell if someone you care about might be abusing or becoming addicted to benzodiazepines:

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Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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1. Showing Psychiatric Effects

Benzodiazepines may have a wide variety of psychological consequences, even when they are used as prescribed. The use of benzos might make it challenging for a loved one to recall important information or to carry out certain obligations. Abuse of benzodiazepines may lead to several other common psychological adverse effects, including:


  • Mental confusion.

  • Involuntary bursts of irritation or frustration.

  • Excessive tiredness or lack of interest in doing anything.

  • A manic state of mind.

  • Refusal to devote long periods to a single job.


People who take benzodiazepines in excessive dosages may become increasingly sluggish and apathetic because these medications slow down certain brain areas in the central nervous system. Abusing benzos or other narcotics might cause someone to lose interest in things they used to like. Certain benzodiazepines have prolonged elimination processes in the body.


Because of this, benzodiazepines may build up in the body's fatty tissues if one consumes the medication over a long period. This may delay the onset of over-sedation symptoms by days or even weeks. Long-term use of benzodiazepines is associated with an increased risk of many potentially harmful psychological consequences, including:


  • Disorientation.

  • Inability to think, remember or make decisions.

  • Confusion.

  • Weakening of the muscles results in a lack of coordination.

Rolling Hills Recovery Center offers free 24/7 benzo addiction support. Call today and confidentially speak with our addiction specialists at 855-559-8550.

2. Showing Behavioral Effects

As with other addictive drugs, benzo drug abuse is linked to various disorders. Abuse and addiction to benzos can result in the emergence of isolating and secretive behaviors as well as indifference toward the outside world.


Besides, since benzodiazepines can only be obtained legally via a doctor's prescription, those dependent on them may engage in activities that point to a problem with compulsive usage. Some of the following behaviors may point to benzodiazepine abuse or dependence:


  • Not following the doctor's instructions for taking the meds. This may involve taking the medication at more significant or frequent dosages than recommended.

  • Increasing their level of secrecy regarding how they take their medications, such as doing so only in private or avoiding conversations with loved ones regarding their prescriptions.

  • Losing or pretending to have lost their medicine.

  • Lying about one's symptoms or the likelihood of needing more medicine to acquire additional prescriptions.

  • Shopping around for more medications by visiting several physicians.

  • Trying to figure out how to get benzodiazepines without a prescription.

  • Excluding themselves from their family and friends and staying away from social gatherings.

  • Not being able to maintain an interest in or concentrate on activities they used to like.

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3. Showing Physical Effects

The most apparent symptom of someone misusing benzodiazepines is the development of physical adverse effects, which are only seen when the prescribed dosage is exceeded. 


Abusing benzodiazepines may cause a variety of bodily reactions, including:


  • A feeling of dizziness (a whirling sensation).

  • A decreased desire for food.

  • Extreme drowsiness.

  • Speech that is slurred.

  • Depression of the respiratory system.

  • A headache.

  • Tremors.

  • Dizziness.

  • Altered vision.

  • Vomiting and nausea.

  • Lack of coordination.

  • Constipation.

  • Feeling lightheaded.


Addiction to benzos is evident if a person has withdrawal symptoms after they stop using benzos. In the long run, regular benzodiazepine usage and misuse may develop into physical dependency, which may not become apparent to the user until withdrawal symptoms appear:

  • Insomnia and hypertension.

  • A lack of focus.

  • Tremors.

  • Panic attacks.

  • Irritability.

  • Anxiety.


Another sign of addiction is when a person uses a substance above the recommended dosage. It happens when the body develops a tolerance to the benzodiazepine and needs more to have the same effects.

4. Mixing Benzos and Other Substances

Over the last several years, there has been a gradual increase in fatal overdoses that may be attributed to benzos and other medications. Some users try to enhance the effects of benzos by combining them with other narcotics. If the thought of knocking down a few Xanax and then following it up with a line of heroin or a pint of whiskey on a Friday night seems like a pleasure, then this is an excellent indication that there is a problem.


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Rolling Hills Recovery Center Is a Great Place to Get Help for Benzo Addiction.

Getting professional help as soon as possible if you or someone you love exhibits any of these warning signs and symptoms is crucial. Benzo's withdrawal symptoms may be devastating, so it is not advised to stop using them before seeing a professional at a respected drug treatment center like Rolling Hills Recovery Center.


You don't need to depend on dangerous substances that might turn into habits to relieve your anxiety. Please get in touch with us for more information on the different treatment options available to assist you in overcoming your addiction.

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4. Mixing benzos and other substances
1. Showing psychiatric effects
2. Showing behavioral effects
3. Showing physical effects
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Abuse of benzos
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