The Dangers Of Benzodiazepines

dangers of benzos

As far as prescription drugs go, benzodiazepines (benzos for short) are among the most prescribed in the United States with roughly 12.5% of adults using them, a number which translates to about 30.5 million people. In other words, 1 in 8 Americans is on these, which is an increase from previous reports.

Before getting into the potential dangers of benzos and their misuse, Addiction Treatment Solutions wants to dive into a little primer of what they are.


What Are Benzodiazepines

First things first, benzodiazepines are, broadly speaking, central nervous system depressants. The main categories that it breaks down into are; tranquilizers, sedatives and hypnotics and the general effect they have is to slow down nerve activity throughout the brain. Given that, benzos have a sedative effect on the mind and body.

While you may not be familiar with the medical term benzodiazepine, you’ll certainly recognize some of the most well-known names that are prescribed; Ambien, Versed, Xanax, Ativan and Valium.


Why Are They Prescribed

Those aforementioned effects are harnessed to tackle a wide range of issues for those who are prescribed something from this family of drugs. Benzodiazepines are often used to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia & sleep disorders as well as alcohol withdrawal. Additionally, they help with controlling seizures and muscle spasms and relaxation.


dangers of benzos


Risks of Benzodiazepines

For starters, benzos are highly addictive, that can’t be stressed enough. While they do serve a very real and necessary function, it’s extremely easy to become dependent on them. It’s advised to take these for the absolute shortest amount of time required. 

To that end, of the overall usage, it’s estimated that 17% of the use of benzodiazepines was misuse.

Benzos become even more problematic when mixed with alcohol, a particularly dangerous combination as the effects of both are enhanced and seeing as how benzodiazepine and alcohol each work to depress the central nervous system, the results can be catastrophic.

Some warning signs to keep an eye out for if you’re concerned that you or someone you know may be getting into usage that would be problematic or abusive are;

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Unsteady walking
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor concentration
  • Dizziness
  • Problems with memory
  • Slowed breathing


How To Get Help With A Benzo Addiction

There’s a natural tendency to view prescription drugs as somehow inherently “safer” but as evidenced by the widespread opioid epidemic we’ve been facing over the years, just because something is prescribed doesn’t mean it’s not addictive. It certainly doesn’t mean something can’t be abused. The dangers of benzodiazepines are its use can drift into abuse very quickly with this class of drug.

Just like any addiction, it’s vital to seek outside help. Trying to kick a substance that sank its hooks in so deep and so quickly is beyond tough to do on your own.

The first step in any treatment program is to detox the patient and get them fully off from benzos. This will likely lead to a host of withdrawal symptoms, like;


  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Stomach problems
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Visual problems


  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Depersonalization
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions

After flushing your system, the rest of your recovery and rehabilitation from benzos can begin in earnest. Ordinarily, this would be in the form of inpatient treatment and eventually transitioning back to your life, clean and sober.


Dangers of Benzodiazepines 

Of course, this is a rather oversimplified view of the scope of what goes into treating an addiction to a drug like this. At Addiction Treatment Solutions, we offer a wealth of knowledge and expert guidance in getting you or the person in your life you know to be struggling with benzos the help you need and deserve. Reach out to us today to learn more about what options are out there.

Pros and Cons of Co-ed Drug Rehab

co-ed rehab

After making the brave and life-changing choice to get yourself started down the road to sobriety and into an addiction treatment program something funny happens; a world of possibilities opens up before you to explore. Addiction treatments of all types and kinds catered to your individual needs. It’s truly a beautiful thing to discover, but in spite of the robustness of options, in the back of your mind, you’re left wondering about certain things. It may seem trivial but whether your treatment is gender-specific or a coed drug rehab, is a huge thing to consider when making a decision.

What Is a Coed Drug Rehab?

Mixed-gender addiction treatment, also known as a coed drug rehab, is just as it sounds. It’s a co-ed treatment where you’re in a facility that accommodates both men and women. It’s certainly possible to find success in both environments, but it’s crucial to consider the positives and negatives before settling on a treatment center.

Pros of Coed Drug Rehab

  • Diversity of perspective – Men and women are inherently different which oddly enough highlights some of the sameness with which addition affects us. It’s good to learn that not only are you not alone as a man or woman dealing with addition but that both men and women deal with the scourge of it. 
  • Real-world preparation – The world is full of people from both sexes and being able and willing to address your battle scars in the company of the opposite sex, when you’re at your most vulnerable, is a powerful testament to your strength and would serve you well when treatment is finished. 
  • Improved relationship with opposite sex – Similar to real-world preparedness, while addiction can be borne from issues with the opposite sex, listening and learning from them can ultimately shed some light on your own history and help you work towards improving your relationships with those of the opposite sex more broadly


Cons of Coed Drug Rehab

  • Inability to open up properly – Having the opposite sex in close proximity may make you uncomfortable or could cause you to develop feelings of being exposed to the point that you aren’t able to open yourself up. That could significantly impede your journey through recovery.
  • Possibility of romance (if you identify with being heterosexual) – Kind of a no-no in rehab, romances with those in treatment have the potential to cause issues with your program and are highly discouraged. The issue here is that patients will focus more energy on the budding relationship than on their recovery. The risk of this is naturally higher where both men and women are together all the time.
  • Triggers – Simply being near the opposite sex can trigger you due to past experiences coming to the surface in recovery. One note; there are certainly cases that absolutely warrant gender-specific treatment like those that involve some type of sexual abuse as a trigger, for example.

Deciding What’s Best for You

There is a lot to consider when looking at the landscape of addiction treatment options available to you but at the end of the day, the most important thing is your peace of mind. What is going to put in the best position to succeed in your recovery goals? For some, it could be a big net positive to be in a co-ed treatment facility and for others, it might cripple their efforts.

Know that making this decision isn’t something you have to do by yourself, Addiction Treatment Solutions is a free service that can help you through this process. Our dedicated team can help match you with a treatment program, mixed gender or gender-specific, that best fits the needs of you or your loved one. Contact us today to learn more.