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What Are The Affects Of Benzodiazepine Addiction On Your Cognitive Ability?

If you were to take benzodiazepines for a very short period of time, and were advised by your doctor, you would find that they are very safe. 

People who tend to abuse medications and who take large doses over a long period of time however, are far more at risk of adverse health issues. Mental health symptoms that stem from benzodiazepine abuse include hallucinations, mood swings and depression.

What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines, or benzos are normally available via prescription, and they are used to treat seizures, anxiety, insomnia, muscle tension and more. They are only ever intended for short-term relief. Xanax is known for being one of the most prescribed drugs for psychiatric care in the US, but there are other benzodiazepines out there, including:

·        Klonopin

·        Librium

·        Ativan

·        Valium

·        Restoril

·        Dalmane

How Do Benzos Work and How do they Impact your Cognitive Ability?

Benzodiazepines work by slowing down the activity in the brain as well as the central nervous system. This helps to diffuse stress and it also helps with the physical and emotional side effects that come with it. 

Benzodiazepines work by increasing the level of GABA in the brain, and this works as a tranquilizer. It calms down the nerve firing, and it also enhances the level of dopamine in the brain, which is essentially the chemical messenger that is largely involved with pleasure and rewards. 

The brain may come to expect regular doses of benzo after a few weeks of treatment, and this can stop it from creating the required chemicals.

Benzodiazepines Use & Abuse

Benzodiazepines can be used to help those who have a hard time falling and then staying asleep. It can also support those who experience seizures. Benzos are often taken outside a legitimate prescription. 

When abused, benzos are able to produce a high that works in addition to feelings such as calmness and relaxation. These medications can also have a lot of different side effects that are both psychological and physical in nature. This can cause a great deal of harm, with extended and short-term use.

Side Effects

When you use benzodiazepines under supervision, they are safe for shorter periods of time. You should not take them for more than a few months at a time though. They are only intended for short-term relief, and they also require medical intervention to keep them safe. Some of the potential side effects may include:

·        Drowsiness

·        Short-term Memory Loss

·        Blurred Vision

·        Slow Breathing

·        Lack of Motor Control

·        Muscle Weakness

·        Slurred Speech

Signs of Benzodiazepines Abuse

When you look at the natural process of building tolerance, you will see that someone will need to have a much higher dose of benzodiazepines in order to get the same high. When the abuse stops, or when the dose is cut down significantly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. This can be dangerous, if not life-threatening. 

Undergoing a medical detox is one of the best things that you can do to protect yourself. Substance abuse has a way of shifting your personality, and you may find that you are more likely to show traits that are not consistent with your personality. 

You may stop living the life you once used to lead, and spend more and more time seeking out drugs. If you worry that you have an addiction, then you may experience some of the below symptoms:

·        Withdrawing from friends or family

·        Experience fear of being without the drug

·        Doing things out of character to pay for the drug

·        Engage in riskier activities after using the drug

·        Experience a reduction in general hygiene

·        Be abnormally secretive about daily schedules

·        Experience mood shifts

Behavior around drug abuse tends to relate to the way the drugs are taken. Most of the time, benzodiazepines are swallowed, and they are not injectable. If you need some help, then you should try and seek it from a professional. It may be that you need to take part in an intensive program or that you simply need help and advice to cut down on your intake gradually. We understand more than anyone that no two patients are the same and what works for one, may not work for another. That is why when you come to us for treatment, you can count on us to do everything in our power to make sure that you are given the service you deserve. If you want to find out more, then please do not be afraid to get in touch today. We would be more than happy to chat with you about anything you need to know.

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