Benzodiazepine Addiction: Symptoms, Signs, & Side Effects
The sedative effects of, as well as their addiction-forming properties, makes them a popular drug of abuse. Because benzodiazepines are prescription drugs, some individuals may have a legitimate medical reason to use them. However, over time, even those taking benzodiazepines as prescribed can become addicted to them.
Symptoms of Benzodiazepine Abuse
When not taken as prescribed, benzodiazepine use can bring about a number of unpleasant signs and symptoms. These symptoms may differ depending on the length of abuse and the amount of the substance abused. These individuals may shop around to several different doctors to obtain more prescriptions and may display other drug-seeking behaviors.
The most common behavioral symptoms of benzodiazepine abuse include:
- Taking larger doses than intended, for than intended
- Forging prescriptions
- Avoiding friends and family Inability to meet expectations and responsibilities at work, school or home
- Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Feelings of detachment and apathy
- Anxiety and depression
The physical symptoms of benzodiazepine abuse include:
- Increased respiratory infections
- Double vision
- Muscle weakness
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
Other symptoms can include memory impairment an confusion, which can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks at work, school or home. Individuals may develop a slower rate of thinking and reaction time, which can make certain jobs impossible.