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3 Causes of Benzo Addiction

woman looking out the window thinking about the causes of benzo addiction

Benzo addiction affects people across the country every day. People take these common prescription drugs for various symptoms, from insomnia to anxiety disorders. While benzos can be helpful in short-term use, long-term use can lead to addiction and a range of cognitive problems. Unfortunately, benzos can be highly addictive and easy to abuse. Benzo addiction treatment is the safest, most effective way to overcome benzo abuse.

If you or someone you love is struggling with benzo abuse, the team at A Better State can help. Our Hudson, NH clinic provides flexible outpatient care for clients across the New Hampshire area. Call us at 781.412.1488 to learn more about our benzo addiction treatment and other programs.

What Are Benzos?

Benzodiazepines or benzos are prescription drugs that slow down the brain and body by releasing high levels of GABA and dopamine. The way benzos work is they slow down the nervous system and bring feelings of calm, joy, and contentment. These feelings can help people go to sleep and calm their anxiety. They also make benzos highly addictive.

The brain makes both GABA and dopamine every day. However, when someone takes benzos, their brain will slowly stop making its own GABA and dopamine, leading to withdrawal and benzo addiction. Commonly prescribed benzos include:

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Restoril
  • Ativan
  • Klonopin
  • Librium
  • Dalmane

Many people take benzos for trouble sleeping or anxiety. The drug is designed for short-term relief and does not prevent symptoms from reoccurring when someone stops taking benzos. If someone takes benzos for more than a few weeks at a time, they can develop long-term effects.

Understanding Causes of Benzo Abuse and Addiction

When a person takes benzos, they immediately feel the effects of increased GABA and dopamine. These effects often make people think they cannot live without benzos. It is a normal reaction to increased levels of dopamine. For some, this can lead to benzo abuse. Types of abuse with benzos can include:

  • Taking more medication than prescribed
  • Mixing medications
  • Mixing medications with alcohol
  • Crushing pills
  • Filling multiple prescriptions from different doctors
  • Using someone else’s prescription

An increase in GABA and dopamine can cause long-term effects on the brain. Long-term effects of benzos include:

  • Slower metal processing
  • Trouble following conversations
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty speaking and understanding language
  • Trouble understanding objects, scenarios, and the world around you

When benzos change a person’s brain, they struggle to understand objects in space. Reality can confuse, overwhelm, and cause a range of effects. When someone stops taking benzos, they often experience a “rebound” effect. When this happens, a person’s initial symptoms like anxiety and insomnia will return and worsen. The return of these initial symptoms can lead many people to keep using and abusing benzos. Dopamine, rebound effects, and a lack of other treatment options are the leading causes of benzo addiction today.

Outpatient Benzo Addiction Treatment Programs in New Hampshire

Unfortunately, benzos are highly addictive and easy to abuse because they ease insomnia and anxiety. Many people struggle with sleep, stress, worry, and anxiety disorders in today’s stressful world. At least half of people struggling with addiction have co-occurring disorders like anxiety, depression, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. Benzos may temporarily relieve but do not treat the root causes of insomnia and anxiety.

At A Better State, we treat addiction differently. Our holistic approach to benzo abuse and addiction can help clients find the root causes of benzo addiction and provide treatment through a range of traditional and alternative therapies. With a range of outpatient programs, our clinic provides clients with flexible care without affecting their daily schedules. We know that benzo addiction is treatable, and we are here to help with dual diagnosis, mental health, and recovery.

Get Started at A Better State Today

Call us at 781.412.1488 to learn more about our programs and get started with understanding the causes of benzo addiction and discovering the right treatment for you at A Better State.