List Of Benzodiazepines In The United States
Medically reviewed byIsaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC
January 29, 2019
Benzodiazepines, used for their sedative effects, pose a high risk of abuse and addiction. These drugs are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States and leave users at risk of several adverse health consequences.
Benzodiazepines are medications prescribed for their sedation effects. They may be used as sleeping aids or tranquilizers, in addition to a number of other uses, such as help with extreme anxiety.
Here is a list of all licit benzodiazepines in the United States by generic name:
- Bentazepam (Thiadipone)
Each marketed generic benzodiazepine may be available in several brands. Each medication may also be available in several different forms, which may be short-acting, medium-acting, or long-acting. For instance, extended-release tablet forms are long-acting.
The following are all current benzodiazepine brand names:
- Ambien CR
- Lorazepam Intensol
- Xanax XR
The most commonly abused benzodiazepines (by brand name), according to the Drug Enforcement Administration:
- Xanax XR
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Side Effects Of Benzodiazepine Abuse
Not everyone who takes benzodiazepines intends to abuse them. The drugs can be highly addictive, so they may cause addiction if not taken as prescribed, or if taken for longer than intended.
What are some examples of not taking a medication as prescribed? Abuse of a drug happens when you change the dosage, change how frequently you take it, or change the method of administration. Typically, when abusing a prescription drug, a person takes more of it, takes it more often, or changes the route of administration in an attempt to produce faster effects.
While this may seem harmless at the time, it can actually be quite dangerous. The effects of benzodiazepines (even the short-acting ones) are often intended to release slowly over time. These drugs produce calming effects by impairing motor functions. This means that when you take a higher dosage than you should, they can result in some adverse effects.
These effects can range from moderate to severe. The type and amount of effects you’ll experience with abuse also depend on a number of factors, such as the amount of drug abused, how often it was abused, and for how long (duration of abuse).
Potential side effects of benzodiazepine abuse include:
- Blurry vision
- Lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Troubles breathing
- In extreme cases, coma
Perhaps one of the worst side effects of benzodiazepine abuse, though, is the possibility of developing addiction. Addiction to prescription drugs comes with its own range of consequences, including effects on health, physical dependence, tolerance, and effects to personal and social life.
Consequences Of Prescription Drug Addiction
What are some consequences of abusing drugs like benzodiazepines? According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “increases in prescription drug misuse over the last 15 years are reflected in increased emergency room visits, overdose deaths associated with prescription drugs, and treatment admissions for drug use disorders, the most severe form of which is addiction.”
Why is this such an issue? Often, we don’t associate prescription drugs with the danger of abuse or addiction. If it’s prescribed by a doctor, we tend to trust it. But many prescription drugs, like benzodiazepines and opioids, have a high risk of abuse and addiction, and have to be taken with great care.
There is also the danger of developing further addiction. That’s because when you have developed addiction and your prescription runs out, you’ll feel an urgent need to replace the effects of the drugs that you’re missing. This need is what causes many people to seek illicit drugs to fill that void.
Also, as addiction forms, and you abuse the drug more and more, you may develop tolerance or no longer feel the effects of the drug when you take it. You may try to take more of the drug to get the same effects, and this increases your risk of overdose.
Even though you can’t feel the effects of the drug, your body can only process so much of it at a time. This is how overdose happens. Before you get to this point, it’s the safer and kinder route to get into treatment and get help. At RehabCenter.net, we can help you design a treatment plan that works for you, and direct you to the best rehab facilities available.
The Scope Of Prescription Drug Abuse
The scope of prescription drug abuse is vast in the United States. The combination of prescription drugs like benzodiazepines and opioids, among others, affects an estimated 54 million people age 12 and above nationwide, according to the NIDA.
In the 2014 National Survey of Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 2.1 million people had abused prescription drugs the past year for the first time. Women are especially affected, more so than men, and teens and young adults are at heightened risk.
Women tend to have more issues with chronic pain or mental health issues (such as anxiety or depression) and are more likely to seek medical help for these conditions, be prescribed medications, and subsequently develop abuse or addiction. Youth who abuse prescription drugs are likely to be at risk for development of other addiction, such as the illicit drug heroin, a cheap alternative to prescriptions.
With more medications being prescribed every day, it is necessary for us to get this problem under control. For those who are already struggling with abuse of prescription drugs like benzodiazepines, the most effective solution is treatment.
How Can Treatment Help?
You may be wondering how treatment can help addiction for a drug that is highly addictive. When you try to quit use of benzodiazepines, you may experience withdrawal symptoms—it’s the reason many who try to quit abuse of these drugs without help don’t succeed.
Withdrawal symptoms can be intense and uncomfortable and may include troubles sleeping, increased anxiety or tension, and panic attacks. It may seem easier to just keep abusing the drugs than suffer through withdrawal, but with medication-assisted treatment, you can safely detox from benzodiazepines.
Our rehab centers offer medication-assisted treatment for benzodiazepine withdrawal. Licensed, trained medical staff monitor withdrawal symptoms, gauge safe levels of benzodiazepines in the body, and watches you closely to help you manage uncomfortable symptoms. This process allows you to rid yourself of the substance so you can move on to treatment.
Our rehab centers also use a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. This means we integrate multiple treatment methods to ensure holistic healing. Addiction affects all aspects of your health, so treatment should work to heal them.
Some of our evidence-based treatment modalities include:
- Gender-specific treatment
- Treatment for teens
- Treatment for pregnant women
- Counseling: group, individual, and family
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Intervention services and support
- Nutrition and exercise guidance
- Adventure therapy
- Wilderness therapy
- Aftercare support
Find Help Today, Get Treatment For Benzodiazepine Abuse
Though benzodiazepines can help treat symptoms for many conditions, these medications present a high risk of addiction. Consequences of prescription drug abuse can affect not just your health, but all aspects of your life. If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate. Treatment is the best resource for addiction to prescription drugs, and it’s just a phone call or clicks away.
We can help you design a treatment plan that meets your specific needs, and find a rehab center that will work with you and give you the best opportunity to meet your goals. Contact us today at RehabCenter.net to learn more.Article Sources