Benzodiazepines, or sedatives, are usually prescribed to treat anxiety disorders and sleep disorders.
Though they are classified as Schedule IV drugs and therefore less likely to cause addiction in the user when taken as prescribed as compared to Schedule III or Schedule II substances, they are still addictive and those who abuse these drugs very often become dependent. When this occurs, professional detox and treatment is recommended.
Popularly Prescribed Benzodiazepines
- Valium (e.g., diazepam): Valium is prescribed to treat anxiety, panic attacks and acute reactions to stress.
- Xanax (e.g., alprazolam): Xanax, too, is prescribed to treat anxiety, panic attacks and acute reactions to stress.
- Halcion (e.g., triazolam): Halcion has a stronger sedative effect as compared to Valium and Xanax. It is often prescribed for the treatment of sleep disorders, but it is recommended that patients take the pills for just a short period of time.
- ProSom (e.g., estazolam): ProSom, too, is a prescription sedative used to help patients fall asleep and stay asleep but is only designed for short-term use.
In most cases, benzodiazepines are not considered a long-term solution to anxiety or sleep disorders due to their addictive nature. Patients are encouraged to utilize holistic treatment methods to address anxiety and disruptive sleep patterns.
Benzodiazepines are CNS depressants. That is, they work by slowing down the functions of the central nervous system. When experiencing extreme anxiety, a patient’s brain may trigger a physical response (e.g., rapid heart rate, increase in temperature, rapid breathing, etc.), thus use of benzodiazepines can slow those responses and help the patient to function normally. Similarly, when a patient is too wired to fall asleep or stay asleep, these medications can slow down the brain and body and allow the patient to have an easier time falling asleep.
Moving Forward with Effective Treatment
When benzodiazepines are abused chronically, benzo addiction can result. Because benzos are both physically and psychologically addictive, it is recommended that those who are dependent upon the pills seek professional help. A program that offers medical detox and long-term psychotherapeutic intervention is the best option when addressing benzodiazepine addiction. Contact us at the phone number listed above now to talk with one of our admissions coordinators about how we can help.
Further Reading About Popular Benzodiazepines
David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.
Reviewed by: Kim Chin and Marian Newton