Dependence alone shouldn’t be an issue when it comes to mind-altering drugs. After all, the whole point of these drugs is to correct a deficit. Stop taking them, and that deficit will reveal itself once again. Benzos, however, can sometimes cause impairment even when taken as instructed.
In the short-term, this class of drugs is typically effective for therapeutic purposes. But long-term use can alter one’s cognitive function, physical health, and mental well-being in ways that can be difficult to reverse.
Most of us know that quitting a mind-altering drug cold-turkey is a bad idea. Even without quitting benzos, long-term use can lead to a range of issues. These include:
– emotional clouding
– flu-like symptoms
– memory impairment
– changes in personality
– mood issues.
Understanding the Risks
Not all benzo users experience these symptoms, but a large number do. In fact, these symptoms are reported so frequently, and with such intensity, that benzodiazepine treatment has become controversial in both the medical community and in politics. Proactive researchers and politicians challenge the use of benzo treatment for the same reason they challenge opiate treatment: The patient can do everything right and still end up sick because of the nature of the drugs.
The worst part is, patients are seldom told of these risks.
Doctors who determine that their patient should quit taking benzos will assign a weaning schedule, which, so long as the patient follows along compliantly, should minimize the adverse effects of prolonged use to a manageable degree within three to six months.
However, the psychological symptoms are harder to touch. Irritability, anger, depression, and other mood problems can linger for weeks or months in those who have used benzos for prolonged periods of time.
Sometimes, these symptoms can be so mild, and so fluctuating, that neither the patient nor the doctor realizes that prolonged benzo use is the cause. The added element of sneakiness makes these psychological conditions hard to treat. An essential part of treating a medical problem is to understand its root.
Is It Worth It?
We aren’t saying benzo treatment is inherently counterproductive. It’s practiced successfully all over the country for a number of important purposes, most notably the treatment of acute alcohol withdrawal. Whether the risks outweigh the potential benefits depends on the individual. Just know that the line is never a clear one. No reasonable doctor will ever paint it as such.
If you need clarity on your benzo prescription or have developed an addiction, ask our specialists by calling Treatment Now.
CALL US TODAY AT 844-438-8689!