Many people wonder why and how other people got addicted to drugs in the first place. For most individuals, consuming drugs is just another technique of altering consciousness. It is not dissimilar from various other leisure activities; the most popular medication used is a benzodiazepine.
However, for the relatively small percentage of people who develop more obsessive drug-using tendencies, drug use is not simply about having fun, relaxing, or ‘partying.’ It is also about achieving a sense of control over one’s own body. It frequently serves a more profound goal, such as assisting in enhancing identity and acceptance and reducing psychological pain or a sense of alienation, among other things.
It is critical to understand why young people may choose to use alcohol and other drugs and analyze these reasons in the context of youth and young people’s cultural identities. Good thing there is a benzodiazepine antidote.
What Is Benzodiazepine?
One of the most commonly used sedatives or anxiolytic medications is benzodiazepines. Commonly, people with anxiety disorder and panic disorder use it. Their action mechanism influences neurotransmitters referring to substances from nerves that connect with neighboring nerves.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter that dampens neuronal activity. It is one of these neurotransmitters. Benzodiazepines can diminish the activity of nerves in the brain and spinal cord through boosting the actions of GABA. It has also been linked to anxiety and other psychological illnesses.
Benzodiazepine Toxicity Symptoms
Oral benzodiazepines (BZDs) overdoses rarely result in substantial morbidity or mortality (e.g., aspiration pneumonia, rhabdomyolysis). The majority of severe side effects and emergency department visits associated with BZD occur due to the simultaneous use of other medications. BZDs can enhance the sedative-hypnotic impact of alcohol or other sedative-hypnotics in combined overdoses. BZDs administered intravenously are associated with a greater degree of respiratory depression.
Propylene glycol toxicity is dangerous for patients receiving extended parenteral treatment of BZDs (the diluent for parenteral formulations of diazepam and lorazepam). Although uncommon, hypotension, cardiac dysrhythmias, lactic acidosis, convulsions, or coma may follow.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms may include anxiety, irritability, confusion, seizures, and sleep difficulties in long-term users who have acquired dependence.
In addition to addiction and misuse, benzodiazepine use presents the following dangers:
Inability to think clearly. Adverse effects of benzodiazepines, including sleepiness, an increased reaction time, ataxia, and motor incoordination, are immediate. Furthermore, long-term usage may cause significant cognitive deterioration that remain unresolved three months after quitting.
Accidents involving cars and trucks are common. Driving while under the influence of benzodiazepine is precisely as risky as driving while intoxicated with a BAC ranging from 0.040 to 0.079 percent. Alcohol levels above 0.08 percent are prohibited in all states.
Trauma to the hip. Benzodiazepines more than double an older adult’s risk of hip fracture. Benzodiazepines can double an older adult’s risk of hip fracture. It was found that in people over 65, zolpidem increased their risk of hip fracture by 2.55 times in research involving 43,343 participants.
Benzodiazepine Side Effects
For each specific benzodiazepine, the side effects can be slightly varied and be lessened with benzodiazepine antidotes. You may or may not experience these adverse effects depending on how your body responds to the medicine.
Benzodiazepines have a wide range of adverse effects, including:
- unsteadiness (especially in older people, who may fall and experience injuries)
- slurred speech
- muscle weakness
- memory problems
- nausea (feeling sick)
- dry mouth
- blurred vision
Benzodiazepines have several less common adverse effects, such as:
- low blood pressure
- increased saliva production
- digestive disturbances
- sight problems, such as double vision
- tremors (shaking)
- changes in sexual desire
- incontinence (loss of bladder control)
- difficulty urinating
Benzodiazepine Reversal Medication
Flumazenil is an excellent benzodiazepine reversal agent. Hence, it can be used as a benzodiazepine antidote in case of overdose or patient’s induction of anesthesia.
In some cases, flumazenil can be used as a diagnostic tool, avoiding the need for artificial breathing and other intrusive treatments. Flumazenil is safe and effective. Also, it can be an antidote for benzodiazepine toxicity. There is still some debate about its role in the onset of seizures in the context of a combination tricyclic antidepressant-benzodiazepine overdose.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Effects
In addition to sleep disturbances, withdrawal symptoms include irritability, increased tension and anxiety, panic attacks, hand tremor, sweating, concentration difficulties, dry retching, nausea, weight loss, and palpitations. Seizures and psychotic responses happen in the high-dosage group. However, withdrawal from standard benzodiazepine dosage can cause a variety of symptoms.
On the other hand, rebound anxiety and sleeplessness occurs 1-4 days after withdrawal, depending on the drug’s half-life. The second pattern is a full-blown withdrawal syndrome that lasts 10-14 days. The third pattern is a return of anxiety symptoms until initiating treatment. Physiological reliance on benzodiazepines can develop with extended therapeutic doses. However, it is unknown how many people will produce withdrawal symptoms.
It is also unknown how long or how much exposure to these medicines is required to develop physiological dependence. Withdrawal from high doses of short-acting benzodiazepines appears to be harsher. Alcohol or other sedative dependence may enhance the likelihood of benzodiazepine dependence. The relative misuse potential of different benzodiazepines is challenging to determine.
Which is used to treat benzodiazepine toxicity?
The most crucial thing to do at home is to admit there is a problem and seek help. Furthermore, recognizing the signs and symptoms of abuse helps. The next step for benzodiazepine intoxication is to get the person’s benefit. Accomplish this through your physician or by contacting one of several local drug abuse support lines.
Benzodiazepine Abuse Medical Treatment
There are different types of medication and treatment for benzodiazepine such as:
1. Acute benzodiazepine toxicity. The kind of drugs and the amount taken determines the type of treatment. As with any other medicine, excessive use of benzodiazepines can also lead to respiratory depression and even death. If you or someone you know appears drunk after taking benzodiazepines, you should seek immediate medical assistance.
2. Chronic benzodiazepine abuse. It is possible to do treatment for chronic abuse at home with the assistance of a physician for benzodiazepine toxicity treatment. The first step is to taper off benzodiazepines to avoid withdrawal and seizures gradually. It is critical to get medical guidance before discontinuing benzodiazepines, as doing so abruptly can be harmful.
Frequently, this is considerably simpler than the lengthy rehabilitation phase during which the individual seeks to remain drug-free. Along with medical care, someone who abuses these medications often requires social support and assistance with housing and work. Indeed, one’s family and friends can be pretty beneficial during this trying time.
In conclusion, it is unknown how long-term benzodiazepine use fits into current medical practice. Many patients underestimate the extent to which benzodiazepines affect their ability to function. Benzodiazepines may cause increased risk of addiction, withdrawal, cognitive impairment, motor vehicle accidents, and hip fracture.
When coupled with sedative medicines such as opioids or alcohol, the danger of overdose increase significantly. There are excellent benzodiazepine addiction treatments and benzodiazepine antidotes accessible. Hence, do not be afraid to seek assistance from Root Through Recovery to safely alleviate the tension associated with recurrent, unwanted benzodiazepine withdrawal.