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Tranquilizer Dependence – Signs of Tranquilizer Use Vs. Abuse, Tolerance

Are Tranquilizers Addictive?

How addictive are tranquilizers? Tranquilizers, also known as CNS depressants, can be highly addictive. How addictive a tranquilizer is depends on the drug family it belongs to. Tranquilizers that are barbiturates (such as mephobarbital) or benzodiazepines (such as diazepam) can be extremely addictive. Newer medications that have tranquilizing effects, such as zolpidem or zaleplon, appear to be less addictive and possibly less prone to abuse. Barbiturates are often prescribed to induce sleep. Benzodiazepines are usually prescribed to reduce anxiety. Sometimes tranquilizers are taken alone. Some who abuse tranquilizers mix them with other drugs, especially stimulants. These stimulants may be legal drugs that are being improperly used or illegal drugs, such as heroin or cocaine. Street names for tranquilizers include bennies, moggies, benzos, and tranks. It is possible to overcome tranquilizer addiction with proper help. To learn more, call 1-888-803-9961 Who Answers?.

Understanding Tranquilizer Dependency and Tolerance

prescription-drugsTranquilizer dependence can be both physical and psychological. Tranquilizers work by affecting your brain’s neurotransmitters, which are the chemicals inside the brain that help individual brain cells communicate. In particular, tranquilizing drugs act on the GABA neurotransmitter, making it stronger. Because GABA’s natural function is to reduce the brain’s activity, this causes a great decrease in brain activity.

If you abuse tranquilizers, you may experience physical dependence on them. Symptoms of physical dependence might include irritability and inability to sleep restfully without the aid of tranquilizers. You may also experience a feeling of psychological dependence on the drug; that is, you may feel you cannot sleep or relax without it. Tolerance for the effects of tranquilizers can begin to develop even after only a few weeks of treatment and is characterized by the reduced effectiveness of an unchanging tranquilizer dosage. As your tolerance for tranquilizers increases, you will need more and more to achieve the same physical effects. This is especially true if you are taking more than a normal prescription dose.

Effects/Side Effects

When you ingest tranquilizers, you may feel several types of effects. You may feel as though you are floating. You may become confused. You will not be able to safely operate a vehicle. You may feel very relaxed; you may even fall asleep for a lengthy period of time. The rate of your heartbeat and breathing will decrease, and you may have difficulty concentrating. It is likely that you will experience dulled emotional responses. When coming down from tranquilizers, you may have trouble sleeping normally. You may feel increased anxiety, restlessness, or depression. You might feel abnormally active, as though you cannot relax. Feelings of confusion and slowed reflexes can persist for days after ingesting the drug.

Long-term effects of tranquilizers can include irritability, inability to sleep well, and even aggressiveness. This happens as your tolerance, as well as your dependency, grows. Tranquilizer side effects also include respiratory distress, respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, and death, particularly if tranquilizer is combined with other drugs, such as cold medicine, other depressants, or alcohol.  Tranquilizers can also cause rashes, dizziness, and nausea. During pregnancy, tranquilizers can result in birth defects, such as cleft lip. Babies born to a mother addicted to tranquilizers may be born with drug buildup in their systems, making it hard for them to eat and sleep normally and putting them at risk for respiratory problems.

Withdrawal and Detoxification

treatmentWithdrawal from tranquilizers can be unpleasant but is manageable. Withdrawal symptoms may include seizures, which is why it is important to confront your tranquilizer addiction only under the supervision of a medical doctor. You may also become irritable or have trouble sleeping. It is possible that you experience tremors. There is help available to control these symptoms. Call 1-888-803-9961 Who Answers? or fill out a form request for information to begin the process.

Treatment for Tranquilizer Addiction

Tranquilizer abuse treatment is multifaceted. During treatment, physical, emotional, and mental aspects of addiction will be addressed, including the issues that led to tranquilizer abuse. Counseling, which can be either in the form of inpatient or outpatient treatment, is an important component of treatment for tranquilizer addiction. Sometimes cognitive behavior therapy is used to help a patient avoid a relapse of tranquilizer abuse. This is a therapy that helps patients alter their thinking patterns and expectations to increase their coping skills. Physical treatment will include monitoring withdrawal symptoms and treating those symptoms as necessary.