Benzo overdoses occur when someone takes more than the recommended dose or mixes it with another drug, typically alcohol. Benzos are meant to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures, alcohol withdrawal, and panic attacks. But they are also addictive, and like any other illicit substance, they can be dangerous when misused. Benzos treat severe anxiety, epileptic seizures, panic attacks, and withdrawal symptoms from central nervous system depressants, particularly alcohol. They do a lot of good, allowing people who might otherwise not function properly to live productive lives. Benzodiazepines are sedatives, and when mixed with another sedative like alcohol, the combination can lead to an overdose. If you are having trouble with benzos, you may want to contact a benzo addiction treatment program.
Signs of a Benzo Overdose
The signs of a benzo overdose will differ from person to person, and various factors will decide how the signs manifest themselves. This will range from the duration of use to degree of dosage and be determined by a person’s unique physiology. However, there are some shared signs of abuse. The following are signs of a benzo overdose:
- Confusion and disorientation
- Blurred vision
- Breathing troubles
- Bluish lips and fingernails
- Uncoordinated movements
- Muscle damage
- Brain damage
If the person is unconscious, roll them on their side, so they do not choke on their vomit.
Some of the Risk Factors Associated with a Benzo Overdose
Some factors will increase the likelihood that you could overdose on benzos. People who have been using benzos for some time will have built up a tolerance for them. This may occur after 4-6 months of daily use. Some wrongly think that since their doctor prescribed them, they are safe. Other factors include:
- Overmedicating with the drug
- More frequent use than prescribed
- Injecting benzos
- Mixing benzos with other central nervous system depressants, which include alcohol, opioids, and barbiturates
Medical Intervention for Benzo Detox
It is not advisable to detox from benzos without medication-assisted therapy. Under a doctor’s supervision, you will be administered drugs to counteract the symptoms of withdrawal. One of the drugs used is buspirone. Buspirone is used to treat those with a generalized anxiety disorder who also have a substance abuse problem. Some of the emotional side effects of withdrawal can be alleviated without becoming physically dependent on the drug. Buspirone takes 2-3 weeks of use before its effects can be experienced. Flumazenil is used to treat benzo overdoses but has shown to be effective in reducing withdrawal symptoms. It blocks benzos’ effects and attaches itself to the same pleasure receptors as benzos. It is also used to elicit rapid detox but must be carefully monitored as rapid detox can be very painful.
Reach Out to San Antonio Recovery Center Today
Benzos are meant to treat anxiety, but they can be abused, and the consequences may be an overdose. When combined with another sedative, you can start slipping away without even realizing it. And by the time you do, it may be too late. In recent years the number of overdose deaths due to benzos has quintupled. Prescription medication is more prevalent in people’s homes than ever before, and drugs like Xanax and Valium can be found in many medicine cabinets. If you use benzos under a doctor’s supervision, keep them safely away from those who might abuse them. At San Antonio Recovery Center, we emphasize the 12 steps and use a mix of evidence-based and holistic approaches to serving our clients. We are a welcoming, safe, and comfortable facility. We can be reached online or at 866.957.7885 for you to take the first step on your journey to wellness and recovery.