/ / A New Kind of Addiction Epidemic: Are We On the Verge of a Crisis?

A New Kind of Addiction Epidemic: Are We On the Verge of a Crisis?

If you go all the way back to the dawn of human history, you will get reports of individuals who were addicted to substances or who overindulged in them. Those substances may have changed over time, but addiction behavior has not. It seems to be something that has always plagued humanity and will likely continue to do so.  

In the modern era, though, there is a new scourge that we need to be aware of, and it is benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms are particularly unpleasant, and they are nothing you ever want to go through. Those who have become addicted to these substances or who overuse them can always seek treatment, but it’s also worth knowing about this burgeoning crisis if you don’t personally use these drugs.

What Are Benzodiazepines?

These drugs are classified as depressants. There is not a single substance called benzodiazepine. Instead, this is a category of drugs that includes things like Libirum, Xanax, Paxipam, Ativan, Valium, Centrax, and many others.

These drugs can produce hypnosis and sedation. They can reduce seizures, and they can also relieve muscle spasms and anxiety.

They do have legitimate medical uses. Many doctors prescribe them for insomnia, anxiety, stress, or similar feelings.

These substances slow down the messages that travel between your brain and the rest of your body. Some people like the way they feel. Any time you have a situation like that, there is the possibility of abuse or even addiction.  

How Serious of an Issue Is This?

Benzos, as they are sometimes known, have been around since the 1970s. There has always been the possibility of abuse with them, but in recent years, some doctors feel they have been overprescribed.

It’s not surprising that in the early stages of the 21st century, more people report feeling stressed or anxious than ever before. There’s political upheaval, war, alarming climate reports and weather events, and many more reasons for a higher baseline of anxiety.

Whatever the reason for an individual’s consternation, though, they may come to rely on the feeling of relaxation that comes when they consume something like Xanax or Valium. It’s also easier to get these drugs than you might think. While some turn to the streets to buy their drug of choice, others are able to get irresponsible doctors to prescribe them larger and larger amounts.  

What Can You Do to Stay Away from This Problem?

The obvious answer to avoid getting hooked on a drug is to never start doing it, but that’s overly reductive. If you feel anxious and a therapist or doctor tells you to try Valium or a similar drug, you need to monitor your use very carefully.

Even if you find that it works, you must use it sparingly. You can’t come to be reliant on these sorts of drugs. If you do, you’re one step closer to abuse or even addiction.

Responsible individuals should only use benzodiazepines as their doctor tells them to. This is the key to avoiding problematic behaviors.

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