Anxiety is a common ailment in our society.
This hard to define malady affects millions of people in many different ways. Some people report acute cases of anxiety, where a crippling feeling emerges at certain times, like a public speaking engagement or a new job. Other people feel some level of anxiety all the time, preventing them from interacting with people or expanding their careers.
In order to combat anxiety, many doctors prescribe benzodiazepine medication with the goal being improved functionality. There are also uses for benzodiazepines such as these for alcohol withdrawal, in tapered dosages for a limited time period.
Unfortunately, the prescriptions for anti-anxiety medication have a high potential for abuse. Many people innocently go to their doctor for a solution to their anxiety, and have no idea that they will become physically, mentally and emotionally dependent on the very thing that was meant to give them freedom. Xanax and Klonopin are two of the most popular anti-anxiety drugs on the market, with Ativan and Librium not far behind.
Surprisingly, the most prevalent side effect of dependence on these drugs is more severe anxiety.
When users stop taking these medications or skip a dose, the withdrawal symptoms set in. Withdrawal symptoms from Xanax are: anxiety, depression, insomnia, hallucinations, extreme cravings and in some cases – seizures. Furthermore, anxiety sufferers may find themselves needing to increase their dosage over time to continue to get the same effect. These drugs are so powerful that many people seek them out to obtain a euphoric feeling, and they have developed their own street market value. In addition to those who suffer from anxiety, addicts all over the United States are taking Xanax, Klonopin and other benzodiazepine drugs for the sole purpose of feeling high.
Pairing these drugs with opiates like Oxycontin or heroin is also on the rise
This dangerous combination is responsible for thousands of overdose deaths in our country. Young adults are especially affected by the dangers of anti-anxiety medications. A recent study by the University of Michigan School of Nursing shows that children that are prescribed these types of medications are more likely to develop addictions later in life. For those who are currently taking a drug like Xanax, their chances for drug addiction are even higher. Researchers found that women are more susceptible to this phenomenon than males; however, teenagers, in general, are at risk when prescribed powerful drugs at such a young age.
Although there certainly is a need for these and other medications in society, many fear that we are teaching our youth to mask their problems with a chemical instead of learning to develop a healthy relationship with their feelings. In a culture that has a pill for everything, it is not surprising that drug addiction continues to be a problem.
At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we work with clients who have become dependent on substances to better recognize some of the underlying factors of conditions such as anxiety and addiction.
As a result, more of them are able to avoid falling back into the routines that led them to their substance abuse problems in the first place. The following is an unscripted testimonial from a guest of Gulf Breeze Recovery’s non-12 step holistic drug and alcohol treatment program who overcame a serious benzo addiction.
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