Benzodiazepine addiction

Benzodiazepines, commonly prescribed to alleviate anxiety, insomnia, and seizures, have gained notorious recognition as both a blessing and a curse. Behind their tranquil façade lies the sad truth that countless lives are captured by the seductive allure of tranquillity, ultimately leading to the treacherous path of benzodiazepine addiction.

This captivating phenomenon demands exploration and understanding as we delve into the intricate web of physiological and psychological implications that surround this addiction.


Benzo addiction - pills

What are benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines, often referred to as “benzos,” are a class of psychoactive drugs that work by enhancing the activity of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is responsible for enhancing or reducing the activity of nerve cells, thereby pushing a sense of calmness.

Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed medications used to treat various conditions such as anxiety disorders, panic attacks, insomnia, muscle spasms, and even epilepsy.

Benzodiazepines come in various forms and strengths, such as:

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While benzodiazepines can be highly effective when used as prescribed and for short periods, they also carry a high risk of addiction, with an estimated 44% of benzodiazepine users becoming addicted, making them a subject of both medical necessity and concern.

How do you first get addicted to a benzodiazepine drug?

Benzodiazepine addiction is a complex and concerning issue, and understanding the development of this addiction can be a crucial step in order to address and combat its harmful effects.

Examples of why benzodiazepine addiction develops:

  • Tolerance and increased dosage: Prolonged benzodiazepine desensitises brain receptors, requiring higher doses for desired effects. Some individuals exceed prescribed doses seeking initial relief or euphoria, increasing the risk of dependence and addiction.
  • Reward cycle in the brain: Benzodiazepines stimulate the release of dopamine, a pleasure-associated neurotransmitter, creating a pleasurable response that reinforces the desire to continue using these medications. This cycle of reward-seeking behaviour can contribute to the development of addiction, as individuals are driven to seek the pleasurable effects associated with using benzodiazepine.
  • Fear of withdrawal symptoms: A sudden discontinued use of benzodiazepines can result in the onset of withdrawal symptoms, which can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. The fear of experiencing distressing withdrawal effects, such as tremors, anxiety and muscle aches, becomes a driving force for individuals to persist in their use of benzodiazepines.
  • Influencing factors: Factors contributing to benzodiazepine addiction include genetic predisposition, underlying mental health conditions, history of substance abuse, and environmental influences. These factors increase the risk of developing an addiction to benzodiazepines.

It is necessary to recognise the signs of benzodiazepine addiction and seek professional help to address the issue effectively if you suspect you or a loved one may be affected by benzodiazepine.


Benzo addiction - depressed man


Signs of benzodiazepine addiction

Individuals grappling with benzodiazepine addiction often exhibit a tendency to deny the need for assistance. This resistance to acknowledging the problem can pose a significant challenge when it comes to seeking appropriate help and support.

However, recognising the signs of benzodiazepine addiction is a crucial first step and can ultimately encourage individuals struggling with addiction to embrace the idea of professional help.

Signs of benzodiazepine addiction can manifest in various ways, with some common ones including:

  • Increased tolerance of benzodiazepine
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
  • Strong cravings and thoughts of benzodiazepine
  • Difficulty controlling the use of benzodiazepines
  • Prioritising benzodiazepine over personal, professional, or social obligations.
  • Withdrawing from social activities and relationships
  • Noticeable changes in mood, behaviour, or physical appearance
  • Continued use despite negative consequences

If you or a loved one is exhibiting more than one of these signs, it is recommended to speak to an addiction treatment specialist and consider benzodiazepine rehab to achieve sobriety.

Benzodiazepine addiction symptoms

Benzodiazepine addiction can have wide-ranging effects on various aspects of an individual’s life. These symptoms can be physical, psychological, social, and overall well-being.

Symptoms of benzodiazepine addiction include:

  • Physical health issues: Prolonged use of benzodiazepines can lead to physical health complications, such as drowsiness, dizziness, coordination problems, blurred vision, and impaired motor skills.
  • Mental and emotional impact: Benzodiazepine addiction can lead to significant psychological effects, including mood swings, depression, anxiety, irritability, and memory problems. Cognitive functions such as attention, concentration, and decision-making can also be affected.
  • Social problems: Addiction to benzodiazepines increases isolation, withdrawal from social activities, and conflicts due to erratic behaviour or drug-seeking and strains relationships with family, friends and colleagues.
  • Financial consequences: Financial difficulties may arise due to overspending on the drug or neglecting financial responsibilities. Benzodiazepine addiction can also affect work performance, resulting in absenteeism, decreased productivity, and possible job loss.
  • Risk of overdose: Misuse of benzodiazepines, particularly when combined with other substances like alcohol or opioids, increases the risk of overdose, which can be life-threatening.

Understanding and recognising the symptoms of benzodiazepine addiction is needed, as it can serve as a catalyst for deterring individuals from continued use and encouraging them to seek professional help.

Treatment of benzodiazepine addiction at Oasis Bradford

Overcoming benzodiazepine addiction is possible with the help of detox and rehab. At Oasis Bradford, we offer specialised treatment programmes and unwavering support. Our dedicated team is here to guide you through the recovery journey. But what exactly does the recovery process entail?

The first step – benzodiazepine detox

Benzodiazepine detox is the process of eliminating the drug from the body and is a crucial step towards recovering from benzodiazepine addiction.

During detox, you may experience withdrawal symptoms as your body adjusts to the absence of the drug. These symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe, emphasising the importance of undergoing detox under medical supervision.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines can vary in intensity and duration, depending on factors such as the specific benzodiazepine used, dosage, duration of use, and individual factors.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety and insomnia
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Muscle spasms and tremors
  • Headaches and sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Seizures

Undergoing benzodiazepine detox in a specialised treatment facility, such as Oasis Bradford, ensures that you will receive comprehensive care, including benzodiazepine withdrawal management and psychological support. We aim to maximise your safety and comfort throughout the detox process.


Benzo addiction - man with insomnia


Getting to the root of addiction – benzodiazepine rehab

After detox, benzodiazepine rehabilitation is the next stage. Rehab offers a transformative opportunity to heal by delving into the root causes of your addiction. Through this process, you will acquire the necessary skills and tools to live a life without benzodiazepine addiction.
Our qualified mental health professionals will guide you in shedding negative thoughts and behaviours while fostering a focus on positive ones.

Examples of the therapies provided at Oasis Bradford:

  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy – A highly effective therapeutic approach. DBT combines elements of cognitive-behavioural therapy with mindfulness techniques, emphasising the development of healthy coping strategies and emotional regulation skills. Through DBT, you will learn to identify negative thought patterns, manage intense emotions, and improve interpersonal relationships.
  • 12-Step – This approach fosters self-reflection, personal growth, and accountability, empowering individuals to take ownership of their recovery process through a structured framework. It offers a roadmap for navigating the challenges of benzodiazepine addiction and serves as a lifelong source of guidance and support beyond the treatment phase.
  • Group therapy – Engaging in group therapies, you will join a supportive community where your peers share their experiences and coping strategies. This fosters the development of empathy and a deeper understanding of your unique circumstances.


At Oasis Bradford, we understand that the journey of recovery is not without its temptations and challenges. That is why we are committed to offering continuous support to all our patients, even after they complete their rehab treatment. We provide a one-year free aftercare programme to ensure ongoing assistance throughout the recovery process.

Our available online sessions offer a safe space for individuals to discuss any issues they may encounter and receive professional guidance from our dedicated team. Additionally, as part of our aftercare programme, you will have the opportunity to join a network of social events and gatherings, fostering connections with others who have experienced similar journeys through our alumni programme. We are dedicated to being there for you every step of the way, even beyond your time at our benzodiazepine rehab facility.

What Is The Next Step?

You don’t have to face the challenges of benzodiazepine addiction on your own. Oasis Bradford is here to provide the support you need. Reach out to us today to share your concerns or explore our comprehensive treatment programmes.

Our experienced team is dedicated to guiding you through overcoming benzodiazepine addiction and empowering you to take that crucial first step towards a life of freedom and recovery. Contact us now, and let us help you on your journey to a brighter future.

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