There are significant risks associated with the long-term effects of Benzo abuse. Benzo (Benzodiazepine) abuse can create serious health issues including drug dependence, as well as the possibility of adverse effects on cognitive function, physical health, and mental health. There are a number of harmful long term effects of Benzo abuse such as depression and flu-like symptoms especially during withdrawal. Due to these increasing physical and mental issues that are long-term effects benzo abuse, slowly weaning off the medication is recommended for long term users.
Common Symptoms of Physical Dependence
Some of the more common symptoms that could occur as long-term effects of Benzo abuse include:
- Emotional clouding
- Sleep problems
- Memory impairment
- Personality changes
- Social deterioration
- Employment difficulties
Long term effects of Benzo abuse also create an increased risk of impulsive, aggressive, and violent behavior patterns. According to a few recent studies:
- 53% of long-term Benzo users showed violent and aggressive characteristics.
- Daily users of benzodiazepines are also at a higher risk of experiencing psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations.
- Out of 42 patients treated with Xanax– up to 1/3 of long-term users develop depression.
An even more frightening factor in long-term effects of Benzo abuse is the increasing risk of death. Some speculate there is even a link between some forms of brain damage and immune system deficiencies as a result of long term effects of Benzo abuse.
Long Term Effects of Benzo Abuse: Withdrawal and Recovery
The long term effects of Benzo abuse frequently create a severe physical dependency. So like any other chemical or medicine, one should never abruptly stop using this medication and probably seek out a medical detox facility, to lower dose under doctor supervision until they are completely off the chemical, or to receive alternative treatment while being removed from that medication. Other long-term effects of Benzo abuse can include overdoses when combined with other drugs. In addition, Benzo’s have reinforcing properties which make them a very addictive drug, and physical dependency can be developed in a matter of weeks of continued use.
The withdrawal process in regards to long term effects of Benzo abuse creates a wide range of psychological and physiological disorders. It was found that, after several years of chronic benzodiazepine use, a large portion of patients developed problems through withdrawal that were not pre-existing conditions such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Increasing anxiety
- Panic attacks
Approximately half of patients attending mental health services for conditions including anxiety disorders are estimated to be the result of alcohol or benzodiazepine dependence. Sometimes anxiety disorders pre-date the alcohol or benzodiazepine dependence but these often act to keep the anxiety disorders going and even cause them to get progressively worse.
A person who is suffering the long term effects of Benzo abuse must treat the root issue of their drug dependency or they will not benefit from other therapies or medications. Recovery from long term effects of Benzo abuse tends to take a lot longer than recovery from alcohol abuse, but people can regain a healthy life-style. There are many great facilities and treatment programs with recovery plans specifically designed around the long term effects of Benzo abuse to help ease the weaning off the drugs and combating health issues.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135