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What Are the Signs of Benzo Abuse?

a woman struggles to conceal the signs of her benzo abuse

Every year, doctors in the U.S. write tens of millions of prescriptions for medications with an addictive potential. A significant portion of these prescriptions are written for sedatives classified as benzodiazepines (benzos). Benzodiazepines are not just widely prescribed. They’re widely misused and abused. In the long run, a pattern of abuse can make anyone a candidate for benzo addiction treatment. Do you think this may be the case for a friend or family member? You can clarify your concerns by staying alert to potential signs of benzo abuse and addiction. Contact Pride Institute at 888.408.1625 or online to learn more about our LGBTQ+ substance abuse treatment programs.

How Can You Misuse or Abuse a Benzo?

What does it mean to misuse a medication? In its most basic sense, the term refers to any form of medication use that’s not recommended or prescribed. The same actions can also be indicated by the older, less precise term prescription abuse.

Benzos are powerful sedatives designed for short-term use. Misuse or abuse of these medications can involve things such as:

  • Extending the duration of your use without your doctor’s knowledge and approval
  • Boosting the size of your benzo doses without clearance from your doctor
  • Taking someone else’s benzos, even if you have your own valid prescription

You may also try to hide your actual level of benzo intake by obtaining multiple prescriptions.

Benzo Abuse Vs. Benzo Addiction

Public health officials are moving away from the casual use of the term prescription abuse. Why? It can be confused with the official definition of substance abuse included under the condition called substance use disorder (SUD). This definition refers to substance use that doesn’t involve addiction but still does you serious harm.

Clinical addiction counts toward a SUD diagnosis. Addiction produces a range of symptoms. However, it has two key identifiers. First, it makes you compulsively acquire and use drugs or alcohol. In addition, it disrupts your ability to understand, acknowledge and care about the effects of your substance use. For multiple reasons, SUDs rates in the LGBTQ+ community exceed the average for the nation as a whole.

Looking for Problems – Spotting the Signs of Benzo Abuse

Benzo abuse often produces problems that can be observed by other people. Specific issues that may come to your attention include:

  • Difficulty speaking clearly
  • Poor muscle control and reflexes
  • Unusual difficulty remembering things
  • Unexplained sleepiness during the daytime
  • A declining ability to stay focused

Your friend or family member may also seem disoriented or confused.

Spotting Signs of Benzo Addiction

Addiction may occur if your loved one can’t control their medication intake. The same holds true if they disregard the obvious effects of benzo misuse on their health and well-being. In addition, your loved one may withdraw from social contact or center their daily routine around benzo use.

Your friend or family member may also be affected by benzo addiction symptoms. However, strictly speaking, these effects are not visible from the outside. As a result, they may go unreported or undetected. This fact helps explain why doctors specifically ask about benzo addiction symptoms when checking for indications of SUD.

Learn More About the Signs of Benzo Abuse With Help From Pride Institute

Benzo-related problems are relatively common in the LGBTQ+ community. Are you concerned that someone you love may be affected? Talk to the helpful professionals at Pride Institute. We’ll be happy to go over the potential indicators of benzo abuse. We can also provide more details on the common signs of benzo addiction.

Are you looking for inclusive benzo treatment for LGBTQ+ adults? Pride Institute is standing by with customized programs dedicated to serving the greater Minneapolis community. To learn more, just call us today at 888.408.1625 or complete our online contact form.