Benzodiazepines are a category of psychiatric medications that work on specific neurotransmitters in the brain to produce a calming effect. They are used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, seizures, and sleep disorders. When taken as prescribed and to treat specific conditions, these medications aren’t typically dangerous, but there is the potential for benzodiazepine addiction when they are abused. It’s even more dangerous when teens are using them.
Teen benzodiazepine addiction is a serious and growing problem that can have significant consequences on a young person’s health, mental well-being, and ability to function. If you or a loved one is concerned about teen benzo addiction, reach out to The Right Step at 17135283709. We offer benzo addiction treatment for teens that is tailored to their unique needs and goals. Our goal is to help teens recover from benzodiazepine addiction and get back on track to living a healthy, fulfilling life.
Why Is There So Much Teen Benzodiazepine Addiction?
Adolescence is an emotionally challenging time, and teens may seek benzodiazepines from the medicine cabinets of parents or relatives to escape the stresses of everyday life. Teen benzo addiction often starts as a way for struggling teens to cope with stress, anxiety, or social pressures. Many teens turn to drugs and alcohol to escape negative feelings or situations in their lives. Still, these substances can make things worse in the long run by increasing anxiety and worsening depression symptoms.
Some other risk factors for teen benzodiazepine addiction include:
· Co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD
· Peer pressure and social pressures to use drugs and alcohol
· Past trauma or abuse that may be triggering substance abuse to cope
· A family history of addiction issues
Common signs of benzodiazepine abuse in teens include a decline in academic performance, problems at home or school, changes in relationships with friends and family members, difficulty concentrating or feeling foggy, and strange or unusual behaviors.
Dangers and Side Effects of Benzodiazepines
Teenagers often perceive benzodiazepines or other prescription drugs as safer than street drugs. Still, these medications can be very dangerous, especially when mixed with other sedating drugs such as painkillers or alcohol. Medications in this category include Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan. Side effects of benzodiazepines include:
- Impaired coordination
Taken regularly, these medications can become habit-forming or addictive. When benzodiazepines are taken in high doses, they can lead to confusion, blurred vision, slurred speech, and difficulty breathing.
Overcoming Benzodiazepines Addiction
Teens who feel overwhelmed by challenges at home or school are at risk of experimenting with drugs that can alter their mood or perception. If benzodiazepines are readily available at home, teens may be tempted to experiment with these medications. Taking them regularly can cause physical and psychological dependence. Once dependence has developed, trying to stop can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and feelings of depression. If physical dependence on benzodiazepines has developed, it’s important not to try to stop cold turkey. Stopping abruptly can lead to seizures, muscle cramps, and tremors. These medications should be tapered off gradually with the help of a medical professional, and it’s even more important to get professional help if other substances are also being abused at the same time. Treatment for benzodiazepine addiction, either through residential rehab or outpatient counseling, is also available and helps promote long-term sobriety.
Find Help for Teen Benzo Addiction at The Right Step
While benzodiazepine abuse in teens can seem overwhelming and hopeless, recovery is always possible. At The Right Step in Texas, our teen addiction treatment programs are designed to help struggling teens lead the lives they deserve. Contact us at 17135283709 to learn more.