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Benzodiazepine Misuse and Addiction

Benzodiazepines are some of the most common medications doctors prescribe to treat sleep and anxiety disorders.1 Some prescription medications, including benzos, can be addictive, especially if misused.2 People who engage in prescription drug misuse, including benzo misuse, can suffer from health consequences and dangers, including addiction, overdose, and overdose death.2
This article will help you understand benzo addiction, how it’s diagnosed, the adverse effects associated with benzo misuse, benzos and polysubstance misuse, and how to find treatment for benzodiazepine addiction.

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are a class of medications that fall into the category of central nervous system (CNS) depressants.3 They act by calming an overactive CNS and can have anxiolytic, sedative, hypnotic, anticonvulsant, and muscle-relaxing effects.1,3 Benzos can produce drowsiness, reduce anxiety, induce sleep, and reduce muscle spasms and seizures.3

Diagnosing Benzo Addiction

Only a qualified mental health or medical professional can diagnose addiction. Someone who is addicted to benzos will be diagnosed with a sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic use disorder.9 Professionals use diagnostic criteria from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, (DSM-5) to guide their diagnosis.


Adverse Effects of Benzo Use

Using benzos may result in a variety of adverse effects including:3

  • Confusion.
  • Headache.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Movement and memory problems.
  • Lowered blood pressure.

Individuals in rehab participate in group and/or individual therapy sessions to recognize and address the underlying causes of their addiction.

Treatment Options

Addiction may feel overwhelming and difficult to deal with, but it is a treatable disease.7

If you are struggling with benzo abuse or suspect that you have an addiction, it is important to get help before things become worse. You can talk to your doctor, who can provide an evaluation and refer you to treatment, or search for treatment facilities in your area. Different types of benzo addiction treatment are available.

Benzodiazepine Misuse and Addiction FAQs:


Find Out If Your Insurance Plan Covers Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment

American Addiction Centers can help people recover from benzodiazepine misuse and substance use disorders (SUDs). To find out if your insurance covers treatment at an American Addiction Centers facility, click here, or fill out the form below. Your information is kept 100% confidential. You can also click here to find a rehab near me.

If you would like more information about addiction treatment options available in your area, contact American Addiction Center’s helpful admissions navigators at for a free, private consultation today.