Tolerance, addiction and withdrawal
Benzodiazepines, as with other psychoactive substances, can create tolerance. That means that the body gets used to a substance and becomes less sensitive to its effects. Thus, to feel the same effects as the first times, one is pushed to:
- Increase the number of uses
- Increase the dosage at each use
There is also a risk of developing an addiction to benzodiazepines. This addiction can be psychological since benzodiazepines relieve unpleasant symptoms (anxiety, insomnia…). Some may find such pleasure that they keep looking to replicate the experience more often and more intensely to the point that they cannot live without it.
Besides a psychological addiction, due to its effects, benzodiazepines can also create a physical addiction. This means that a sudden decrease or complete stop can cause withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle pain
In fact, these symptoms resemble those for which it was prescribed in the first place. Less frequently, more severe withdrawal symptoms can appear, such as:
For all these reasons, people who use benzodiazepines in copious quantities and/or for a prolonged period, will need medical attention to cease their treatment. A doctor can prepare a plan to gradually decrease the doses which will limit withdrawal symptoms.
Asking for help
Our team regularly receives calls for help regarding problematic benzodiazepine use. If your benzodiazepine use, or that of a loved one, is troubling you, contact us. Call us at 1-800-265-2626 or chat with us, bottom right. We can provide you with support, personalized information and referrals to resources suited to your needs. Our services are available 24/7.