Benzos: A Whole New Generation of Dangerous ‘Mother’s Little Helpers’

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Way back in the 1960s, the Rolling Stones did a song about an already epidemic problem, addiction to tranquilizers. The song is entitled Mother’s Little Helper. While many people thought it was about all kinds of tranquilizers, in reality they were referring to a specific pharmaceutical that gained prominence among physicians during the 1950s. The name of the drug was Miltown and it was used for everything from anxiety to detox from alcohol. Unfortunately, Miltown also led to addiction of another sort. Today, benzodiazepines are most often prescribed instead of Miltown for their tranquilizing effect but the risk of addiction is just as high, if not higher.

What Are the Most Common Benzodiazepines?

The most common benzo on the market today is alprazolam, Xanax. However, other common benzos include such pharmaceuticals as:

* Diazepam – Valium

* Lorazepam – Ativan

* Temazepam – Restoril

* Clonazepam – Klonopin

Throughout the decades each of these has been prescribed more or less often than others but they are all in a common class of tranquilizing/sedating drugs that are now sold commonly on the black market, adding to the problem of addiction in the United States.

How Addictive Are Benzos?

Benzos are among the most addictive drugs on the market today and as a result, many doctors simply refuse to prescribe them anymore. According to research, the problem resides in the fact that benzodiazepines act on receptors in the brain called GABA-A (gamma-aminobutyric acid-A) receptors. Benzo detox becomes necessary when negative chloride ions are not being released into the neurons within the brain, causing the person to go into withdrawal. The release of these chloride ions helps to prevent the person from getting overstimulated or excited. When the drug is cut off, the person will become even more highly agitated than they originally were which results in the addiction. They literally, in the moment, need the benzo to function ‘normally.’

How Is Benzo Addiction Treated?

georgia_detoxThere are a number of ways in which addiction to benzodiazepines is treated but the important thing to be aware of is that professional intervention and medical assistance may be required. You can find information here that will help you learn about the various ways in which benzo addiction is treated, typically starting with a benzo detox period. This is when medical help is most often needed as the body begins going through withdrawal that could, indeed, be life-threatening if the addiction is severe. It has long been known that many pharmaceutical tranquilizers and sedatives are addictive. Even 50 years ago when the Rolling Stones recorded Mother’s Little Helper there was a problem in both the UK and the US of epidemic proportions prompting them to write the song.

While some patients do have a real psychological and even physiological need for tranquilizers and/or sedatives, this is one class of drug that is way over-prescribed. If you or a loved one finds that you are addicted to benzos, seek help immediately. It may not be an easy road to follow and you may be fighting an uphill battle but with help you can kick the addiction. The first step is to admit the problem and seek help – one day at a time, a new beginning.

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