Benzodiazepine Drug Abuse Information

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Benzodiazepines are a type of tranquilizer medication, such as Valium, Ativan, Klonopin and Xanax that can assist with treatment of anxiety, panic attacks, sleep disorders, and drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepines used along with narcotic pain relievers, including oxycodone, and/or alcohol, can enhance or boost the effects of these drugs. Emergency Rooms and treatment facility data shows that the abuse of benzodiazepines is common, due to their widespread availability, and has been rising steadily in the last decade. Individuals who co-abuse these drugs have reported more severe withdrawal symptoms than patients withdrawing from narcotic pain relievers alone. These drugs on the street have also been called: Benzo’s, Downers, and Nerve Pills.

PATIENTS AND FAMILIES:

Individuals need to be responsible with the usage, storage, and disposal of prescription drugs to prevent the potential abuse and trafficking of these medications. Family members and friends can be aware of warning signs, such as missing drugs, frequent borrowing of money, secrecy and personality changes.

NOTE: Medication Drop Boxes are located in the lobby of some local police departments to assist residents with a no questions asked, safe disposal site for old/unused medications and medicated lotions.  Needles and other sharp objects are not accepted.  For a list of available city/town locations in Connecticut, visit the 2-1-1 database: Medication Drop Box Disposal Sites

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF BENZODIAZEPINE ABUSE:

WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS:

For more detailed information and resources, visit these following sites:

Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (CTDMHAS) – http://www.ct.gov/dmhas/cwp/view.asp?a=2902&q=560348

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) –https://www.samhsa.gov/prescription-drug-misuse-abuse

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html

WebMD – http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/benzodiazepine-abuse#1

emedicinehealth – http://www.emedicinehealth.com/benzodiazepine_abuse/article_em.htm

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SOURCE: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (CTDMHAS); WebMD; emedicinehealth
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CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: July2017