Benzos and Drinking: Know the Risks

Benzodiazepines are a class of medications used to treat anxiety disorders. In some instances, benzodiazepines are prescribed to treat alcohol withdrawal. These medications work quickly to calm panic, withdrawal, and anxiety. Common benzodiazepines are Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, and Valium.

Unfortunately, abuse of benzodiazepines have been on the rise in recent years. Benzodiazepines can cause physical dependence, especially if abused. Withdrawal from benzos can be fatal. Withdrawal is similar to alcohol withdrawal and cause serious medical complications. While benzodiazepines have legitimate medical uses, if you’re in recovery, there are alternative anxiety medications to take. Non-benzodiazepine medications do not cause physical dependence and don’t have withdrawal effects.

If you are prescribed benzodiazepines, you need to be honest with your doctor or psychiatrist about how often you use the medication. Benzodiazepines are a type of medication known as PRN- or take as needed. Alcohol should never be consumed when taking benzodiazepines. Alcohol and benzos are not a good combination.

Benzodiazepines are generally intended to be prescribed short term. Unfortunately, many people take benzodiazepines long term. A common non-benzo anxiety medication is buspirone. Certain antidepressants can also treat panic and anxiety disorders. Any type of psychotropic medication should only be taken under the medical care of a psychiatrist or medical provider.  

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other therapies are wonderful interventions in addition to medications. In therapy, you can increase positive coping skills. Therapy can also help you understand and process the root causes of your anxiety.

If you are in recovery, part of success is honesty and knowledge. Talking with your medical and mental health providers about your relationship with drugs and alcohol is important. An empathetic provider will not judge you. Instead, your provider should show understanding and do their best to do what’s best for your stability.

You may not need to take anxiety medications for the rest of your life. Even if you need to treat anxiety for now, stay in communication with your treatment providers. Recovery involves more than just not using or drinking. Recovery works best when any underlying concerns are addressed and treated.

Hired Power are experts at connecting you to the tools you need to figure out what recovery is all about. Through our range of services, you can stay sober, one day at a time. Contact us now at 714-559-3919. Let us help you figure out the right steps to take.