Tranquilizers are taken by most people for panic disorders and anxiety. Valium or Xanax are usually the drugs taken which have addictive properties and can become dangerous for long term users. Help and treatment are available for individuals with addiction to tranquilizers. It is important to know what they are, how tranquilizers work in the body and what to do if a loved one is suspected of being addicted.
Uses of Tranquilizer Drugs
Anxiety and sleep disorders are the most common reason to use tranquilizers. Alcohol has a similar effect in that it depresses the nervous system and slows things down. Sedatives is another word used to describe tranquilizers as the early stage of biochemical processes in the body is sedation or a calm state. Estimates by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) show over 60 million people receive a tranquilizer prescription every year. Commonly abused for its calming effect on the body, brain atrophy has been linked to people who have an addiction to tranquilizers.
Types of Tranquilizer Drugs
Two categories of tranquilizers exist: major and minor. Major tranquilizers are considered antipsychotics due to use for mental health treatment for disorders such as schizophrenia. Drugs such as Haldol, Navane, Thorazine and Mellaril are some of the other major tranquilizers on the market.
Minor tranquilizers do not have the same calming effect and are often abused as they are more addictive than major tranquilizers. Some of the minor tranquilizers are benzodiazepines including Xanax, Ativan, Valium and Librium.
Signs of Tranquilizer Addiction
Individuals who abuse tranquilizers and develop an addiction normally demonstrate signs which may include the following:
- shaky hands
- depressed breathing
- difficulty concentrating
- memory loss
- excessive breathing
- rapid heartbeat
- increased sleepiness
Tranquilizer Dependency and Complications
Dependency on tranquilizers develops first from a calming effect on the body. Once the effect subsides, the person will most likely tend to want more. Additional tranquilizers may be taken which can increase a person’s tolerance for the substance. Not only will the individual crave more of the tranquilizers to achieve the same high, but will need to find a way of obtaining more tranquilizers. It is not very difficult to obtain tranquilizers so it is not uncommon for individuals to use them recreationally.
Complications arise when a person develops a dependence then active addiction to tranquilizers whereby the individual cannot think of or do anything else but seek more of the substance to achieve a high. Long term use of tranquilizers has been associated with increased aggressive behavior and extreme depression. Memory loss and cerebral atrophy has also been linked to tranquilizer abuse. Withdrawal symptoms increase while using this drug for a period of time whereby symptoms including rapid heartbeat, insomnia, shaky hands and irritability may occur without more of the substance.
Tranquilizer Addiction Treatment
The first step to getting treatment is admission of a problem. Then it is important to locate a detoxification center. Staff there can help ease withdrawal symptoms and thereafter can make decisions about attending a rehabilitation program of one’s choosing. Free-standing residential centers are one option to consider when selecting a rehab program to help an individual overcome addiction and make the journey towards recovery.
If you or a loved one struggle with tranquilizer addiction, help is available. Contact Hired Power at 800-910-9299 for more information and resources to help you make the recovery journey.