Benzos & Women: A Common Problem

 In Women & Addiction

Drugs such as Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin are often prescribed for conditions like anxiety and insomnia. These drugs are part of a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, or more commonly Benzos. These drugs are often prescribed along with opioids and are only often just as responsible for addictions. In fact, the  National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) has reported that thirty percent of overdoses involving opioids also involve Benzos. The two drugs alone are highly addictive and when combined they can be a very deadly combination. Use, and abuse, of Benzos, has increased over the past several years in every age group but the most affected group is women, who have prescribed this class of drug at a rate twice that of men.

Why Women Become Addicted to Benzos

Most addictions to Benzos start out as the woman being prescribed the medication when she goes to the doctor and complains of anxiety attacks or stress-related insomnia. Women are often more willing to express these things to a doctor. Today’s women are often caretakers to both children and aging parents. They take on many responsibilities and are not as willing to take time for themselves to relax. They worry about the people under their care and forget to care for themselves.

Benzos were meant to be a short-term solution to problems such as anxiety and insomnia but many doctors will prescribe them over a long period of time because they understand the conditions causing the stress in a woman’s life are not always ones that disappear. Women become addicted easier than men because their body weight is lower and chemical changes within their bodies occur more frequently. It becomes easy to rely on the medication to unwind and get a good night’s sleep after a day of worry and stress. When waking up has the woman facing the same stressors, another dose will help her get through the day. The body builds a tolerance to Benzos quickly and larger doses are increasingly required in order to relax.

Signs of Benzo Addiction

Anyone, not just women is at risk of addiction. The fact that women are prescribed Benzos at twice the rate of men accounts in part for the increased number of addictions to Benzos we see in women. Because they are prescribed, and only a small number of women turn to illegal means of obtaining them, the signs of addiction often go unnoticed. Some of these signs include:

*An increased need for the medication to get through the day. Feeling you can’t get through the day without it.

*Immediately reaching for your prescription when you anticipate a stressful situation.

*Having to change brands (say from Valium to Xanax) because a former prescription doesn’t seem to work any longer.

*An inner knowing that tells you it is time to get help.

Treatment

Rehab for Benzo addiction must not only address the physical drug addiction but also the underlying condition that put the woman at risk to start with. While the causes of extreme stress can’t always be eliminated, learning how to deal with these situations is important. In addition to counseling, both individual and group, and possibly even family counseling, learning positive coping skills is necessary. These include learning ways you can relax, methods for taking care of your own needs, and overall skills for relaxation and stress management. Often this is best done on an inpatient basis as it allows you to put aside other responsibilities and concentrate on getting well.

Final Thoughts

Many women feel they don’t have time to devote to recovery. They are afraid that their family or job will be lost without them. It is essential to realize that if you fall apart, you can’t do your best for others. There is a good reason for airlines to caution parents to put on their own air masks first during an emergency. If you aren’t functioning, you can’t be there for others. Newport Beach recovery has experience helping women like you and your loved ones overcome their Benzo addictions. Contact us today and start on your road to recovery now. Tomorrow will dawn brighter and see a stronger you ready to face whatever may come from a place of empowerment.

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