According to a review in Time Magazine (2012), the effectiveness of benzodiazepines is (in a way) unbelievable, as the drugs are able to efficiently suppress neurotransmitters that induce feelings of fear and terror. In essence, you can easily see why people suffering from anxiety will turn to these drugs to feel relief by muting the potential for panic attacks. Since the 1960s, Americans have been using these calming drugs to help them cope with heightened stress and fear, but, at the same time, these drugs have become the center of controversy on more than one occasion. Over the long run, patients who abuse these drugs can become addicted to benzodiazepines, and their bodies can (furthermore) become susceptible to other substances. Let’s take a closer look and find out more about why Xanax is such a popular drug.
A Cheap Way to Tune out Fear
So, what makes these potentially dangerous drugs so popular? Overall, researchers have proposed two answers to this question. First, benzodiazepines provide immediate relief for anxiety and also help people ease off a “high” triggered by another drug. Second (and most obvious), benzos are ridiculously cheap (with street varieties in the UK racking up to $2.50).
How bad is the benzodiazepine situation, you may ask? According to one report from Reddit, the social news site has been swamped with “bartard” stories, which focus entirely on the frequent abuse of Xanax (an extremely popular benzo). As the name suggests, “bartard” refers to using a bar of Xanax (an entire tablet), which is approximately 2 to 3 times stronger than the recommended dose. In an ironic twist, the stories on Reddit are one-part cautionary tales and one-part bragging stories, usually focusing on a person’s inability to remember the night before they took the drug.
United States of Turmoil
In regards to problems on a global scale, the United States is considered a hot spot for benzodiazepine abuse. An estimated 5% of American adults consumes these drugs, while an additional 10 to 25% of these individuals suffer from benzodiazepine dependency (through long-time use). In 2015 alone, a staggering 9,000 people died from benzo overdoses, and the fatality rate has climbed by 500% since 2000. In about 8,000 cases, people have overdoses and died after mixing benzodiazepines with opioids (a lethal mixture).
Seeking Treatment for Benzodiazepine Addiction
Although these drugs can help you overcome anxiety and fear, benzodiazepines still have a high risk for abuse and addiction. However, with the right mixture of therapy and determination, you can easily break away from these drugs and discover healthier ways to manage your anxiety. The time to take back control of your life is now.
If you are suffering from a severe case of drug abuse or addiction or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.