Benzodiazepines (often referred to as benzos) are prescribed widely throughout the United States to treat anxiety and panic disorder. Unfortunately, benzo abuse is common, as these drugs are known to be highly addictive, quickly causing dependence in those who use them frequently.
One study shows that benzodiazepines were prescribed for 27 out of every 100 adults between 2014 and 2016. Benzos are made for short-term use, meaning patients shouldn’t be on them for more than a few weeks or they should be used as needed to prevent anxiety and panic attacks. However, they’re often over-prescribed for long periods of time, quickly causing patients to become dependent on them.
However, are there any benzodiazepines that are safer than others? Which ones are the most addictive? To learn more about benzos and their addictive nature, keep reading.
1. Clonazepam (Klonopin)
Clonazepam, brand name Klonopin is one of the most addictive benzos out there. However, it’s also one of the most frequently prescribed to patients. Klonopin is addictive because it produces the greatest feelings of euphoria, making patients want to continue to use it over and over again to achieve that same feeling.
It’s also very easy to develop a tolerance to Klonopin, meaning that patients who take it will have to up their dose frequently to ensure that it keeps working. By doing this, patients are at great risk for dependency.
2. Alprazolam (Xanax)
Alprazolam, brand name Xanax, is another highly addictive benzo that is often prescribed for anxiety, panic, and insomnia. Xanax is known for being a party drug that people take alongside drinking alcohol, but it’s still frequently prescribed in medical settings.
Xanax is addictive because it has short-term effects and a short half-life. It doesn’t last long in the body, making patients crash from the drug quickly. It’s also easy to develop a dependence, so patients will have to take more in order to experience the same effects.
3. Diazepam (Valium)
Diazepam, brand name Valium, is often prescribed for anxiety, panic, and insomnia. Valium is more likely to make patients fall asleep when compared to other benzos like Xanax and Klonopin. Taking Valium consistently for 4-6 weeks will likely result in an addiction, and patients who use it for this long will have to be tapered off the medication safely to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
4. Lorazepam (Ativan)
Lorazepam, brand name Ativan, is most frequently used in hospital settings to prevent and treat anxiety or panic. Because it’s most frequently used in this setting and not prescribed as much as other benzos, it’s much harder to develop an addiction or dependence on Ativan. However, there are still some doctors who prescribe it.
Like with other benzos, Ativan has a high potential for physical dependence, abuse, or addiction. Ativan is more potent than some other benzos, which can result in greater withdrawal symptoms, making it harder to quit.
5. Triazolam (Halcion)
Triazolam, brand name Halcion, is another type of benzo used to treat anxiety disorders. Halcion is less well-known when compared to other benzo types but presents the same risk of developing an addiction.
Compared to other benzos which can be used for a few weeks before there’s a risk of dependence, Halcion should only be used for 7-10 days at a time to prevent dependence from occurring.
How to Recover from Benzo Abuse
If you or someone you love takes a benzodiazepine, you may be worried about developing a dependence or addiction. If you’re partaking in benzo abuse or you’re dependent on a drug that you were prescribed, we’re here to help. To learn more about how we can help you recover, call the specialists at Asheville Recovery Center today.