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Tranquilizers Addiction Treatment

Many people take tranquilizers such as Valium or Xanax for panic disorders and anxiety. However, many individuals do not realize how addictive and dangerous long term use of tranquilizers can be.

What are tranquilizers?

Tranquilizers are drugs used to treat anxiety or sleeping disorders. They have a similar effect to alcohol, as they depress the nervous system. Another term often used is sedatives, because the effect of tranquilizers is the early stage of the biochemical process of sedation. The FDA estimates that over 60 million people are prescribed a type of tranquilizer every year. Tranquilizers are commonly abused due to the calming effect it has on the body and brain atrophy has been linked to people who have an addiction to tranquilizers.

Types of Tranquilizers

There are two categories of tranquilizers: major and minor. The major tranquilizers are anti-psychotics because they are used to treat mental disorders such as schizophrenia. These include drugs like Haldol, Navane, Thorazine and Mellaril, and they differ from minor tranquilizers because they do not have the same calming effect. Minor tranquilizers are benzodiazepines which include Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Librium. These are often abused and more addictive than major tranquilizers.

Signs of Tranquilizer dependence

Signs that your use of tranquilizers have moved from normal use to abuse include:

  • Shaky hands
  • Depressed breathing
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Excessive breathing
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Increased sleepiness

Causes of Dependency

Tranquilizers cause dependency in many ways. First, they form a calming effect and once this effect has subsided, the person tends to want more. The more tranquilizers that are taken, the higher one’s tolerance becomes to the substance. Thus, they are left with not only wanting them more often but also wanting more quantities of them. Tranquilizers are often given to people as treatment for alcohol withdrawal, because they produce similar effects. This is just another way someone can become dependent. Another reason one might abuse them is due to the fact that a person may want the “high” that these drugs allow them to feel. Tranquilizers are fairly easy to get so it isn’t uncommon for one to take them recreationally.

Complications and Long term Effects of Tranquilizer Abuse

In some occasions, tranquilizer abuse may cause a “paradoxical effect,” which gives one a feeling of increased anxiety and agitation. Long term use has been associated with increased aggressiveness and extreme depression. Memory loss and cerebral atrophy is linked to tranquilizer abuse as well. Withdrawal symptoms increase while using this drug for a long period of time, in which symptoms include rapid heartbeat, insomnia, shaky hands and irritability.

Treatment and Help

There are many treatment centers that will help with tranquilizer abuse. The first step in getting treatment is to go to a detoxification center. These places will help with a person’s withdrawal symptoms, as one is typically in a detox center anywhere between three to ten days. Next, a person should choose a rehabilitation program that is right for them. There are people to assist you every step of the way, as they will chose a program for you if you are not able to do so. The first type of treatment center is called a free-standing residential center. These facilities help with drug addiction, as one is supervised 24 hours a day for 20 days. If that person needs longer treatment, there are long-term treatment centers available as well. These are for people who have completed 14 to 30 days of prior treatment and need more assistance. These facilities will customize treatment plans for you to ensure that you overcome your addiction. Drug addiction may be a difficult obstacle to overcome, but with the power of yourself and of those who want to help, you will become sober. Visit our drug discussion forum to talk about the effects of drugs and connect with other members who have successfully overcome drug addiction.


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