An alarming trend among teens and young adults is the growing use of Benzodiazepine. This class of drugs is more commonly known as "benzos." Some of the most common forms of benzodiazepines include Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, and Librium.
What you might not know is that they are some of the most addictive substances on the market, even more so than tobacco and alcohol. Due to this fact, they are taking lives faster than cocaine and heroin combined. This epidemic has made an impact on a lot of people. The National Institute On Drug Abuse states that overdose deaths involving "benzos" increased nearly ten folds since 1999.
Benzodiazepines are a class of medications that work in the brain and central nervous system. They are often prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. They also treat muscle spasms, seizures, trouble sleeping, alcohol, and withdrawal.
Essentially, benzodiazepines act on receptors in the brain that help regulate the body's response to stress. They increase the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that inhibits activity in your central nervous system. Some examples of benzodiazepines include:
The human body naturally produces chemical compounds known as endocannabinoids that influence receptors in the brain. According to scientific research, benzodiazepine drugs bind to these same receptors to produce their effects. Most benzos work by enhancing the impact of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that suppresses or dampens nerve activity in the brain. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that sends messages from one neuron to another, telling them to slow down or stop firing nerve impulses.
Benzos also affect another part of the brain called the mesolimbic system, responsible for feelings of reward and pleasure. With repeated use, benzos enhance these feelings, causing dopamine to flood through the brain. This reinforces behaviors like taking more benzos, building up addiction.
Unfortunately, benzodiazepine abuse has become a much more common occurrence among teens and young adults. While these medications can be helpful for the short-term treatment of anxiety or trouble sleeping, they are not intended for long-term use because they can cause mental and physical dependence. For the following reasons, benzodiazepines prove a high risk for dependence and addiction:
Treating a benzodiazepine addiction can take months. However, with the right combination of detoxification and therapy, teen addicts can become sober, healthy, and happy.
With detoxification, the body eliminates Benzodiazepine from its system. Teens can do this with medical supervision at a detox center or hospital. Once the body clears the body of the substances, the teen can receive therapy and educational counseling. These sessions usually transpire in one-on-one or group settings with other teens who share similar problems. Counseling and therapy work hand-in-hand to resolve the issues behind their addiction and prevent relapse.
Dependence can quickly develop when teens use prescribed benzodiazepines to treat anxiety or depression. Teens hold a greater risk of abusing these substances due to the recreational use of benzo. Teens also face significant stressors from peers, parents, teachers, school, financial problems, and self-esteem. The onset of SUD is a clear indication that your teen needs help from an addiction treatment center like Clearfork Academy. With us, your teen will develop the tools necessary to live a life free from addiction. We offer a warm environment to help your teen feel safe as they work through treatment. Our program utilizes evidence-based practices, and our staff consists of some of the most highly regarded professionals in the field. If you suspect that your child has benzo addiction, seek professional help today. Our admissions staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To learn more, contact us at (817) 259-2597.
Originally from the Saginaw, Eagle Mountain area, Austin Davis earned a Bachelor of Science in Pastoral Ministry from Lee University in Cleveland, TN and a Master of Arts in Counseling from The Church of God Theological Seminary. He then went on to become a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor in the State of Texas.
Austin’s professional history includes both local church ministry and clinical counseling. At a young age, he began serving youth at the local church in various capacities which led to clinical training and education. Austin gained a vast knowledge of mental health disorders while working in state and public mental health hospitals. This is where he was exposed to almost every type of diagnosis and carries this experience into the daily treatment.
Austin’s longtime passion is Clearfork Academy, a christ-centered residential facility focused on mental health and substance abuse. He finds joy and fulfillment working with “difficult” clients that challenge his heart and clinical skill set. It is his hope and desire that each resident that passes through Clearfork Academy will be one step closer to their created design.
Austin’s greatest pleasures in life are being a husband to his wife, and a father to his growing children. He serves at his local church by playing guitar, speaking and helping with tech arts. Austin also enjoys being physically active, reading, woodworking, and music.