Benzodiazepine Addiction North Jersey Recovery Center - A young woman is struggling with a Benzo addiction and is taking an extra dose of Xanax after being prescribed to Xanax for a short period of time.


Medicine Prescribed for Mental Health Disorder


Benzodiazepine addiction can be best described as a dependence on medicine prescribed to help mental health disorders.

This means that you or the person you love may take the medicine prescribed in larger quantities or over a longer time than recommended by a doctor.

Unfortunately, it does not take long to develop a high tolerance or intense craving for benzodiazepines when they are not in your system.

It also creates an impaired performance in situations at home, work, or school.


What are Benzodiazepines?


Benzodiazepines are under the classification of sedative drugs.

Being extremely potent, they have a strong calming effect on the body.

Doctors commonly prescribe these medications to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, muscle relaxation, or part of a treatment plan for alcohol recovery.


Brand Names of Benzodiazepines


  • Niravam
  • Ativan
  • Xanax
  • Librium
  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Halcion
  • Restoril
  • Tranxene
  • Alprazolam


Effects and Abuse of Benzodiazepines


Recognizing the symptoms of benzo addiction can be the first step in helping yourself or a loved one get the help they deserve and need.

Physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms of benzo addiction can include but are not limited to the below.


Physical Symptoms of Benzo Addiction


  • Weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of motor coordination
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Difficulty of breathing
  • Coma
  • Death (rarely when used alone, but can be fatal when mixed with alcohol)


Psychological Signs of Benzodiazepine Abuse


  • Mood changes
  • Risky behavior, such a driving under the influence
  • Poor judgment or ability to make decisions
  • Asking family, friends, colleagues, or classmates for their benzodiazepine pills
  • Combining benzodiazepine pills with alcohol
  • Wanting to stop addiction but being unable to commit to the process


Behavioral Signs of Benzodiazepine Abuse


  • Withdrawing from family, friends, and obligations to privately continue the benzo addiction
  • Doing out of character things to support supply, including borrowing money, stealing, draining a bank account, maxing out credit cards, etc.
  • Obvious reductions in efforts to maintain personal hygiene or grooming
  • Acting secretively and lying about schedules to protect substance abuse
  • Heightened fear of being away from the drug, so ensuring there is always an adequate supply at home
  • Forging prescriptions
  • Stealing or borrowing a friend or loved one’s prescriptions
  • Purchasing the drugs illegally, such as through a street dealer


Immediate Effects of Benzodiazepines


  • Mental confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Forgetfulness
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue


Long Term Effects of Benzodiazepines


  • Impaired memory and concentration
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of coordination and increased reaction time
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Depression
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Dementia
  • Ataxia


Signs of Adderall Abuse


Because Adderall is a stimulant in which the effects are very potent, it may be hard to realize when someone is abusing it.

This drug is very different from benzodiazepines and belongs to the amphetamine/dextroamphetamine class of stimulants.

Adderall is commonly used for adults and children with ADHD, looking to sharpen their concentration in school or increase their productivity at work.

Most often, these people look motivated and not like your typical drug user.

People abusing Adderall may commonly be a student-athlete or young professional.

It is good to note that not everyone who abuses the drug has an addiction. Some may take it from time to time to stay awake or increase productivity, but this is not the same as needing the drug to function throughout the day.


Signs of Adderall Abuse


If you are or a loved one suffers from the following symptoms, you may be dealing with an Adderall abuse disorder.

Recognizing these signs may be the first step in getting you or your loved one the help they deserve and need.

These symptoms may include:

  • An overdose, which can lead to heart attack, stroke, or liver failure
  • Mixing drugs with alcohol
  • Development of mental disorders, like depression
  • Convulsions
  • Withdrawal from social interactions
  • Unexpected aggression
  • Secretive behaviors
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Lower back pain
  • Seizures
  • False sense of well being
  • Dry mouth


Signs of Xanax Abuse


Xanax is the number one prescribed psychiatric medication in the U.S. It is a type of benzodiazepine used to treat generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and insomnia.

Xanax can become extremely addictive when used for long periods.

Once this benzo addiction has grown, everyday responsibilities such as school, work, or family might become ignored. This is because your energy will be redirected towards drug-seeking behavior.

For those who struggle with benzo addiction, you might find that after you stop taking Xanax after a long time, you will experience withdrawal effects.


Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms


  • Dependence on the drug
  • Heightened anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Inability to stop using, despite the desire to stop
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Obsessing about use
  • Loss of control over the amount being used
  • Risky behaviors, such as driving under the influence

If you or a loved one can recognize any of these signs, that can be the first step to seeking treatment and eventual recovery.

This can mean that you or your loved one is getting the help they need and deserve.  

Benzodiazepine Addiction North Jersey Recovery Center - A young man is experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms while trying to fight his benzo addiction without professional help and treatment in a safe and medically-supervised environment.


Are Benzodiazepines Addictive?


Benzodiazepines are known to be extremely addictive both due to the chemical properties and the sedative effects.

You may initially begin using benzodiazepines because of a medical disorder, which gives you a reason to use the drugs for treatment.

Over time, you may develop a serious habit.

Usually, doctors will not overprescribe benzodiazepines.

Unfortunately, even if you are properly following instructions, a benzo addiction and use disorder still can develop.


Benzodiazepine Withdrawal


Prolonged use of benzodiazepines will rewire your brain’s chemical circuitry. This can lead to you experiencing physical and psychological symptoms while trying to quit. This is known as withdrawal.

Withdrawal symptoms can be proven lethal at their most intense.

People who gradually taper off benzodiazepines are less likely to experience severe withdrawal than those who quit cold turkey. Doctor-assisted therapy is advised in overcoming addiction and managing withdrawal.

To fulfill your or a loved one’s unique needs and find a well-suited treatment center, contact a dedicated provider.


Mental Illness and Benzodiazepines


Drugs classified as benzodiazepines are commonly used to treat severe anxiety or to alleviate everyday panic attacks.

Benzodiazepines used to treat insomnia or sleeping problems are likely to cause dependence as they induce sleep.

Additionally, benzodiazepines can also be used in addition to, or in place of, antidepressants.

If you or your loved one has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, you are more likely at risk for a benzo addiction.




If you or a loved one are suffering from a benzo addiction, it is not recommended to quit by yourself without the supervision of a trusted medical professional. Quitting alone, without medical supervision, can lead to serious health problems.

After dependency has transpired, rebound effects may occur.

If you or a loved one decide to get treatment, doctors can accurately assess and use the tapering effect to help your body adjust back to normalcy.

Once stabilized, doctors can continue assisting the patient in recovery by suggesting inpatient or outpatient programs that offer cognitive behavioral therapy and/or counseling sessions.

Inpatient programs are typically preferred because they can offer you or your loved one home-like amenities, so patients heal in comfortable and relaxing environments.  

Benzodiazepine Addiction North Jersey Recovery Center - A group of individuals in inpatient rehab for benzo addiction take part in a group therapy session to offer one another support as they move through their treatment plans and find sobriety.


Payment Options


Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it?

We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification.

We will work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment to work for you and your financial situation.


How to Get Help


If you or someone you love is struggling with benzo addiction, contact us at North Jersey Recovery Center.

We provide various resources to help you get clean and begin the path to wellness. Give us a call to start your consultation.

We will help you focus on getting healthy, beating your addiction, and living a sober life.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Laura Riley

Medical Reviewer

Laura comes to NJRC with 23 years of vast clinical experience in hospital, residential, outpatient, and community outreach settings where she has worked, supervised clinical teams, and volunteered. She has provided substance abuse and mental health counseling, clinical coordination, and advocacy to individuals, families and groups, and specializes in co-occurring disorders for both adults and adolescents.