Drug abuse is among the largest health concerns in the United States and abroad. Whether an individual abuses one or more substances, drug rehab can help treat both the mental and physical aspects of an addiction, providing complete recovery. However, before an individual can commit to treatment, they must acknowledge the existence of their addiction. Oftentimes, it is easier to do this when confronting the dangers of abusing and even combining substances like benzos and opioids.
Dangers of Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines, also referred to as “benzos”, are a classification of prescription drugs that produce calming effects in their user. Most often, benzos are prescribed to individuals with anxiety disorders. However, they can also be beneficial for individuals who suffer from seizures. Unfortunately, many individuals often abuse benzos, using them more than prescribed.
Side Effects of Benzodiazepine Use
When ingested, benzos affect an individual’s central nervous system, allowing the effects of the drug to be felt in a person’s body and mind. While this most often produces calming effects that slow the body and mind down, the use of benzos can also lead to several unintended side effects. Benzos can also cause amnesia, irritability, and nightmares. Most importantly, an addiction to benzos can damage the brain’s reward system, rewiring a person for lifelong addictive behavior.
Dangers of Opioids
Opioids are a classification of drugs that are primarily made from opium. This substance can be found naturally in certain kinds of poppy plants; however, it can also be manufactured synthetically in a lab for use in prescription opioids. Whether natural or synthetic, opioids, like benzos, are a depressant. This means opioids also provide their users with calming effects. However, opioids also provide their users significant pain relief, which is part of what makes them so addictive.
Side Effects of Opioid Use
Although the pain relieving effects of opioids can often help users, the use of this substance can also lead to a number of alarming side effects, including:
- Slowed breathing (which may lead to hypoxia)
Opioid addiction – like benzodiazepine addiction – can also cause significant damage to the brain’s reward system. Once done, an individual is more likely to engage in addictive behaviors.
Dangers of Combining Benzos and Opioids
Benzos and opioids are both extremely dangerous and addictive substances when consumed on their own. However, when combined, benzos and opioids present a number of other dangers to a user.
By ingesting more than one drug, an individual combining benzos and opioids opens themselves up to the unwanted side effects of not just one drug but two. By combining these potentially deadly substances, an individual is at risk for greater side effects than just the side effects consistent with consuming one.
The damage drug addiction can have on a person’s brain also becomes more likely when a person consumes more than one drug. By combining and consistently using benzos and opioids, a person is more likely to affect their brain’s reward system. Once damaged, a person is often more prone to dangerous addictive behaviors, which typically include seeking unhealthy pleasures.
Last but certainly not least, when combining benzos and opioids an individual is much more significantly at-risk for an overdose. Overdoses on any dangerous substance usually occur when a person has lost control or judgment over how much they are consuming. By consuming more than one substance, the individual has severely impaired their judgment and unfortunately becomes more likely to overdose.
Interested in Local Substance Abuse Treatment?
If you or a loved one is in need of or considering local drug rehab, help is available! At Knoxville Recovery Center, our team of addiction experts offer several substance abuse treatments and therapies that can help individuals dealing with a variety of addictions. Contact us for more information today!