Any time two or more drugs are taken simultaneously, the risk of adverse consequences, including fatal overdose, is heightened. The act of mixing various substances is referred to as polydrug use and pertains to both illicit substances and prescription drugs. Benzos and opioids are highly addictive, potent substances that, when combined, can have serious adverse consequences.
What are Benzos?
Benzodiazepines, also called “benzos,” are prescription depressants used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. Common benzos include clonazepam (Klonopin), alprazolam (Xanax), and diazepam (Valium.) Research shows that between 1996 and 2013, the number of adults who filled a benzodiazepine prescription increased by 67%, from 8.1 million to 13.5 million.
What are Opioids?
Opioids are a category of drugs derived from the opium poppy plant. There are illicit opioids, such as heroin, and prescription opioids, such as morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. Opioids are also depressants and are most commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. The United States Department of Health and Human Services states that two out of three drug overdose deaths in 2018 involved an opioid.
Is Combining Benzos with Opioids Dangerous?
Yes, combining benzos and opioids is extremely dangerous. Both benzos and opioids are depressants, meaning they both slow down the functions of the central nervous system. This impacts heart rate, breathing, and brain function. The combination of these two substances can sedate users, suppress breathing, and lead to a potentially fatal overdose. According to the CDC, in 2019, 16 percent of opioid overdoses also included benzos.
Due to the prevalence of individuals being simultaneously prescribed opioids and benzos, The National Institute on Drug Abuse states, “In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidelines for the prescribing of opioids. They recommend that clinicians avoid prescribing benzodiazepines concurrently with opioids whenever possible. Both prescription opioids and benzodiazepines now carry FDA “black box” warnings on the label highlighting the dangers of using these drugs together. People being prescribed any medications should inform their doctors about all of the other drugs and medications they use, and patients should consult with their doctors about the potential dangers of using various medications and substances together, including the use of alcohol.”
We Can Help
Combining benzos and opioids can be fatal. Fortunately, help is available for those battling this addiction. Depending on the stage of an individual’s addiction, they may require detox, an intensive treatment program, or both. Fortunately, Knoxville Recovery Center offers various services to those struggling with this addiction.
Detox – Our on-site detox clinic accommodates and supports clients as the body sheds all residual traces of opioids and benzos. Clients are under medical supervision during the detox process to ensure that they remain safe and comfortable.
Addiction Treatment – During our addiction treatment program, clients will engage in introductory therapies and exercises that work to prepare them for continued, more intensive treatment outside of our facility. The goal of our addiction treatment track is to stabilize clients so that they are treatment-ready.
Mental Health Treatment – Our mental health treatment program introduces behavioral therapies rooted in self-expression and holistic exercise. Art therapy, music therapy, and yoga are just a few forms of therapy we offer at the center. Our goal is to help the client reclaim their voice and expose them to treatment within a professional facility.
Aftercare Planning – Aftercare is designed for individuals who have benefitted from our introductory addiction services and are transitioning into a more intensive addiction treatment program. Once a client is stabilized, they will be encouraged to pursue continued addiction treatment. Our experienced case managers will then work with our clients to place them in a program that addresses their specific wants and needs.
Addiction is difficult to overcome alone. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with benzo and opioid abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call Knoxville Recovery Center and speak with an addiction expert today.