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Harmful Effects of Combining Benzodiazepines and Opioids

Combining benzodiazepines and opioids can lead to devastating results. The effects of combining these 2 substances can be intense, leading to health complications that can be difficult to reverse and treat.

Addiction to these substances is a monster that can be life-altering and hard to overcome. Those who are struggling with these 2 substances can get better, and understanding the effects these substances can have on the body and brain can be a catalyst for getting the right help to get better.

Benzo and Opioid Abuse

Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are a class of drugs used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, and seizure disorders. These drugs result in drowsiness, relaxation, reduced stress and anxiety, euphoric feelings, confusion, impaired thinking, and memory loss. They are meant to be taken short term, however, people can use them for longer periods of time.

Using benzos long term can result in developing a tolerance to these drugs and requiring more and more of them in order to achieve the desired results. When this happens, it leads to dependence and addiction. Using benzos in any way other than directed is benzodiazepine abuse. This can include taking more than prescribed, using a friend’s prescription, and using it in ways it is not prescribed (i.e. crushing and snorting it). Abusing benzos can lead to devastating results.

Like benzos, opioids are also medications with legitimate uses. Opioids are medications that bind to the opioid receptors in the brain and alleviate pain. Doctors prescribed them to treat chronic pain conditions, as well as after surgeries. These drugs produce effects like drowsiness, nodding in and out of consciousness, slurred speech, and euphoria. People abuse opioids due to these effects. Combining benzodiazepines and opioids can heighten the effects produced by these drugs. This can be extremely dangerous.

The Effects of Combined Benzo and Opioid Abuse

Opioid abuse and benzo abuse are 2 separate afflictions, and when combining benzodiazepine and opioid abuse, it can lead to severely adverse results. Both of these drugs produce sedative-like effects and combining them heightens the sedative effects. Those abusing benzos and opioids are more likely to experience an overdose because of the heightened sedative effects.

Both benzodiazepines and opioids are depressants, they cause slow and shallow breathing, slowed motor function, and impaired reaction time. Mixing these 2 drugs can intensify these effects resulting in loss of oxygen to the brain and vital organs of the body. This lack of oxygen can result in organ damage, shutdown, or organ failure. It can also lead to increased risks of coma and both fatal and nonfatal overdose. 

Benzo and Opioid Withdrawal

Struggling with benzos and opioids is dangerous. When addicted to these substances and attempting to end the dependence, it is vital to go through the detox, or withdrawal process. The symptoms associated with withdrawal from these substances can be intense and dangerous. When the body is dependent on these substances, and someone abruptly stops using them, it can result in some severely uncomfortable and potentially life-threatening results. The symptoms associated with coming off of these substances include:

  • Muscle aches and spasms
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Chills
  • Bone pain
  • Runny nose
  • Excessive sweating
  • Increased agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

These symptoms can be extremely dangerous. Thus people who struggle with combining benzodiazepines and opioids should seek professional help and medical monitoring during withdrawal. The safety one can achieve through this process is crucial to ensuring comfortability.

Why Detox is Important

Detox is a crucial part of recovering from addiction to these substances. People who are going through opioid and benzo detox on their own can attest to its difficult nature. Often people who try the cold turkey method end up turning back to the substances in order to alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal. This is what makes detox an important factor. When people stop using drugs for any given amount of time, then use it again, it results in an overdose.

It helps if someone has the ability to undergo professional medical monitoring. Here, these uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms of withdrawal can be addressed. Then, a professional can manage them and make the process safer and easier. Being comfortable and safe during this process is beneficial for anyone going through it. Outside of the physical symptoms of withdrawal, there are also psychological things like depression and anxiety that can occur.

Additionally, having medical professionals who can address these symptoms can be a crucial portion of finding hope and recovery. These mental health conditions can be factors in using substances again. Detox is an important part of recovery from addiction to these substances, as it provides a safe and comfortable start to beginning again.

Help for Benzo and Opioid Abuse

Opioid and benzodiazepine abuse are extremely dangerous struggles to go through. These substances lead to dangerous results and undergoing detox without professional help can lead to severe impacts to a person’s life and overall well-being.

If you or a loved one are struggling with opioids and benzos, there is help available. At Brentwood Springs, our on-staff professionals are trained to help those who are struggling to find hope.

Reach out today and begin your journey to recovery.

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24/7 Help Is Standing By, Call Us Now.