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The Psychological Side Effects of Benzo Addiction

Addiction to benzos is on the rise, and there are signs of benzo addiction that you can watch out for within yourself and a loved one. This powerful, and addictive medication has been used over the years to help those who struggle with anxiety and panic disorders. However, the psychological side effects of benzo addiction can far outweigh the reward of taking them short term to help manage anxiety and panic disorders. Understanding the side effects of benzo addiction can mark a turning point in an addicted person’s life. With luck, they will even seek detox and professional help to end the addiction.

What Are Benzos?

Benzodiazepines are a class of prescription drugs that are generally used to treat panic and anxiety disorders. These drugs are Central Nervous System (CNS) suppressants. This means that they slow down your nervous system. They can produce a calming, sedative state in the brain of those who normally are unable to achieve this state through self soothing techniques. People who suffer with anxiety or panic disorders can benefit from this drug for this reason. According to the Controlled Substance Act, they are considered to be a Schedule IV drug. They are only legally available through a doctor’s prescription. However, even if taken as prescribed, these drugs can cause a physical dependence, or addiction, in its user. Identifying signs of benzo addiction can help to prevent the dependence from getting worse.

Physical Effects

The short term physical effects of benzos can easily be seen. Things like slurred speech, lowered motor functionality, dizziness, drowsiness, and lack of coordination are attributed to the drug. These drugs can also produce a euphoric, or “high” feeling, which makes them easily abused and causes those who use them to keep using them in order to achieve this desired effect.  The signs of benzo addiction can be seen in the physical effects, however the psychological side effects of benzo addiction can be far more severe for those who struggle with this kind of addiction. 

Psychological Effects of Benzo Addiction

Benzos affect the brain negatively with prolonged use and abuse. They can change the brain’s chemical and physical structure, making them hard to stop. The very thing they are used to treat, can become exacerbated and a person can feel like they need more in order to achieve relief. This slippery slope can lead someone down a dark and destructive path. Addiction to benzos can be dangerous, and seeking professional help for those who show signs of benzo addiction is highly recommended to prevent severe complications from benzo withdrawal.


One of the psychological side effects of benzo addiction is anxiety. This means that these drugs can essentially make a person who struggles with anxiety, feel more anxious that they do without the drug. Conversely, those who exhibit this sign of benzo addiction can begin to experience anxiety, when they’ve never had the symptom before. 


Benzos are used to suppress the CNS, and essentially cause the mind and body to go into a calmer state. However, in people who exhibit signs of benzo addiction, it can also lead to depression and even worsen feelings of depression in those who already struggle with it. Depression can be dangerous, and if professional help isn’t received, the individual may experience interruption in day to day functionality.

Mood Swings

While these drugs tend to produce a calmer state, they can also lead to a person experiencing severe mood swings. Especially if the drug is not available. Addiction is a disease that affects the physical and mental wellbeing of a person, so when someone is addicted to benzos and the drug is not available to them for use, it can potentially cause changes in mood. These mood swings can cause angry outbursts, and conflict between the addicted person and those around them.

Risky Behaviors

Signs of benzo addiction can be seen in the behaviors of the person using them. A psychological side effect of benzo addiction is that the person can exhibit some seriously risky behaviors. When the central nervous system is suppressed, it can lead to lowered inhibitions, making it easier for an individual to act out on impulses that they wouldn’t normally act out on. These lowered inhibitions can lead to risky behaviors like criminal activity or driving while experiencing benzo intoxication.


Compulsion is one of the most aggressive signs of benzo addiction. It is also one of the more dangerous psychological side effects of benzo addiction. When a person is addicted to benzos, they can feel an uncontrollable desire, or compulsion, to take more and more. Sometimes, even after detox and years into recovery, the compulsion can come out of the blue. This is why comprehensive aftercare services are so important.

Benzodiazepine overdose can have serious consequences. The drug can cause a lowered heart rate, shallow breathing, and altered mental status. When this happens, it can lead to overdose, and potentially death or serious lifelong injury. 

Treatment for Benzo Addiction in Nashville, TN

If you or a loved one struggle with benzo addiction, there is help. Here at Brentwood Springs, we help those trying to move past their addiction safely and effectively. Contact us today and begin your journey to recovery.

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

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