Hidden Dangers of Anti-Anxiety Medications – What you Need to Know
When you ask anyone that needs anti-anxiety medications to be calm if they are dangerous, it’s likely that you’ll get a loud and proud, ”No.” But, that’s because, for those who need a medication to help them stay calm and ease feelings of anxiety that can sometimes be debilitating, these prescription drugs might be the best thing that ever happened.
However, when you ask someone who has developed a tolerance to their anti-anxiety medications if they are bad, and you’ll likely get a whole other answer than what you were expecting. In some cases, these drugs can be pretty dangerous, and most people don’t even know it.
Almost Every Prescription Medication has Side Effects
One thing that every person in the world needs to know is that almost every single prescription drug on the market has potential side effects. As someone who might wind up taking these drugs, or a parent of someone that might wind up taking these medications, it is important to always read the potential side effects.
When your doctor decides to prescribe you a medication, it is usually done while weighing the side effects against the potentially necessary benefits. However, in some, the side effects can be potentially serious. The first thing you need to know is that if you read the potential side effects and dangers of any prescription drugs and decide that you’re simply not comfortable with them, you should tell your healthcare provider this and look for an alternative that you feel comfortable with.
Now, you should know that certain prescription drugs, like anti-anxiety medications, carry the risk for additional problems, such as tolerance and even addiction.
What Makes Anti-Anxiety Medications Dangerous?
Anti-Anxiety medications are among the most commonly prescribed medications out there, and it is likely that they are also some of the most dangerous medications you can be taking.
Not only are they given to people with legitimate anxiety problems, but they are also prescribed to help people sleep and to balance what is seen as general mood problems. In an estimated 25 percent of the cases in which Benzos are prescribed, there isn’t even a “real” diagnosis made.
Not only that, but they are really only meant to be taken for short amounts of time. One study suggests that after about six months of regular use, these medications actually lose their anxiety-reducing effectiveness, which means that beyond this time, you might not be doing anything to ease these feelings, but you might just be getting yourself hooked on the medication.
What Anti-Anxiety Medications Do To Ease Anxiety
When you take an anxiety medication and you’ve been prescribed it for good reason, you’re likely to find that they are extremely effective for treating debilitating anxiety symptoms. When your heart is racing and you’re in the middle of a panic attack, you will likely experience relief within just a half hour of taking these medications.
They help to slow down the nervous system, which eases both mental and physical symptoms of anxiety. For those who do experience debilitating anxiety, this is one of the most life-changing effects of these medications.
It’s important to note, though, that these medications can also slow down reaction time, cause severe drowsiness, and even make it difficult to function on a daily basis.
Potential Dangers of Anti-Anxiety Medications
There are potential dangers that go with anti-anxiety medications that everyone should know about, including the fact that these drugs are often abused because of the way that they cause a user to feel calm and euphoric when taken without a prescription.
You should also know that it is very easy to become addicted to benzodiazepines, as a tolerance can quickly develop with long-term use. In fact, even when taken as prescribed, the risk of addiction is significant.
There is also the risk of other problems developing when taking anti-anxiety medications. For example, they can make pre-existing depression worse, and even cause it to become treatment resistant.
Other side effects of these medications include:
- Medication hangover
- Confusion, dizziness and slurred speech
- Problems with coordination
- Blurred vision
- Memory problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Upset stomach
- Extreme anger
- Hostility toward others
Some of the dangers of anti-anxiety medications, even when taken as directed, include:
- Blunting of emotions
- An increase in suicidal thoughts
- An increase of feelings of depression
- Treatment-resistant depression
- Increased anxiety, especially when not taken
- Withdrawal symptoms when stopped suddenly
Many experts feel that one of the most dangerous side effects of anti-anxiety medications is the inability to cope over the long term. When we go through situations that are emotionally or mentally difficult, it helps us to develop the
skills we need to cope the next time these issues occur. When we’re blunting our feelings, we aren’t learning how to deal with them, and that means that the next time a situation arises, we aren’t able to deal with it properly, so we turn to more pills.
The Risk of Physical Side Effects is Present, too
Now, you might be thinking that all the side effects are simply mental, and since they aren’t physical, you might decide that you can work through the mental problems. However, some of the physical side effects, like drowsiness and lack of coordination for the short term, can cause serious problems in work and life.
Other issues can be hidden for quite a while, but show up when you try to stop taking your anti-anxiety medications suddenly. It’s important that you talk to your doctor about these medications and stopping them because he or she can help to slowly wean you off them.
Physical withdrawal symptoms of anti-anxiety medications can last for a very long time. They can also be very severe. Some report that detoxing from Benzos is worse than heroin withdrawal. Muscle cramps, sleeplessness, severe mood fluctuations, vomiting, diarrhea, and general aches and pains are some of the most common withdrawal symptoms.
Are There Alternatives?
If you’re struggling with severe anxiety, you should talk to your mental healthcare expert to help you determine if anti-anxiety medications are really necessary before starting them. You should also look for alternative ways to help calm your feelings and ease your anxiety for the long-term.
Many find that techniques such as journal writing, meditation, dietary changes, proper sleep and exercise programs can go a really long way in helping to ease some of the longer-term effects of anxiety. Seeking cognitive therapy to help you understand and ease feelings of anxiety might also be a great step in easing feelings of anxiety.
If you do find that you need to take these medications, many experts agree that you should take the smallest dose possible for the shortest amount of time possible, but don’t stop taking them suddenly if you’ve been taking them for a while.
What to Do if You’re Hooked
If you do find that you’re one of the many people that are hooked on anti-anxiety medications, it’s important that you know that you won’t have to take them forever. It is possible to healthfully detox from these drugs, and enjoy a healthy, normal life. You can learn how to deal with your feelings of anxiety, and eventually, begin to enjoy a full range of emotions again.
Give us a call at Elite Rehab Placement, and we’ll help you find anxiety medication addiction treatment that really makes sense for you. We’ll help you get started living clean and sober, and it doesn’t have to be hard, or scary. We understand what anxiety feels like. We know how debilitating and difficult it can be to cope with these feelings every day, and we understand how hard it can be to deal with these feelings when you’re trying to overcome your addiction. We also know which facilities specialize in treating this type of addiction, and we can help you find the right one for you.
To ease your worries even further, we’ll help you with your insurance coverage, too. This will help you ensure that you get to put those benefits to good use and eliminate fears and worries of how you’ll pay for your treatment.
The hidden dangers of anti-anxiety medications are significant. Even the most well-meaning people can find that they’re hooked on them in no time. If this sounds like you, give us a call. We can help you change your life, and feel good about it.