Treatment for Downer Addiction

Treatment for Downer AddictionIn a competitive and stressful world, many people are turning to a classification of drugs known as downers to medicate physical and emotional problems. Unfortunately, the use of these drugs often leads to addiction and serious side effects, especially when misused. Downer addiction creates a problem that may be far greater than the anxiety that provoked its initial use, and withdrawal from these drugs is often accompanied by life-threatening side-effects.

What Are Downers?

The term “downers” does not refer to one particular drug, but an entire class of pharmaceutical agents known as depressants. These drugs act on the central nervous system (CNS) to slow down its functioning, usually by altering neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain. The therapeutic result of this is muscular relaxation and reduced anxiety. The term “downers” refers to certain pharmaceutical agents, including barbiturates and benzodiazepines.

Barbiturates were once available as a prescription drug for sleeping disorders and anxiety. Though they are not available by prescription anymore, these drugs are often used illegally to self-medicate anxiety. Barbiturates have been linked to drug tolerance, addiction, side effects, and death. Overdose of this type of drug can cause the life-threatening effects of respiratory depression or coma, which can both lead to death.

One of the most commonly prescribed and abused class of downers are benzodiazepines. The frequency of benzodiazepine prescriptions increased following the discontinuation of barbiturates in medical use. These drugs are only to be prescribed for short term treatment, and can lead to extreme addiction with long-term use. Even at a low dose, physical and psychological dependence of benzodiazepines can occur.

The Struggles of Downer Addiction

While these drugs are used as a means of reducing anxiety, many side effects accompany their use. The side effects may include the following:

  • Slowed reflexes
  • Impaired coordination
  • Dull thinking
  • Reduced judgment
  • Inhibited memory

These side effects interfere with daily functioning and can also be dangerous to the addict and the addict’s loved ones.

Withdrawing from barbiturates can be highly unpleasant due to the intense physical and psychological dependence acquired from their use. Withdrawal from barbiturates can cause extreme hallucinations and seizures. Because of this, detox should only be attempted with the supervision of a doctor.

Withdrawing from benzodiazepines is also particularly dangerous, due to the possibility of severe anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. As with barbiturate detox, a doctor’s supervision in a medical facility is necessary.

The complexity of detox and withdrawal lead many substance abusers to continue abusing the drug to simply avoid the process. However, continued use of these substances leads to increased dependency and addiction, creating further problems and health risks.

Get Help for Addiction

When people experience extreme anxiety, they often turn to prescribed medications or self-medicate with downers. These drugs do not deal with the underlying issues that caused the anxiety and only add to a person’s long-term issues. Finding the right integrated treatment program for you is an important step. Therefore, please call our toll free number today. Our admissions counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about integrated treatment.

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