Benzodiazepines, or benzos, is a class of drugs that are often prescribed to treat things such as seizures, mood disorders, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, and is even used to help with alcohol withdrawals. This type of drug works by making the brain less sensitive to stimulation, which creates a calming effect on both the mind and the body. Benzodiazepines have a very high risk of dependency, abuse, and addiction.
How is Benzodiazepine Strength Measured?
Just like any other class of prescription medication, benzodiazepines are designed with different levels of efficiency based on their intended purpose. The more potent the benzo is, the faster it will kick in and the higher likelihood it will produce a sedative and calming effect on the person. The potency, also called the effectiveness, of a drug would be considered the strongest. As an example, Ativan is considered one of the strongest benzodiazepines because it has a high potency and is short-acting, meaning it offers a maximum half-life of 24 hours and only takes about 30 minutes to kick in. The more potent the drug, the quicker you will feel the effects. The half-life refers to how long the drug will last before you will need to take another dose. While the higher potency benzodiazepines are much more sought after by users than the weaker ones, and benzodiazepines can be abused and should be considered dangerous prescriptions as they are all rated Schedule IV controlled substances. At the same time, benzodiazepines are very addictive and it’s easy to become dependent on them.
Which is the Weakest Benzo?
While it is difficult to determine who Benzodiazepines is the weakest as many fall under the same category of “weak”, one of the weakest is called Valium, or diazepam. The term weak, however, is an understatement as this drug can still be abused and cause addiction. Valium specifically is used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures, and alcohol withdrawal. Valium creates a calming effect and also can cause a release of the chemical called endorphins. When endorphins are released in the body, it can cause a euphoric and pleasurable feeling that is called a high. The physical side effects that Valium creates are due to changes in the chemical makeup in the brain that this drug creates. Psychological side effects can also develop. Some physical and psychological side effects include:
- Slow or slurred speech
- Difficulty thinking straight
- Difficulty understanding others
- Poor memory
- Poor judgment
- Mood and emotional swings
- Decreased attention span
- Poor performance
- Cravings for Valium
- Guilt or anger about use
- Decrease in socialization
- Decreased enjoyment in life
Even though Valium is considered one of the weakest benzodiazepines, it is believed that around 20% of people who take Valium are not using it correctly and may have developed an addiction.
Help With Benzodiazepine Addiction
If you or someone you love has developed an addiction to Valium, Evoke Wellness at Miramar is here to help. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for those who are struggling with a substance abuse disorder. Benzodiazepine abuse of any kind is considered dangerous and should be treated in a facility with medical professionals and staff. With the help of our team of therapists, we offer one on one, group therapy, as well as many other specialized options to fit each person’s needs. Treatment requires a multi-layered approach for maximum success. Addiction isn’t an easy thing to face. Luckily, you do not have to face it on your own. Our admissions counselors and professionals are available around the clock. We are ready to help you or a loved one overcome the disease of addiction. Now is the time to change your life. Let us help you do it.