Misuse of Benzodiazepines (aka Tranquilizers and Sleeping pills)

Today Sedative-Hypnotics drugs (aka Tranquilizers or sleeping pills) are the most widely prescribed drugs all over the world. Sedative-Hypnotics divide into three classes which include Benzodiazepines, Barbiturates, and miscellaneous agents. Among these classes, Benzodiazepines are the most widely used class of drugs as they are considered safe and effective. These are mainly used to treat sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression.

More than 2,000 benzodiazepines have been produced, in which only 15 are currently FDA-approved. These commonly include alprazolam (Alp, Xanax), Diazepam (Valium), Lorazepam (Ativan), Bromazepam (Lexotan), Midazolam, etc.

The misuse of benzodiazepines is increasing day by day. Today majority of benzodiazepine consumers are obtaining it without any prescription, and this has given rise to concern for drug abuse. According to a study conducted in 2015-16, it’s been estimated that 17.1% of the benzodiazepine users misused them, and fewer than 2% had benzodiazepine use disorders. Through finding, it’s been evaluated that most abusers obtained it from family or relatives, and only 20% receiving them from their doctor.

This misuse is mainly due to the widespread availability. People who use these drugs without any prescription are putting themselves in potential harm, which includes drug overdosing, drug-drug interaction, and other undesirable effects.

Long term benzodiazepine use causes drug tolerance, which in case of drug misuse results in higher dose consumption. This drug over dosing can cause some serious unwanted effects, which includes drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, weakness, lack of co-ordination, blurry vision, breathing difficulty, and coma. Other long-term drug abuse symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, headache, and anorexia. These are exactly the conditions for which these drugs are taken.

Long-term use of benzodiazepines can cause physical dependence even under normal therapeutic doses. After being physically depended on the drug, if it’s consumption stops suddenly, it can lead to withdrawal effects, which includes insomnia, anxiety, depression, grand mal seizures, aches, delirium, nausea, and muscle spasms. In order to manage these symptoms, withdrawal from Benzodiazepines is done through gradual dose reduction, which in case of people who self-medicate, may not be possible. So, it’s best to always consult with your doctor before starting or quitting any medicine.

References

https://drugabuse.com/benzodiazepines/

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One must go for psychological interventions first before opting for drug intake… Pharmacies can also play a role by providing drugs only to those who’ve got Drs prescription.

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Exactly :100:

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Proper measures should be taken to stop the provision of medicines without prescriptions.

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I’ve seen that there are some physicians who are also not playing their role in providing awareness among people who seek these kinds of medications without any essential need. Instead, they simply write down the names of medicines on prescription paper. Being a doctor is a huge responsibility, but sadly, there are some who just doesn’t care. Then of course, pharmacies also need to keep a check on this matter.

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Sense of responsibility is something difficult to find in our people but lets hope for the best💫

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Depression among people has reached to such a great height that these drugs have become common. Unfortunately, nobody is talking about such sensitive issue.

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This must be controlled through various campaigns and spreading awareness about drug abuse. Also, such programs must be initiated which can mitigate the depression among all, especially the youth.

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The best thing to do is to exercise regularly. It improves mental health naturally that there wont’ be any need of such drugs but unfortunately today people lack patience and have become used to of shortcuts that they go after medications directly. Surely the drugs provide huge benefits, but only for a temporary time.

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It is understood that people who really suffer from insomnia, depression and anxiety are in such a difficult situation that it is sometimes not easy to comprehend. But still choosing medications as a first line treatment for their issues is totally wrong and harmful when a much better and healthier option (i.e. exercise) there is.
Being a PharmD student I felt the need to spread the word. I personally have seen people misusing drugs and it really hit me like how can someone be so reckless?

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Yes exactly. Nevertheless, such topics need to be discussed. Great work!

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Thank you ! :relaxed:

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this is so true ! thanks for posting this :slight_smile:

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Anytime :innocent: