Mixing Prescription Opiates And BenzodiazepinesRehabilitation News
The Crosby Clinic offers effective drug treatment to individuals battling addiction. One growing problem we see at our clinic is the number of patients battling addictions to prescription drugs. Unfortunately, there is a large percentage of individuals prescribed medications to treat health ailments who fall victims to the grasp of addiction. When individuals begin abusing substances, they place their health and lives at risk of developing serious side effects. Another major problem occurs when individuals mix the types of drugs they take. Individuals who mix prescription opiates with prescription benzodiazepines are placing themselves at an increased risk of suffering severe addictions and side effects from this abuse.
What Is The Issue?
Millions of individuals across the United States rely on opiate medications for pain management. Benzodiazepines are effective sedative-hypnotic and anticonvulsant medications. Unfortunately, these medications come with a very high risk of addiction. Additionally, individuals across the country are being prescribed benzodiazepine medications to treat anxiety or insomnia.
Since 2002, we have seen a 12% increase in the number of patients prescribed both of these types of medications. It is believed that insurance coverage is one of the leading reasons, so many individuals are being prescribed both of these medications simultaneously. The combined use of benzodiazepines and opiates accounts for 30% of overdose deaths in emergency rooms across the country each year.
Central Nervous System Depressants And Overdose Deaths
These two types of medications function very differently, yet have some of the same effects for depressing the central nervous system. When taken together, these medications enhance the effects of one another, which can cause users to lose consciousness and suffer respiratory arrest.
When used, opiates bind to opioid receptors and alter the user’s threshold for pain. A common side effect of opiate use is smooth muscle tissue relation and drowsiness. Similarly, benzodiazepines work by increasing the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which can induce a sleep-like state. Both medications depress breathing, which can be lethal when combined.
Due to the nature of both opiates and benzodiazepines, people taking these medications may inadvertently take more medication than required. This is due in part to the use of benzodiazepine, which can cause short-term memory loss. Individuals can take benzodiazepines while undergoing methadone maintenance therapy, but doing so may increase the chances of a user becoming physically dependent upon the medication. It is crucial for anyone suffering from addiction to either of these medications or a combination of them, to get substance abuse help as soon as possible.
Take Back Control Of Your Life
The medically assisted detox program at the Crosby Clinic is safe and effective in helping patients rid harmful substances from their bodies without all the negative side effects of withdrawal. After detox, patients are encouraged to stay at our Escondido inpatient rehab to engage in various forms of therapy and counseling to help improve their minds, bodies, and spirits. We help patients learn effective coping skills that carry them through drug and alcohol rehabilitation to ensure long-term success. Contact an intake specialist by calling (760) 751-1234 to see how our treatment programs can help you.