How Do Benzodiazepines Work on the Brain and Body?

Addiction to prescription drugs is as problematic as any illegal street drug. As a matter of fact, the abuse of prescribed medications, especially among the students, who start with stealing from their parents medicine cabinets, has risen to alarming heights and regularly result in overdose deaths all across America.

Among the most commonly abused prescription medicines are  benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and clonazepam (Klonopin) that give relief by depressing the central nervous system (CNS). They are used by millions in the U.S. to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, including insomnia. These CNS depressants affect the brain neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA works by decreasing brain activity, which results in a drowsy or calming effect.

Barbiturates, including phenobarbital (Nembutal) and mephobarbital (Mebaral), are also CNS depressants. They are commonly used for anesthesia and are prescribed to treat seizures and, occasionally, insomnia or anxiety on a short-term basis.

Taking CNS depressants for a few days to a few weeks may help you feel calm and also help you sleep better. After a while, however, as your tolerance to  the drugs increase , you likely will need larger doses to get the same calm and sleepy feeling. Caution: In addition, using CNS depressants with alcohol can slow down your heart and respiration and lead to death.

You cannot stop taking  these CNS depressing drugs suddenly as after taking them for a long period of time, stopping suddenly can have life-threatening consequences such as withdrawal seizures.  Doctors always get you off benzos by tapering the dose slowly over a period of weeks, sometimes months.  You should discuss the pros and cons of these CNS depressants with your doctor or pharmacist before getting your first prescription filled and use strictly as prescribed.

For additional information or pertinent details relating to the above subject, please feel free to contact Structured Living LLC, Ann Arbor, MI through

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