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Benzos vs. Opioids

a figure symboliozing a person with question marks floating above it symbolizing it pondering the differences between benzos vs opioids

News about the opioid crisis in the U.S. is everywhere, but many people may not realize that the use of benzodiazepines is also escalating. When it comes to benzos vs. opioids, the most important thing to know is that both substances are highly addictive. If you need Pennsylvania benzodiazepine addiction treatment, call New Horizons Recovery today at 267.435.3134 for information about our benzos treatment program.

What Are Benzos?

Benzodiazepine is the generic-class name for sedatives like Xanax and Valium. They are prescribed for various conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, and muscle tension. Unfortunately, according to the National Library of Medicine, almost 20% of people who are prescribed benzos misuse them. Many more buy the drug illegally.

Benzos work by binding with a type of neurotransmitter in the nervous system known as gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). When the medications bind to the GABA receptors, it creates a calming, euphoric effect.

However, it is this sense of euphoria that makes benzos highly addictive. People who use benzos can begin to crave that euphoric effect, which can then lead them to abuse the drug.

With continued use, the brain can become dependent on the substance to release the endorphins that cause pleasurable sensations and minimize pain. In time, the brain is unable to produce these endorphins on its own. People may feel the need to use benzos to experience any type of pleasure or to feel normal.

What to Expect at a Benzos Treatment Center

A comprehensive benzos treatment center provides a continuum of care that begins with medically supervised detox and includes a vigorous aftercare program. Clients should expect a complete health evaluation before treatment begins. Each treatment plan is customized for individual needs and may include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Co-occurring disorder treatment
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Mindfulness practice

It is important for clients to remember that addictions are chronic. There is no “cure” for benzo use disorder, but with proper management and ongoing support, it is possible to live a fulfilling life without depending on drugs or alcohol.

What Are Opioids?

One of the main questions on the topic of benzos vs. opioids is, “Which drug is more dangerous?” While opioids and the opioid epidemic have received a great deal of needed media attention in the last few years, the truth is that both benzos and opioids are highly addictive and potentially deadly.

Opioids include prescription medications, such as OxyContin and morphine, as well as illegal drugs, like heroin. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is extremely dangerous because it can be up to 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and is sometimes mixed with other substances without the purchaser’s knowledge.

Like benzos, opioids interact with the brain’s reward centers. Repeated use can cause physical dependency, and building a tolerance to the drug encourages people to use larger and more frequent doses to achieve the desired results.

The short answer to the questions “What are benzos?” and “What are opioids?” is basically the same. They are both sedative, euphoric drugs that are highly addictive and come with a significant risk of overdose.

Start Your Recovery at New Horizons Recovery with a Benzos Treatment Program

New Horizons Recovery is a comprehensive behavioral treatment center that provides treatment programs for a variety of substance use disorders. We understand that many people who have become addicted to benzos originally took the medication as a treatment for a mental health concern.

Our mental health experts are experienced in providing co-occurring disorder treatment. Contact New Horizons Recovery today at 267.435.3134 for more information about benzo addiction or any of the treatment programs we offer.