Opiates and Benzos
Some substances, like opiates and benzos (benzodiazepines), have a reputation for being highly addictive. The addictive properties of both substances are due to their effects on the brain’s reward circuitry.
Morphine, fentanyl, and heroin are all opiates produced from the opium poppy. They accomplish their goals by connecting with opioid receptors in the central nervous system. These receptors control the pain, pleasure, and the body’s reaction to stress. When opiates attach to their receptors, they trigger the release of the reward- and the pleasure-related neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is released when something pleasurable happens, and that high may become addictive.
Benzos like Valium and Xanax may be used in treating anxiety and other mental health issues. The neurotransmitter GABA, which controls the brain’s stress response, is the target of their action. Reduced anxiety and a more relaxed mood result from benzos’ ability to bind to and boost the brain’s supply of the neurotransmitter GABA. However, these medicines’ increased dopamine release and subsequent feelings of pleasure may also be highly addictive.
The Highly Addictive Characteristics of Benzodiazepines and Opiates
Abusing opiates and benzos often leads to physical dependency and addiction to these substances. The body develops tolerance to a medicine when it is used often; therefore, higher dosages are needed to maintain the same effects over time. Nausea, vomiting, and sleeplessness are just some of the withdrawal symptoms that may occur when someone attempts to cut down or stop taking the medication.
Is The Addiction to Benzos Worse Than That of Opiates?
Both opiates and benzos are very harmful and addictive, despite the widespread belief that opiate addiction is more severe. Unfortunately, many people misuse them for the high they provide, and the effects are amplified when many substances are taken simultaneously. Addicts often consume benzos before using opiates since it heightens the effects of the opiates.
Opioids and benzodiazepines have several similar characteristics including:
- They are both highly addictive
- They are both capable of causing tolerance and physical dependence,
- They are both capable of triggering withdrawal symptoms in physically dependent individuals who abruptly discontinue usage.
Those whose severe pains are treated with benzos are closely managed to avoid addiction, and opiates are often only prescribed for a brief period of time until the discomfort subsides or goes away. Long-term usage of benzodiazepines causes tolerance, which means the patient will require ever higher doses to have the same effect as when they initially started taking medicine. People who already have an addiction or addictive tendencies are more prone to use benzos or opiates and continue using them to chase the high they provide, which may develop into physical dependency and addiction.
Mallard Lake Detox Center in Houston Is Here to Help You!
Abuse of benzodiazepines and opiates either separately or together dramatically increases the risk of overdose and death. Getting professional assistance immediately is crucial if you or someone you care about is addicted to these prescription drugs.
Specialists at Mallard Lake Detox Center, one of the best drug and alcohol rehabs in Houston, have designed a novel, hybrid treatment style that incorporates elements of the conventional 12-step approach and holistic healing. The treatment is very effective in managing opiate and benzodiazepine addiction.
Fighting addiction on your own may be quite challenging. Our experts are here and ready to assist if you or a beloved one is experiencing problems related to the misuse of prescription medications. Reach out to Mallard Lake Center and speak to one of our addiction specialists.