Are benzodiazepines addictive?
If you use benzodiazepines too often, you run the risk of becoming mentally and physically addicted to them. This often starts with the idea that you can’t sleep without benzodiazepines (for example, after taking drugs). You lose faith in your own ability to fall asleep and then become mentally dependent on them. In the long run, you can also become physically dependent if you take benzodiazepines on a daily basis. After a few weeks/months, tolerance to benzodiazepines develops and you need more and more to achieve the same effect. It is often very difficult to get rid of a benzodiazepine addiction, because sleeping problems and anxiety symptoms often return when people stop taking benzodiazepines.
So you can become physically dependent on benzodiazepines. When you then reduce or try to stop, you will experience withdrawal symptoms: headache, sweating, speech and vision disorders, dizziness, tremors, nausea or shortness of breath, anxiety, irritability or depressive feelings. Let this be precisely the complaints why people often started using, it is logical that people are inclined to use again, that is called a vicious circle.
Never stop daily benzodiazepine use all at once, as this can cause dangerous physical withdrawal symptoms. It is important to do this in consultation with a professional, who can help you with a reduction schedule and you can also look together at the cause of your anxiety or sleeping problems.
If you’re wondering if your benzodiazepine use is becoming a problem, you can take a “test your own use” test on Jellinek’s website.