Periodically, the United States faces times when there is a drug shortage. The reasons could range from difficulty getting it from the manufacturer to a sudden flood of prescriptions that can’t keep up with the supply. Benzos have been on a backlog for about a year, but things have gotten worse with the current global pandemic. Now the benzo shortage is more critical. This leaves pharmacies and doctors leaving patients to fend for themselves in some cases. If you have taken benzos for an extended period, then the benzo shortage could have real consequences in your life. Here are three dangers of the current benzo shortage.
Benzos are prescribed for people who have anxiety and panic disorder. They work relatively fast so that if you are experiencing an anxiety attack, the medication will calm you down quickly. However, they work by increasing the effect of your brain’s own “calming” chemical called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). Once activated (or triggered), your whole system slows down and feels calm. However, at the same time, benzos are overriding your brain’s natural ability to trigger the GABA, which means over time, you won’t have as much natural calming ability. In other words, you can become more anxious when you don’t have the medicine.
If you are faced with suddenly not having benzos when you have taken them for a while, you could experience severe withdrawal effects. As stated above, your brain will have a suppressed reaction to stressful situations because it has become used to relying on the benzos to manage anxiety for you. Benzo addiction has taken hold, and your brain responds accordingly. Therefore, what may not have caused anxiety in you before might bring on an anxiety attack. Going through benzo withdrawal often requires a medication-assisted treatment program.
Dangers of Street Benzos
When some people are dealing with benzo addiction, they turn to the streets to obtain the medication. However, this can have serious repercussions. When buying benzos from the street, there is a high risk of getting something that is laced with other drugs —potentially fentanyl. Fentanyl is highly poisonous and potent; using even a tiny bit of this drug can kill a person.
When dealing with any drugs off the street, you don’t know what you will get. Furthermore, it could be mixed with other dangerous chemicals that are not even edible. You may be harming your body with cancer-causing agents as well.
Dealing with the Benzo Shortage at Northern Illinois Recovery Center
If you have found yourself in the difficult situation of relying on benzos and needing to taper off, then do so safely with the aid of proper treatment. At Northern Illinois Recovery Center by your side, you can find the assistance you need to heal without the traumatic effects of quitting abruptly. Our compassionate therapists will put you on a customized treatment program to taper you off the benzos so that your body will be able to manage stressful situations on its own again. Some of the customized treatment programs you may consider:
- A partial hospitalization treatment program
- An intensive outpatient treatment program
- A sober living treatment program
- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) treatment program
Through our evidence-based treatment programs, you can find a place of healing and sobriety.
Don’t let a substance use issue overwhelm your calm in life. Now that you know how the benzo shortage may adversely affect you, you can take steps to overcome this issue with proper treatment. Participate in an addiction treatment program by contacting Northern Illinois Recovery Center at 855.786.1978. We will be here to guide you through the journey.