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Sedatives and Tranquilizers Addiction Facts

Sedatives and Tranquilizers Addiction: Is There Reason for Concern?

Sedative and tranquilizer addiction is a bigger problem now than ever before. There absolutely is a reason to be concerned.

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These drugs are highly addictive, and yet, they are continually prescribed to patients by their doctors. Many of these patients are at a high risk for addiction to these types of drugs. Sedatives and tranquilizers typically go by a number of different names. They are often called:

  • Benzos
  • Sleeping pills
  • Bennies
  • Moggies
  • Tranx
  • Hypnotics
  • Downers

Regardless of what you call them, they are dangerous. They are highly addictive and highly abused in the United States. They work by depressing the central nervous system in the body. This results in a state of sedation that many people find appealing. While they can help with sleep, people who abuse them will often fight through the need for sleep. They will, instead, seek the sensations of euphoria that these drugs induce.

Perhaps you have been using tranquilizers and sedatives. You are concerned that you may have formed an addiction to them. It's possible that a loved one has expressed their concern to you as well. You're just not sure what you should do. Getting the right information about tranquilizer and sedative addiction is critical. Once you know how dangerous these drugs are, it's easier to reconcile asking for help.

Please know that help for your addiction is available. Sedatives and tranquilizers don't have to continue to rule your life.

Sedatives Addiction Information

Sedative and Tranquilizer Dependence Facts and Statistics in the U.S.

Sedative and tranquilizer use in the United States is actually much more common that most people think. These drugs are given out for a number of different reasons. These include not being able to sleep, mental health disorders, seizures and so much more.

Statistically, it's clear that the U.S. has a serious problem of sedative and tranquilizer addiction. Statistics tell us that:

  • Almost half of all people in the U.S. currently take prescription medications. This includes tranquilizers and sedatives.
  • It has been found that 119 million people take prescription psychotherapeutic drugs.
  • Of these individuals, about 19 million of them didn't have a prescription for the drugs they took.
  • More than 1 out of 3 of these people did have a prescription, but took the drugs in excess.
  • 5% of them admitted to purchasing their drugs from a dealer or a stranger.
  • In 16% of these cases, tranquilizers and sedatives were being abused or misused.
  • 2.3% of adults in the United States have used sedatives and tranquilizers non-medically during the last year.
  • Of these individuals, close to 10% met the criteria for addiction or dependence.

It is clear that we have a serious prescription drug epidemic in this country. What many people don't realize is that sedatives and tranquilizers can be just as dangerous as street drugs.

List of Addictive Sedatives and Tranquilizers

Sedatives and tranquilizers can actually be broken down into two different categories. They are major and minor. These drugs are used for different purposes.

Major tranquilizers and sedatives are often called antipsychotics. They are used to treat mental health conditions like schizophrenia. The most popular major sedatives and tranquilizers include:

  • Proloxin (Fluphenazine)
  • Thorazine (Chlorpromazine)
  • Navane (Thiothixene)
  • Mellaril (Thioridazine)
  • Haldol (Haloperidol)

The minor sedatives and tranquilizers serve a different purpose. They are often used to treat conditions like alcohol withdrawal, anxiety, insomnia and muscle spasms. Minor tranquilizers and sedatives are much more likely to produce euphoric sensations. Some examples of these include:

  • Valium (Diazepam)
  • Librium (Chlordiazepoxide)
  • Ativan (Lorazepam)
  • Xanax (Alprazolam)
  • Klonopin (Clonazepam)

One of the things that makes these drugs so dangerous is when they are combined with depressants. When individuals drink alcohol, or use drugs like heroin, the result can even be death.

What is the Definition of Sedative and Tranquilizer Addiction?

Tranquilizer and sedative addiction is defined as feeling a need or compulsion to use these drugs. People who have addictions to them often feel as though they can't get along without them.

When sedative and tranquilizer dependence occurs, it delivers powerful, negative, life-altering consequences.

At that point, the addiction becomes more important to the individual than anything else. He or she will choose the addiction over family, friends, work, or even food. An addiction has the power to negatively impact lives. Sedative and tranquilizer addiction is prominent in our country, and so many people have been impacted.

Sedative and Tranquilizer Abuse vs. Addiction: What's the Difference?

Sometimes people confuse sedative and tranquilizer abuse with addiction. They often think they mean the same thing. They are actually very different from each other.

When someone is addicted to tranquilizers or sedatives, they feel the need to use them. It is a compulsion that they can't escape. Willpower isn't enough to keep them away from them. When someone is abusing sedatives and tranquilizers, the addiction hasn't set in yet.

The key is that tranquilizer and sedative abuse doesn't require cravings or withdrawal symptoms. It is more of a choice to use the drugs at that point than a need.

Signs of Tranquilizer and Sedative Abuse to Look for

Maybe you're concerned that you or a loved one might be abusing tranquilizers and sedatives. It could be something you've never really thought much about. However, now you need to know for sure. There are some signs of abuse that you can look for. These include:

  • Only take these drugs for the euphoric effects of them alone
  • Take the drugs without a prescription
  • Steal the drugs from others
  • Crush the pills to inject them or snort them to get a faster high
  • Take their doses too closely together
  • Take more than the dosage amount on the bottle

Are these behaviors that you recognize? If they are, sedative and tranquilizer abuse may be a problem that needs some attention.

Are You a Sedative or Tranquilizer Addict? Learn How to Tell

Perhaps you're concerned about the fact that you may be a tranquilizer or sedative addict. There are certain signs and symptoms that you can look for. These will give you some additional insight.

People with sedative and tranquilizer addictions:

  • Feel very drowsy much of the time
  • May be experiencing euphoria or a high
  • May talk with slurred speech
  • May have problems with concentration
  • May struggle with feeling dizzy
  • May have memory problems
  • Could have breathing problems during sleep
  • Could stash pill bottles in an attempt to hide the evidence
  • May visit more than one doctor to get more prescriptions for pills

Do any of these look familiar to you? They are all classic signs of addiction. If you're still not sure, it might help to take a quiz. A prescription drug quiz will ask you some specific questions about your drug use. The results will give you some more insight into your drug use behaviors and patterns.

What are the Risks of Addiction to Tranquilizers and Sedatives?

There a number of reasons why certain people are drawn to use these medications in inappropriate ways. The risks of addiction to sedatives and tranquilizers are actually dependent on several factors. These include:

  • Genetic factors: People with family histories of addictions to these or other drugs are more susceptible.
  • Mental health issues: People suffering from anxiety, depression or other mental health problems are prone to addictions.
  • Environmental factors: These can include stress, peer pressure, or other environmental issues.
  • A history of addiction: Someone with a history of using drugs or alcohol is much more likely to become addicted to sedatives and tranquilizers.
  • A history of trauma: PTSD sufferers frequently suffer from addictions. Tranquilizers and sedatives are attractive to them for their anxiety-relieving qualities.

Understanding the Dangers of Sedating Drugs

Sedating drugs can be very dangerous when they are misused or abused. Sedatives and tranquilizers can cause a number of side effects, both physically and mentally. These include:

  • Problems with sleeping well
  • Respiratory arrest or distress
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Digestion problems
  • Unconsciousness or deep sedation
  • A high risk of anxiety attacks
  • Attacks of paranoia
  • Mood disorders
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Expressions of anger or even rage
  • Aggressive behaviors

Sedative and Tranquilizer Addiction Recovery is Possible

For many who are addicted to tranquilizers or sedatives, recovery doesn't seem possible. The majority of people who become addicted to these drugs never meant to form addictions. They only meant to take them to help with their issues. Once they discover they're addicted, they worry that they'll never be able to stop.

If that's how you feel, we want to caution you.

The worst thing you can do is to try to stop using tranquilizers or sedatives on your own. You're likely to experience withdrawal symptoms that will be very hard for you to manage. They could even lead to a relapse, and possibly even an overdose.

Professional sedative and tranquilizer treatment is available to help you through every step of  your recovery.

What You Can Expect During Tranquilizer and Sedative Rehab

The idea of going to sedative and tranquilizer rehab might seem a bit scary to you. Please know that this is absolutely normal. Many people are nervous about their first time getting treatment. In fact, even those who have been to rehab numerous times have their concerns and anxieties. It may calm some of your fears if you know exactly what you can expect.

When you go to tranquilizer and sedative rehab, you can expect to participate in:

  • Group therapy: This is one of the most rewarding parts of your treatment. Group therapy allows you to meet and interact with others who also have addictions. You'll learn so much about yourself during these sessions.
  • Individual therapy: Working with a therapist during individual therapy sessions will provide you with so many benefits. You'll learn more about your sedative and tranquilizer addiction, and how it has affected you. You'll also learn the reasons behind it.
  • Family therapy sessions: It's possible that your addiction has done a lot of damage to your most important relationships. Family therapy aims to repair those relationships as you heal.
  • Detoxification: Some patients need to detox from sedatives and tranquilizers. This aids in reducing your withdrawal symptoms. You may need to be weaned off your medication, and if you do, that's OK. The goal is to get you off of them as safely as possible.
  • Alternate therapy: Equine therapy, art therapy and music therapy all fall under this heading. Your treatment plan will be designed specifically for you. It's important to give you the type of treatment you need.

For Those With Sedative and Tranquilizer Addictions, Treatment is the Answer

How long have you been addicted to sedatives and tranquilizers? Maybe it's been so long that you can't remember when you started taking them. Or, perhaps your addiction is still fairly new. Either way, you don't have to continue in it. It may seem as though breaking your sedative and tranquilizer addiction will be extremely hard. It will be challenging, that's for certain. However, so many people have been successful with it in the past. There's no reason why you can't be just as successful.

At Northpoint Recovery, we have worked with many people who struggled with sedative and tranquilizer dependence. We understand how this addiction works, and we know how to treat it. We have higher than average success rates because of our modern treatment methods. Tranquilizer and sedative rehab can make such a difference in your life. We want to invite you to get the help you need right now.

Are you suffering with a sedative and tranquilizer addiction? Treatment offers you hope for recovery, and the chance at living a normal life. To learn more, or to get started immediately, please contact us today.

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Sources: (8, September 2016). Widespread Use of Prescription Drugs Provides Ample Supply for Abuse. Retrieved from: (1, June 2007). Non-Medical Use, Abuse and Dependence on Sedatives and Tranquilizers Among U.S. Adults: Psychiatric and Social-Demographic Correlates. Retrieved from:

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