Benzo Abuse in New Jersey
Benzo addiction is a widespread problem across Mid-Atlantic states, including New Jersey. The state recently established a program called NJ CARES. This program maintains a comprehensive list of opioid-related prescription sales data. The program’s initial goal was to enable doctors to look up patients’ medical records in a database before prescribing opioids. If the doctor noticed a patient already had several active prescriptions, they would refuse to write a script. Now, medical providers will use the NJ CARES database to look up patient records before prescribing benzodiazepines. New Jersey shares its data with fifteen states, including New York and Delaware. By sharing its data, New Jersey prevents individuals from traveling to other states to abuse benzos.
NJ CARES is by no means a foolproof system. Benzo addicts can still purchase substances from family and friends. However, the program is inarguably a step in the right direction to combat benzo abuse. Healthcare professionals that notice patterns of abuse can refer individuals to a New Jersey benzo addiction treatment program.
Understanding Benzo Abuse
Benzos create a calming effect and slow the central nervous system. After taking benzo, your brain releases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter limiting the cells’ ability to talk to each other. Millions of people take benzos because they’re effective at what they’re primarily intended for: treating anxiety and insomnia. However, as with other drugs, you will feel a “euphoric” effect if you take too many benzos. This feeling is often described as a benzo “high.” If you habitually take benzos, you’ll eventually build a tolerance for them. This tolerance means you will have to take more benzos to achieve the same high. Over time, you’ll notice that you can’t function without benzodiazepines. Without your daily fix, you may experience brain fog and increased anxiety.
There are various benzos available on the market. While many of these benzos serve a similar function, some are stronger than others. In addition, some are more effective for treating acute anxiety, whereas some work best to help you sleep.
The most popular benzos are:
- Xanax (alprazolam)
- Valium (diazepam)
- Klonopin (clonazepam)
- Prosom (estazolam)
- Dalmane (flurazepam)
- Ativan (lorazepam)
- Librium (chlordiazepoxide)
- Restoril (temazepam)
How Do Benzos Differ?
The chemical makeup of each benzo and no two pills function precisely the same. For example, imagine someone has a Xanax prescription, and their friend has a Klonopin prescription. Individuals with the Xanax prescription may have severe panic attacks when they have to fly on airplanes. Since they have an upcoming trip, their doctor prescribes them a small dosage of Klonopin. On the other hand, their friend doesn’t suffer from panic attacks. Instead, they have insomnia that keeps them up all night. Klonopin helps them sleep, but its effects don’t kick in as quickly as Xanax. While Xanax is a popular choice for acute anxiety, Klonopin is also commonly prescribed to patients who suffer from muscle spasms they need to sedate before a procedure.
Another difference between Xanax and Klonopin is that Xanax has a much shorter half-life. You feel Klonopin’s effects for about 50 hours. In contrast, the results of Xanax last for approximately 11 hours.
Comparing benzos to cocaine is like comparing apples to oranges. While both are addictive, cocaine is illegal in almost all countries worldwide. A doctor would never prescribe you cocaine, but many people have legitimate reasons for having a benzo prescription. Nevertheless, benzo addiction is still a concern whether you have a drug or not. Even if you don’t abuse benzos, you can still become addicted if you take them for an extended period. Therefore, it’s essential that your physician carefully monitors you while you’re on benzodiazepines. If you find that you can’t forgo benzos without suffering withdrawal symptoms, you should consider New Jersey benzo addiction treatment at United Recover Project Luxury Rehab center.