Are anti-anxiety medications addicting?

Anxiety, fear and panic are common human instincts. These feelings and reactions keep a person safe from potentially harmful situations. Yet anxiety disorder can be debilitating and nerve-wrenching. You can experience anxiety symptoms and panic attacks at times when there is nothing to worry about. You can also experience them at a higher level than normal. This can lead to generalised anxiety disorder and other mental health conditions.

Anti-anxiety medication helps manage stressful situations, which can be daunting for some people. While anti-anxiety drugs can be beneficial for many people, they may not be the right choice for everyone. Some people may end up facing:

  • Addiction
  • Withdrawal effects
  • Psychological symptoms
  • Drug interactions
  • Physical symptoms
  • Substance use disorder
  • Physical dependence
  • Other complications

In this blog post, we will discuss what anti-anxiety medications are. We will examine the potential risk factors associated with their use. We will explore how they can lead to addiction.

Anti-anxiety medications

Anti-anxiety medications provide relief. They give a sense of calm for millions of individuals dealing with the challenges of:

  • Generalised anxiety disorders
  • Mental health disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Panic disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Treat depression

Many doctors use the measures in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The American Psychiatric Association published it to diagnose an anxiety disorder. These prescription drugs include Benzodiazepines. These offer rapid symptom improvement by sedating the central nervous system. It also includes Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), which work wonders. It stabilises mood through the modulation of serotonin levels in the brain. Buspirone and Beta-blockers also cater to specific situations and conditions. It helps a healthcare provider give you the right medication. There can be non-addictive anxiety medications. Medicines that have addictive potential and can be highly addictive. It is also crucial to consider the common side effects. An increased risk of adverse effects may arise when taking anti-anxiety medicines.

Signs and symptoms of anti-anxiety medication addiction

"Are anti-anxiety medications addictive?" This is the most common question for people with anxiety disorders. They search for the right anti-anxiety medication to treat anxiety and mental illnesses. There can be a range of factors that play a part. These factors increase the risk of addiction in people using medicines for anxiety disorders. Following are some of the vital factors:

Prolonged use

Any medicine taken for anxiety disorders for an extended period can develop tolerance. This happens when the same dose becomes less effective in providing relief over time. This forces the individual to increase the dose. They may also use it more frequently to achieve the same result. All this can lead to addiction.

High dosages

Don't take the medicine more than the prescribed dose. Taking it, especially without the doctor's consent, can lead to tolerance and dependence. High doses can intensify the sedation. It gives you a more calming effect and makes you addicted to that drowsiness. High doses can also result in an increased risk of side effects.

Frequent use

Patients start using the medicine more frequently than prescribed by the healthcare professional. It creates a pattern of reliance, making it necessary for an individual's life. The body develops tolerance. This causes the person to enter into a cycle of escalating use to maintain the same level of relief.

Substance abuse

Mixing alcohol or other illicit drugs with anti-anxiety medication can cause intense sedation. It leads to impaired coordination and drowsiness. There is also an increased risk of side effects and overdose. Concurrent substance abuse can lead to a more rapid tolerance. Doctors usually check for medical and family history before prescribing. They do so if they suspect abuse potential.

Mental health conditions

Some people experience mental health disorders, emotional distress, or panic disorder. They typically start taking anti-anxiety medicines as self-medication. This can lead to an interplay of symptoms and medication use. This increases the chances of reliance and addiction. This happens as the patient starts using the medicine for every emotional distress.

Family history

Family history can play a role in addiction as some genes are more vulnerable to addiction. This can happen due to:

  • Genetic variation more susceptible to addiction
  • Shared environmental factors
  • Behaviours
  • Coping mechanisms that contribute to a higher risk of addiction

In families where substance abuse is common, the approach towards this may be more normal and acceptable. Individuals must be open and honest about their family history with their healthcare providers. So, they may be cautious when prescribing anti-anxiety medicines.

Lack of alternative coping strategies

An individual should not rely solely on medication to treat anxiety disorders. They should try other coping mechanisms to treat mental disorders. This can prevent dependence and addiction to the drug. One should try natural ways and lifestyle changes to manage their anxiety.

Doctor shopping

It refers to the practice of seeking prescriptions. It can be the same or similar anti-anxiety medications from different doctors. This allows them to get a larger supply of medicines. This surplus of medicine allows the potential for abuse. This also leads to addiction without the doctor knowing the pattern of misuse.

Improper use

Do not take medicine in contradiction to how the doctor or the patient information leaflet has specified. This can lead to the risk of addiction. Improper ways of taking medicine can include crushing, injecting or snorting. This is a dangerous practice and can have serious consequences. People commonly engage in this behaviour to produce a faster and more intense sedation.

Withdrawal symptoms

These physical and psychological effects normally occur. This happens when an individual reduces or stops the medicine after prolonged use. The symptoms can be intolerable for some. This acts as a powerful motivator for continuing the use of medicine. This further intensifies the addiction, and the person may start taking higher doses than prescribed.

Treatment options for addiction

Addiction is a complex and multidimensional issue. It can have both psychological and physical symptoms. There are various methods and treatment options available to deal with addiction. These methods include rehabilitation or detoxification, therapy and support groups.

When combining these different approaches, people with an addiction can access comprehensive and holistic treatment. It ultimately paves the way to a healing and drug-free life.

It is also important to be cautious when starting anti-anxiety medication. If you want to buy anti-anxiety medicine, you can visit Health 2 delivery. Our experts will assess which medicine suits you and prescribe the best treatment. You can also buy non addictive anxiety medications to reduce anxiety. Do not start anti-anxiety medicine without consulting a doctor. Follow the dosage instructions for treating anxiety.

The final word

Anti-anxiety medications can be beneficial in managing anxiety symptoms. But should always be taken cautiously as they can lead to addiction. Always follow your doctor's advice. Deviating from the prescribed dose can lead to dependence, addiction and withdrawal effects. Watch out for signs and symptoms such as developing tolerance, craving medication, or taking more than prescribed. If you find yourself in this situation, seek medical help. Treatment options, including cognitive-behavioural therapy, effectively manage addiction issues. With the proper approach, individuals struggling with addiction to anti-anxiety medications can get back on track. They can fully enjoy a life of sobriety again.