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Monday, June 14, 2010

Facts about Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines Is a family of tranquilizing drugs including valium, with strong sedative, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant, amnesic (causing blackouts), and, anti-anxiety effects.

Aside from that they are used for criminal purposes, as they serve to incapacitate a victim in cases of drug assisted rape or robbery, Benzodiazepines are prescribed for short-term relief of severe and disabling anxiety. They are used to treat a wide variety of conditions and symptoms and are usually a first choice when short-term CNS sedation is needed. Longer-term uses include treatment for severe anxiety.
However, after continuous usage for longer than two weeks, There is a risk of a benzodiazepine withdrawal and rebound syndrome, meaning that the symptom will be more pronounced after the medication is withdrawn than before it was used.

They are highly addictive and tolerance and dependence may occur if patients stay under treatment for more than 2 weeks. A goal of less than six months to withdraw has been suggested,but a year or more may be needed.

Long-term use can cause: cognitive impairment, affective and behavioural problems, feelings of turmoil, difficulty in thinking constructively, loss of sex-drive, agoraphobia and social phobia, increasing anxiety and depression, loss of interest in leisure pursuits and interests, and an inability to experience or express feelings.

long-term use is associated with moderate to large adverse effects on all areas of cognition, with visuospatial memory being the most commonly detected impairment. This effects the ability to visualize spatial patterns and mentally manipulate them over a time-ordered sequence of spatial transformations. The ability is important for generating and conceptualizing solutions to multi-step problems that arise in areas such as architecture, engineering, science, mathematics, art, games, and everyday life.
Some of the other impairments reported were decreased IQ, visiomotor coordination, information processing, verbal learning and concentration.
Paradoxical reactions occur with greater frequency in recreational abusers, they include: aggression, violence, impulsivity, irritability and suicidal behavior. These reactions have been explained as consequences of disinhibition, that is loss of control over socially unacceptable behavior.

Abuse of the benzodiazepine Temazepam reached epidemic proportions in some parts of the world, in particular, in Europe and Australia, and is a major drug of abuse in many Southeast Asian countries. This led authorities of various countries to place temazepam under a more restrictive legal status. Sweden and some other countries banned the drug outright.
Individuals with a history of alcohol, opioid and barbiturate abuse should avoid benzodiazepines, as there is a risk of life-threatening interactions with these drugs.
You can find a list of benzodiazepines here

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