Top Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol and Benzo Drug Abuse
Does it seem like no matter what you do, you have cravings for alcohol and can’t stop? Do you try to only have one glass of wine at dinner, but it could turn into
three, four, or five? Are you worried about a loved one you believe drinks too much? Or, perhaps someone you know is addicted to Xanax or Valium, which are also referred to as Benzodiazepine tranquilizers used to reduce anxiety and insomnia?
No matter how much a person tries, they cannot quit drinking or using benzos. Alcoholism is a disease and chronic drug use affects not only the user, but loved ones as well. High doses of benzodiazepines can produce serious side effects and acute toxicity.
Here are a few of the top signs and symptoms of alcohol and benzo abuse to be on the lookout for:
Their tolerance becomes higher. They need to drink more to get the same effect or buzz. This is typically common as their intake increases. Same with benzos. One or two pills don’t give off the same effect so their intake is increased to multiple pills a day.
Physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur like anxiety, redness or flushed complexion of the cheeks, weight loss, depression, feeling sick to their stomach, sweating and shakiness, etc. Symptoms of a chronic benzo user also include anxiety, elevate stress levels, weight loss or weight gain, drowsiness and confusion.
For alcoholics, they may experience continued health problems like upset stomach, liver damage, memory loss, etc. In chronic benzo use, dependence can result in withdrawal symptoms like sudden coma and seizures when they are stopped abruptly.
The person has given up other activities so they can use. This can also include reporting late to work or not getting involved in activities with friends or families that were once a usual occurrence.
If a friend or family member is showing any signs of alcohol or benzo abuse, discuss whether they need treatment, and be ready to support them in a path to a happier and sober life.
So what do we do if we see a loved one showing the above signs or symptoms?
Helpful Tips when Dealing with a Problem Drinker and/or Benzo Abuser
You cannot save the alcoholic or drug abuser. The disease of alcoholism doesn’t make sense, and you can’t rationalize it or reason with it. The user has to WANT to get sober and only professional addiction treatment can help. There are ways to taper off alcohol and benzos, but it is highly recommended that a medical professional helps with the detoxification and stabilization process.
Seek support of others going through the same thing with their family. Join Al-Anon Family Groups which are open meetings in virtually every county across the country. The organization was founded by Lois Wilson, wife of Alcoholics Anonymous cofounder Bill Wilson, and it offers a refuge for those who have been impacted by chronic drinkers. Al-Anon members are people, just like you, who are worried about someone with a drinking or narcotic problem. al-anon.org
Do not, under any circumstance short of life-threatening scenarios (primarily hospital stay for something serious), give or lend money to an alcoholic or drug user. This is commonly referred to as enabling. By providing money, even bail money, rent money or child support, you prevent alcohol and drug abusers from hitting the rock bottom they need to experience to make a serious change.
Be as genuine as possible and let them know you are there for them. It’s important to remain calm even if he/she is difficult to deal with. Let them know how you address your own problems in healthy ways and that there are better ways to cope with stress and life problems.
If drinking or continued benzo use escalates to a point of concern for his/her life, and the user remains resistant to treatment, engage the services of a qualified interventionist. At Banyan, we work with dozens of experienced and caring Interventionists who are licensed and trained to intervene and work with the families and the user.
For help, please call the alcohol and drug detox and rehabilitation professionals at Banyan Treatment Centers at 844-248-4686. We can help find the most suitable treatment resources for you or your loved one.
Get the help you need today at Banyan.
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Allison Seriani is the National Public Relations Director for Banyan and is a contributor for Banyan’s Blog spot. She has experience with billing, operations, setting up a facility for proper licensure, consulting, marketing best practices, and public relations. Have a question? Email her at [email protected]