What Are The Side Effects of Prolonged Use of Benzos?

What Are The Side Effects of Prolonged Use of Benzos?

Long-term use of benzodiazepines are not recommended and can cause severe physical and psychological effects. Addiction or physical dependence, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms are the most serious.

Older people are at particularly high risk for adverse effects of prolonged use of benzos, including 50 percent increased risk of dementia.

 The higher the dose and the longer the use of benzos; also known as bennies; the more serious side effects it causes:

  • Drowsiness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Confusion
  • Lack of concentration
  • Dizziness
  • Trembling
  • Impaired coordination
  • Vision problems
  • Grogginess
  • Feelings of depression
  • Headache
  • Aggression, irritability, hostility and impulsivity (Paradoxical Disinhibition)
  • Increased depression and suicidal tendencies, particularly in high doses
  • “Emotional anesthesia” or blunting of emotions 
  • Bennies slow user’s reaction time and affect his driving skills, hugely increasing his or her risk of car crashes
  • Benzos cause anterograde amnesia (inability to form new memories), which is particularly severe if taken with alcohol
  • Babies of mothers on Benzos can get addicted while still in uterus, or later, through mother’s milk, suffering from consequent withdrawal symptoms

The long-term consequences of the abuse of benzodiazepine are serious cognitive impairment,  behavioral problems, inability to think constructively, a sense of turmoil, diminished sex-drive, social phobia, agoraphobia,  increased depression and anxiety, lack of interest in normal life activities, and an inability to feel or express feelings. Some people also feel a changed  perception of self and the world around them. 

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